Na Na pinches her pennies

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.

Should we panic yet?

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.

26 comments on “Should we panic yet?

  1. Jasna
    November 2, 2021

    As usual you are SO right Anita! Fear sells…
    Hugs from Ireland,
    Jasna

    Like

    • Anita
      November 3, 2021

      Stay safe and stay warm Jasna.

      Like

  2. tracypacesplace
    October 27, 2021

    So many of the things we buy are not essential to survival, often the opposite in fact! I get a little worn out with all the negativity trying to panic people into spending and panic-buying…frankly I could do with losing a little weight and I already started clearing out closets to donate before the holidays ( someone else can get use of things I’m not using ) and to paint watercolor cards and gifts for my friends.

    Years ago when we had so much less we appreciated things so much more.

    Like the home-made V8 idea Anita. My new favorite beverage is fresh peeled chopped ginger covered in boiling water, cooled then soaking chilled for a couple of days: healthy, calorie free and delicious. Going to try growing my own ginger in containers next year.

    Like

    • Anita
      October 29, 2021

      So true and so sad. Years ago we had much less and used our imaginations more. Kids today are given handheld devices as a third parent as soon as they are able to hold it. Included with the device is commercials for anything and everything to take away imagination and creativity. Reminds me of the Axiom Humans in the movie Wall-E.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Texasilver
    October 26, 2021

    People who are frugal and conserve their resources are prepared for shortages & downturns in the economy. I know I can improvise and/ or live off little $. My husband can repair things so they last longer. I did buy a case of toilet paper to take advantage of an offer at Sam’s club. My freezer has some meat in it. I have dry goods we can eat. I’m not listening to the economic forecasts that evoke fear. If you are a good steward of your resources you can make do. Living within your means usually gives a safety margin. The readers of this blog appear to have this mindset. If the store is out of something usually you can make a substitution. Anita lists many examples as to how her grandmother did this in times of need.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Anita
      October 27, 2021

      Thank you. My desire is to show by example how to live within our means.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Carolyn Gilbert
    October 25, 2021

    Such a smart and well timed post. One can hear nothing but panic around us and I so agree with your way of doing things. Also, there is this thing called faith and trust in God that He is a faithful presence in our lives. Blessings to you, Carolyn

    Like

    • Anita
      October 26, 2021

      Thank you Carolyn. Blessings to you too.

      Like

  5. Donna Jones
    October 25, 2021

    I just bought a new Dawn just like that big guy and it was 9.99 at Walmart. Safeway was even higher. Our heavy whipping cream is uo from $3.97 to $5.35. With prices going up so fast I am using any little extra to hedge my bets for more increases. Its just not easy these days.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Anita
      October 26, 2021

      I’ve decided to add it to my pickup order today before the price goes up again. If it lasts me a year we should be well past this current supply crisis.

      Like

    • Diane
      October 26, 2021

      I’m not sure what Dawn costs, but the 102 oz bottle of Palmolive is under $9 at Costco regular price, and they put it on sale frequently for $2-$3 less. This doesn’t help people without a Costco membership of course lol.

      Like

  6. Silver
    October 25, 2021

    Plus, buying to excess deprives those who cannot travel further for food of stuff they can buy. There is enough for everyone, if everyone just buys sensibly and only what they need.

    Like

  7. Jane
    October 25, 2021

    Hi Anita,
    I really appreciate your calm approach and your clear eyed evaluation about the ‘preppers’ driving the sense of panic. I have learned that the MSM has a vested interest in creating a chicken little scenario. With that said I always try to keep a prudent supply of the items I need on hand, and I am fortunate enough to be able to add to my reserves when I see items on sale for a good price.
    I hope we all stay well for the future.

    Like

    • Anita
      October 26, 2021

      Thank you Jane. The chicken little preppers remind me of the greedy couponers from several years ago. Enough is never enough.

