Guest Article by NRP & Blue, August 16, 2021.
Hello everyone, tis a good day to be alive;
For those that don’t realize it, “we live in a time whereas we can get and do just about anything we set our minds to”, think on that statement for a minute.
Sure we have ways of literally and totally screwing up our lives, also bad things happen, things break, we seemingly get lost in our ways at times, there is sickness and death, and a million other things that ‘CAN’ go wrong and at times they all seem to hit at once.
But somehow things usually seem to work out, quit often with help of others, sometimes on our own.
For those that are always Doom and Gloom, it is a path they choose. Others are seemingly always happy and giving, again a choice.
A question for you, what path do you choose?
A very long time ago I remember my Grandma’s house, it seemed to always have a lot of stuff there, I mostly remember the Deep Pantry she kept, that and the smell of fresh-baked Sweet Rolls just coming out of the oven….. YUMMMMMM
I truly believe those memories are what drives me to this day to being Prepared in a LOT of aspects in life.
BUT since this Article is about “Stuff”, then let’s yack about that right now.
When I first started out on my own, aka moved away from the parents, the very first thing I did was get the fridge stocked, probably with Beer, but that’s for another story. That evening I just sat there wondering why the heck I just spent all that money on Food and Stuff and did not just get a McDonalds Hamburger. 4 days later when I still had food in the Fridge I started to realize that was not such a bad thing.
So I started to add things I could cook, like Beans and Rice HAHAHA yes Beans and Rice, but guess what, that was a start, that was a beginning to make sure I always had food in the house. In time I was able to, slowly, add quite a lot of ‘Stuff’, and kept adding things I could store and would not “go bad” (think canned food here). OMG it was nice to know I had things to eat if I missed a few days’ work or got laid off from work and had to find another job. Heck the SHTF thing was not even on my mind at the time.
I started off with a 10-pound bag of Pinto Beans and 10 pounds of White Rice, seriously, Ohhhhh and let’s not forget the 50 pounds of Potatoes HAHAHA. I did not have a clue what I was doing; I just knew I wanted food in the house.
I saw how much some were paying each day for a Lunch, I got into the habit of “packing a lunch” and saved more than 50% of the cost, and I LIKED what I was eating.
People always say “Follow the Money” well I saw that miserable paycheck I would get twice a month, OMG did it go fast….. I soon found out I could buy a 50 pound of “stuff” for about the same as a 20 pound bag at those fancy stores. Sure I got tired of Beans and Rice, but guess what; it taught me a heck of a valuable lesson.
Yes I started with “Nothing”, but it did not take long to figure out I was in this on my own, no one was going to do this for me.
So with all the yapping done with, where did I start?
First; I realized very quickly that I HAD to “Store what I would eat, and Eat what I stored” mighty simple huh?
Second; if I needed one then I should get two because chances are if I need it one time, I probably would need it again.
Third; “Stuff” is usually cheaper in Bulk, back to that Beans in a 50 pound sack rather than 20 pounds for the same price, AND again I would use them in time.
Next; I figured that there was ZERO reasons for me to try and “Keep up with the Jones’s” there is ALWAYS someone out there making a LOT more money and getting Bigger and Better junk than I could ever afford unless I wanted to get into debt up to my eyeballs. I had to decide real quickly what I wanted in life.
So back on track, a suggestion, take that List you have been making of the food you use in a month, than start building on that. Is a simple question, are you going to need that ‘Stuff” next month? Is the price going up?????? (That’s called Inflation and it’s hitting HARD right now) Will it be on the shelf next month??? (Remember last year then the shelves were empty?).
SO are you serious about Preparing a Deep Pantry for those that depend on you? Are you going to let your family go “Without” some of those things you have on that Monthly List you have going there?
Here is what I would start with if I could start again, yes a “List” that I said I would not do.
Find 7 good Recipes you like and you’re family will eat (for dinner),a weeks’ worth of different meals, get that Paper and Pencil out and make a “list” of what it would take to cook those 7 recipes 10 times. Do the same thing for Lunch and Breakfast.
