What items (food and non-food) would you stock up on? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 25 Old 12-12-2012, 08:50 AM - Thread Starter
 
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We will have an opportunity to stock up on some things in the next few months.  My hope is to have everything that is non-perishable stocked up for a year or more to help save on costs (our income was recently cut by 1/3, so I am trying to think ahead).  I am trying to put together a list of things that we may need to have on hand for the next year.  I am also trying to think outside the box on a few items to cut down on costs and hopefully go a bit more natural.  We are also using mostly reusable items whenever we can for things like cloth diapers, mama pads, rags instead of paper towels, etc.  I want to sew up some reusable snack bags, but haven't gotten around to that yet.  For food items, I do a lot of preparing in the kitchen with canning and drying goods.  Our freezers are full right now after lots of careful planning over the summer and autumn, so I am actually working my way through that, and pairing those items with the fresh fruits and veggies we get from the co-op each week.

 

For non-food items, here's what I have so far on our list:

 

* Toothpaste

* Tooth brushes

* Deodorant (stocked up on me already - have to stock up for hubby)

* De-Frizzer (I am going to switch to a home-made de-frizzer/leave-in that is coconut oil based, so that will be on the list too.  Bonus is that I can use my own essential oils to scent it how I want.)

* Body Wash/Hand-soap (I saw a tutorial on pinterest to make your own in bulk from bar soap so I am going to give that a try)

* Laundry detergent (going to make our own)

* Fabric softener (we buy the cheap kind because we love the scent, and also make our own febreeze from it)

* All-purpose cleaner (we buy the concentrate so it lasts us about 3 mos - we'll need 4-5 bottles)

* Dishwashing soap

* Dishwashing detergent (I tried to make our own and failed miserably, so I'll just keep buying it pre-made)

* Toilet Paper

* Printer Ink

* Printer paper

* Vitamins & Supplements

* Tylenol (baby, children's and adult)

* Motrin (baby and children's)

* Cold meds

 

Food Items:

 

* Cooking oil

* Flour and Sugar (stocked up on these pretty well)

* Noodles (stocked up on these too)

* Organic Rice (need to get lots)

* Dried fruits and nuts (especially good for homemade granola and cookies)

* Peanut Butter

* Canning jars and lids

 

I'd love any other suggestions you may have!

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#2 of 25 Old 12-12-2012, 11:57 AM
 
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Of course, watch expiration dates.

 

Some kleenex (we do mostly hankies, but guest like kleenex and when we all get a cold, we run out of the cloth)

oxygen bleach if you use it.

I did the pintrest hand soap thing and was unimpressed. We do Dr. Bronners halved with water in a foaming dispenser and that works great.

 

 

For food, think through what you eat in a week, and what you can stock up on based on that. We all eat so differently that it is not universal.


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#3 of 25 Old 12-12-2012, 12:21 PM
 
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after going through several long periods of unemployment (before kids) I went all depression style on myself and I always stock pile stuff. Not crazy coupon shopper stock pile though.

 

 

I've been doing this for like ehhh....15 years? so I have my habits down pat and don't really think about timing much anymore for non food items. if I see a decent sale I buy up extras, and I check my pile every so often, but it's pretty much without thinking.

When I didn't have kids it was mostly shampoo/cond/toothcare/etc. I hardly ever did laundry (once a mth i'd goto laundromat and shove everything into biggest washer on warm/cold. hehe) and needed almost no cleaning products or trash bags etc.

I have to say, I rather miss those days where I could clean for an hour and the entire place was spotless and STAYED that way for months. alas!

 

I got in the habits of whenever I was flush after being broke for long periods i'd check on things I couldn't buy when broke - namely dishes/clothes/housewares and then the shampoo/cond/etc items.

I also will go "ok, enough putting up with cheap crappy dishes i've had for 13 years...time for a new and not terribly expensive set i've been putting off FOREVER" and replace things like that.

If I knew i was going to have a paycut - like when I had to take unpaid leave when I had kiddos, and ex brought home very little....I checked to make sure I had atleast 6-12m supply of all those things as well as kids had clothes and shoes they were not going to outgrow or need replaced anytime soon.

 

I really use very little personal care items however. I don't wear makeup, I didn't own a blowdryer until a few years ago....I am all about the wash and go. having 2 little boys....we need some kid shampoo, toothpaste and brushes. very little else.

right now i'm trying to use up THREE open deos for myself (long story there) and have been for months. I usually only buy those one or maybe 2 at a time. mine seem to last FOREVER (?) which is weird because I use it every day. dunno.

 

But right now I could easily go atleast 6m and probably 12 without buying any non-food items..well, cept toothpaste for myself. I just bought like 4 tubes for the kiddos but I just opened my last one and put it out. But I have 2 tubes and 2 toothbrushes going at all times so I have like 1.5 tubes right now.

