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#61 of 90 Old 05-29-2008, 11:27 AM
 
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My main reason to stockpile to eat locally year-round.

Another reason to stockpile is as a personal insurance against financial problems too. Job loss, unexpected medical bills, having to support family members, etc. Or a medical emergency keeping you home, could be something little like the whole family with the stomach flu preventing you from going grocery shopping when you normally would. Would be nice to be able to stay home in that situation, instead of dragging yourself to the store. Emergencies don't have to be big. Around here, it's madness in the grocery stores the day before a snowstorm. Nice to be able to stay home knowing you won't be missing anything if you're snowed in for the next 4 days.

You're also buying at today's price, which is definitely cheaper than the price in two months.

We don't eat convenience food so we don't buy them. Personally, I won't buy 30 cans of anything. I do buy 50 lbs of bread flour, 20 lbs of oats, 30 lbs of chickpeas, 30 lbs black beans, 50 lbs of sugar, etc. I guess I do have a few things semi-individually packaged like 4 kgs of honey and about 8 litres of maple syrup.

We try to source everything as locally as possible so we don't get anything from the regular grocery store from early june to november. But we preserve alot of local food during the summer to eat in the winter.

It frees some money in the winter when the heating bills come.

It's not acquired all at once. Every month, I do one bulk purchase, over the course of a year, it adds up.
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#62 of 90 Old 05-29-2008, 11:32 AM
 
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Out of curiosity/ignorance, how long are seeds "good" for? I think I remember seeing expiration dates on the packets before...
Vacuum sealed and kept in cool, dry, dark conditions, tests have shown that they have an average (it depends on the vegetable) (I hope I'm remembering this right) 70% germination rate at 10 years.

ETA: I believe that they recommend that once germination rate goes below 70% that you should start using your seeds and replenishing your supply.
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#63 of 90 Old 05-29-2008, 11:51 AM
 
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I do though stockpile candles, matches, batteries, etc.
Now, THIS doesn't make sense to me. If you can go to the store to get things any time you need them, then why stockpile candles, matches and batteries?
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#64 of 90 Old 05-29-2008, 11:58 AM
 
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Who ever heard of a hurricane that lasts 7 days? We shop weekly, so if a hurricane was coming, we would have enough food to last a few days, and battling a hundred people for not enough loaves of bread would be the last thing I would be doing.

Ahhhh. Well, last hurricane we went through when the entire region was without power for 2 + weeks. Well. The store shelves were BARE. You see, trucks couldn't get down here 'cause bridges had collapsed. Gas was scarce. Roads were not-drivable. People were fightig over BAGS OF ICE. Believe me, you need way more then "a few days" worth of reserves in the event of a disaster. And "they" are saying to not depend on gov't assistance (not that we would anyways). In fact they have reclassified ice as a non-necessity~ so last time FEMA was handing out bags of ice. This time, they are saying dont count on it.

And for those wondering - ice sure feels like a necesity when it is 90 plus degrees and all the food in your fridge and freezer is going bad. And there is no power for weeks.

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#65 of 90 Old 05-29-2008, 12:00 PM
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I personally would not want to be in the riot situation and risk my life if I had to "run to the store" in a time of crisis. During Katrina, ATMs were empty and credit card machines weren't working. Do you have a few hundred bucks put back to buy the supplies? What do you do if you are a little bit late to the store and the shelves are already cleared out? What if the situation is that the store owners are price gouging (which also happened during Katrina). You might take your $100 to the store and come home with 10 cans of tuna and bottle of salad dressing. I'm not trying to be doom and gloom, but I think it's more prudent to simply put by a store of food as insurance. I'm assuming you have car insurance. You hope you never have to use it, but what if. Same with stockpiling. And in these times, by buying when thing are on sale, you don't have to buy it when it's NOT on sale.

Good luck. I don't expect you to agree with me, but I hope it makes you think a bit.
You make a good point, which is why for me it is most useful to think of the different scenarios, and then plan my response.
In the case of Katrina, i don't care about my food stock b/c I'm leaving it. If I have a 2 h lead time, dh would be headed to the closest uHaul to rent a small trailer, and I would be packing up the house. I could pack 2 grocery bags of food in 5 min. Ideally within 2 hours we would be far away. Which reminds me of why I always try to have at least 1/2 tank of gas in my car.

