Saturday, July 11, 2020

Living the Pantry Lifestyle - Not letting our guard down

Sorry for the very late Saturday post but I had an important Frozen themed birthday party to attend today for a now four year old Elsa Piper.  I made it through a visit to the park's zoo, a picnic lunch at the park, and almost to the opening of gifts.  Since I was getting very fatigued, they let Piper open her gifts from us first before I had to leave for home.  ;)

I've been talking to some friends and family about the need to stock up again before a possible second round of the virus is forecast.  I felt something was coming late last year but nothing in my wildest imagination prepared me for a complete shutdown of society, much less that it would last this long.

Recently there have been a few news events that peaked my curiosity and I knew we needed to continue "putting back" extra in the pantry all summer.  I understand that this is all speculation and I normally despise speculation.  I know, for someone who loves watching detectives solve murder mysteries on television, I should like it when someone speculates.  It is fine in cases of "who done it" but not second guessing the news.

What changed my mind on taking even speculation seriously was seeing the last time that the fear of the virus caused as much panic buying as the virus itself.  So all it will take are rumors of a second outbreak to see shelves emptying again.

The first news report was that new cases of the virus are happening rapidly in some states.  Of course, this is not speculation, it is in real time.  I think this may be why we are still seeing some shelves empty of often purchased items.  Along with the manufacturing and farming supply line is not back to what it was pre-pandemic.

Second, most scientists are now seeing the possibility of another round of COVID by early Fall.  While this is still speculation, it is actually an educated guess since other coronaviruses have been known to come around every year.

Third, scientists are fairly certain that having the virus will not give most people immunity to another outbreak and that it possibly may go airborne.  Both of these possibilities are speculation but should either be true, I could see much more stringent shelter in place rules following.

I've been doing a few things.  I've mentioned before that I am remembering what was not available during the worst of the shutdown and making certain I purchase some of these items.  It doesn't cost very much to buy an extra package of TP now, an extra package of paper towels, or disinfectant wipes if you can find them.

Most of my pantry deepening again has been done a little at a time, which is best for my budget.  I've used a gift to make some purchases and I do use Amazon credit when there is no important birthday that month.  We all learned how quickly things can change and items become unavailable.

I restocked the inexpensive items like pasta when I bought some more packages of spaghetti on stock up day.  I had some other shapes already.  I usually do not have spaghetti sauce on my pantry shelf because I already have pizza sauce and it can become a delicious pasta sauce by just adding a can of tomatoes.  I also use pasta most often as an extender to other dishes, like the Italians!

Often I just purchase one or two items to "put back" for an emergency.  I bought one can of sweetened condensed milk for the pantry during a quick trip to the grocery store.  Another time I bought one box of quart size Ziplock bags only because I've noticed the shelves with Ziplock and other brands of items have been sparse.

My favorite Kerrygold butter was on sale so I bought a few packages for the freezer about three weeks ago.  It was almost impossible to find for awhile since it comes from Ireland.  I use Aldi butter for baking and when I purchase one on stock up day... I buy an extra for the deep freeze.  Butter freezes well and lasts a long time.

So unless I'm using a birthday gift, Christmas gift, etc., I set aside a place in my food budget for "a little at a time" filling the pantry.  My current pantry is not very deep at all but I have found through through experience that it is better to have more put back of less options. 

Like... right now I only have some canned green beans put back for green veggies and some canned peaches for fruit in the pantry.  There are just two of us and that is what we would use the most so I'd rather have more cans of each of them instead of a variety of cans that I don't have room for, anyway.

I know some people mentioned they wished they had a deep freeze but they became impossible to find during the pandemic.  It may be time to see if they have been restocked if you were planning on getting one, anyway.  Most chest freezers are not expensive.

It is already very late and I am quite tired after a long... but enjoyable... day.  There will be more to talk about next week.  Be diligent.  A little at a time putting back will bring huge benefits later.  What if nothing at all happens?  When you buy only extras of what you eat and use, anyway... you haven't wasted any money.

Image:  Doris Lee, artist


Anonymous said...

Love the art today. Perfect for birthday..:and it doesn’t seem that long ago that Piper was a baby with dark stand up hair who was so cute. Don’t they grow so fast. Have a good peaceful night’s rest. Blessings, Sharon D

Jenny said...