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#4 of 25 Old 12-12-2012, 12:40 PM
 
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Batteries? (for toys, flashlights, keyboard, smoke detector)

Pet food?

 

fabric softner - I haven't used this for years, but in the winter, I select certain items to hang dry (wool socks - guess that is the biggest culprit, sport pants and polyester long underwear, fleece), so they dont cause static cling on the other clothes, in the dryer.

I would opt to buy a big gallon of white vinegar - for all your cleaning (window washing, floors...) - so when you run out of your regular cleaner, you have this as a backup.

Tampons/pads

Also, I would find one bottle of cold meds to have on hand, and forget the rest - mine always expire before I ever get to use it a 2nd time.


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#5 of 25 Old 12-12-2012, 06:11 PM
 
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how about lentils, peas or beans? spices? dried veggies for adding to soups or soup bases?

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#6 of 25 Old 12-13-2012, 10:24 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you all - these are GREAT suggestions!!  Hubby and I are so looking forward to having all of this bought and put away for the next year.  We did this last year and it helped a LOT.  We're running out of only a few things, but wanted to think about what we could do to make next year even easier. :)
 

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#7 of 25 Old 12-14-2012, 08:55 PM
 
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my biggest stock up savings when i have money is meat. when i get my financial aid refund, i stock the freezer with meat, then when i'm completely broke and have like $20 or less to last the week for groceries, its a heck of a lot easier if the most expensive part is already taken care of. this semester i also stocked up on dog and cat food, cat litter, toilet paper and paper towels, laundry soap, dishwashing soap, bar soap, basically the things i cant get with my meager (but very much appriciated!!) amount of food stamps. when i dont have to worry about coming up with cash for that stuff, and the fact that i dont really have to buy meat unless i find a really good sale, we can eat pretty good on very little money smile.gif

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#8 of 25 Old 12-14-2012, 09:13 PM
 
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I'm going to watch this thread, as I was just going to post something similar!


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#9 of 25 Old 12-15-2012, 11:43 AM
 
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This probably goes without saying, and forgive me if I sound like someone's negative mother, but it is all about packaging. I had about a year worth of food and supplies, stored in my pantry. Indoor, off the laundry room, not out in a barn or shed. And the mice got to it all! Anything packed in cardboard or plastic was chewed through, and cans and glass jars were covered with poo, pee, and too gross to consider. Powdered laundry soap. Bars of soap and tubes of toothpaste. Costco quantities of zip-lock bags. Cases of tomato sauce. Many, many pounds of oatmeal, rice, flours, sugar, and dry beans. And the list goes on. I ended up tossing it all.

 

Long story involving a weird roommate situation to explain why I didn't go into the pantry for 6 or 8 months. But if I were going to do this again, I would start with 10,000 really great containers. Glass, metal, heavy plastic tubs; something totally pest-proof. Then store it someplace not too remote, and check on it occasionally.
 

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#10 of 25 Old 12-15-2012, 11:59 AM
 
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Flour can go bad, unless frozen, if stored for a long time.
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#11 of 25 Old 12-16-2012, 01:50 PM
 
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If you have a grain mill, wheat berries last 20-30 years! We got ours for $60.

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#12 of 25 Old 12-16-2012, 06:14 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by micah_mae_ View Post

If you have a grain mill, wheat berries last 20-30 years! We got ours for $60.


I've thought about getting a grain mill. Do you use it frequently? Is it a lot of work?
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#13 of 25 Old 12-16-2012, 08:28 PM
 
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Grain mill
Dryer balls instead of sheets
Peanut butter
Coffee/tea/whatever gets you through the day
Castille soap (Dr. Bronners) cans replace body wash, hand soap, shampoo, and laundry soap. And a little goes a long way. And don't forget that the only reason to add soap to laundry is to emulsify oils. The washer's agitation is what cleans clothes.
Deoderant - haven't used it in years but for special occassions. I don't ever hear complaints and my mother would say something in a heartbeat.
TP? Try family cloth. We cut up old clothes and use them with unfinished seams until they fall apart. No muss, no fuss.
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#14 of 25 Old 12-17-2012, 12:39 PM
 
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It seems to me that it only really makes sense to stock up on things if they are at a really great sale price.  In general, I do keep large quantities of many items, but only if I can get them at a great price.  Especially with children, it is not unusual for children to suddenly be extremely fussy with a particular food, or develop an allergy or other intolerance.  This could mean food gets wasted.  If I knew that money was going to be very short in the near future, I would base my stocking up on what was on sale.  For example, I have purchased butter at 1.88 a pound (Obviously not organic!).  At that price I buy a lot and freeze it.  And when cheese is on sale for .99 for 8 oz block I stock up.  It keeps quite well.  And there is a regular cycle to those prices at my local shoprite, so I follow the sales.  TP and paper towels you can get great prices on periodically, same for non-organic meats, cooking oil and even eggs.  Other things vary little, so I won't generally stock up past having one or two extras.  Keep watching the sales and get the best prices you possibly can.  I would rather keep my extra money in the bank to take advantage of sales as they occur and not tie up my cash in inventory when things are very tight.  I admit, though, that i can probably go 6 months only buying milk, produce and eggs at any given time.  And even then, I keep powdered milk and dry egg whites for baking.  Generally, though, I only buy at the lowest possible prices.