In the case of a hurrican or tornado, any time one would hit, we would have enough food to eat until it was over.

Snow storm/ winter time? Conceivably one could be in a snow storm that lasted more than 15 days (15 --> I usually have more starches on hand in the winter). But that has never happened where we have our house, and even here where are living in Maine for a few years.

On the other hand, a true end of the world scenario? As in absolutely no food resources left? I honestly think one could see that coming for weeks if not months at a time, plenty of time to prepare.

Nuclear situation like Hiroshima? I would want to evacuate with my family, leaving behind my radioactive food stock. I am sure though that I haven't thought of all emergency situations?

This does to me reinforce why every family should have enough money saved for several months. Still, I agree if you do stockpiling for budget, then it's great. Like Mightymoo, I find that I lose money b/c things go bad.
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#66 of 90 Old 05-29-2008, 12:21 PM
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Originally Posted by mountainsun View Post
Ahhhh. Well, last hurricane we went through when the entire region was without power for 2 + weeks. Well. The store shelves were BARE.
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Originally Posted by velochic View Post
Now, THIS doesn't make sense to me. If you can go to the store to get things any time you need them, then why stockpile candles, matches and batteries?
b/c the times that I've been through tornadoes, hurricanes, typhoons, here in the US and abroad... the electricity often goes out immediately. Road conditions are not safe, and people are not driving the most safely. So basically, if one can lose electricity b/c of a disaster for several days, we would already have food for at least a week. If it has lasted for more than a few days, then honestly we would have moved into a hotel or gone on a trip to visit relatives.

What if suddenly the roads imploded, and there was no source for fuel? I don't foresee this happening for at least 10 years. And, honestly I have decided that the continual and continuous weekly effort to rotate food, and plan and maintain my stock is more effort than I care to expend for 10 years for that remote, 1:1000000000 chance it will happen

matches kept dry and cool last ad infinitum. Bateries last for years in the fridge. For a FT WOH mom, ease is most important to me.

But again, if one stockpiles for budget reasons, it make sense to me.
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#67 of 90 Old 05-29-2008, 12:42 PM
 
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The whole random "everything goes down" happened to my inlaws in Buffalo about a year and a half ago. Big snow storm (in October) - and I mean huge...they called it unprecedented. The prediction was 1-6inches of wet snow, so, no big deal, right? Especially not in the Buffalo area. So, there really *wasn't* a bunch of lead time, because no one was expecting what came.

Snow fell at the rate of an inch an hour, and it was incredibly heavy snow. Trees were down everywhere, as well as power lines (My FIL works for the electric company - they had teams coming in from all over the northeast to try to restore power). Total snowfall was in the two foot area over 16-24 hours.

People were out of electricity for a couple of weeks in some areas. Stores (ok...just about everything) were shut down. People were stealing generators in the night. Non-emergency travel was banned and a state of emergency was declared.

Mind you, this wasn't some small little middle of nowhere town where you might expect to be out of power for a couple of weeks just because you're so far away from everywhere else. This was the Southtowns of Buffalo. About 300,000 people lost power, and many more were directly affected by the SofE delcaration.

I remember an ice storm when I was in college (so, late 90s - probably 98 or 99) in NY where power was out for 2-3 weeks, as well. I know a couple of the colleges put off the start of spring semester because they didn't have power in time. It happens.
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#68 of 90 Old 05-29-2008, 01:02 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mountainsun View Post
Ahhhh. Well, last hurricane we went through when the entire region was without power for 2 + weeks. Well. The store shelves were BARE. You see, trucks couldn't get down here 'cause bridges had collapsed. Gas was scarce. Roads were not-drivable. People were fightig over BAGS OF ICE. Believe me, you need way more then "a few days" worth of reserves in the event of a disaster. And "they" are saying to not depend on gov't assistance (not that we would anyways). In fact they have reclassified ice as a non-necessity~ so last time FEMA was handing out bags of ice. This time, they are saying dont count on it.

