I went to the grocery store yesterday, I make a trip every 2-3 weeks (you know we have to have our snacks). As I walked the isles, I noticed most shelves looked full, until I looked a little closer. Everything that they weren't completely out of had been pulled to the front of the shelf, so the shelves appeared full, but in fact were not. I saw several empty spaces on the shelves, especially noodles, some canned items, produce, drinks, and chips. I don't generally shop in the meat isle so I can't speak for that section.
This got me thinking and I decided to share with y'all, easy ways to be prepared for food or product shortages. What I will share with you are my own practices that I have done for a few years now, but it doesn't break the bank, you just need a small space for storage and a willing mindset.
As Americans we are all spoiled (I am talking about myself as well), we are used to everything being at our becking call. We know if we need a can of tomatoes for the soup we decided to cook tonight that it should be at the grocery store waiting for us. Times are changing my friends.
Here are a few tips to get you through.
5. No Fear
I do not believe in fear based prepping. I want to be able to provide for my family in the time of need whether that be food shortages, weather emergency, or family emergency.
I don't go crazy and purchase those expensive non-perishable "survival kits", money is tight, and this is not something I would use on a regular basis. Do not panic buy, preparing over the long haul will reduce your stress and reduce panic.
4. Give yourself an allowance
I allow myself $10-$`15 a trip, to buy "extras". If you can't spare that much, try $5 extra each grocery trip. Also check out the clearance isles at Dollar General, a lot of times they have deodorant and body wash for $1.00 or less. So if I'm there I may grab a couple. The Dollar Tree is also an excellent place to stock up on a tight budget.
Yes, I know you don't HAVE to have deodorant, but you know, I enjoy that luxury.
So before you head in the grocery store, decide how much you will allow for "extras".
3. Learn about Food Preservation
Don't forget in this day and age, your resources are almost limitless from blogs to YouTube, you CAN preserve your own food!
2. Purchase things you will use
Some may read this and think this should be implied without saying it, but as someone that has personally made the mistake of buying or making things I don't need, I thought I'd include it.
Use your budget wisely. If you or your family do not eat beans, then do not stock up on beans. If you and your family don't eat canned tomatoes, leave those off of your list.
I remember one year, I made a TON of pepper jelly, I like pepper jelly occasionally. I gave some away but still had several jars. It took me all day to make that stuff and guess what, it finally got fed to the pigs after a couple YEARS after sitting on my shelf, because we didn't eat it.
So don't waste your money or time on things that can't be put into your regular rotation of meals.
1. So WHAT do I buy?
When you are walking through the grocery isles and you need a can of, lets say, carrots. Instead of grabbing just one can for tonights soup, grab three.
Instead of buying that small box of spaghetti noodles for the spaghetti you will fix later in the week. Buy the big box of noodles that you can make spaghetti with 2-3 times.
This is a good habit to be in, especially for your non-perishable items that you use on a regular basis. That way if next time you go to the store and they are out of carrots, you'll be good to wait until next time.
We all remember the toilet paper crisis of 2020, I snicker a little in my head when I think about it actually. Toilet paper is more of a luxury than a necessity, but that's another topic for another day. My point is, due to my habit of buying a little extra, we weren't exactly effected by that.
When I see toilet paper on sale, I don't grab one pack, I grab 2 or 3, but I do make sure to leave some for others, if possible.
Using these steps I have provided today, I want you to think about preparedness, not from fear of not having, but from the peace of mind knowing if the store is out I have a little extra. Get to know your local farmers, most started their journey to share with others the food they are also providing for their family. When times get hard, they will still be at the market and still be on the farm, with their fresh seasonal products.
Thanks for reading and I hope you leave today with some valuable information!