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#15 of 25 Old 12-17-2012, 02:38 PM
 
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Originally Posted by EmsMom View Post

It seems to me that it only really makes sense to stock up on things if they are at a really great sale price.  In general, I do keep large quantities of many items, but only if I can get them at a great price.  Especially with children, it is not unusual for children to suddenly be extremely fussy with a particular food, or develop an allergy or other intolerance.  This could mean food gets wasted.  If I knew that money was going to be very short in the near future, I would base my stocking up on what was on sale.  For example, I have purchased butter at 1.88 a pound (Obviously not organic!).  At that price I buy a lot and freeze it.  And when cheese is on sale for .99 for 8 oz block I stock up.  It keeps quite well.  And there is a regular cycle to those prices at my local shoprite, so I follow the sales.  TP and paper towels you can get great prices on periodically, same for non-organic meats, cooking oil and even eggs.  Other things vary little, so I won't generally stock up past having one or two extras.  Keep watching the sales and get the best prices you possibly can.  I would rather keep my extra money in the bank to take advantage of sales as they occur and not tie up my cash in inventory when things are very tight.  I admit, though, that i can probably go 6 months only buying milk, produce and eggs at any given time.  And even then, I keep powdered milk and dry egg whites for baking.  Generally, though, I only buy at the lowest possible prices.

 

We must live in vastly different COL areas, because 1.88 for butter would be quite high, from what I've seen (I don't usually buy butter, though.), and I would *love* if I could find 8 oz of cheese for .99. I think it's interesting, the differences in things like that.


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#16 of 25 Old 12-17-2012, 05:10 PM
 
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That's so funny, because around here butter is usually around $4 a pound, some stores even more.  I have seen 1/2 pounds go for $3.  I wonder why there is such a difference?  And if for butter why the opposite for cheese?  A good price for milk around here is anything under $3 per gallon.  It definitely pays to know your local prices!
 

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#17 of 25 Old 12-17-2012, 10:46 PM
 
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Originally Posted by pek64 View Post

Flour can go bad, unless frozen, if stored for a long time.

 

Does it have to stay frozen, or do you freeze it for a period, and then you can store it in regular containers?

 

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That's so funny, because around here butter is usually around $4 a pound, some stores even more.  I have seen 1/2 pounds go for $3.  I wonder why there is such a difference?  And if for butter why the opposite for cheese?  A good price for milk around here is anything under $3 per gallon.  It definitely pays to know your local prices!
 

 

I have to get some groceries tomorrow, so I will double check, but I'm pretty sure that was/is the case. Milk around here is about $3 a gallon, most of the time just a tad bit under.


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#18 of 25 Old 12-18-2012, 10:06 AM
 
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I don't remember how long it can be kept after taking it out of the freezer.
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#19 of 25 Old 12-21-2012, 10:27 PM
 
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I definitely stock up on stuff on sale (like my prenatal vitamins that I still take and which DH has been taking daily since I started LOL), soap, toothpaste, oil, sugar, spices, crackers, cereals, tea, coffee, frozen meat/seafood, veggies & berries (then freeze)!

 

That is to say, never saw a 8oz of cheese at 99cents loll! (not in the last few years anyway!)


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#20 of 25 Old 12-23-2012, 01:09 PM
 
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I would buy protein powder, supplements and liquid vitamins.  Those are always the budget busters around here.  As for the pantry, I generally keep a stock of beans, quinoa, and canned goods.  

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#21 of 25 Old 01-01-2013, 12:42 PM
 
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Beans, cornmeal, oatmeal, powdered milk, powdered eggs.
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#22 of 25 Old 01-05-2013, 11:49 PM
 
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Things I'd add to your list... 

Medicines you routinely need/use (myself and other friends tend to order from across the border because it's a fraction of the cost here in the states, even with $20 shipping).

If you use homeopathic stuff, make sure you've got extra/enough of that (I don't think I could ever have too much arnica in my house, with four kids and a wood-cutting husband, we go through it!).  I make sure I've got the things we go through - arnica, my allergy stuff (sabadil and two other Boiron tubes), FCLO, xylitol, essential oils, whatever.  Working on making our own liquid vitamins/tinctures as well, but that's beside the point.
 