And for those wondering - ice sure feels like a necesity when it is 90 plus degrees and all the food in your fridge and freezer is going bad. And there is no power for weeks.
:
But clearly this level of emergency preparedness isn't something you want to do. No harm, no foul.

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#69 of 90 Old 05-29-2008, 01:20 PM
 
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We stockpile a few things for all the reasons listed above. We are not panic buying, but have been building a supply of beans, grains, canned goods, cooking fuel, candles, batteries, etc over the past year. Oh and water.

We buy a lot of our food through a co-op, so it is simple enough to tack on an extra 25 pound of beans/oats/rice to whatever I am getting that month. It is an additional $25 or so, but it the long run, it saves me money. Buying in bulk has allowed us to maintain our grocery budget during this time of rising prices.

So why?

Rising food prices
Rising fuel prices
Bulk foods are cheaper per pound
We live near a river that overflowed during hurricane Isabel
We often lose power
We can a lot of garden produce

And to really top it off -- my folks are very close to losing their house and my father will most likely be living with us very soon. We will need the extra food.

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#70 of 90 Old 05-29-2008, 01:34 PM
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Originally Posted by katheek77 View Post
The whole random "everything goes down" happened to my inlaws in Buffalo about a year and a half ago. Big snow storm (in October) - and I mean huge...they called it unprecedented. The prediction was 1-6inches of wet snow, so, no big deal, right? Especially not in the Buffalo area. So, there really *wasn't* a bunch of lead time, because no one was expecting what came.

Snow fell at the rate of an inch an hour, and it was incredibly heavy snow. Trees were down everywhere, as well as power lines (My FIL works for the electric company - they had teams coming in from all over the northeast to try to restore power). Total snowfall was in the two foot area over 16-24 hours.

People were out of electricity for a couple of weeks in some areas. Stores (ok...just about everything) were shut down. People were stealing generators in the night. Non-emergency travel was banned and a state of emergency was declared.
So this is a really great example! And I hope you don't mind if I dissect it apart a bit.
First, BIG QUESTION, how long was non- emergency travel banned? Just the duration of snow storm and clean up? Or the entire period of power outage. I really doubt it lasted more than 72-96 hours, otherwise it would almost seem like martial law to us freedom loving Americans.

Why were people stealing generators? To power their temporary electronic heating system? Or to power their refrigerator and freezer, packed full of stockpiled food?

If the roads were non-permissable, then this would be a great argument for stockpiling things like batteries and alternate light source. And everyone who stockpiles food also has a short wave radio right? (we do)

The longest power outage I've personally experienced (in my home) was 5 days. But since I worked in a hospital, then my work place is virtually the first place with restored electricity, where I took my daily warm shower. Conceivably, I could have heated up dinner there too, and taken it home for famille. Also, as long as roads are passable, I am required by law to show up, since I am considered emergency personnel. By then, i was already on my fresh kick, and fortunately we loss less than $50 of meats/ dairy etc. I had neighbors that lost > $500 worth of groceries.
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#71 of 90 Old 05-29-2008, 01:52 PM
 
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You know what p.s. - I hope to hell you are right, that you are swimming in good Karma and bad luck never comes your way. For me... it is no big deal to prepare, nothing goes to waste, and it makes me (and my depression era mother who lives with us) feel a little more comfortable. One other word... if you are WRONG, please don't go knocking on the doors of those who have prepared.

Even the government says to have 3 months worth of food in your pantry. If the talking heads are saying 3, you'd be wise to double that at least.
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#72 of 90 Old 05-29-2008, 02:10 PM
 
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I don't get it- are people arguing against being prepared?

I understand that some people don't want to or don't feel that it's necessary to have X amount of extra supplies, but why would you begrudge people that do feel like being prepared for a break in supply?

My mom was in the 1964 earthquake in Anchorage and was cut off from the grid for quite a while....growing up in Alaska we always had extra water/food/matches/blankets because you just can't predict things like earthquakes or rapidly developing blizzards or any other situation where the barges or trucks couldn't get through....
We moved to Florida just days after Hurricane Katrina and it was painfully obvious the consequences of not being prepared. Too many people take for granted just having simple drinking water available!

