recipes

How to stock up without overstocking

“There’s no harm in hoping for the best as long as you’re prepared for the worst.” Stephen King

When my husband and I first got married, we lived in a very old house perched on a hill that was 42 steps above where we parked our cars. Yet, there was still more hill above us. In that hill was the remnants of the terraced garden that had once filled a walk-in pantry, 36 kitchen cabinets and a free-standing freezer with enough food to last an entire family through the winter.

Did you buy too much bread? Freeze it or turn it into croutons. Dice it, toss with olive oil and spices and bake in a low oven until the croutons are dry (not burnt…)

By the time we came along — with our dual-employment ways — our food stash took up only two cabinets, some open shelves and a tiny freezer section inside a refrigerator. Times had changed. Or, had they?

We later moved to a house an an even higher hill and realized that getting snowed out — as in we couldn’t get our car within a half mile of our home — was a frequent problem. Our new kitchen was much smaller, but I learned to stock it like I was Laura Ingalls Wilder. It was either that, or walk every bag of groceries up that steep slope during much of the winter. To this day, I always have at least 2-3 weeks of food in the house!

Excess produce can easily be frozen or pickled. Peppers are among the easiest vegetables to freeze. Core and slice into bite-sized pieces before sealing in a bag or airtight container. These are great in soups or in the Melted Peppers and Onions recipe in my archives. Another archive recipe can lead to pickled peppers, which are great any way.

So, if the disruptions possible with corona virus have you wanting to stock up a bit yourself, here are some tips on how to do it without wasting money or the food itself. 🙂

  1. Focus on items with a long shelf life. Rice, beans and canned goods can stick around — just be sure to rotate even this stock over time rather than hoard it. The rule of use is FIFO — First in, first out.
  2. Go ahead and buy perishables as you can — produce, bread, milk, eggs, whatever it is that you use — but realize that they will be wasted if you don’t use them up or preserve them.
  3. Consider items you don’t normally use as replacements for perishables — such as canned milk, powdered milk or non-dairy milk (which has a longer shelf life.)
  4. If you can make your own bread, get enough flour, yeast and whatever else you need to make at least a two-week supply.
  5. If you have a freezer, use it wisely. Fill it with prepared frozen items. (Again, FIFO.) Or, prepare some for yourself. Pickling is also a possibility. The internet is full of how-to. Use it.
  6. Fill in the chinks with happy food. You need real food. But, five pounds of sugar, cocoa, jam, marshmallows, popcorn and such could sure come in handy. Also, make sure you have plenty of spices, vinegar and condiments that can turn very plain meals into something special.
  7. Chill out. You’ve done what you can, the rest is in God’s hands. If you’re still feeling anxious, you may enjoy a prayer I posted recently: Crown of Thorns vs. Corona Virus. God is able!

19 thoughts on “How to stock up without overstocking”

  1. For those of us over 30, this is reminiscent of the expected “Y2K” disaster. It was expected that at the stroke of midnight January 1, 2000, all the computers would go haywire and end life as we know it. Like a lot of other people, we had canned goods stocked up in our basement, along with bottles of drinking water (until it dawned on me that we lived by one of the Great Lakes, so all we really needed was a pitcher with some filters. Duh.) Midnight came and went, and apparently the computer experts had brought everything under control in time to prevent the Apocalypse. (eye roll)
    We do need to take one thing seriously, though, that no one seems to be mentioning. I’ll address it in my next post (Friday).

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I remember Y2K! The irony was, the reason anticipated problems didn’t happen was because so much action was taken. I was reporting about this at the time — a scrambling for tech solutions that was happening in biz and government and at my own newspaper. Because things went smoothly after midnight Jan. 1, many people thought all the panic was a bit of a hoax. It really wasn’t. It took millions and millions of dollars and who knows how many worker hours to keep things running.

      Panic is not appropriate in a believer’s life, but a certain amount of planning and preparing are biblical principles. I agree that this planning is most important in the spiritual. We need to be ready to die, whenever that may be. We also need to spread hope and truth while we’re still here. But, surely we can do these things while having enough oats in the house to last through at least a couple weeks of breakfasts! 🙂

      I’ll be looking forward to reading your post. Weekend blessings!!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great read, but I sure hope it doesn’t come to that.
    Girl, that trek in the winter to your house shocked and amazed me. I’d have been over it on the first day. Lol
    Great job!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hope this present trial doesn’t get any more widespread, either. 🙂 The high-hill house was more about youth than wisdom. It was a neat place, though. Bears, wild turkeys, you name it.

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    1. Hmmm. Is your school shut down, too? You may get back to scratch cooking — a silver lining! 🙂 In our state, pretty much everything shut down today. I will be writing from a house full of teens, husband, nonogenarian mother, excited dog. I can only laugh. We’re making memories. Be blessed and well!!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. very good advice that will be extremely helpful during disruption of supplies (may god forbid). btw. it must be fun to have a home on hills. I love hills and valleys. Subhanallah.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. West Virginia really is a beautiful place. No high mountains — just high, green hills and river valleys. We live in a valley now — not quite as pretty, but it’s sure easier to bring in the groceries. Be well and blessed!!

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  4. Freezing vegetables and fruits in the form of purées is something I do year round, just because I hate wasting anything. I also freeze egg whites, chick pea juice and fresh tomatoes! I don’t know if I am prepared for a quarantine but I have lots of different gluten-free flours in my pantry, and most of all we are blessed to have a garden. We can always live on the small carrots from the patch that survived our mild winter!

    After now seven years of having to cook without so many things for my husband’s health (and mine), I also have come to the realization that want begets creativity. If you run out of one thing, try to figure out a substitute!
    Thank you for the post, Nora, take care!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Great ideas!! (I haven’t tried aqua faba yet — just can’t get past the “bean juice” part…)

      There is an American saying your comments reminds me of: “Necessity is the mother of invention.” If we need to, I figure all sorts of creative (and likely beautiful) things will be happening all over the world — in kitchens, hospitals, you name it. God’s mercy is moving faster than the virus!! Be well and blessed in your garden home!

      Liked by 1 person

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