Saturday, July 04, 2015

Living the Pantry Lifestyle - The time to stock up is now!

The small bowl was a recent surprise gift.  Now I have three, which makes it a collection!  They are from three different pottery firms but all in those lovely vintage colors.  They look so happy together.

I will continue on the subject of the Procrastination Challenge next week but I have something urgent I want to chat with you about.  I've been hesitant to write this post until an e-mail from a blog friend tweaked my conscience.  It's just that, I know a lot of you are on a fixed income like we are and those who aren't are certainly having to be very careful with their funds.

But I would be wrong to spend time writing about deepening the pantry each Saturday and not share my feelings as to what may lay ahead in the near future.  For awhile now, I have been having that quickening in my spirit (or perhaps what Gibbs on NCIS calls his "gut feelings") that we need to make deepening the pantry a priority this summer.

Which can be frustrating when one is already trying to stretch a lean grocery budget, right?

There are a lot of people I respect who are talking about the need to be prepared for some kind of emergency this fall.  Many are Christian speakers and writers but quite a lot of secular people are now writing about difficult times to come.  One of the leading economic sites (sorry that I can't remember their name!) put out a warning recently that they believe a major economic crash is on the way.

If there were just two or three Christian leaders handing out such a warning, I wouldn't be too concerned as sometimes they are reading and listening to each others warnings (that actually happened prior to Y2k). But this is more.  When a variety of different people feel that sense of impending difficulties and they are from different walks of life... I listen.

For me, it verifies what I have been feeling for awhile.  Now, you may think I am really loony here (loonier?) but I developed an interest in Emergency Preparedness and stocking the pantry all the way back around 1980-ish.  I felt God calling me to learn everything I could at the time and my files will show lots and lots of research (I eventually tossed at least half of them since they were no longer relevant).

I felt God was telling me that my ministry was to learn about deepening the pantry and to share what I learn with others.  For there would come a day when people would be very happy they made deepening their pantry a priority for they would need to eat and use what they had already purchased.

This all made sense to me when Y2k came around and really sharpened my skills of writing on a website and teaching others.  We ended up using what we had stocked up on when there was an extended period of unemployment.  Gosh did I learn a lot about what we would use and what we wouldn't.

If someone tells you children will eat anything if they are hungry, don't believe it.  Christopher walked away from the table rather than eat beans I prepared!  (I think now that he is older, he will eat them in some recipes.)

Much of what I learned is available in years upon years of writing in the archives.  But it has been something like this... when one invests in an entire 25 lb. bag of old fashioned oats than one not only can have nutritious oatmeal to fill them up but it is the basis for granola, baked oatmeal, cookies, etc.  You just have to make certain the other ingredients are in your pantry.  Should you put that same amount of cash into boxes of Cheerios, it takes a lot more pantry space and you will go through them quickly.

Not that I'm saying don't stock Cheerios, I know few Moms who got through the toddler years without a Ziploc bag in their purse.  But you see what I am saying.  We need the biggest bang for the buck (and for nutrition) when we are eating out of the pantry.

The irony of this recent call to deepen the pantry is that this time I don't have a lot of money to do so, either.  In the late 1990s, it was easy.  I wrote long articles about "buying this" and "order that" to stock the pantry.  But this time, it doesn't work that way for this household.

But I now believe God has allowed that on purpose.  For I need to be where so many of you are.  Trying to do the best I can with what I have. 

Recently I did have some extra "pantry funds" so I stocked up again on basics like canola oil, baking supplies (for bread and such), dishwashing soap, TP, etc.  I learned the hard way that one cannot have enough cooking oil.  I also bought an extra bottle of extra virgin olive oil to make vinaigrette.  Those basic items that are the bones of the pantry.

I don't want to scare anyone and I pray we get into 2016 with no economic collapse at all.  I hope this is another Y2k where everything was fixed in time.   What every happens, we know God is in control and that He provides.  The same God who used ravens to feed a prophet and manna to feed the Children of Israel.  Although I prefer chocolate.

I'd love to hear if any of you have that same urgency in your spirit to deepen your pantry.


l hoov said...

Definitely feeling that, too. I started deepening the pantry a few years ago, but have not felt the urgency of it as I do now. My hubby works at a paper mill, and although the company as a whole seems to be doing okay, in this mill, both paper machines are being shut down for 3-5 days due to lack of orders - I stock up while I can. The economy cannot continue in the same path it is without dire consequences. Put my trust in God, and do what I can to deepen our pantry. Thank you for sharing your concerns! In Him...Lynne in MN

Sarah said...

