Saturday, May 27, 2017
Living the Pantry Lifestyle - Those things you don't think about!
I've been thinking this week about those items we should have at least one "extra" put back and we don't. Mainly because we don't think of them as a pantry item. Well, Saturdays are about living a Pantry Lifestyle, which is about living a life where we think through being prepared as much as possible for what life throws at us. So let's ponder the possibilities.
We think of food and water first, of course. Our priorities are usually to stock extras of essentials so we don't have to go to the store in the middle of a recipe when we have run out of an essential ingredient. It is wise to have everything we need on hand for our five basic meals we make the most often. But sometimes what we need right away is not food related.
As usual, when something happens during my week, I think of meeting you here on Saturdays and what else would be a good idea to have at least "one extra" that we may forget. It reminded me that I need to start a new non-food Priority List like I once kept. For I can think of a need one minute and forget it the next.
For instance, I picked up my new glasses this week but I'm keeping my old pair even though they are no longer my prescription. If there was an option, I'd purchase a second pair of the new prescription but that isn't a priority right now. Now, I had two sisters who had to reach for their glasses first thing in the morning or they could not see their way to the kitchen. They would have required a backup!
What is a priority for me, however, is to purchase an extra pair of reading glasses. I have the cheap pair I bought while waiting for my new glasses to arrive but it is wise to have a nicer pair, too. The last thing I want (horrors) is to not be able to read at all... having just gone through a couple weeks of eye strain.
We must remember that most of us are not preparing for an End of the World scenario. When we think only in terms of a huge stock up of items, we get overwhelmed and don't add just "one extra" from time to time. We have had two different seasons of long term unemployment and I can assure you, anything we didn't have to purchase was a life saver. (Now, if you consistently put a little extra aside when you go to the store, though, you will be surprised how quickly you can deepen your pantry.)
Some items you may not think of?
Well, for us a priority has to be extra bags of water softener salt. If we run out, within a day or less our water turns orange and begins to harm the pipes in the house. Not to mention our laundry.
You may think to keep an extra package of batteries for your flashlight but what about your digital camera or channel changer? The way Direct TV is set up, you must be able to use the channel changer.
Have you ever put a load of laundry into the wash and realized you are out of laundry detergent? I have used (and loved) Charlie's Soap since my daughter introduced me to it when her first child was a baby. Since there are only two of us at home now, one bag lasts a few months. I think Stephanie buys it by the bucket. ;)
Why keep a non-food Priority List?
For one thing, if you have a list in one place... whether it is a piece of paper taped to the inside of a kitchen cabinet or on an app created for such things... one you look at often.... then it gets you to thinking about those items you might dismiss otherwise.
I realized the need to keep extra batteries on hand for the channel changer when the one I use for Direct TV started going out and I had a hard time changing channels. Yikes! Not that a day or two without satellite TV would be a disaster (have you seen my bookcases?) but if that happened when I could not get to the store then it would be different entirely. Especially during a Finding Bigfoot marathon.
Another reason a list is a good idea is that it keeps these items in your thinking when they go on sale and you can stock up a bit. Batteries often go on sale around Christmas. Canning equipment and jars go on sale in a couple stores where I live in Autumn. If you need something to cook on in an emergency, grills often go on sale at the end of Summer. Etc.
Not to mention it brings these items to mind when someone asks you what you want for your birthday. One year I told Stephanie what I wanted most were a couple bags of Charlie's Soap! One does get to a point when there is no better way of saying I love you than laundry detergent. Unless it is Mrs. Meyers dish soap.
I know this isn't exactly profound but it has worked for me. I have written about keeping a standard pantry wish list over the years. I usually know what I need when I have the opportunity to stock the pantry but I also have looked over that wish list and remembered an item that was a priority.
Everyone needs an ongoing grocery list, which can include pantry items when we notice a sale in the Sunday Supplement (we receive the same store flyers in the mail). So why not keep a non-food Priority List, too? Really... just tape it inside a kitchen cabinet and it is quite handy when you think of something.
There are other priorities for the pantry other than chocolate and coffee. Maybe.
Items mentioned in this Post
Charlie's Soap... info here.
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