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#73 of 90 Old 05-29-2008, 02:15 PM
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You know what p.s. - I hope to hell you are right, that you are swimming in good Karma and bad luck never comes your way....
One other word... if you are WRONG, please don't go knocking on the doors of those who have prepared.
Uhm, I'm not sure if you are being sarcastic. I am just trying to point out thoughts that may not have been thought. This whole thread has (IMO) has nothing to do with karma and luck, good or bad. I think it has everything to do with thinking out potential situations for oneself and how one envisions coping for oneself and one's family, considering things like "no big deal, " comfort, or ease.

One other point, which refers to a point I made on the Long emergency thread, is having a tradable commodity, which for myself is knowledge.

See I don't just stockpile food. When you and your spouse have been so helpful to other people, when they see you may be in need, they'll offer help.
When we had our 5 day blackout, neighbors were offering us their generators to maintain the cool in our frig (which we didn't bother with), and offering steaks and seafood when they knew I could cook at work.
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#74 of 90 Old 05-29-2008, 02:20 PM
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I don't get it- are people arguing against being prepared?

I understand that some people don't want to or don't feel that it's necessary to have X amount of extra supplies, but why would you begrudge people that do feel like being prepared for a break in supply?

My mom was in the 1964 earthquake in Anchorage and was cut off from the grid for quite a while....growing up in Alaska we always had extra water/food/matches/blankets because you just can't predict things like earthquakes or rapidly developing blizzards or any other situation where the barges or trucks couldn't get through....
We moved to Florida just days after Hurricane Katrina and it was painfully obvious the consequences of not being prepared. Too many people take for granted just having simple drinking water available!
I don't think people are arguing about being prepared.
I think people's definitions of prepared are different.

Sure, and if you live in Alaska in the 60's, or even 2000's, you wouldn't have the same pantry as someone who lived in Washington, D.C. would you?

Regarding water, I think more useful than stockpiling actual bottles (which we actually do some), is having a non-electrical or non-power dependant way to filter water. We also have a well on our property, which can be useful. But some people live in apts, and this is not an option. That's why stockpiling/ cultivating human relationships is also useful.
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#75 of 90 Old 05-29-2008, 02:40 PM
 
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Uhm, I'm not sure if you are being sarcastic. I am just trying to point out thoughts that may not have been thought. This whole thread has (IMO) has nothing to do with karma and luck, good or bad. I think it has everything to do with thinking out potential situations for oneself and how one envisions coping for oneself and one's family, considering things like "no big deal, " comfort, or ease.

One other point, which refers to a point I made on the Long emergency thread, is having a tradable commodity, which for myself is knowledge.

See I don't just stockpile food. When you and your spouse have been so helpful to other people, when they see you may be in need, they'll offer help.
When we had our 5 day blackout, neighbors were offering us their generators to maintain the cool in our frig (which we didn't bother with), and offering steaks and seafood when they knew I could cook at work.
I'm not being sarcastic at all.

I think you have the same thoughts most people do about preparing for emergencies. "If I'm in a bind, someone will help me out." (That's what thousands thought during Katrina, when finally they realized that FEMA really wasn't going to come to their rescue.) Just don't be surprised when, if something happens and it's long term, those very friends who you help don't say, "Sorry, we only put back enough for our family. Why didn't you prepare for your own needs? I know you were told to prep."
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#76 of 90 Old 05-29-2008, 02:56 PM
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I'm not being sarcastic at all.

I think you have the same thoughts most people do about preparing for emergencies. "If I'm in a bind, someone will help me out." (That's what thousands thought during Katrina, when finally they realized that FEMA really wasn't going to come to their rescue.) Just don't be surprised when, if something happens and it's long term, those very friends who you help don't say, "Sorry, we only put back enough for our family. Why didn't you prepare for your own needs? I know you were told to prep."
I see... then am not sure if you have understand any of my posts. As none of my nor my family's planning depends on other people's resources. Actually, my long term planning accounts for parents, kids until they're independent, and potentially other not too financially savvy marriage related relatives.
BTW, a 12 month food supply wouldn't have helped those thousands during Katrina. Neither would have a 1 years supply of water, batteries, or whatever else.

