Friday, November 19, 2010

The winter storm way of pantry planning

Oh, how I wish I had time to respond to all your comments!  Better yet, you were enjoying tea and Stephanie's lemon scones here in my living room.  Someday I will have another "Comments on Comments".  :)

However, I do want to talk about the comment regarding Glen Beck's latest show, advising people to stock up.  I didn't see it even though I had planned to tune in (family duties calling me elsewhere).  However, I know he has advised people to stock up on food and essentials since he was on CNN.  Yes, he is a Mormon and no... I am not (different theology, same feelings about stocking up).  ;)

Okay... here are my thoughts (and they are not in the canon of scripture so take them as just my opinion)...  I think we're in trouble with a capital "T" (name that movie?) here in this country.  Those of us who live on a fixed income are definitely the canaries in the coal mine and we have been hurting more as every month goes by.  Yes, we do depend on food pantries much of the time and we have watched those lines become longer and longer.

I have lots and lots of good links on the sidebar, should you want to learn more about stocking up but one thing I'm asked often is... "What are your priorities when you do have extra money which you use for the pantry?".

I think of what I'd hate to be without in case of a winter storm, the kind when you look outside and whiteout conditions are so thick that can't see your car in the driveway so... unless you're pregnant and the pains are five minutes apart... you stay inside.

Thinking of priorities for the pantry comes easily as I was raised by a mother who 1) went through the Great Depression, 2) raised her original seven children on nothing, 3) grew up in the country without a car, and 4) was paranoid that some disaster would befall us and if we had plenty of food in the pantry... at least we'd eat.

Which probably explains moi'... my poor family.  But I digress...

There are the obvious medical priorities such as my insulin these days but I always kept a prescription children's Advil on hand when Christopher was little (this was before it was available over the counter) as he was prone to very high fevers.  Migraine Strength Excedrin would fall a lot further down the priority list.

Toilet paper is obvious but one would hate to run out of garbage bags, especially if you depend on trash pick up by a company which will only accept the garbage in appropriate bags once they can get to your house.  I would hate to run out of laundry detergent or dish washing soap.

I once ran out of eggs when the trucks could not get "into town" after a blizzard so I'm usually well stocked with eggs.... they last for weeks and weeks if kept in their original containers in the refrigerator.  All baking ingredients are winter storm essentials (flour, sugars, yeast, etc.) and I like to keep extra butter stored in the freezer (slipped into gallon size Zip Lock bags).

Of course, I buy extra milk if there is a winter storm watch but I also keep at least one or two of the aseptic boxes of milk which can be stored on shelves.  You can't imagine how many times these have saved me during cooking and baking when I realized I didn't have milk in the frig. I do always have dried milk but when one is in the middle of a recipe...

When I think of a winter storm, I want to have on hand batteries and blankets and candles and matches and flashlights and things important should the electricity go out.  Which also includes food which does not have to be cooked on my electric range (and I don't plan on grilling in a blizzard unless it is to heat water for coffee).

Have you ever been in the grocery store during a winter storm watch and notice what foods are in the carts?  Along with milk and eggs, one almost always finds potato chips and cookies and donuts and ice cream and all kinds of comfort foods (including those alcoholic for those so inclined).  It is almost as if, when one is threatened by a storm, it gives one a free pass to bad nutrition.  At least that is my thinking when there is a box of Krispy Kreme in my cart.

What else do I consider of great importance with my budget?  Well, coffee and coffee and ummm... coffee.  Tea and a little sweetener.  Milk or cream for the coffee.  A French press for the coffee in case the power goes out.  Perhaps some hot chocolate added to the list.

When we have been hit by the winter storm of unemployment in the past, I was very happy I had extra books to read, videos (DVDs) to watch, and board games to entertain.  Having sewing and crafting supplies for projects on hand was such a blessing during these times.  If cotton fabric continues to rise in price, you will be happy you stocked up on quilting fabric... as if a quilter needs any encouragement to purchase fabric.

Personally, I see storm clouds on the horizon and I think any extra funds which are put into essentials are going to be a huge blessing in the long run.  If nothing else, they will be cheaper to buy now should inflation hit as those who are in the know and honest are saying (the two or three of them we can locate).

Like me, all you can do is what you can given what you have to work with... money, space, time... and leave the rest to God.  I can't do very much but I do have friends who have helped just as I used to be able to help others.

Do I think stocking up (when possible) is showing a lack of faith?  Absolutely not!  If it were, then Joseph would not be a hero and he said it was God who placed him in Egypt to save his people by "stocking up".

Now, if I hoarded food and got all ugly and never gave any to my neighbors who were out of work... then we're getting on the non-Christian side of thinking... but the Word says it is a fool who sees trouble coming and does not prepare.

We are to always remember that "perfect love casts out fear" and God will always take care of us but if He leads us to prepare for what may be ahead... and you have that "gut feeling" He is doing so... then develop the winter storm pantry way of thinking.  When you use an item or just think of it... knowing it is essential... write it down on a list you keep for such purposes.

Then, buy a little extra of what is essential.  Just deepen your pantry with what you already use... and remember a little at a time is better than nothing at all.  :)

Answer:  The movie was The Music Man

Picture: Sharing Grandma's Cookies;


Sherri said...

I want to thank you for sharing your thoughts on this issue. I have been watching Glenn Beck and learning. I have put off doing anything because of lack of ability to do anything. We are not financially able to purchase any extra at this time. I spent last night looking at plans and ways to cut back. I am seeking God on these issues and know that He is giving me wisdom on this, as well as bringing people (such as you) across my path in various ways to show me how to get started.


