Saturday, October 31, 2020

Living the Pantry Lifestyle - Last minute preparations

It seems everyone I trust is predicting a time of civil unrest ahead in the United States.  Although we are certainly not alone, it seems as if there is great unrest in much of the world today.  Some countries are once again experiencing COVID lock-downs.  I'm hoping that doesn't happen here but there is always that possibility.

With the uncertainty, I'm so glad we had the recent week spent with our kids and grandchildren.  It is not often we all get to be together. We are... and were... blessed. Our family went through times of great adversity when they were younger and it seems they both (and their spouses) have gone out of their way as adults to bring us joy. 

In the meantime, I am doing my best to prepare for the worst... within my budget and space available... and pray for wisdom.  We are at the end of the month so the stocking up budget is very low but I did purchase some canned items last week that have been in short supply. I bought more cans of corn since it was not available for awhile.  I mainly use it for vegetable soup but I wanted to make sure I had enough for the winter.  

One of the things I try to do is to be aware of possible shortages due to crop failures and such and corn has been on my radar for awhile. There have been a lot of articles that canned and frozen sweet corn may be in short supply this winter due to the damage the dericho did when it swept through the Midwest. It damaged or ruined almost 60% of the corn crop in Iowa alone.  Canned corn is inexpensive, so it was easy to purchase enough for the pantry to use for soup through the winter.

I know I say this almost every Saturday but it amazes me what can be done a little at a time.  In October, I added a few Holiday related items like cream cheese, canned sweet potatoes, canned whole cranberry sauce (even though I often use fresh cranberries), and some various items needed for Holiday baking.

I already had a few cans of pumpkin left from last year so I don't need to buy any.  I finally was able to purchase a jar of lemon curd when it was available at the grocery store for the first time since the Holidays last year.  I hope to buy a couple more jars if possible.  I mostly use it on my favorite lemon scones (link to recipe below).  My husband is not fond of scones... except when served with lemon curd.

I have been adding to the pantry a little at a time but if you haven't stocked up even a little, you don't need to buy a lot to give you food for a week or two.  We purchased Old Fashioned Quaker Oats in bulk at Sam's Club recently, which last a long time if stored properly and make an inexpensive breakfast.  I usually have the ingredients to make granola from them, too.

One can purchase a couple jars of peanut butter and jelly.  Extra bread can be made, put in the freezer, or crackers can be purchased.  Pasta sauce and pasta are inexpensive, cans of Hormel chili with beans or cans of chunky style soups can be served alone or over rice.  A large bag of popcorn to pop can last for awhile and be a treat for minimal cost.

I watched a video recently of a professional prepper who was doing some last minute stocking up before the elections and the possible turmoil they may produce.  She had purchased inexpensive frozen pizzas for the freezer since they would provide a quick and easy treat for the family.  I thought that a very good idea.  

During the shutdown, I purchased a Stouffer's meal off and on as they became available.  While the individual ingredients may have been difficult to find at times, it was possible to have various main dishes to pop in the oven and for the cook, it makes a sort of mini-vacation.

I think one of the lies of the enemy regarding preparing for emergencies is "if you can't do it all, don't bother with a little".  Anything that can be in the pantry when you can't get to the store will be very beneficial.  Whether it is water, food, or toilet paper, kibble, or kitty litter!  We all know now that big emergencies can happen with little or no warning.

I have written many times about the book I read in the 1970s that started me on emergency planning. The author of How to Prosper in the Coming Bad Years wrote about the time he was driving in his car when an emergency alert came on the radio about the Cuban Missile Crisis.  He pulled over as quickly as he could find a phone and called his wife, telling her to take all the cash they had and go to the grocery store. 

Even though he is a Mormon, he said he had not followed keeping a supply of food in the home before that time but did so after that.  In his book, he called the title of the chapter about preparing for emergencies "Panic Proof".  If I remember correctly, by the time he could call his wife and tell her to get to the grocery store, it was already very crowded.

One thing I learned, among many, from his story was to keep a last minute list of food and supplies to take with me to the grocery store in a last minute emergency... be it a winter storm watch or a Zombie apocalypse.  That way one can better purchase what is actually needed rather than grab just anything off the shelves.

I have kept such a list in the front of a file folder, as well as taped to a seldom used kitchen cabinet.  These days, since I keep a year's worth of monthly stock up grocery lists, I would just go through them as I do when making a new shopping list.  Of course, it always starts with basic items like milk, eggs, butter, bread, etc.

However, without a list that was thought out ahead of time, I invariably forgot important items like being out of onions, potatoes, fresh produce, etc.  I find it very amusing that most people shopping before a winter storm warning tend to buy some sort of comfort food.  Who me?  Why, never.  ;)

Right now, the grocery stores are mostly well stocked but there are cracks in the availability even now of some items.  We have not been able to purchase any 91% rubbing alcohol and we've tried four different stores.  I thought we had enough with two bottles but my husband had a cut on his hand that required "doctoring" for awhile.

When he was at Sam's Club the last time, he wanted to purchase a large package of AA batteries but they said they had no batteries in stock at that time.  He paid more (per battery) for an eight pack at another store when he had a coupon. 

I think a lot of people are aware the next few weeks may be unsettled and are preparing as such.  If there is one thing we learned from 2020, it is that the unexpected can happen and without warning.

Mentioned in this Blog Post

Lemon cream scone recipe... here.  (I LOVE this recipe!)

Many scone recipes call for heavy cream.  I added a bag of this product to my emergency pantry "just in case" and hope to purchase more... here.

Disclaimer:  Most links to are Associate links.


Vee said...

Thanks for the recipes. Makes me wish I had lemons. Alcohol is the perfect disinfectant, but I have never paid attention to the percentage. I will now. Yes, I am on the edge of my budget tether as well. It was a rough month with a full tank of oil (lowest price in a very long time) and a clean-out service (worth every penny). I wanted to go out for a burger and decided against it. 🙃 Oh well, payday is coming. I probably will do some shopping Monday morning.

Kay said...

While I was reading your post, I added the dry goods I need for Thanksgiving: stuffing mix, cranberry sauce, jarred gravy to add to my homemade (to stretch it).
I like the idea of adding some frozen pizzas to the list. We have mini bagel bite pizzas that DH likes in the freezer. I can make my own regular pizza so probably won't do this but it's a great idea.
I'm pretty stocked up so just filling in holes as we use things.

Today I blanched and froze some broccoli a friend gave us. I also made chicken bone broth. I have enough carcasses to make at least 4 more batches which will help give more room in the freezer. I have a small amount of beef & pork bones to make darnk bone broth also.

Let the wild winds blow. I'm ready!

Suzan said...

I love reading and learning from your experiences. I live in subtropical Australia so our meeds are different but there is much to learn.

A very popular recipe for for cheat scones is the lemonade scone recipe as it uses three ingredients. I found this recipe which explains how to make the recipe using ingredients from the USA. I have never had a failure with this recipe and most of the time I use what we call soda water...carbonated water as our household is all diabetic and it works with that too.

God bless.

Annabel said...

I am in Australia. This week is a very big week for us and the work because of your elections. My own banker had advice for me and it wasn't very positive. The world could literally change in an instant is how he sees it. So we are preparing and watching. A lot has gone on this year! So much so there is no way to know where to look for what next! But we do all was can and pray for wisdom and guidence!xxx

Deanna Rabe - Creekside Cottage Blog said...

We got our batteries this week, so I think we are all set, in case of unrest. I just need to fill the van with fuel tomorrow.

Praying for the elections, and for peace.

Suzan said...

Whoops I forgot the link;