WE have an small upright freezer that we considered getting rid of last year. I am so glad we didn't. It's full now.

Once I stocked my pantry I've been doing weekly grocery pick ups to keep it topped off. I've decided not to let it get even a little bit low because it's all so unknown. It takes quite a bit more work keeping things rotated through. I'm only stocking what we eat as well.

Debbie G said...

The virus has been proven to go airborne now and for people that have been getting it a second time, it is happening within a 3 month much for long lasting immunity (if there is such a thing). It is a scary virus. A friend of mine lost both her parents to it within days of each other.

I have been following the news and epidemiologists since this virus first came to light and information starting to seep out of China. I stocked up BEFORE the panic set in because I knew it was coming. I am going to do the same again with a big stock up once more but have steadily been continuing to add to my pantry and HBA all along. My husband is home recovering from total knee replacement surgery right now so money is extremely tight. I am trying to preserve as much as I can out of my garden at the moment though and will continue to.

elizabeth said...

I have the same idea, And I find that stocking up on the paper items you mentioned now is the right time because if things do empty out you won't feel as bad stocking up because you know you're not taking someone else's last chance to get it! Sounds like you had a wonderful day and I'm so glad you were able to see family!

Vee said...

Piper is four?! Children's birthday parties are high energy affairs. 🎉 It must have been hot, too!

Suzan said...

The party sounds amazing. Little ones grow so very fast. I am glad you were able to attend and enjoy the day.

Our pantry is not huge but it does now contain foods for when times are tougher. In Australia we now have one state that is posting huge numbers and areas have been put into total lockdown. Several multi-storey buildings used for public housing have been locked down and the residents were less than impressed. Meanwhile every other state or territory has low numbers, My state return zero cases most days. But because of the problems miles away from home they panic buying beginning again. So paper goods are restricted again. I need to buy some more flour and baked beans.

God bless and stay well.

Lee Ann said...

totally agree. We are nowhere near out of this thing.

Kay said...

I, too, am watching and listening. I've started my deepening. I bought 2 bags of flour last week. This week, we'll do a Sam's run and get TP and I need to find laundry soap.
I'll inventory my pantry this week. I know pasta is one thing I need and tomato sauce/paste. Baked beans and green beans. I don't really care for canned veg, but I need to find one I do like as who knows what the frozen or fresh veg situation will be. I'm also considering a fall garden for salad greens.
We helped out our ds1 who was visiting this week. We sent home 2 large coolers of our meat for them. He also has shares in a beef back home. They are a household of 7 (4 teens), so they go through food, fast!
We also will help our ds2's family with meat and we buy things from Sam's for them. They have littles (3,2,1 yr old) so diapers and other small people goods.
Do you make your face masks or buy them? Cloth or disposable? I have the paper ones but if they are required everywhere, I'll run out. I can make them but need a good pattern. Any ideas?

Brenda Leyland @ Its A Beautiful Life said...

I always feel the peace when I visit. Even when you chat about hard things, there's a grace that feels hopeful and trusting. I feel you walk companionably with Him and it comes out in your posts.

I chuckle and take heed to stock up on items you really like, not the food items you wouldn't eat ordinarily.... of course we want those things that comfort even as they nourish in those upside down times! Good advice.

It's a joy to visit, Brenda. Blessings for a great week ahead.
Brenda L.

Unknown said...

I listened to your blog posts before the first shut down started, and I will again listen this go around. I've also started to look for vitamins and other things that I had trouble finding, including a simple allergy medicine. I long for a workable pantry. I do not know who designed the kitchen in this house, but it must not have been someone who stocked up on anything or cooked or baked garage either for extra food storage. So,plastic totes will do. I remember to visit your site before going to purchase through Amazon. So, I am glad to hear how it helps extend your pantry. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us.

Deanna Rabe said...

I’m so amazed that Piper is four!

Good thoughts about stocking up on things that were hard to find during lockdown. I too, just stock up on things we’ll actually eat so I don’t mind having lots of those cans and not a wider variety.

PJ Geek said...

I thought of you because (And now just read your post) I was wondering if others are feeling the need to stock up/hunker Down. we are blessed as we bought a bigger house in the mountains. Less COVID, more space, there is so much peace on the property that I don’t think I’ll want to go out much. We will probably sell our old house as is, just to get out of it and move on. there is a big foot museum 10 miles from the new house