Ziploc bags, disposable foil pans (if you do freezer cooking for yourself/other folks - I have a stash of cheap Pyrex dishes for freezer meals).  Foil/parchment if you use them - and baking cups/muffin cups, I go through so many of those.  I also like having matches, candles and such around.  Bottled water (or canned - easy way to have potable water and fill up a canner while canning!). 

 

Food... 

Stock up on what you use/eat.  I stock up on sales/loss-leaders occasionally even with a coupon or twenty, do a bunch of canning/freezing, and even get a few big cans of dehydrated goodies here and there (carrot dices and onions are the most popular in my cooking, celery doesn't rehydrate well for me, and tomato powder or butter powder or sour cream powder isn't as highly used in our everyday cooking as I'd hoped when I bought them).  Ingredients for soups (stocks, vegetables, beans, spices), baking (flours, sugars, honey, maple syrup, oatmeal, peanut butter, oils, salt, yeast, baking powder, cocoa powder, chocolate chips, that kind of thing), condiments (mustard, mayo, ketchup, soy sauce, peanut butter, lime juice, bbq sauce and the like), noodle varieties.  Store bought soups (Campbell's Chicken Noodle is still a smidge better/cheaper than Wendy's drive-thru for a family of 4-6), cereals and a few crackers (I treat it as a snack, never a major meal, or use for making occasional treats like Puppy Chow).  Since a photo's worth a thousand words:

z226926931.jpg

 

Use your home-canned fun and start planning now for your plan of attack next season.  Disposable canning lids tend to go on sale around June in my area, but in the last few years I've gotten Tattler lids to reuse.  Only can up stuff you're going to use.  Apricot goo/jam wasn't popular in these parts, nor was pearsauce, but other folks may adore those in their pantry.  For years I never used diced tomatoes.  One year during a pantry challenge here I got some great recipes, so now I have to make sure I can up enough diced tomatoes - pantries definitely change.  :D

z226926933.jpg

(I know, the canned meat isn't as pretty on the shelf like jams and peaches, but it's shelf stable!)

So just look at your grocery receipts and extrapolate from that.  :)  That's all I've done over the years, the quantity's just gotten larger due to strawberries only being ripe in summer (need to do all the jam for the year in July!) and apples in Sept-Nov,

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#23 of 25 Old 01-06-2013, 12:17 AM
 
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I didn't see paper towels, zip locks, aluminum foil, light bulbs, and trash bags on your list. Even if you do reusable most of the time, some plastic bags and paper towels on hand will make things easier.

 

Bandaids, Sunscreen and bug repellant if you use them.

 

Vinegar and olive oil are good staples all around for kitchen and cleaning/body care (Olive oil helps my kids' eczema.) 

 

Herbs in planters are a nice thing to have. 

 

If you have pets, supplies and food for them.

 

I find it easier to avoid running out for stuff if we have basic art and school supplies, paint, crayons, paper, scissors, pencils, notebooks.


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#24 of 25 Old 01-06-2013, 01:08 AM
 
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This probably goes without saying, and forgive me if I sound like someone's negative mother, but it is all about packaging. I had about a year worth of food and supplies, stored in my pantry. Indoor, off the laundry room, not out in a barn or shed. And the mice got to it all! Anything packed in cardboard or plastic was chewed through, and cans and glass jars were covered with poo, pee, and too gross to consider. Powdered laundry soap. Bars of soap and tubes of toothpaste. Costco quantities of zip-lock bags. Cases of tomato sauce. Many, many pounds of oatmeal, rice, flours, sugar, and dry beans. And the list goes on. I ended up tossing it all.

 

Long story involving a weird roommate situation to explain why I didn't go into the pantry for 6 or 8 months. But if I were going to do this again, I would start with 10,000 really great containers. Glass, metal, heavy plastic tubs; something totally pest-proof. Then store it someplace not too remote, and check on it occasionally.
 

 

This.

 

We also had a mouse issue while we were renovating. Suffice to say, I tossed A LOT of stuff. Complete and utter waste. I use glass jars now and anything that is going to be stored, will be stored in an air tight mason jar or jar with glass jar with screw top. No more plastic bags/cardboard boxes, no matter how thick and durable they look from the outset.


 

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#25 of 25 Old 01-06-2013, 07:01 AM
 
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How would you recommend storing rice and sugar? I was going to use food grade buckets but was hoping that I wouldn't need to use mylar bags as well (since sugar doesn't go bad). They would be stored in a bedroom that I use for storage. I also store the animal feed in there and I'll admit to putting poison down around the the edges of the room and in the duct in several rooms. However, I haven't had a mouse show up since I put poison in the crawl space. Anyhoo! I was hoping to use the buckets so that I can stack them.
 

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