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.

Dealing with shortages

Food shortage does not mean a starvation event anymore than having seven cents short of a dollar means someone is penniless.

The “doomsday” people and “conspiracy theorists” are spreading fear again. I don’t mean the regular save for a rainy day preppers. The one’s I’m talking about are the hard core – talk for an hour with a panic tone voice – preppers with links to prepper supplies which you can purchase. Mainly they talk about massive food shortages and grid down loss of power forever. Forever? Yes, its called TEOTWAWKI. If you don’t know already it stands for “the end of the world as we know it”. Now seriously, if you think about it, isn’t that what the pandemic has already done? Didn’t the pandemic change our world forever? We need Fauci Ouchies and masks and have high prices requiring back to basics type living not seen for about 50 or 75 years.

Canning ground beef

The fear peddlers are causing people to ransack store shelves leaving them nearly empty. The fodder used for spreading the fear and panic is several things including the drought and fires out west along with the backlog of ships waiting to be unloaded. Currently the doomsday preppers are using the prediction of record cold and snow this winter coupled with a short supply of fuel to heat our homes as a way to create panic and higher sales volume. Videos of empty store shelves fill the social media sites.

Don’t get me wrong, I do believe in keeping a nicely stocked pantry but I sure don’t expect it to last me 20 or 30 years and I don’t believe we are about to suffer a complete loss of power either. I’m absolutely not going out to build a hidden underground bunker or hiding a army’s worth of ammunition to protect it.

As Franklin D Roosevelt said: The only thing we have to fear is fear itself. That’s just as true today as it was back when he said it. Stop listening to all the panic hype and keep your life realistic. Let calmness see you through any troubling times ahead. If you feel the need to read or watch youtube about prepping at least choose the people who talk of prepping to match the seasons and living life frugally.

Honey mushrooms growing in my backyard

Don’t people realize “a shortage” of something has never meant an extension event or a complete disappearance? All it means is there will be less than the usual amount. For example if I hear there is going to be a 10 percent shortage of apples this year it’s nothing to panic about. Ten percent is only 10 apples less than 100. On the other hand if I hear that there will be 99% fewer apples I may grab a few extra for canning. But; I’m NOT going to hoard apples because I also know in a few months apples will ripen again. I can switch to some other fruit for a few months. People during WW1, WW2 and the depression knew about shortages and managed to do just fine with less. Grandma Mama taught me to make do with what I have.

My own personal opinion is that knowledge is far more valuable than all the 30 year stockpile pantries put together. When a person has the knowledge to stretch a few little ingredients into several meals then that’s true wealth. When a person has the knowledge to recognize wild edible foods and where to find them that’s also true wealth. I see no need to hide 30 years worth of food in a bunker and then worry about protecting it when I know there’s an abundance of wild food growing all around us. People today call them weeds but people in the depression and during both world wars knew how to recognize “wild edibles” to put on the table. Like the honey mushrooms growing in my backyard in the photo above. Most children learned how to recognize wild food growing along fence rows or on the banks of creeks and rivers. Women in western states learned to home can tumbleweed to feed the family while women in the Eastern mountains learned to dry wild mushrooms and ramps for winter. Native Americans made bread and medicines and even coffee from acorns.

Sure, everyone agrees living costs and food prices are getting higher as they always will. Can you remember a time when costs actually came down? No matter what excuse given, living costs are never going to go back down again. Well hmm, sometimes a price will appear a few cents lower but if you investigate you’ll find a trick in there someplace. If you haven’t heard its called short sizing. Short sizing has the appearance of the same product at the same price when actually it’s less for the same price.

Yes, I was disappointed but I won’t starve without those greens. So, please stop listening to the panic and fear promoters. Learn to live within your means by figuring out how to make do with what you have.

Be frugal and stay warm everyone.

32 comments on “Dealing with shortages

  1. Jean Bontrager
    November 11, 2021

    Love your post!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Like

    • Anita
      November 13, 2021

      Thank you very much Jean. Hugs from KY.

      Like

  2. tracypacesplace
    November 8, 2021

    I live in one of the US largest cities, so it’s rare we can’t get pretty much anything, there’s so much choice and the opposite of a ‘food desert’. I can get a chicken like your picture for @$7 at Kroger ( not organic – that would be double. And some places like Whole Foods are always higher priced and I would expect to see $30 for an organic chicken there )

    There is less choice than there was, but still more choice than most people on the planet have daily I am guessing.

