Don’t Be Mother Hubbard

By Nonna Joann • Feb 12th, 2009 • Category: Stretch Grocery $$$

Old Mother Hubbard
Went to the cupboard,
To give her poor dog a bone:
When she came there,
The cupboard was bare,
And so her poor dog had none.

My little dogs, Phoebe and Mille, never have to worry about getting a dog bone. Although ol’ Mother Hubbard’s dog wasn’t as fortunate. In my last blog, “Food Storage: A Crisis Savings Account”, I offered numerous reasons as to why having a well-stocked pantry is wise. When you purchase items on sale and in bulk, you’ll stretch your grocery dollars. Planning for an unforeseen event isn’t difficult and stocking up doesn’t have to take lots of money. (Unless, you purchase pricey ready made emergency meals.)

How much food do you have in your house right now? Take a look at your pantry and in your freezer. Chances are you might make it a few days or even a week without going to the store. Could your family eat for a month…three months…or even a year? You should NEVER go into debt to build up your pantry. If your family is already in financial crisis, because of loss of employment or other personal catastrophe, this won’t apply. But, if you want to prepare for a possible family emergency or inflation-proof your pantry keep reading.

arron-jars.jpgWhere will you store your food?
Is your kitchen pantry large enough for what you want to accomplish? If you plan on using a portion of your basement, never store food on the cement floor and keep it six inches from cement walls.

How do you store items?
I used to write the date I purchased the food item on the can. Then, companies began posting “Best By” dates. I now write the “Best Buy” date on the lid with a black marker. My most recent purchase might not be the item which was most recently produced. Although, canned food is usually good past the “Best By” date. The items with the newest date are placed behind older dated foods. Never use a can which has expanded or bubbled.

Grains, beans, and the like should be stored in mouse/bug proof containers which are acceptable for food. I buy garlic by the bag and hang it in my basement. Onions and potatoes also are kept in the cool of my basement. Once potatoes have sprouted, especially if they have a green tinge, it’s not advisable to eat them.

Aaron decides where to store his canned goods.
Aaron’s mom is a professional photographer.
You can see her work at Mary Beth Graff Photography:

Where to begin?
Your food storage should begin with foods your family normally eats. Then purchase more. Items to consider are basics like grains (rice, beans, oatmeal, lentils, flour, etc.). Rice and beans make a complete protein. So that’s a good place to begin. Do you pop your own popcorn in a hot air popper? You should, it’s healthier and cheaper than the microwave variety. Popcorn also stores very well. Raisins and other dried fruit also do well in storage. So do seeds for sprouts.

There are a few items that will last forever. I think pasta and honey have a shelf life of a thousand years. So you’ll want to stock up on these. Tea is another item that will last forever in storage.

Cans of tuna, salmon, and chicken always make yummy sandwiches and quick meals. Having extra is always a good idea. Do you like sardines or anchovies? If you do, then add cans of these to your storage. Applesauce is my favorite canned fruit, so I have jars of applesauce in my basement food storage. I use a lot of canned tomatoes as well. I buy them by the case.Do you regularly eat canned soup? I don’t, but if you do, that’s another item that might be in your food storage. I do use a lot of organic chicken broth, so you’ll see that stored in my house.

Quality is important to me. Although there are those whose pantries are stocked with a huge food supply for a famine (like Joseph in Genesis) or the biblical End Time Tribulation, both seven-year events. Then, the cost is a major factor. For me, purchasing whole foods is essential. Foods without a lot of additives like altered fats, MSG, and the like. You’ll find  “My Unofficial Costco Organic Foods List,” helpful, especially when getting started.

How to buy in bulk.
Obviously, purchasing items when they’re on sale is the best time to stock up. If you have a Costco, Sam’s Club or other big box membership, you’re already purchasing bulk items. Just plan for a little longer: buy an extra case. You can purchase bags of rice and beans in those stores as well as in Super WalMart. Some grocery stores will give you a case discount if you ask. Although Super WalMart will not (I asked), probably because their prices are lower. Whole food stores almost always have a bulk section. And you can order larger amounts from them as well. I just ordered 25 pounds of lentils and 50 pounds of wheat grain.

Don’t fear.
Ultimately, it’s not what we store, but who we put our trust that will get us through tough times. In Deuteronomy it says, “The Lord Himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”

Click Here for the blog, “Food Storage: A Crisis Savings Account.”

Listen to today’s podcast, Click Here.

For a synopsis of the Baby Bites book, Click Here.

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One comment on »

  1. It is nice to start with an easy goal like a three month supply from local sources (buy when things are on sale and you will save money in the long run). Long-term food storage also offers a degree of protection in an uncertain world.

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