Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Demand is on the rise at local food pantries:

With the economy in free fall, local food pantries all over the country are experiencing many new patrons. Check out this story, from the New York Times about the new layer of people using food pantries….

As a member of the Mormon (LDS) church, we are taught to be self reliant….One of the things we are taught is the store food for a time of emergency. Job lay-offs is one such example of an emergency…. A scripture in the Bible says, that “If ye are prepared, ye shall not fear”. Having a three months supply of whatever you eat is a good idea… Once you get that first three months worth of food, then you can start putting away items that have a longer shelf life.

Two summers ago, TF had to have Gall Bladder surgery. He was supposed to be out of work for only a week, but unexpected complications kept him out of work for a month… Because we had our food storage and some cash set aside, we did not have to worry too much about going in the hole while he was out of work… It is even more important, with all of the lay offs taking place, to be prepared for anything. It is not that hard to get started.

Think about what you eat on a daily basis… Make a list and figure out how many times you eat certain foods each week, multiply that by 12 and determine how much you need to purchase for your three months supply. Let’s see, for spaghetti, I need 12 cans for tomatoes, 12 packets of spaghetti sauce mix, 12 packages of spaghetti strings, etc. TF eats Maple and Brown sugar oatmeal every morning. I multiply that out and figure out how many boxes of oatmeal I will need….

Once you have figured out what you eat, then you need to shop for it. I watch the sales papers and see what is on sale for that week…..I use coupons, when I have them, and buy things on sale to save money while purchasing my food storage. We eat a lot of chile and a couple of weeks ago, Krogers had Hormel Chile on sale for 50 cents a can if you bought 10 cans. I was able to get 50 cans of Chile for $ 25.00. This will last for almost a year, but I have it when I need it. I didn’t pay a fortune for it and the expiration date was good for two years.

Once you get your food storage in place, make sure you rotate it. Your food storage should be your extended pantry. Don’t let it sit there, use it! Green beans that have been in storage for five years won’t be any good if you don’t rotate it. The idea is to have good food that you normally eat, in a time of emergency.

Another good practice is to have two weeks worth of water on hand. The normal person needs a gallon a day. During Hurricane IKE we were without water for several days and once our water was up and running, we were told not to drink it for several more days…We had water set aside in gallon containers to get us through this time period.

Do you have a financial reserve? It is advised that you have enough money to get you through three months in an emergency… You can start small by saving all of your change at the end of the day… You might take on an extra job for a while until you have some reserves set aside…. Maybe you could sell some of your old stuff on eBay or have a garage sale and put that money aside. There are any number of ways to do this, but it can be done….

All I can say, is start today to be prepared for whatever may come your way.

Have a great week everyone!


At 8:40 AM, Blogger Big Dave T said...

I figure I have three months of food stored around my waistline, if worse comes to worse. My wife and I went out shopping yesterday and were astonished to find that many of the large shopping malls and outlet complexes are either totally vacant or nearly so. Very depressing it was. Made me wonder if traffic on blogs like your's has risen (any blog with frugal in the title would seem to get more traffic these days).

At 2:07 PM, Blogger Nancy said...

Great post!!! You made some very excellent points! I have enough for 6 months, I think, but when the word 'snow' is mentioned, I have to go get more...just in case! I usually make sure to have snack foods if they say we are getting snow. I'd hate to be snowed in just for one day even with no snacks. LOL

((( HUGS )))

At 2:34 PM, Blogger Granny Annie said...

My husband would be so proud of me if I could get the hang of this kind of frugality. He conserves and keeps our pantry full but it just does not come as second nature to me as it does to you and to him. I'm going to copy this post and keep it for reference. Thanks!

At 5:24 PM, Blogger Diane@Diane's Place said...

I already do some of those things but I'm sure I could do better. I hope to clean, rearrange and sort through all my pantry items so I can assess what I have and what I need to restock. I want to get that done this week. Hopefully.

Have a great week yourself, Lucy. :o)

Love and hugs,


At 10:11 PM, Blogger SusieQ said...

When Y2K was a big worry I stored up a lot of food for our extended family. I used a Mormon cannery in the area for that purpose. After Y2K we were left with lots of food which we did not consume. Most of it expired on me. I donated most of the food that was close to expiring. I still have the wheat I canned. It has a shelf life of close to 20 years if stored properly.

Having extra food on hand is an excellent idea. You just need to make sure you use it and don't let it go to waste.

At 10:13 PM, Blogger Rachel said...

All good advice Lucy. I fear I lack in doing these things with food. We don't have much storage room here and my pantry is small. I do hope the economy gets better before it gets worse. I read the article you linked to.

At 9:55 AM, Blogger foodstr2 said...

There's *more* going on than just economic worries. Do you know what's going on with gun and ammo sales??

We've elected our first Marxist president and people are scared to death of what "change" is coming to our Republic.

We've been selling storable foods since 1994 ... and sales have been *exploding* since April '08. The same is true for every company selling preparedness products....

Bruce Hopkins
Best Prices Storable Foods

At 7:50 PM, Blogger Fred said...

Good advice, Lucy. I just wanted to stop by for a quick hello.

At 10:03 PM, Anonymous David said...

Good points all. One, "We had water set aside in gallon containers to get us through this time period."

We use loads of milk, still--well, mostly on cereal and in cooking (make your own cottage cheese and you'll never want to go back to store bought), but I'd read that storing water in milk jugs was a bad idea--hard to clean.

That's the key: hard to get clean, but not impossible, as I've found out. Never had a problem with our water stored in clean gallon milk jugs. Oh, and 2 or 3 drops of regular old chlorine bleach will assure that the water stays "clean" for a longer storage time.

At 1:18 AM, Blogger OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Some very good suggestions, Lucy. I am good at some and not so good at others, but will try to get better at those.

At 9:17 AM, Blogger penny said...

Thank you for the info! I too had alot of food stored for y2k and now non of it is any good. I'm in the process of restocking. Its all so... overwelming! Once you get it then you have to buy something to cook it with, grind it etc. It just never seems to stop! So keep telling us what your doing and what you use for backup power, the appliances you have etc. THANK YOU!!!!!


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