Sunday, March 27, 2016

Prepping Why? Part #1

The Pantry and Freezer.

Being prepared is more than just surviving a disaster- like a tornado, a financial crisis, TEOTWAWKI (the end of the world as we know it) or a zombie apocalypse.

People who aren't preppers seem to think that people who are, are either a little bit nuts or a lot. Yes there are those who are quite extreme but who knows they may be the most enlightened people at the end of the day/world.

Prepping for me is about taking control of our life, if the something big happens or if it doesn't then either way i am looking after my family, friends and neighbours. I think that's worth being called nuts.

While you live week to week you are controlled by the whims of the supermarkets, as long as they control your food, you don't have control of your food security.

For example if there is a truck strike that means not deliveries to the supermarket, they only carry enough stock for 1 to 2 days so if there are no deliveries how long do you think there will be food on the shelves.....
Depending on how busy your supermarket is but generally by half way through the second day most of the shelves will be empty. What then? How long will they stay empty?

Today i would like to talk about building your pantry and stockpiling.
If you do nothing else other than stocking your pantry, then at least you will be able to eat if something does happen, even if it's just a power outage for a few days.

One of the first things about prepping is saving money. What? you might say stockpiling all that food must cost a fortune. Well if you buy it all at once it most certainly would.
However you don't buy it all at once, you start off with a little extra each week till you have built up a good stocked pantry.

Now that we have moved to Early Bird Farm i will also be starting my food storage again as some of it was lost in the truck crash and we could only store so much till the shipping containers arrived, so slowly back into it again.
Hopefully by the time my cook house is built i should have quite a bit stored to go into my walk in pantry.

The Grocery Book
The first thing you need to know is how much the regular things you buy cost.
I made up a small book listing all the items i buy each week/month.
With a section for each store that i buy from. Each page is like a spread sheet,
column 1 is the item
column 2 is the size/s i buy
column 3 is the price
column 4 is the sale price
you could also do a column for unit pricing if you like. Something like the picture below.

I made up my pages so the first page for each store corresponds to the first isle in the store and so on through out.
I then laminated the pages and put them onto a ring. I do suggest if you make one add a few extra pages so you can add on new items as the need arises. I use a sharpie to write in my prices and if they have to be changed then a little nail polish remover does the trick.

This next bit will take you some time but believe me it is well worth it.
The most important part of this next step is to give yourself plenty of time and leave the spouse and kids at home. They can be more of a hindrance than a help.
You can do this on a regular shopping day or just dedicate the trip to pricing everything.
Now write next to each item the regular price and if its on sale then write that price in as well.

From now on every time you go shopping take your book with you or leave it in your handbag so it is always handy.
Add in any sale prices that you don't have and change others if they become cheaper. As you are tracking everything you will know if it's really a sale price or if the store has put the price up and then marked it down to its before regular price. They are pretty sneaky when it comes to pricing but with your trusty book you wont be caught out.
This is also good for when manufactures change their packaging and labels, usually the only time they do this is when they down size their goods and try to distract you with fancy new labels all the while the goods are smaller and usually the price is marked up.
So less product for more money. Keep an eye out for the "New Look Packaging" and don't forget to let everyone know.

I only shop the sale items unless its an emergency. I really don't like buying items at full price and to be honest who can afford to.
My husband and kids use to say that we only eat when its on sale.......
When you have that full pantry then there is no need to pay full price.
Until you get to that stage you need to start out small. With your regular shopping add in a couple of sale items.
Now not just any sale items, it has to be things you eat or use. There is no point in stocking a case of tin green beans if no one in the house eats them, no matter how cheap they are.
This is where so many people go wrong with their stockpile. In a disaster no one is going to want to eat those green beans so why put them in your pantry.

Start by adding those things you eat every week. For example if you use spaghetti sauce once or twice a week and its on sale then add 2 more or however many you can afford that week.
This will be how you get your pantry stocked.

Now putting all this extra food into your pantry does not mean that you don't use it. You must rotate your stock just like the supermarket. Using and adding to the pantry as you go. This ins't about storing food in a basement or closet and forgetting about it.
This is your working food storage where every thing gets used and added to.

The saving money part now kicks in, as your pantry gets fuller, then your weekly shopping budget can get smaller or you can go from shopping weekly to fortnightly.

This book isn't just for food items, it's for everything- cleaning supplies, personal hygiene, medical needs, pet and livestock supplies. Anything you buy on a regular or semi regular basis's.
The butcher and green grocer should also have their own pages in your grocery book.

If you have a big enough deep freezer, then buying extra meat when its on sale is a very good idea.
If you don't have a big freezer then you might like to ask family or friends who do if you can use some of their space.
As for fresh fruit and veg only buy extra if you can store it in another way, like making pies with cheap apples and putting them in the freezer, using a dehydrator and canning are also options and i will cover some of these in future posts.

There are other ways of filling your pantry besides the supermarket-
growing your own fruit, veg and herbs.
Catching/killing your own meat, this is not for everyone but fresh caught fish is better than anything you will buy at the shops.
Then there is the gate way drug to all sustainability and prepping households- The Chicken.

The entertainment value alone is worth it, but when they lay your first fresh free range egg you will be hooked, not only on their antics but those fresh cackle berries on Home Made Bread for breakfast YUM!

Having all of this food in my pantry and freezer means security to me.

If we are flooded in and can't leave the farm or if we are without an income for some time or any number of other scenarios, then i know we will be able to survive for quite some time.

I hope that i have inspired at least one person to fill their pantry and freezer, not just in case the zombies come but to give them piece of mind.

Happy Adventures Nicole, Andrew & Sally Girl

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  1. I stocked my pantry and am working on my freezer. Never looked back. My for nightly shop is so much more affordable now and has freed up cash for more fun things with the kids.

  2. Yes it is scary to think that the supermarkets would be out of stock in a couple of days. We noticed what happened during the floods a few years ago when the trucks couldn't get in or out of town. People panicked and were filling their trolleys with bread and milk and as a result it was sold out in no time. I had a big of a laugh about it at the time I remember as they were so unprepared for such an event.