First let me say–Happy Spring, Hello April, and How is everyone doing?
Second–Here is my Pantry Essentials List
Third –here is what I’ve learned so far:
- When something scary/unknown/ unique/ health /or weather related happens in the world the first things to go are water, toilet paper, bread, flour, wipes, and over the counter medications.
- Even though I don’t like to eat processed food, canned veggies, and junk food–I still need to have some on hand for pandemics/ and or events that cause the power to go out.
- To use absolutely everything up–not to throw one single thing or one single serving away. And big tip–most expiration dates are not concrete dates when item goes bad. We just got done eating Yoplait yogurt that was 4 days past expiry. We lived.
- With consideration to finances and necessity always stock the pantry with staples-flour, sugar, yeast, brown sugar, salt, b. powder/soda, beans, rice, and pasta. All very affordable and long-lasting in the best of times and hard to find in the worst. Thank goodness I had just stocked my pantry up for the year in January with our annual trip to Sam’s. Also-canned or packaged shelf-stable meats esp. now considering there may soon be a meat shortage.
- I can shove things all over in the refrigerator and freezer wherever they fit vs. everything in its place, straight, front facing >> Martha Stewart inspired. 🙂
- Meals don’t need to be meat, potato, veggies, and dessert. Sometimes they can be reheated pancakes, lunch meat that needed to be used up (yes, I cringed at this impromptu meal idea), and bananas/ peanut butter that needed to be used up. We lived.
- I can let go of my rigid attitude about shopping for our groceries and let a personal shopper at Walmart do it for me. Sometimes!
- Look around for news I can trust. Mainstream news is way, way too conflicted.
The “experts” cannot seem to agree on whether or not a second wave of the Covid 19 pandemic will occur this coming fall. What that means for us, if we manage to flatten the curve, and businesses and production can get up to speed sometime this summer, is that you and I need to begin building a good solid supply of goods/pantry essentials and create our plan b for fall.
For my entire marriage (25 and counting years) we have been bulk buyers and pantry stocker’s. Since the pandemic hit a lot of people look at people like myself as hoarders. We have never hoarded anything …. even now we are not hoarding. Plus–if you live in the Midwest like I do there are certain things you always have in stock in your home just in case of a blizzard–yeast for baking bread, toilet paper, Tylenol, rice, beans, ingredients for making cookies, popcorn, rice krispie bars. Am I right? That said food security has been and always will be our family’s #1 priority. We do not have smart phones–we’ve never had them. We have flip phones and very reluctantly pay $90.00/mo for them. If and when I can find reliable, less expensive cell service, I will definitely switch. As is, we’ve been with US Cellular 17 years under the exact same plan 🙂
Also, our priorities don’t include new, or new to us cars. We’ve driven the same Saturn for 14 years which has just 130 k miles on it–because we also don’t go very far from home very much. Work, groceries, and home year after year because it is all we can afford to do. We have gone on a few trips, even a couple abroad, by saving air miles through a card we carry loyalty rewards and bonus money. Had we no miles and no bonus we would never have afforded a trip anywhere here or overseas. We also gave up cable television –no television or television programs; even local channels, almost 20 years ago and no landline for 17 years. Lots of money saved just by giving up those two luxuries..
Our lifestyle is very simple. We live simple, dress fairly simply, eat simple local food, and really and truly don’t want for much. A luxury for us is an ice cream cone and date night at Walmart… lol
Our life wasn’t always simple. In the beginning of our marriage (many moons ago) we were driven by necessity or rather lack of money, job instability, and a family arrangement gone wrong–basically forced to live as simply and inexpensively as possible. After about 15 years it kind of stuck and we’ve been living that way ever since. It’s not to say we don’t have unexpected expenses, or emergencies, or times money is really tight.
Our lifestyle is such that now 25+ years later we can pay all our bills, save a little, put some in retirement, and still have a little left over for renting a movie and getting an ice cream cone! Moving forward through the uncertain times to come and doing so wisely is going to take money, skill, and resourcefulness.
My best advice for anyone is to slowly and gently start to build a pantry of non-perishables and if you can>>> find yourself a farmer. There are many farms all over the U.S. growing produce, eggs, milk and meat. Start right now or as soon as possible building a relationship with one. Plant a garden if you have space–plant enough to freeze, can, and share with a neighbor.
If you can– use any stimulus money you get to make sure your bills are paid, high interest credit card payments made, some into savings, and the rest toward supplies little by little.
Financially speaking my opinion along with several other accountants/analysts/ financial folk is we will see a recession within the next year. Whether the current crisis throws us into a recession or inflation does– life will be different for every one of us. Restarting our country will be done in steps–spread out across many weeks/months. Nothing will ever be like it was, or very little, once we go back out into the world and start living as we once did in it.
Whatever comes and really know one can really tell us with 100% accuracy– we will make it. Plan, prepare, and be resourceful!
Until next time–stay safe and be well.