Brenda, my husband has warned me about this, so you are not alone. I can't remember exactly why, but he thinks September is the month it will begin. He studies prophecy and the end times frequently, and has been increasingly worried about what's going to happen at the end of this year.

We are moving in with my folks temporarily on Tuesday, and I'm praying that this will all come together so that we can support one another if something does hit at that time. This fall may not be the best time for us buying our first home :\.

Thanks for this post. We are broke as a joke right now but once he starts his new job, I am going to start stocking up!! I like the oatmeal idea. :) God bless.

Anonymous said...

I have been having the same feeling as I watch what is happening in Greece. As a single person I have put off starting a pantry, but feel the time has arrived. I have learned so much from reading your blog over the years. In my job I supervise staff who process applications for public benefits. I have seen first hand what happens when the economy crashes and people lose their jobs. Thank you for your wise words and teaching. God bless you on this 4th of July. Cindy from Florida.

Ann said...

I started building my pantry many years ago when I was young mother in Boston and we were often hit by snowstorms that shut the city so to speak and food in the stores had periods of being scarce. Plus, I didn't want to HAVE to go out to get groceries in blinding snow and freezing cold if it wasn't necessary. A cold sunny day is much more comfortable.

We lived on a sailboat in San Diego as Y2K approached and had enough food basics for the two of us (lots of peanuts butter!) to last a year if necessary. Fortunately it was not but we also had periods of long unemployment and that pantry was very helpful.

Now we have a lot more space and a huge pantry area and big freezer (I am blessed) and I have done my best to stock up on the stuff we will eat and need to survive. I am a firm believer that if it's not something we will eat now, it certainly isn't going to fill the "comfort" need during difficult times when we will long for some good tasting food.

Your posts are always inspiring and a great reminder to keep on keeping on.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing this! We read Jonathan Cahn's book, "The Mystery of the Shemitah" as well as "Blood Moons" by Mark Biltz earlier this year? All very interesting, to say the least! I, like you, feel that God is warning us to prepare. I planted my garden earlier than I ever have this year, mostly due to our mild spring, but I also knew, deep down, we'll be glad we did. We've been trying to keep a well-stocked pantry, but I often feel overwhelmed when I keep thinking of how many more things we should stock up on! That's where your Saturday blogposts have been such a help and a blessing! I realize, too, that it isn't just for the two of us. Our married kids live nearby and don't have the funds or space to store extras, so I know we'll be sharing with them. I really feel a need to pray for our country right now, too....things are changing so quickly!
Blessings on your day!
Laura C. (WA)

Kathie said...

I recently purchased (cash) a home to move to when I retire next year. One of my first priorities has been to start a pantry there. The home is 100 miles from where I currently live and in a town with only one grocery store. Growing up our family always had a pantry and cool storage area and I have continued that lifestyle. I enjoy reading your comments on pantries and think it is the reasonable thing for all folks to keep one, whether or not there is an imminent need to do so. Thanks for all you do.

Anonymous said...

God has impressed upon my husband and myself that we must be prepared. We have 10 grandchildren and 4 adult children and 3 spouses that all live in our town. We have been preparing for 7 years this month for 18 people. One son and one daughter believe as we do. The others think we are little bit fanatical, but God has so impressed us to prepare. I recently received my first Social Security payment which included a month more than we expected because of my date of birth. We took half of the money and bought basic staple items in bulk. We had been praying for 2 months that God would provide extra money to expand our supplies and He did. I take that as confirmation that we are following God's guidance. Don't forget medicine, personal hygiene items, candles or lanterns, water, even oil and oil filters for your car, etc. We do not know how this will come together, but for a Christian, the Bible says the last days are the days of a harvest of souls. What better way than to be able to help others when you can and share your faith with them as you do.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I feel the same way. I try to have several of each major food item I use on hand. However, sometimes I get lower than I want to. Sometimes I also let things expire. I have learned to write the month and year purchased on the top of cans. I know God is in control, and need to let my stocking up be without anxiety or fear. I am easily concerned over things I see in the news. It is so sad to see the things that are happening. God bless you. Thank you for your encouragement in so many areas.

Dianne L

Mrs.Rabe said...

We are concerned too! We've heard some things about September as well. I felt this urgency starting about 5-6 years ago about starting a garden and teaching my kids to garden and do some canning.

I always try to keep a bit of a pantry and am working to stock up a bit more.


Anonymous said...

