Saturday, March 26, 2022

Living the Pantry Lifestyle - Food shortage talk and favorite vloggers

After some pleasant weather, it has turned cold here again and we awoke to two inches of snow on the ground this morning.  It is typical March weather but Mouse and I were not happy.  She not only slept in her Mouse House on the porch overnight, she has spent the morning there.  

Have I mentioned that she has me trained?  She is so smart.  If she wants more kibble (or recently when she wants a dry towel for over her kitty bed), she jumps on the ledge outside of our kitchen window and waits until one of us walks into the kitchen.  When she knows we see her, she jumps onto the deck and then runs around the house to meet us when we open the front door.  ;)

I digress... but she is cute.  I am glad she adopted us, even if she cannot live inside the house.  I don't think she really wants to, not to mention that Florentine does not play well with others.

It would be concerning that the President is warning of food shortages in any speech.  However, the timing, which was during the meeting of NATO leaders in Europe, enhances the warning.  Obviously, this has been a point of discussion among NATO nations.

Those who live a pantry lifestyle have been noticing the shortages even before COVID.  I don't know about you but I have talked to people who say there is no such thing as food shortages, even though we shop the same stores with empty shelves.  I'm fairly certain that they are at least noticing the higher prices of food now.

The shortages began long before the Russian invasion of the Ukraine.  We saw it first in the States as a result of continuing drought.  Now that Europe and other parts of the world will not be receiving wheat from the Ukraine and probably less from Russia (the winter wheat crop is at or near harvest time now in those countries), it will get worse.

I am sure part of the U.S. crop will continue to be exported to NATO countries, so there will be less available here. Not to mention a continuing drought in many wheat growing states that will bring smaller bushels per acre again.  All of which could bring about shortages.  Inflation was a problem even before the increased cost of gas and (if farmers can get it) fertilizer.

What we saw last year was rising prices on all wheat products, as well as produce from California.  If I understand what they are saying, we will have even higher prices and more empty shelves for wheat and grain products than we did last year.  It is a good time to buy extra flour and pasta if you have a good place to store it.

Storing wheat is good but only if you have a wheat grinder.  Mine from the 90s still works and it is the kind that will also grind other grain.  I used to buy popcorn in bulk because it not only can be used as popcorn but can be ground into cornmeal. 

Even then, if your family is not used to bread made from 100% freshly ground wheat flour, you need to add unbleached bread flour (or high gluten AP flour) to the recipe for awhile.  Most American tummies can only handle whole grain like that built up a little at a time, without digestive problems.  Of course, the best thing we can do for our health is to already be incorporating whole grains into our diet.

I haven't tried Einkorn flour but quite a few good cooks I follow on YouTube prefer to use it.  I may call my health food store to see if they can order a 25 lb. bag Einkhorn for me, which is about what I need to try it long enough to see how we like it. If you have tried it, I'd love to know how it worked for your family.

I've noticed a shortage of some gluten free products on grocery store shelves, even though I only purchase them if my daughter's family will be in town.  So, I wasn't surprised when it was recommended to stock up on gluten free flours as they are also expecting higher prices and shortages.

We are seeing the quickly rising prices on all produce at the grocery stores and I am certain the prices will only increase with transportation costs going through the roof.  I'm definitely going to grow herbs again on the deck and I may try to grow something like lettuce in containers.

I had my husband purchase a bag of alfalfa sprouting seeds at the health food store last week and he ordered a bag of broccoli sprouting seeds while he was there. He will pick it up for me next week. It is time to dust off my sprouting jar.  I use to make sprouts all the time but it was one of those things that I set aside when I went to work full time before we homeschooled.

As far as buying for the pantry, I didn't make any pantry purchases this week because Aldi had their Easter candy available.  It has risen in price but it is still worth it, especially the Easter version of the vintage looking foil wrapped candy I get at Christmas.  I purchased the Easter candy to have on hand for Piper and Oliver.  Their baby brother can wait until next year for his Easter "bag".

