I think it’s safe to say that things are getting pretty scary for a lot of people right now; the ‘energy crisis’ has become the ‘cost of living crisis’ and a lot of people are wondering how they’re going to make it through the next few months. While I cannot offer much in the way of financial advice, due to how I grew up in Sydney, I do know how to plan and prepare for an emergency (and I believe this qualifies), and one of the first rules in an emergency is: keep your people fed and watered! So, to do that I am offering up some tips on how to stock your freezer and cupboards to ensure that you’re giving yourself the best shot at keeping tummies from rumbling this Autumn.
What do I mean by ‘due to how I grew up in Sydney’? Sorry to disappoint you, there’s nothing nefarious lurking in my past – we lived in a bushfires prone area on the edge of the Royal National Park, so for my entire childhood we knew that the fires would come twice a year and we’d need to be prepared, not just for the fires, but what came after the fires too.
During the ’70s and ’80s (yes, I am THAT old) as I was growing up, the supermarkets in Australia were only open from 9 am-5 pm Monday to Friday and 9 am to 2 pm on Saturdays and that was it! Regular bushfires in the area would mean that supplies for the supermarkets could not get through for days after the fires due to road blockages and closures; so unless you had a stocked pantry and freezer, you were out of luck and relying on friends to get you through. We were fortunate that my Mum was acutely aware of how we could be impacted and always had the cupboards and freezer fully stocked; I can safely say I have learned everything I know from a master of home planning!
I am dividing this blog into four posts and maybe some printables so it’s not a massive info dump all at once.
Most of what I am going to be telling you is nothing you probably haven’t heard before – so maybe just consider this series a reminder, ay?
Like all good things, there are rules to stocking up and getting ready for the months to come; but if I have one major rule it’s DON’T HOARD!
There is a vast difference between being food secure and hoarding food; no one benefits when people buy 25 times more than they need of a single item ‘just in case’. Anyone who tried to buy loo roll during the pandemic will no doubt agree.
- If they won’t eat it, don’t get it – your family won’t suddenly love a product they have hated before, just because it’s cheap. Shop smart and save money.
- Stock up, not ‘stockpile’ and there’s a difference – we’re not hoarding items, just getting ready to start from a full freezer/pantry. Starting from a place of plenty means you are never caught short.
- Stay within your means; even adding one or two things to your freezer and pantry per week can make a difference. If that means own-brand or off-brand items, then so be it – you’re shopping smarter to make your money work harder for you.
KEEP AN EYE ON THE NEWS
Watching the news can be pretty depressing, but it’s honestly the way to catch approaching shortages before they become price increases in your supermarket. What do I mean? Well, last week the news reported that the UK potato crop was hampered by the heatwave we had – now depending on how bad the damage is, it will mean that the price of potatoes will likely be going up. What this means for you, is that the price of those £1 pack of oven french fries or the massive bag of spuds is likely about to rise – so that means adding an extra bag to your freezer now. Paying attention to the news can simply mean that you’re ahead of the curve when it comes to being prepared.