Only money. Or a marketable skill. Or friends or family outside the Katrina area, i.e. relationships. And a means of egress.
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#77 of 90 Old 05-29-2008, 03:01 PM
 
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So this is a really great example! And I hope you don't mind if I dissect it apart a bit.
First, BIG QUESTION, how long was non- emergency travel banned? Just the duration of snow storm and clean up? Or the entire period of power outage. I really doubt it lasted more than 72-96 hours, otherwise it would almost seem like martial law to us freedom loving Americans.

Why were people stealing generators? To power their temporary electronic heating system? Or to power their refrigerator and freezer, packed full of stockpiled food?

If the roads were non-permissable, then this would be a great argument for stockpiling things like batteries and alternate light source. And everyone who stockpiles food also has a short wave radio right? (we do)

.
Not a problem. I just realized, while doing research, that wikipedia actually has an entry on it.

I'm trying to figure out how long the state of emergency lasted...The only thing I've found so far is that Amherst and Tonowanda were still in a SofE three days after the storm...the State of Emergency and travel bans were in place by 8:10am on Friday, Oct 13 (found some old emerg. services reports online). The interstate was closed for about 100 miles, as well as the Peace Bridge crossing. They got food and water to people stranded on those roads by snowmobile. Most schools in the area reopened on Oct 23, although a few in more heavily affected areas opened later that week. On Monday, the Nat'l Guard was called in to help with cleanup, and on Tuesday, Erie County Executive said "[The debris is] massive, absolutely massive. The idea is to get it off the streets as soon as possible. That`s our priority right now." And that was four days AFTER the storm.

I found these, which don't speak to the state of emergency, but do speak to being prepared...:

Oct 13
Water will be shut off in 24 hours due to the lack of electricity to water pumps ... Mayor of Buffalo, Byron Brown issued a "boil water advisory." It is not known when water will be turned back on...Officials say that businesses and residents could be out of water by 5:00 p.m...

Oct 17
...an estimated 215,000 people and businesses are without power...throught out the region. Power may not be back on in many areas until Sunday or Monday of next week. Originally, nearly 400,000 people lost power during the storm.

By Tuesday morning the streets were mostly clear, but...about a quarter-million people were still without electricity; many did not have phone service and many others in the surrounding towns couldn't trust their water supply. Most traffic lights still weren't working.

I don't know exactly why people were stealing generators. I imagine more for comfort than necessity, in most cases. . I'm sorry I can't get more info...a lot of the news reports are no longer online.
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#78 of 90 Old 05-29-2008, 03:04 PM
 
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the possible lack of electricity thing is a big consideration, so we are choosing not to do freezer stockpiling for emergency/disaster preparedness. what good is a freezer full of food if it all goes bad?

however, in terms of hedging against food price increases (which are happening RIGHT NOW), filling the freezer is actually a good idea.

2 different scenarios, imo.
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#79 of 90 Old 05-29-2008, 03:04 PM
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Originally Posted by velochic View Post
You know what p.s. - I hope to hell you are right, that you are swimming in good Karma and bad luck never comes your way. For me... it is no big deal to prepare, nothing goes to waste, and it makes me (and my depression era mother who lives with us) feel a little more comfortable. One other word... if you are WRONG, please don't go knocking on the doors of those who have prepared.

Even the government says to have 3 months worth of food in your pantry. If the talking heads are saying 3, you'd be wise to double that at least.


And I'm pretty sure the original question was "Why are people stockpiling," not "why do some people choose not stockpile?" Our reasons aren't wrong for us, even if they don't work for you.

"Our task is not to see the future, but to enable it."
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#80 of 90 Old 05-29-2008, 03:11 PM
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more reasons to go shopping NOW if you can afford it:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080528/...price_increase

"Our task is not to see the future, but to enable it."
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#81 of 90 Old 05-29-2008, 03:28 PM
 
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the possible lack of electricity thing is a big consideration, so we are choosing not to do freezer stockpiling for emergency/disaster preparedness. what good is a freezer full of food if it all goes bad?

.
True that. But, if you have a pressure canner (which my DH just got me for Mother's Day ), you can preserve just about anything you might normally put in the freezer.

