One of the most reassuring things in this time of future uncertainty is a fully-stocked pantry. There is something so comforting in knowing that we could go for months without a trip to the grocery store if we had to.
If a trucker’s strike disrupts the supply chain and restocking of food, we’ll be okay. If there is a drought or blight that wipes out most produce, we’ve got canned and dried varieties “put up.” If a paycheck doesn’t come in as expected, our children won’t go hungry.
Knowing that helps us sleep more easily even though the news each day seems to report more troubling developments than the day before.
Stocking Up A Little At A Time
How did we accomplish this? We’re millionaires with a huge walk-in pantry and dream kitchen.
It’s taken a while, adding depth to the larder each month as funds and sales allow. But we’ve seen this kind of insurance as more worthy of our money than new cars, clothes from the mall, or impulse buys.
I am an avid penny pincher and use services like thegrocerygame.com to help me combine my coupons with the stores’ best sale prices. If you subscribe to at least one copy of the Sunday paper or ask family and friends to give their unused coupons to you, you can build up a good stock with few if any additional trips to the grocery store and at reduced prices.
The keys are to watch sales and buy multiples. If your family typically eats spaghetti twice a month and the noodles and sauce go on sale, buy 6 instead of 1. Now you have 3 months worth on hand. Though you spend more up front, you save over the 3 months you would have been buying the ingredients at regular price.
We live in an old farmhouse with little storage so we’ve had to be resourceful in finding a place to put our super deals. Much of our furniture either contains or covers stocks of food, medicine, or toiletries.
The “pie safe” is full of home-canned and store-bought jams and pickles. The “blanket chest” at the foot of our bed is filled to capacity with vitamins and first aid items. One under-the-bed box is full of toothpaste, brushes, and floss. The “entertainment center” contains pasta, bulk spices, rice, and soup- though not “entertaining” in the usual sense, it certainly makes us smile!
In coming posts, I will try to share more of the ways we have created our deep larder (or food insurance).