We have always had a pantry and fruit cellar but lately I too have had that "gut feeling" that something is going to happen so have been building my pantry deeper than its been since Y2K. We have two freezers, a walk in pantry off the kitchen and a large storage area in the basement for both canned food, paper products and cleaning supplies. I add to them as often as I can. This week it was 18 pounds of ground chuck reduced by 80 cents a pound due to the expiration date. I rarely buy meat unless its reduced or on sale at a good price, so there was no way I would walk away from this. By the way, part of the reason one freezer is so full is the 16 pound turkey I felt compelled to buy in May. Honestly, I was in the process of cleaning the freezer and decided that while it was thawing I would go get a turkey. I almost never buy meat at full price, or go to the store for one item. But this time I did. With the bird flu I have a feeling turkey will be in short supple and pricey come November. I chose carefully, triple wrapped it and buried it in the bottom of the chest freezer. And I bought a bigger one than I normally due. Just saying...

My husband, along with a couple financial advisers we talk with, feel very strongly that something serious will happen within the next year or so. Like others we have been watching what is happening in Greece, and its not the only country in financial trouble. We trust that God will provide, but still we know He expects us to use the common sense He gave us to always be ready.

Brenda thank you for your encouragement and information. I look forward to you posts so much! God bless, Marsha

Anonymous said...

Yes I have been feeling it too. Yet also feel I need to pray and ask guidance. We do stock up but want guidance on what we in particular should be adding. How to help others. Only He knows the future. I have relatives that have elderly neighbors and they are stocking up things they know these people eat and will need. They get to scare when talk of such thing so others are preparing for them and making sure too that these neighbors order their medicines as ahead as they can. That is a necessity. They even keep a bug out bag for them. Now that is neighborliness and agape love. :) No matter what we stock up we will find something we wish we had gotten too but we can get what we can and keep close to God. Thanks for sticking your neck out and saying it as you felt it. Sarah

Glenda said...

Many of us are sensing the same urgency of which you speak. I have read September, also, as the beginning. I am being impressed, by the Holy Spirit, to look toward October 12-15. Why these dates I do not know. Maybe, it is something I am to pay attention to, but I felt very led to share those dates.

Many blessings to you, Brenda, for your wonderful posts and honest sharing. God bless all of you for sharing in your comments.

Annabel Smith said...

I am feeling it strongly and like you I am hearing this over and over from Good wise Crhristians who I respect, now including yourself.
The last person I heard it from was Brandy on the Prudent Homemaker.. She commented in the blog but then what came out in comments was !!! I was already stocking up but now I am taking it up a notch.
There is plenty of scripture on being watchful... This is something we need to increase too.
Your pantry information was never more needed.
Thank you for this post. xxx

Vee said...

When I read this, I got a little anxious. I am always alarmed when the pantry gets low as it has for been for several months now. We have eaten a lot of beans. (A purchased sandwich tasted so good and was a real treat this Independence Day.) Now I have felt that the country could not go on this way much longer...high unemployment, too much welfare, healthcare concerns, illegals roaring across a very porous border, terrorism...accckkk. It's good to slow down on purpose and remind ourselves Whose we are. Thank you for always reminding us of that!

Anonymous said...

I just read another blog, that was implying the same idea. Since reading both blogs in less then 20 mins. I'm a little nervous. My pantry is ok, but could be better. I will need to take stock and see what I need to refill. Thanks for a timely post. Have a wonderful week.


Anonymous said...

You may be right about this, is hard to know. But in one's personal life, any trial can be around the corner and what we have on hand already could be most helpful. Y2K has been downplayed since...and maybe there was too much hype...but I can assure you that a great lot of work extra, was going on where my hubby worked (nuke plant) to avoid it being shut down...a great lot!! And most all the other plants were also. It was no joke to them and they were so glad someone figured out the problem ahead of time.

Elizabeth in WA

Kim said...

Wonderful wisdom as always Brenda! Thank you~Blessings~Kim

Kristi in the Western Reserve said...

I wanted to mention how very charming those bowls are in your photograph. I'm afraid that while I do think the economy may take another downturn, I don't seem to be feeling the urgency you mention to deepen the pantry. OTH, I already have a deep pantry and struggle with managing and organizing!

Anonymous said...

Water! I don't live in an area where there is a drought, thankfully, but I am so conscious of water and thankful for it.
One thing I am doing is to keep a bucket in the tub to catch cold water while the hot water travels from the hot water tank to the bathroom shower or sink.

becky said...

I too have felt an urgency to keep stocking up, but I keep asking God for balance and not go overboard with fear:). Have started canning up the garden and am headed to a big box store soon to stock up on things.
Thanks again for this post.

Sherry said...

my husband and i have been discussing possibilities about this very subject matter. very timely post, brenda, and one i'll be sharing with him later today.