      Like

  8. zoanne osborn
    October 25, 2021

    So true. We just can’t act like Chicken Little all the time. I do the same with items to track how long they last with normal use and cut back if I have to. I think those of us who grew up far from grocery stores learned these things from our moms. Lucky us to have thinking people in our family tree.

    Like

    • Anita
      October 25, 2021

      Hee hee, Chicken Little. I hadn’t thought of it like that. Yes, Grandma Mama’s house was way back in the rural hills. Saturday visits to town to sell eggs and hang around the courthouse catching up on news with friends and relatives. We bought staples only when necessary.

      Like

  9. simplywendi
    October 25, 2021

    Another great post Anita. I love your calm approach…….and I agree, know what you need before you go buy otherwise you may make very poor choices with the money you do have. I hope you are doing well!

    Like

    • Anita
      October 25, 2021

      Hi Wendi, thank you. I hope you are doing well too.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Diane
    October 24, 2021

    I agree! All those preppers on you tube drive me crazy. And it’s scary how many people watch those things and believe their garbage. I finally did my big weekend of shopping this weekend-3 weeks later than usual. I admit, I could not find everything on my list even after going to Costco, Walmart, and winco, and I was a bit surprised at some of the price increases I saw. That being said, the only thing I bought an extra of was 8 pack of spicy v8. I haven’t been able to find it for several weeks, so I got 2. I have been proactive with getting dog and cat foods because that’s been a struggle to buy for over a year, and my animals need to eat. My auto ship from amazon got canceled a month ago and I was down to a couple days worth of dogfood, so I got ahead by a month so that doesn’t happen again. I have a well stocked pantry, with a lot of variety, but not a lot of any one thing. I buy replacements as I use stuff and it goes on sale (ideally).

    We will all get through this. When the TP hoarding happened I happened to have a lot on hand because I found a good deal on it a safeway right after I had bought a big package at Costco. I think I had to give all 4 of my kids TP before they found some to buy. I asked one of them, who had come here several times for things they ran out of and couldn’t find, if he had learned anything from all this. He said yeah, I learned my mom is crazy and has everything we need lol. I only have 1 Costco pack as a backup right now, but if I find a screaming good sale who knows lol.

    Like

    • Anita
      October 26, 2021

      Funny you should mention v8. Over the last couple days I’ve been dehydrating some vegetables to powder for a simple version of instant v8, It started as a way to make room in my freezer and then my grandson mentioned he couldn’t find v8. It’s going to be a surprise for him.

      Like

    • kaythegardener
      November 6, 2021

      You should charge your kids 10% over cost to pay for your time & gas!

      Like

  11. Selena
    October 24, 2021

    And few, if any, of the preppers give one whit about people. Money in their pockets and yet another platform for pot stirrers (you get my drift).
    I need to restock paper goods. I had the last prices I paid (reluctantly ordered from Amazon). Of course I could just click on “reorder” from my order history (except for the no longer available item). They assume one is either stupid or lazy. Every item is at least $10 higher than buying at Target. Multiply that by 20-30 items and we’re talking extremely-not-free shipping.
    I would also suggest that once you know how long an item lasts, document it in a paper notebook (don’t rely on electricity). Then you can watch for sales and have opportunity to restock a bit earlier.

    Like

    • Anita
      October 25, 2021

      I sometimes wish there was a Target store near me again. Before ours closed I used to get some really good bargain prices on things. Yes, you’re right, keep a paper copy. I keep my list sheet in a 3 ring binder along with my basic use almost everyday recipes. I do comparison shop online but use curbside pickup because of the covidiots everywhere. Amazon has gone to the scammers the way eBay did about 5 years ago. Its really difficult to locate the legitimate sellers among the dishonest ones. Stay safe & stay warm

      Like

  12. Debby
    October 24, 2021

    We have a fairly good supply. I’m not going into debt though just to buy food I wouldn’t normally eat. It’s all about balance. Great post

    Like

    • Anita
      October 25, 2021

      Thank you Debby. Yes, I agree, its about balance and good planning.

      Like

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