Saturday, September 12, 2015

Living the Pantry Lifestyle - Helping others when you have a small income

I heard a story recently about a doctor who lived in the New Orleans area when Hurricane Katrina devastated that city.  He had long believed in what I call "deepening the pantry" and he felt with his income being higher than the average citizen, he should stock extra food and supplies in case of an emergency.

Well, it happens that his house was on high ground for that area and as the waters rose, people started walking toward the safety of his property.  The person telling the story said the doctor and his family kept many of their neighbors alive with food and water until the waters receded.

I loved that story.  It is similar to many I have read over the years about Christians in Europe before WWII having a leading of the Lord to store extra food.  Remember, this was a time when most of Europe thought WWI was the "war to end all wars".  Many were uncertain as to why they should stock food but those who did saved their families and some their entire village.

I have never known a time when people are talking about stocking up like they are now.   It is coming from all walks of life, Christian and secular.  So as I was in prayer, I tried not to be cranky about the whole thing but I reminded God that I was only able to put back "a little here and there" for us.  How could I ever minister to others should there be a food emergency?

Well, He put in my mind that two foods are cheap and filling... rice and beans.  I already had beans but my rice stock was very low.  Mainly Jasmine rice in a container to use for particular recipes and a couple bags of rice in the pantry, one given to me by a friend and another Hubby brought home from a food pantry.

He reminded me of research I'd done pre-Y2k about storing rice and I had a Eureka! moment.  Thank you, Lord.  You are so smart.  (I'm sure He was just waiting for my approval.)

Each month when we receive our Social Security check, we go to Sam's Club to purchase a few items that are cheaper in bulk than at the grocery store.  So while there earlier this month, we purchased one large bag of converted rice.  The research I had done in the 90s said converted rice stores well like white rice but it retains more nutrients than white rice. Sam's only had the Riceland brand but the more famous brand in the U.S. is Uncle Ben's.

While you may not have a crowd come to your house as the doctor did, rice and beans are not expensive and will feed your family.  There are all kinds of ways to add flavor by adding canned tomatoes, salsa, gravy, pasta sauce, etc.  I have a friend who stores mostly white rice and cans of soup.  She purchases types of soup that can be warmed and simply poured over rice for a meal.

Of course, if you do not have access to a place you can purchase rice in bulk (although regular white rice is often sold in bulk at large grocery stores), you can purchase smaller bags each payday and set them in your pantry.  Protected.  From mice.  Just saying.

I'm certain there are many other inexpensive food items you can add to your pantry to help others.  These were just the two of which I was reminded.

Remember... not being able to do a lot should never stop us from doing a little.

What is converted rice?  Click on over... here.
An excellent article at The Economic Collapse blog about not having fear because one knows the Lord... here.


Terra said...

I like your last sentence. It reminds me of baby steps, where we do what we can.

mdoe37 said...

Riceland is what I'm storing. I have some in buckets and mylar for longer term and then I have some I divvy up in mason jars for mid term, which rotates into the kitchen short term.

Good reminder, I need to really take stock in what's on the shelf...okay and neaten it up!

Deanna Rabe - Creekside Cottage Blog said...

Rice is a great idea. I need to get some more! We all like it and will eat it.

The article is good. We are preparing quietly, not talking about it much. I do try to encourage people to deepen their pantry.

God is good, we don't need to fear.


Deb J. in Utah said...

Great advice! We like rice and beans here and it is always good to have enough to share, even if it is only a small amount. Remember the "Widow's Mite" story in the New Testament. Enjoy the rest of the weekend.

Anonymous said...

I think the best part of this post is that you are not "clutching" your stores of rice and beans but you are willing to use them for God's glory and feed others if necessary. What a good lesson to learn! Thank you for such a sweet spirit on display!! Pam (SD)

Annabel said...

Wonderful article Brenda, thank you. Exactly same feeling here and observing the same!xxx

patsi @ a working pantry said...

Let us never underestimate what God can do with our baby steps! Great post!

Thickethouse.wordpress said...

I've heard before that converted rice was better for us, but didn't really believe it. However, you made me do a little research and I believe you are right, Brenda.
This was a clear article So, I believe I will switch. Rice and beans is a great thing for the pantry.......

Kathy said...

Thank you for this post! I too have been feeling the need to stock up more. I'm going to see about purchasing a big bag of rice and oats. Any suggestions on ways to store so they don't become buggy? Thanks!

Amanda said...

I just purchased a 25 pound bag of white rice from our local co-op. This was a needed and timely reminder that I need to do the same with some black beans! Every little bit does count!