I don't buy candy often, except Aldi's small bars of European dark chocolate and the fun size bars of a certain candy my husband has each day with a cup of coffee.  But I have noticed when I walked by the candy aisles that the prices have continuously been going up a lot.

We are still working on our health and home projects a little at a time.  Last year it was getting all of our dental work updated since both of us had a tooth infection the previous year.  We spaced our appointments out over the year to make it easier on our budget.

I think I have mentioned before that we are making a priority of saving for home repairs, starting with the most urgent as well as those more budget friendly. We want to have these things done should inflation continue to rise and the parts we need be harder to get.

Our recent home project was to get the septic tank cleaned out.  My husband noticed that it had been a long time since it had been cleaned out and that was in an emergency situation (it wasn't pretty).  So, as much as we would have preferred spending the money on something more fun... we decided to get the work done before a problem hit like it did before.  

It doesn't cost nearly as much for a maintenance cleaning as it did in an emergency and the cost is only going to get higher.  He is keeping the receipts of all home repairs and updates over the past couple of years in a binder with information that will be needed if either we sell our home or our kids sell it someday.

To me, part of the pantry lifestyle is thinking of possible future needs and spacing them out for our budget.  Whether it is buying a can of meat at a time or getting something fixed in the house.

I have been asked about favorite YouTube vloggers I listen to so here are some of them listed below. 

Favorite Vlogs

I have had to stop listening to some prepper vlogs, even though they contain good information.  Once the whole Russia/Ukraine war was escalating, a couple guys were constantly using scare tactics that ummm... worked.  I couldn't even sleep one night after listening to one of the vlogs.  One of the guys admitted that he sees things as an agnostic, so I understand his own fear.  I just don't need to catch it.

There are plenty of options available so that I do not need to listen to people who make me lose sleep.  I have mentioned Prepper Dawg's YouTube vlog many times but he is a good source of commentary on what is going without stooping to fear tactics or bad language.  I have noticed the difference between vloggers like him who sees things from a Christian viewpoint to those who have no hope.

I listen to Alaska Prepper off and on and on Friday, he had a video about how the lack of fertilizer is going to hurt an already problematic coffee crop in Brazil.   He has been suggesting people stock up on coffee a long time.  

If you want to put back extra coffee the easy way, instant coffee has a shelf life of many, many years.  It has to do with the way it is dried.  Alaska Prepper is mostly free of bad language (he has slipped a little before) and he has been doing this long enough that he has good information.

Both Alaska Granny and Homestead Corner have good information.  They tend to be similar in their information but there is enough of a difference, I like listening to both of them.  As I have mentioned before, they have both been into prepping a long time but from the perspective of a homemaker.

I really like PREPSTEADERS, she gives the same kind of how-to information for serious preppers that the scare tactic men do without pushing the scary part of it. Her recent series is about preparing for war but it is done in a way that is interesting but doesn't make me run for a pint of ice cream (figuring out we are all going to die so I may as well not watch calories or carbs) like the vloggers did that caused me to lose sleep. 

There are other prepper vlogs that I watch off and on that are not my go-to vloggers but men such as City Prepping give good information for city dwellers.  I do not listen to him often but he has had good info... except the time he made buying land in the country the first thing you should do next.  

I will agree to disagree on that one since it can take years to find the right rural property and should not be something you do quickly.  Although, I can see where he is coming from since he is talking to people who need to get out of the city. One of the vloggers I recommend below said it took twelve years for their family to find the right property.

Chef Prepper gives good information about (as one would assume) cooking and food to consider having on hand.  I haven't listened to him often but I watched some of his archives when he was talking about canned goods he uses.

One of my favorite vlogs is Heartway Farms.  They are a Christian farm family who gives good advice on the subjects at hand as well as sharing what they are doing on their homestead.  It is one of the few vlogs I always watch when they have a new video.  They are the vloggers that said it took twelve years to find the right property in the country.

