"You cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the wealthy out of freedom. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friend, is about the end of any nation.

You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it."
Dr. Adrian Rogers 1931-2005

Monday, November 16, 2009

Prudent Storage

Top items sold in American grocery stores:
  1. Carbonated Beverages
  2. Milk
  3. Fresh Bread and Rolls
  4. Beer/ Ale/ Hard Cider
  5. Salty Snacks
  6. Cheese
  7. Frozen Dinners
  8. Cold Cereal
  9. Wine
  10. Cigarettes
(source) Items in red are items I buy monthly. I do not buy these each grocery visit.

Why is this list bad?

What does this list tell us?

What do you think will happen if the economy tanks?

After seeing this list I realize that we are a society that spends billions of dollars on items that are luxury items. No problem there, but our economic health defies this list above. We are not spending wisely and as the economy continues to nosedive, those people who are not buying "real foods" will suffer immensely. I should note, that based on this list, I believe that most people will suffer far worse than those who lived through the Depression, as times during the Depression were much different. The people who lived through the Depression lived a more agrarian life and for the most part knew how to can, put foods buy, and garden.

One stat I read recently although I cannot locate it, is that only 3% of Americans have a garden that has enough food left to be canned or "put up."

I am not a pessimist, so keep that in mind as I write this: no matter what is reflected in the stock market, we are in a dangerous position as a nation. You can change things for your family- by changing what you buy at the grocery store, and stop frivolous spending. Do not cave this holiday season. Make a list of what you bought last year...and look around the house and see if it is still in use today. Then write a lovely note to the person that received that gift as to how happy the item worked for them(if still in use). If it is not in use, write a lovely note as to why you love/appreciate that person and DO NOT spend anymore money on "stuff."

If you have not been affected by this downturn in the economy, and feel that you have money to spend- think about this-
  • is your home paid off?
  • is your vehicle paid off?
  • are your credit cards paid off?
  • do you have any debt?
if you have any of these debts then I suggest you DO NOT spend any money on "stuff" but pay off your debts.

Here is the Double Nickel Farm top ten chart

  1. limes, lemons, oranges, bananas
  2. onions, cucumbers, sweet potatoes, avocados
  3. canned vegetables (canned in water with only salt)
  4. canned fruits(canned in pear juice or its own juice)
  5. dried pinto beans, lentils, honey, peanut butter
  6. tomatoes(canned and fresh)
  7. butter(real) milk cheese
  8. wheat flour, flour, brown sugar
  9. pasta(spaghetti noodles, elbow noodles, egg noodles, ramen noodles)
  10. ice cream,
I listed multiple items in the ranking as they tie or are the same type of item. Don't forget that the farm provides its own meat, eggs, and some items from the garden, as well as items from the local orchard that I have canned.

This is just a post to make you think. Please do not think my life or my choices are the best for you. I am just hoping that the first list is an eye opener for everyone. If you can't get to the store because of a blizzard, will you be craving cigarettes, but still able to eat? Or will you have ample cigarettes, half a bag of pretzels, three microwave tv dinners, some wine, three cans of mountain dew, half a box of Lucky Charms, two dinner rolls, half a loaf of Sara Lee white bread, and 1/2 a gallon of milk that expires tomorrow? The first list is worrisome as these items I mentioned above will last for a small amount of time. Last winter Kentucky suffered ice storms that resulted of long power outages, and no way to go out based on the black ice and extreme dangerous conditions.

Please put some foods by to hold you over for at least one week. I strongly urge more than that, but one weeks worth of food could be a good start.

For a family of 4 based on food storage calculator(figures below reflect one week of the one year storage on link)

4 pounds of rice
2 pounds of flour
2 pounds of oatmeal
2 pounds of pasta
2 pounds of cornmeal
1/4 pound of honey
3.5 pounds of sugar
1/4 pound of brown sugar
1/4 pound of jams
1/3 pound shortening
1 pint of vegetable oil
1 small jar of mayonnaise
1/4 pound of peanut butter
5 pounds of legumes(dried beans-lentils-split peas)
5 pounds of dried milk
20 cans of fruit
20 cans of veggies
canned chicken
meats frozen
pudding, cookies, cake mixes(snacks during stressful times make a huge difference)
good to always have on hand some fresh foods, frozen loaf or two of bread, tomato sauce, cream soups such as cream of mushroom, cream of celery, cream of chicken, pickles and spices.

It is always best to have too much food on hand then not enough! In your food storage area keep a menu or recipe file on how to make bread, rolls, tortillas, soups, or casseroles from scratch.

Have a great day, and remember to add to your storage today.


Vickie said...

I think you're so right. We're gradually trying to switch over to a more modest lifestyle that depends on fresh items, canned items, whole grains, etc. Too much fluff in our diet over the years has us craving simple, wholesome meals. Our garden will be a little bigger this year, in hopes to put up a few more things.
Good post!

Happy Hermit (Happilyhiddenhermit@gmail.com) said...

When I was much younger I foundmyself without a home , and very often living in a tent in the woods , when I returned to society my needs were so far from other people's "needs" I had to question myself.

I lived on on average 3$ a day , and because I smoked and consumed Soda as appetite suppresants , I found my desire for food took years to recover.