Now comes the hard part, Go to the store and buy those items separately from the “everyday shopping you do…. Look to see if you can buy in Bulk any of the items. Also, make sure the ‘stuff’ your getting can be stored Long Term. (2 years minimum). A suggestion, those Big Box stores are miserable to go to, BUT they will have a lot better prices than the nice Fancy Stores.
BAMMMMM there you go, you just got 2 months of food stored up…
A couple of other suggestions of “Stuff” ask around if someone raises Beef, see what it would cost you to buy 1/2 a Beef…. Hamburger in the stores right now is right at $8 for the good stuff, Steaks are upwards of $15 per pound. Last 1/2 beef I got totaled out (Beef, Butchering, Cut/Wrapped) at $3.75 per pound for everything…. Now someone out there please tell me I’m wrong……
Next, Get to a Mill where they sell Grain, Beans wholesale. Last Wheat (flour) I got was $13 for a 50 pound bag, I go to another Mill and get Beans, a 50 pound sack of Pinto Beans were $28.
I hit the Sales items in stores (basically if it’s not on sale I don’t buy it) and get Canned Vegies and Fruits at 30-40% off. Milk and Eggs I Barter out for Garden Vegetables I grow. If I could just figure a way to Trade some of those Vegetables for the Property Taxes LOLOL.
Someone once asked me “How do you know all this ‘stuff’”, My reply was simple, I told them I learned a long time ago that If I was talking I was not listening, for I was trying to impress others with what I thought I knew, and not learning what others were teaching.
I will be the very first to admit, I’m not a very smart person, I have skills I have learned throughout my life and use them whenever I can, I also share my history with those that care to listen. BUT I will never tell someone what they think they already know.
With that said there are some Skills/Knowledge that folks really should look into when trying to prepare for life’s little un-pleasantries, aka SHTF or whatever you want to call it.
Being ready for things to go bad should NEVER be an obsession, but a precaution. Learning things should always be an adventure, never a chore, take this current series of articles, I talk of a Deep Pantry…. I really emphasize the need to do so, yet what good will 20 tons of food stored up if you have zero ideas how to cook/prepare the food to eat if TSHTF and you have no electricity to run that Oven and Stove? God forbid if the Microwave is out and ya can’t reheat that leftover Pizza from last night?????
Ok OK, all kidding aside, I don’t care if you have a can of tuna or 100 MRE’s stored up, you need to know how to cook/eat that stuff…. RIGHT?
So how did I figure it out… Simple, I watched my Father BBQ everything under the sun, I watched and helped my Mother cook the everyday meals, and yes I even got out my trusty old Boy Scout Handbook out and practiced building a fire to cook over, YES, even in the Snow.
So here is a suggestion for you-all, try cooking a meal or ten without that fancy modern kitchen, actually try building a fire (NOT in the house) and cook 3 meals a day for a week on that. That includes Washing up also, NO dishwasher…. OK?
Remember me talking about the “Mindset” and “Lifestyle”?
Having the Knowledge to do things differently is a blessing in-of itself. I for one really enjoy the idea of Camping, cooking on an open fire, doing dishes in a tub sitting on the picnic table, HAHAHA even the need of hanging the food up in a tree because there was a word of a Bear in the area….. Talk about excitement as others hauled butt out of there, sure was quiet after they all left LOLOL
Anyways, there are so many skills that really are pleasant to do, take Canning or even growing a Garden. My friends, there is nada that taste better than a Ripe Tomato that’s fresh off the Vine.
With all the said, there is one thing you MUST learn…… Be at Peace with yourself, learn to relax, to enjoy life to the fullest you can. If for you that’s going out to the movies and spending $20 to sit there and watch others live life, please do as you think is best for you. Personally, I rather sit alongside a stream enjoying a warm afternoon fishing (no hooks, if you catch something it’s too much work hehehe) and watching Ole Blue wade the water looking for whatever he sees.
Knowledge, the knowing what to do if needed, AND knowing what really matters to you.
Tis a GREAT day to be alive…..
Next week I’m going to break my own rule and actually give you a “list” of stuff I have in my GHB (Get Home Bag) I keep in my truck, just in case I’m away from home When/If. We will do this under the listing of “Stuff” and I’ll describe how I would use this “stuff” to help me get Home.