The next time organic chicken goes on sale (about every 6-8 weeks here), I buying up, throwing some in the freezer, but also pressure canning some of it. It's not my favorite food, but my husband could eat canned chicken all day, so, it won't go to waste. And, of course, more stable if the power goes out.

We don't freezer stockpile much just because all we have is the over the fridge freezer.

I just made 9 pints of organic chicken broth yesterday, and that would cost more in the store than the dang whole chicken did, and, of course, we used the actual chicken for two meals (plus giblet gravy so, I'm awfully pleased with myself.

We need a patting oneself on the back emoticon. For easily self-satisfied people like me
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#82 of 90 Old 05-29-2008, 05:00 PM
 
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Besides all the reasons others here have so ably stated, I stockpile to prevent having to see my family's faces if they were hungry because I neglected to plan. I am a SAHM and it is my job to manage my household frugally and prudently so that all bases are covered. Ladies, plan according to your ability because I have a feeling that bad times are coming. Another depression perhaps.
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#83 of 90 Old 05-29-2008, 05:15 PM
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Originally Posted by katheek77 View Post
True that. But, if you have a pressure canner (which my DH just got me for Mother's Day ), you can preserve just about anything you might normally put in the freezer.
...We need a patting oneself on the back emoticon. For easily self-satisfied people like me
You're absolutely right, Kathee! What we ate during outages were jars and cans of gourmet French cassoulet that we had brought back from our travels. Couple years old, but still very yummy, even with little pellets of congealed fat. One could easily do this for the home pantry.
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#84 of 90 Old 05-29-2008, 05:21 PM
 
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Originally Posted by p.s View Post
You're absolutely right, Kathee! What we ate during outages were jars and cans of gourmet French cassoulet that we had brought back from our travels. Couple years old, but still very yummy, even with little pellets of congealed fat. One could easily do this for the home pantry.
It's true, beans are dead easy to can. That could be a starting point if you are at all interested in putting a little food by.

Katheek77 - didn't you have a thread about putting food by? Maybe link that here for people who are willing to start home canning as a means to stockpile.
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#85 of 90 Old 05-29-2008, 05:28 PM
 
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Again asking about dehydrating foods.....Anyone w/any experience on this? Is it worth it? What did you dehydrate?

Happy Homesteading Homeschooling Homebirthing Beekeeping Dready (& a bit redneck even) Mama to 4 fab kids :  dd (23), dd (13), ds (11), dd (5)

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#86 of 90 Old 05-29-2008, 05:36 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by velochic View Post
It's true, beans are dead easy to can. That could be a starting point if you are at all interested in putting a little food by.

Katheek77 - didn't you have a thread about putting food by? Maybe link that here for people who are willing to start home canning as a means to stockpile.
I think you're thinking of kathirynne's thread

Chicky2 - I got a dehydrator cheap, and I use it mainly (ok, right now, only) for drying fruit for my daughter...I haven't branched out into veggies and meat yet...I'm not really experienced with it yet, so, I don't know. Strawberries will be in season here in 10-14 days (probably - I need to call around *this* weekend to get forecasts), and I plan to try to dry some of those...

That wasn't very useful, was it? :
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#87 of 90 Old 05-29-2008, 05:46 PM
 
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I tried dehydrating but found that I prefer to freeze. Dehydrating turned out to be more time consuming than I wanted for small amounts of dehydrated fruits at a one time.

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#88 of 90 Old 05-29-2008, 06:48 PM
 
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more reasons to go shopping NOW if you can afford it:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080528/...price_increase


ugh, I know some say not to stock up but just having a bag of rice to stretch meals with encase you need to is a good investment.
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#89 of 90 Old 05-29-2008, 07:14 PM
 
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We keep a good stock of food for my own comfort plain and simple. For many many years I was very very poor and even hungry..

Weather, disasters, job loss or rising prices, it doesnt matter when we have a little extra, I buy things to add to our storage soap, food, tp. It assures me that my family has a cushion.
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#90 of 90 Old 05-29-2008, 08:28 PM
 
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Mom to Zach eat.gif , 2 cat.gif, 1dog2.gif, and a whole lot of goldfish.gif!!!! 
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