Remembrances said...

The Music Man! I have always had a "stock up" mentality. I'm not sure why, I did not grow up during the Depression, nor was my family financially distressed - I guess I am just frugal by nature and stocking up is part of that whole way of thinking. I am not home at the time that Glenn Beck is on, but my husband is - I am sure he has given very good advice in this regard. I know that God will sustain and I believe He also will guide and direct us in the ways we should handle this situation. Karin

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the great suggestions. Don't forget to stock up on pet food as well. (My cat would be very annoyed at me if we ran out of her favourite cat treats :)

Anonymous said...

Good advice. And often when out if one feels they SHOULD pick up something, I have learned it is best to follow that feeling. We know from WHOM such things come.

Blessings, Elizabeth

Anna said...

Love Glenn Beck! He is the real deal!

For those who don't have extra $$ to spend on stocking up, he suggests looking around your home and de-cluttering, get rid of things you don't use or need anymore by holding a yard sale or listing it on a site (can't remember the name!)that is free.

He said on that same show that some study shows that people have hundreds/thousands of dollars hidden in their home of things they don't need or use anymore. I know I sure do!

Thanks for your pantry links on your blog. They are a great resource and I hope people will check them out and do what they can.

Great post!

Scrappy quilter said...

Love this post. I'm in total agreement with it. Never hurts to stock up. Got us through some mighty tough times. Hugs

Anna said...

Glenn is on right now, the website he mentioned is

Debra said...

I always love your pantry posts, especially when they come at this time of year when I've got stocking-up so heavy on my mind, what with snow just around the corner and all. :)

Did you know you can freeze milk? Just pour some into a glass, though, beforehand, to give it room to expand in the container. I didn't know that till last year, but then, we get our milk from the milkman in glass bottles, so oh well. Bob The Milkman braves all those pesky snowstorms for me so I greatly rely upon him to do all my dairy shopping for me each winter!

I'm glad you found me again! :)

Blessings, Debra

Tracey McBride ~ Frugal Luxuries® said...

Wonderful topic Brenda, thank you so much for bringing it up. I agree with you. To paraphrase that wise old proverb...we must work as if it's up to us...have faith as if it's up to God.
God bless you and yours my kind friend.

Anonymous said...

I, too believe Glenn Beck is on track in encouraging us to store food for the time ahead especially if inflation is on the horizon. He is being bashed constantly for his opinions but I feel God is using him to wake up America. I pray for him and pray for our nation to "humble ourselves and pray and turn from our wicked ways" as the scripture says, "and God will heal our land."

Vee said...

Yup, still working on it. Guess that it's one of those things that requires due diligence in an ongoing way. I hadn't heard the latest from G.B.

Deanna Rabe - Creekside Cottage Blog said...

I started stocking up last year...we don't have tons but we do have some. I like how you encourage us to buy things that our families will eat and use! So wise!

Anonymous said...

Brenda, I always love your pantry posts! Also, you can watch video clips from Glenn Beck's programs. Just go to; today he has an excerpt from yesterday's program in which he mentions being in a winter storm last year without electricity for almost a week.

Thanks again for the great posts!

Anita said...

Very good advise. I've started and will continue to stock up. Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

I wasen't sure when I mentioned his show that I should because you have always encouraged us to stock up what we can...for what ever reason. We have always stocked up too. On you can click on the stocking up list he suggests for ideas and it also has many pages of comments. Course yours Brenda has esentially the same. From what I have read so far people are getting the message and adding good comments and suggestions. Last nights show had a minister from Wilmington, Ohio. A little town with huge unemployment at the present time but they are working together and working through it. Without government help. He says they have lessons we all need to learn. He is going there in December. He will continue on the subject of solutions he said. I am always encouraged when I come here to Coffee tea books and me and read the posts and the comments. We know Who is in charge no matter what happens. Sarah

Sherri said...

I was so excited that I just had to come back by and say that today I bought my first stock pantry items, God is so good!!

TheNormalMiddle said...

I recently just completed a freelance research project that required several hours of looking at food commodities and inflation.

Stocking up is WISE.

Terri said...

Thank you for your words of wisdom. I too have been thinking about the "Pantry Stock" and what i would not want to do without in a bind! A good friend at my church had told me about the Glen Beck remarks. I too am praying as to how I can be prepared in a proper way on my budget. Thank you again so much!! Terri

Anonymous said...

Excellent, Godly advice, Brenda! Thank you so much for allowing the Lord to use you to encourage your sisters in Christ with practical, scriptural advice. I think of you as the Titus 2 woman. Be blessed!
In Christ,

Anonymous said...

We cannot buy many things new other than food. We hever have. That being said, I have still thought ahead and gotten several sheets and towels and some jeans and shirts and such ahead used. Shopping ahead like we always do before the need is there we can look for and get the best things. I could not afford Ralph Lauren sheets at the stores but sure have several sets used...and like new some with tags still on. $5 a set for queen. Also we shop the store sales and produce stands and naturally our garden to can things. Much of our food has always come from the markdown bin at the grocers or the warehouse dint store. Always checking the things for the dates and checking the cans carefuly etc. Even with a very low income all our maried life we have eaten and lived quite well. We imagine that even the used things will go up in price as they always do so we are trying to think ahead at this time more than ever...but not getting more than we will be able to use. Don't forget to keep an ear out for anyone who has an apple tree or other that they do not pick that they would love to have picked by you! You can pay them back with pies or cleaning up their yard. Ideas are endless and make saving money and keeping within even the tightest of budgets a fun game. I love to read everyone's suggestions on all the posts! Sarah