    We have frozen turkeys here at @ $1.59 per lb, but they are way too large for me. I got sweet potatoes yesterday, 2 cost almost $2 and they are very ‘new’ and hard to slice! But I baked them with a little oil in a hot oven and served with poached eggs as that was what I was craving.

    We did have a complete power grid collapse in Texas here this year with an unusual freezing storm and millions of dollars in water damage when the burst pipes thawed. But we are used to regular natural disasters here, and people coped.

    I bought two battery powered ‘lights in a jar’ for comfort next time, since candles are unsafe- it was my apartment fire safety sprinkler system which burst, cascading water through the ceiling! When the power came back on we were asked not to use much so as not to overload the electricity grid again. I got a pack of 5 battery headgear led lights from Amazon for @ $20 which are really useful. Make good gifts too.

    Do you eat the tree root mushrooms Anita? Never tried them.

    Like

  3. kaythegardener
    November 6, 2021

    Winco, here in the Pacific NW, is having a free Thanksgiving turkey (14-18 lb) about now for buying $100 worth of groceries. They are normally $.89/ lb for regular & $1.29/lb for brand types.
    So that “free turkey” is worth about $20-$25. Are the extra groceries needed to qualify worth it?? I will see if my neighbor & I can share to meet this goal…

    Like

    • Anita
      November 6, 2021

      You are right, its only a bargain if you were planning to spend $100 anyway. You must have some really good neighbors. In my area sharing is a good idea only if its agreed on beforehand how to split the one turkey and how much each will buy in the $100.

      Like

    • Diane
      November 6, 2021

      I forgot about winco doing that deal at Thanksgiving. Last year my two DD’s and I all got free turkeys. I kept one for thanksgiving and dropped the other two off at the food bank. Winco is an hour away so we go once a month, and try to do most of our shopping for the month there. It’s not hard to spend $100. We did a bit of swapping to get all of us to $100, but that’s easy enough to pay everyone back.

      Like

  4. 4paws2love2
    November 5, 2021

    The hoarders and preppers are not the only problem, there are those people who buy up everything and then wait till it is unavalible and then thy to sell if for a big problem. I remember an article in the paper when the pandemic started of a man who bought 10,000 rolls of TP and then tried to sell it on E-Bay for $5 a roll. thankfully E-Bay shut him down, and it hit the papers, and he was stuck with all that TP.

    Like

    • Anita
      November 6, 2021

      I forgot about that. Yes, the scammers who buy up the products for profiteering. None of the profiteer peppers say anything about all the warehouses filled to the brim with stuff because not enough truckers are working to take it to stores.

      Like

  5. J O
    November 5, 2021

    I asked my Daddy one time what they worried about during and after the Great Depression as he lived through it. He said nothing because there was no point in it and it didn’t change anything. You did what you had to with keeping food on the table and a roof over your head.

    Like

    • Anita
      November 6, 2021

      He was so right. Everyone had their own responsibilities in the family and took pride in doing it well. No one had their faces stuck in front of a little screen all day and Dick Tracy was the only one with a wrist watch.

      Like

  6. Silver
    November 3, 2021

    I completely agree with you. Less panicking and hoarding, and more taking stock is required, being resourceful, leaning to live within our means.

    Like

  7. Jasna
    November 2, 2021

    Thank you so much, Anita, for being the voice of reason. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  8. craftytadpole
    November 2, 2021

    Good advice.
    But I must say, your backyard looks like the perfect place for a bunker LOL 😉

    Like

    • Anita
      November 2, 2021

      Thanks. Ha, ha, ha, my backyard floods everytime it rains so a bunker wouldn’t work. The supplies would get all wet and if I was in it I might get tired of swimming while waiting for the water to go down.

      Liked by 2 people

  9. Jackie
    November 2, 2021

    Common sense! Nice to hear. Thank you.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Linda Practical Parsimony
    November 2, 2021

    I am so glad you commented on the preppers and hoarders. I am stocked up but not for years. I eat my stockpile.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Anita
      November 2, 2021

      Thank you Linda.

      Like

  11. Selena
    November 1, 2021

    Yes shortages does not mean not available. Even if that chicken is “organic”, something isn’t right IMHO – 10 lbs?? It seems that all the inexpensive yet healthy meats (chicken, hamburger, roasts etc.) are now priced out of the budgets of those who could use the protein source the most.
    I do forage wild edibles. I also have a friend who forages on the property – person knows far more about fungi than I. I expect nothing in return but person always seems to bring a token of appreciation.

