Friday, 10 October 2014

The value of a well stocked larder (every day preps)

(Updated 2020.02.11)
 
Whether you live in a tiny apartment or trailer, a huge house, or anything in between, storing up food (and supplies) for the "lean times" is a big part of essential preparedness.

Being prepared isn't just about preparing for some major disaster and having to go into lockdown/bug in mode. It's also about being ready to deal with the hardships and unexpected wrinkles that occur in everyday life.
The trick is to expect anything, so you won't ever be taken by surprise when life throws you one of its little (or big) curve balls.

Let me tell you a little story...

As has always been my habit, I generally buy a bit more food than what is needed every time I go grocery shopping, and I purchase many things, including personal care and household sundries in bulk, especially when they are on sale cheap.
At one point, years ago, after I split with my ex husband, I ended up renting rooms in my house to 4 good friends, so I could still afford to live there. Of course, I had quite a bit of food stored up in the basement pantry and deep freezer, as well as extra bottles of shampoo and conditioner, bars of soap, TP, diapers, baby wipes (my youngest was still a toddler), and other stuff that really needs to NOT run out, like, ever.
Even with all that extra food and supplies, I continued to do the regular shopping as though there was nothing, rotate out the older stuff and store away the new, and add more to the stockpile whenever I could.

The rest of my new household often scoffed at my habits, and told me I was totally going over the top. They shook their heads every time I got on anyone's case to not waste my food and supplies, or dig into the "excess" instead of buying their own, regular, monthly food and whatever, always refusing to accept any of the "but there is PLENTY" arguments.They had all kinds of funny quips at the ready, regarding my "crazy, survivalist" habits. It was all in good fun, but they weren't really joking. Neither was I.

Well, time came when we were all out of work for a couple months. Times were especially hard all over, and the food banks were pretty short on supplies too. Lots of people were living on half rotten potatoes, stale bagels, rice, beans, and not much else. People were willing to trade valuable (in better times) items for a couple bags of plain, white rice or dried beans, of which I already had more than enough, so could trade our share for all sorts of things that wouldn't go as far, but would add variety and more flavour and freshness to our diets. 
This era would later be known as "The Great Recession".

We did fine though. We had regular meals of good, healthy food every day. We didn't have to ration things, because there was enough to last a good 3-4 months before we hit the "mandatory rationing" cap. (for me, that is the point at which only 2 months of food/supplies remain without rationing). We didn't have to choose between paying for food and necessary items or housing and utility costs with what we could make doing day labour, because we were prepared.

Eventually, we all got back on our feet, and let me tell you; This time, when it was time to start replenishing the stores, EVERYONE was VERY much on board with my plans and system.

Anyone can fall on hard times for any number of reasons outside of their control!

How long will you be able to provide for yourself and your family if you suddenly lose your job, get injured and can't work, or some other unforeseen circumstance?
Don't guess! Take out the calculator (if you're reading this, you have one at your fingertips) and actually do the maths. Figure out how much food you need per day/week. Not just in terms of budget this time, but in terms of quantity. Now, start putting away extra food and supplies along with the money I hope you are putting away "just in case" (if you are able)!

Look for a future post with some tips on how to get that larder/pantry/storage shed, or whatever well stocked!

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