Shh… don't tell anyone I'm poor. They all think I'm living frugal and green just like everyone these days. This is a blog about a senior citizen living a frugal life, on a fixed income, in a low income food desert, and passing along knowledge from lessons learned. Some she learned from her Grandma Mama many years ago and some learned only a few days ago.
Its probably old news to everyone by now because its been repeated and repeated and repeated thousands of times about how fuel prices are soaring and expected to keep rising with winter still weeks away. Even mainstream media has been having daily reporting of pending higher costs and shrinking inventory. I really don’t want this post to be just one more place to hear about the rising costs and empty store shelves. I want to talk about living with the higher costs and less available inventory. I don’t want myself, or anyone else, to go on a panic driven money spending spree using money I, or they, can’t afford to spend.
I’ve said it before – Fear sells! The doomsday preppers are getting major profits these days talking about and making videos of the empty shelves while completely ignoring the hundreds of boats in the ocean full of stuff waiting to unload. Eventually those boats are going to be unloaded which could flood the stores with an over abundance of stuff. Preppers will tell you to stockpile (hoard) before TEOTWAWKI or SHTF happens because it means more profit for them.
Don’t panic! Calm down now and listen. We can get through this energy emergency with some thought and planning in the same way the many generations before us did. So, about the empty shelves, do you know how much to have in your stockpile? Not someone else’s idea of enough. I’m talking about your own actual need for 6 months or a year. Enough to see you through a rough time? What I do is keep a “stock up” list for anything I must purchase from a very limited budget. Why should I have 10 or 20 years worth of STUFF in my small house requiring me to protect it? Tomorrow is promised to no one so I may not be around that long. I may decide to move to a tiny house and then what would I do with that much STUFF?
This is how my stock up list works for me. When I open a container I date it. When its empty I do the math for how long it lasted and then how much to have for six months or a year. Using this information helps me plan and budget for the next purchase. Here is an example: This is a 60 ounce bottle of dish liquid opened on October 5, 2020.
That bottle of dish detergent has lasted me over a year. Which means a year supply is approximately 60 ounces including using it to clean floors and other things. After filling the little bottle this time I still have enough left for one more refill. That’s when I’ll put water in the larger one to shake and use any remaining soap. When I bought that soap it was on sale and there was a coupon too so it was cheap. I believe it cost $1.99 but today the same size bottle cost $5.99 at Kroger. I haven’t bought a replacement yet because I want to look for the best price I can find. Online price checking is easy. 🙂 Meijer has 56 ounces for $7.31 and Family Dollar has 56 ounces for $6.75. Apparently Kroger has the best price.
Here is another example: I dated a double roll of t-tissue and it lasted me 8 days which means one four pack per month or one twelve pack for three months. A year supply would be 4 twelve packs plus 1 four pack (52 rolls). When I’m down to a few rolls I can start price checking and sale watching before my actual need to buy. If panic buying emptied store shelves of t-tissue I could always use a plastic bottle bidet.
If you’ve been following my blog for awhile you know a majority of my food comes from the outdoor foodbank. Non-food and pantry staples are very rarely given which means I must find a way to buy them with my limited budget. That’s how a stock up list is so helpful. When there is a sale I know how long my purchase will last before a need to purchase again.
My stock up list works for food items too. I bake my own bread. A five pound container of flour makes four loaves plus a cobbler, pie, or cake. If we’re expecting bad weather I either bake less to conserve or buy more flour providing my budget allows. One pound of butter made into one pint of ghee lasts about two months which means 6 pounds of butter is a whole year’s supply. A dozen eggs last a couple weeks but I sure wouldn’t want to buy a year’s supply all at once. I might buy two dozen to last a month if we’re expecting a snow storm.
Do you see my point? Don’t become a lemming and start panic buying. Be realistic in your purchases. Buy enough to last you and your family through a crisis but not according to someone else’s idea of a stockpile. Don’t be a hoarder. Leave some for others.
Stay safe & stay warm.