Back in those days i was lucky to get a peice of fruit , either meat / PB / or chocolate and a peice of bread

A weeks shopping list would look as follows : loaf of bread 89C , a Chocolate bar (for protien , i personally hate chocolate) 98 C , a jar of PB (generic) 1$ and a bag of apples for $2 , a 2 liter , a pack of roll up cigs $1.50 , and I often spend the majority of my budget on candles ,and batteries to listen to NPR , or to stay up and study

Now (things have greatly changed)My husband says he hates when I shop because I buy simple things , bean , breadmaking , and fruit in mass , he says I forget meat and "good stuff"

I make everything from scratch and find a good bean stew more filling than any comercial food can give me.

I think people forgot that eating is about fufilling NEED , not desire.

A bowl of rice is quite tasty all by its self , if you know it's value.

Wonderful Topic

Humble wife said...

Vickie-ours is still a process of slowly switching to a less fluff food lifestyle and farmlife. We learn so much everyday, so steady pace! Our garden will be bigger next year too, as we continue to learn what grows best here, what we like, and what we are able to preserve the best.

Happy Hermit-Yes you truly *know* don't you? As I continue on this journey I am astounded on what I find needs and wants(and clutter)...I find this topic interesting too, if a crises arises, what will people really do? What happens if something big happens-ie economy tanks(or hyper inflation and folks cannot buy like they used too? I really do not wish to see this truth play out as times will dramatically change if something major happens...on top of climbing unemployment weak dollar converting to another monetary source, healthcare, and on and on!

Happy Hermit (Happilyhiddenhermit@gmail.com) said...

I think one of the big things people forget when they think about stockpileing , preping etc is caloric need. So often I found that people arn't even aware of their caloric needs , if you filled up your caloric needs in a single meal , you don't NEED another meal. This is really hard to deal with when it comes to some.

People have gone so long without knowing HUNGER vs Desire , that they really think HUNGER is a bad thing.

I think most people will fare far worse than we even could exspect come times of danger and despair.

I think they would be flabergasted by their "desires" vs needs and will consume all their resources too quickly. They will depend on a generous hand that won't be there , and they will destroy themselves with unfounded anxiety.

But that's just me. It is a serious and wonderful topic.

Humble wife said...

HH- Yes I think that you summed it up pretty well. Until the past few years, I picked foods of ease and less about nutrition. I have tried so many foods I had never tried in the past few years that are not only healthy but delicious. Who would have thought mustard greens could be so tasty? Or a sweet potato diced and cooked in a tablespoon of olive oil could be so heavenly?

There is more time involved in eating simple healthy foods...especially dried beans or prepping breads and the likes but doing so reduces most of the preservatives which are so so bad.

I believe that many have no idea how to cook from scratch or bake things such as dried beans...I pray that we are ready for what is most likely coming to our nation.

One can learn to do these things, as I myself am a classic example. But it has been constant learning and reviewing and a willingness to find the best foods possible for the family with the least amount of money, the least amount of preservatives, and the most ease at growing on the farm.

Happy Hermit (Happilyhiddenhermit@gmail.com) said...

Truly it a learning process , When I think of new things to learn I look at things I use every day and wonder if I could do it on my own , I was somewhat doubtfull about grinding corn , but with further research I found out that some native american POPPED the corn , THEN ground it , it made trying something new , and unusual.

I thought I was nuts for trying new things , but then I found out , most fun new things are forgotten old things. LOL

Humble wife said...

HH- oh your last sentence is powerful...Like Solomon said in the bible, there is nothing new under the sun. We are truly learning things the two previous generations have forgotten because of the economic climb that our nation has taken. Now we are understanding that ease and comfort are not what we have been doing since the end of WWII.

It is time to get back to the basics. I was so surprised to open a can of fruit that I canned myself and discovered how much better it had tasted!

I am surprised often how easy it has become to make things without spending money, and to prepare foods that are very nutritious. I grieve that I spent so many years living and not really learning too much about life and foods etc.

We can only hope that people are watching the times and truly understanding what is heading our way.

Rob said...

I would like to suggest one addition, in case it REALLY goes south.


Today is national Ammo day. Check your supplies and buy at least 100 rounds of whatever you need most or your favorite.

Sincerely, Emily said...

Great and thought provoking post. Looking at the first top 10 list. I buy milk and cheese and salty snacks (crackers & peanuts). They rest of mine is similar to yours...fruits, vegs, I am trying to cut us back on pasta (adding more veg to our dinners) and rarely have ice cream around anymore. It has been a LONG time, so might have to add that one to the list (ha). and then meats. I have recently found a local meat source. I have been using local eggs for about 6 months and I have been making our bread for a year now. I am still trying not to buy pre-packed things (rice-a-roni, pancake mix, au gratin potatoes) and making more and more from scratch. I am amazed at how much less I buy. We had a garden this fall and have lettuce, spinach and chard just developing now. In the spring I will add more to it and as others have mentioned learn what grows well here and when. I want to get to the point where I can have enough left over the can/freeze. Also want to make my own yogurt and cheese (that's all on another list of things to do!). I have a good stock pile of canned things (bought). We are all electric here so we have a small 2-burner propane stove in case of power outages. We have always lived in houses with gas, that I just didn't even think about it until a hurricane last year - even though we are quite inland, there are times the storms would knock out the power....something to think about.

jAne said...

Excellent suggestions. My pantry has grown, including home-canned items (jams and squash pickles at this point). I'm always on the lookout for excellent buys to add to our ever enlarging larder. :o)

I have a cream soup recipe that's wonderful - found it on an LDS prep site. It's a dry mix that I keep in a large canning jar. 1/3 cup of mix to some water and you've got cream soup. Very good. Let me know if you'd like the recipe.

Oh... and I agree with Rob.

jAne * tickleberryfarm.blogspot.com