This post is not about that virus! But it accelerated my plans a little bit, so I wanted to share.
If you follow me here or on social media, you know that for February, my Year of Healthy theme was going Plant-Based. And while it didn’t continue through March, I decided instead of heading to the grocery store, I was going to eat and cook based on what we had at the house. After a ton of eating out and ordering in, of course, cause I was tired of cooking! But sometime in February, we cleaned out our pantry to reorganize it. We trashed anything that was expired. Took stock of what we were low on and added them to our grocery list for the future. Chris and I also talked about things he wishes we kept on hand that he liked to eat. Of course, we need to find a balance of healthy foods. But it started me thinking about what should be in my pantry? What should I always have on hand? I planned to potentially talk about this in a future Year of Healthy post where I focus on food again or maybe concentrate on my home. I added it to my “do later” list. Cleaning out the pantry showed me what I had on hand, and I knew we had a good amount of meat and dairy in the freezer to use up. So we were good to go for a while.
However, I am also dealing with a couple of problems that might make this a challenge. First, I have a medical condition that requires me to know exactly what goes into my body to prevent flare-ups. I am still learning what I can and cannot eat. While I have eliminated most processed foods, some regular foods can still be tricky. Secondly, Chris is a picky eater. Before February, I would have told you he hates all things healthy, but he tore up most of the vegan meals I made. But his preference is processed foods. The opposite of me. I need to find the balance of what foods to keep on hand that he will eat and foods that are good for us. Lastly, I hate wasting food. I want to be able to rotate out the items because having to trash things that have expired hurts my heart. Pantry and freezers items tend to have a longer shelf life, so I wanted to plan out what we could buy, keep for a while, and the best time to replace it. Currently, I am doing better about not wasting my perishable items because I am going to the grocery store more often and am learning to buy what I need to get me to the next trip only.
So here it is, March 13th (yesterday), and since I’ve been on a cooking strike, Chris and I have been relying heavily on what we have on hand. And our kitchen was starting to look a little bare…in the middle of a virus pandemic where people are panicking and stockpiling like martial law is on its way and we won’t be able to leave our house for months. I get it. People handle these situations in different ways. And thanks to consistent time with God, therapy appointments, and St. John’s Wort, I am feeling pretty well despite all of this…while I stay in my house. (BTW #SocialDistancing is now my practice for life) But I usually am consistent with heading to the grocery store and staying stocked up, so I was starting to get a bit concerned. I mean, we are finishing up week 11 of the year, and I have already gone to the grocery store 15 times (not including Amazon deliveries). So to be running low on essentials and not being able to find them, it’s a bit annoying. I got what I could, said a prayer for the rest, and started planning.
Staying prepared means you do not have to get prepared. I know this well enough as a military wife and a Floridian who has survived a few hurricane seasons. So I decided to hit up YouTube and IG to see who could help me with this. One person I love is Jordan Page from Fun, Cheap and Free, and she had a video on what you should store at home. She recommends to slowly start with a stockpile of 3 months worth of items you would need to survive (food, water, supplies). Buy 1 for now and 2 for later when things go on sale. Doing this allows you to rotate through your items without stocking up and going too crazy. I will note that she appears to be following her denomination of Christianity, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and how they recommend staying prepared. I’ve checked it out, and it is pretty solid advice, but Jordan has it packaged in a way that anyone can use it. Here are some posts of hers that I enjoyed:
Emergency Prep and Food Storage
So while, at this very moment, I can’t do much about the essentials I ran out of that the store didn’t have stocked (like beans), I was able to make a decent grocery trip yesterday. I built a list of items that we should keep stocked. I added the things that we consistently eat. Between grocery apps and circulars, I will pay attention to sale prices to know when to purchase again and stock up (Remember buy 1 for now and 2 for later. Let’s save food for the rest of the world.). Tracking this information also lets me know when the best time to buy these items is as well. I’ve created a list of things I should buy every week (perishable items like milk, eggs, and spinach) and what I should buy every month (potatoes, rice, etc.).
This also goes beyond my kitchen and into our household products and cleaning supplies. Guys, when this pandemic hit, we had four rolls of toilet tissue to our name. I knew I was going to the store soon, so I wasn’t anxious about getting that low. Until I got there, and there were zero paper products. Talk about being concerned for a second. But then I laughed and said, “God, we need toilet tissue. I trust that you will be able to make that happen before we run out.” Do you know what happened? Chris called before he came home today and said he stopped at the store and they had toilet tissue, did I want him to grab some? So he did. We grabbed a big pack to get us through and left the rest for others. Because I trust that when I need more, either this thing will be over or God will provide. This faith has been years in the making, by the way. Two years ago, I would have had a breakdown and cried about this. Progress. So while I know this is a scary time for many, I recommend using this time to plan and prepare. Hurricane season is right around the corner. Something like this may happen again. Heck, a personal emergency could happen. It’s best to stay prepared. Let me know in the comments what you consider a staple item to keep on hand at all times! Stay safe!