“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.
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!
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. 🙂
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.)
- If you can make your own bread, get enough flour, yeast and whatever else you need to make at least a two-week supply.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!