Saturday, April 16, 2016

Living the Pantry Lifestyle - Write it down

I was wondering what to chat about this past week and as so often happens, an occurrence in my every day living gave me an idea.  I was running the vacuum cleaner and realized I needed a new bag for it... and I was out.  Yikes!

It is exactly for this purpose that I keep a list of urgent purchases, those which need to be squeezed into the budget as soon as possible.  These are normally items that I make certain there is a backup before I run out of them.  In this case the vacuum bags were on my husband's list but somehow missed mine (he does most of the vacuuming).

I forget about items if I don't write them down because 1) I'm not as young as I once was, and 2) I usually don't make that purchase often.  When we first purchased our vacuum cleaner, we had a two story house which was all carpeted except for the kitchen.  I never forgot to buy vacuum cleaner bags.  Vacuuming was my life.

However, our present home is a smaller ranch style with carpeting only in the family room, living room, and hallway.  There are no children running in and out.  If we didn't share the house with a Maine Coon, we wouldn't have to vacuum even as much as we do. So I forget.

Vacuum cleaner bags are the kind of items which are essential to have replacements put back for if your vacuum cleaner uses them, you don't want to have a day come when for some reason, you can't run out and buy replacements.

Now, most items are those that I use often enough they never go off my "need to stock up" radar.  Dish washing soap, for instance.  I think I have an unreasonable fear of running out of dish washing soap.  But then again, I do wash dishes two or three times a day.

Once in awhile it is good to take the time to think through what items you normally don't consider essential but if you were to run out, it would at the least be an inconvenience and at the most would be a near on disaster. 

For instance, we live in an area of the country where you must have a water softener or you will end up with rusty clothes, plumbing, and dishes.  We are pretty good about keeping an eye on the salt level but there was this one time when we didn't and... oh, my.

Since we often don't think of these items until we run out of them, the easiest way to keep at least one backup package (more if you can afford it) is to write it on your "need to purchase" list as soon as you open either your last package or when you have used a set amount you do not want to go below.  For instance, we prefer to keep at least two extra bags of water softener salt, although that doesn't always happen.

When you deepen your pantry this way (realizing there is more than food when I consider a pantry), it breaks down the amount spent over months instead of all at once.  It is far easier to make a purchase a little at a time than suddenly realize you need to stock up on more than your budget can handle.

This week I added vacuum bags to my list.  I have a feeling very soon there will be garden supplies on the list.  Spring has suddenly arrived.  :)

I was asked about favorite websites.  There are three pantry type websites that are very user friendly and a prepper website that won't scare the heck out of you.  I'll think of more soon.   

A few of my favorites pantry style websites are:
Down to Earth (Australian)... here.
The Bluebirds are Nesting (Australian)... here.
A Working Pantry... here.
Pioneering Today (which is a homestead site)... here.

For Emergency Prep Info that is user friendly:
Survival Mom... here.

I know many of you already go to these websites, which is why they are favorites.


Deanna Rabe - Creekside Cottage Blog said...

That is so true! I hate to run out of needed items! A list is helpful, though I am no list maker. So at times I need to run out again to get something, or have Tim stop on his way home.

I read Down to Earth, The Bluebirds are Nesting (thanks to your mention)and a working pantry (again thanks!). Really simple ideas of simple living and pantry living.

So glad your computer is available for posts again!

Spring has arrived here too!

Carol said...

A friend told me they do not throw out the vacuum cleaner bags but rather empty them and reuse them. It is a messy job. I don't know if I have ever read this tip in any articles and I never would have thought to do this. You probably know about it already. (MD)