    Like

    • Anita
      November 2, 2021

      I had to go inside the store to get my annual flu shot and decided to quickly look for a turkey while there. Not a single one to buy so I decided to look for a baking hen alternative. That was what I saw. Apparently other people had the same idea because there wasn’t any regular baking hens either. Only organic. Luckily I have a small whole chicken in the freezer to use for Thanksgiving. When the trees in the backyard are cut down the honey mushrooms will die. They grow off the tree’s roots.

      Like

  12. Diane
    November 1, 2021

    I keep hearing people talk about turkey shortages and high prices. There are plenty of turkeys in stores right now, and butterball are 87 cents a lb at Walmart-cheaper than last year. There’s plenty of food in the grocery stores. Prices are higher, but that just means we all need to make good choices with our food dollars. I just went to Walmart and spent $18 on food for a little pop-up food cupboard. I got a lot of meals worth, and covered all the basic food groups. A family of 4 could have eaten for almost a week on what I bought. So it can be done.Yes there have been droughts, but most of the drought areas in the west are irrigated anyway. The fires aren’t typically in agricultural areas, at least here in Montana. People need to stop watching all those you tube preppers. They are preying on people’s fears for profit, and they are full of bologna. What makes them experts? Nothing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Anita
      November 2, 2021

      I guess it depends on where you live who has turkeys and who doesn’t. My daughter says she hasn’t seen any turkeys yet but the shelves are not bare. We can have something else instead. As a recipient of donated food myself I can tell you that its always appreciated. I don’t always like what I get and some things I can’t eat but I give it to others. Out of all the doomsday preppers I’ve noticed lately not a single one has mentioned giving to charity. There are some good preppers too. People who genuinely want to help others live within their means – without panic.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Diane
      November 2, 2021

      I try to donate stuff most people would like. I found bags of cereal on clearance for 25 cents so I got 4 of those, plus some oatmeal, canned fruit, canned veggies, canned tuna and chicken, a bag of egg noodles, a couple pkgs of pasta and sauce, a couple Mac and cheese, and a couple cans of cr of mushroom soup, and chicken noodle. Nothing exciting or fancy, but decent enough food I guess.Then today I used my Ibotta and got all the free thanksgiving stuff and I will take some of that over next time I’m in town.. That was instant potatoes, gravy mix, cornbread, stuffing mix, Cr of mush soup, French fried onions, canned cranberries.I think that was it. I also got frozen corn, but I obviously can’t leave that in an outdoor cupboard.
      There were two bunker freezers full of turkeys today. Price was 78 cents on the one I looked at. It was Jenny-O I think. Ibotta is giving some people $15 back on a turkey, but it seems to be only new users, so I didn’t get that offer. The turkey I looked at was $9, so if I had that offer I could have made $6. Darn lol.
      The shelves at Walmart today looked better than they did last time I was there.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Jane
    November 1, 2021

    Today’s post is the reason I love to hear your point of view—you are a voice of reason…and I appreciate you so much!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Anita
      November 2, 2021

      Aww… me blushing…. thank you Jane. 🙂 I appreciate my followers too.

      Like

  14. Debby
    November 1, 2021

    Good Common sense. Thank You.

    My husband tends to lean toward prepperism. I am just old-school frugal and have always tried being ready for any emergencies – for us it would be earthquakes, and wildfires. I love him and just let him do his thing – LOL

    Like

    • Anita
      November 2, 2021

      Sounds like a good match between you two.

      Like

  15. Linda
    November 1, 2021

    THIS is why I started following your blog years ago. I appreciate your down-to-earth wisdom, outlook and strategies. My grandfather was a sharecropper with nine children. My grandmother (and thus my aunts) had to make do with very little and a lot of moving. My mother was the youngest of the kids and had things easier than the older kids, so I was fascinated by her older sisters. I loved how they cooked and canned and sewed and quilted for their families and I have grown up to be more like them than my mother. I miss them all and you would have easily fit into their family. Thank you for being you and sharing your knowledge.

    Like

    • Anita
      November 1, 2021

      How nice of you to say I’m like family. 🙂 Thank you. Think about this — In just two or three generations from now our descendants will be saying the same thing about all of us fugal living people today.

      Like

      • Linda
        November 1, 2021

        PS – I’m the follower that used to live in Shively!

        Like

        • Anita
          November 1, 2021

          I didn’t know that! So what area did you move to? email me anitaestes 3718 at gmail dot com

          Like

          • Linda
            November 1, 2021

            Back home to Memphis area.

            Like

          • Anita
            November 2, 2021

            I’m sorry we never got to have lunch while you were here but I’m glad you are home again.

            Like

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