Another woman who may be familiar to readers is Shaye Elliott, who has a podcast with her best friend, Parisienne Farmgirl.  Her family's YouTube vlog is called The Elliott Homestead.  I always watch her vlog when it is applicable to my life.  Which means I do not watch the episodes about raising sheep.  

Of course, Parisienne Farmgirl is one of my very favorite people in any social media format.  (I mainly only do YouTube and Instagram.)  She does have videos about gardening, baking with Einkorn flour, etc., but I really enjoy her decorating and home improvement videos.  

I know I'm forgetting a couple of people but these are the vloggers I listen to off and on the most.  It would take more time to give individual links for each of these YouTube home pages than I have today but if you do a search on YouTube with the names I have given in italics, it should take you right to them.

Image The Sledding Party by Robert Duncan


Vee said...

Oh so wise that you are tackling home projects as you can. I should do the same. I sure miss my handyman.

The only trouble withThe Parisienne Farmgirl and The Elliot Homestead is that I am greedy and want more, more, more. I refuse to watch or read anything that ramps up the fear. Entirely too much of that. Patara may be the exception because she is funny.

Snow...ugh! Hope it does not come this way. I've had more than plenty this season.

NanaC said...

We’ve been hearing more and more about food shortages lately! Good thing gardening season is just around the corner! FYI, I have grown lettuce, and onions in those long rectangle planters on my deck in the past! It worked out pretty well! I’m thinking you could also grow carrots in them, too! And you can grow potatoes in a stack of old tires, or an old plastic garbage can! Just keep adding dirt or compost as the plant grows! Really appreciate all your research and suggestions! I’m not in the habit of listening to podcasts, but may give a couple of the ones you suggested a try! Things are sure getting interesting, aren’t they?!
Blessings to you!
Laura C. (WA)

Jenny said...

I think as a christian it's wrong to spread fear like some vloggers do. I just don't listen to them at is that any different than the liberal media spreading fear?

I do watch Aslakan Granny but none of her videos on prepping for war. My favorite is Homestead Tessie. She's very down home & fun. I love her Sunday posts.

Anonymous said...

The worst shortages I see are on loss leaders and inexpensive items.

For example, I like to make 'enhanced ramen,' ramen noodles with chicken and veggies, and topped with a chopped egg. For a while, most of the ramen was sold out.

Suzan said...

Over the last few years we in Australia have experienced drought, huge fires, drought, fires, floods and more flooding expected over the next few days. The situation has seen meat rise in price, fruit and vegetables not make it to market due to the weather. Severe storm cells can wipe out crops too. We have seen towns without water to drink, animals starving, animals dying in floods and so on. I truly feel for those that battle on.

Our food is going up and up. There are empty shelves in Aldi but it is not so bad in other stores. We just have accept when there is to be had and be very very grateful.

mdoe37 said...

Always the calm voice we need, Brenda.

There are some thinner areas of our shelves near Grand Rapids. BUT...I went to pick up a couple items at the local Family Fare (regional chain) and wanted a head of lettuce (nutrition? no keeps longer? yes). $2.99 for a head that was about half size. I about fell over. This store is always a couple dimes more than Aldi or Walmart but seriously?? I usually only get their loss leaders but my mother is now in assisted living in that town so rather than spend more in gas to drive the opposite way elsewhere. I'll be timing my purchases very carefully!

I listened to a podcast last night (and will relisten a couple times more). Jack Spirko of The Survival Podcast put out a show a couple of days ago regarding....inflation, food shortages, bond inversion etc. Honestly, I've followed him for a number of years and he is very spot on. Episode 3062 from March 28. There are a couple of F-bombs just to warn you, but he is quite passionate about his subject matter and they are well placed lol. He also does many shows on gardening and permaculture as well. All of his shows are archived as well.

I've been able to get a good handle on my pantry that is put back because I'm in the process of moving my stuff to mother's house (gah!!)and adding it to her stock. Let's just say I am good for cream of mushroom soup until 2024. It's funny though...with the shortage talk and whatnot...I look at this ridiculous stack of canned green beans and toilet paper and just think. "I'm good...bring it."