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I am curious about this.<br><br>
I used to be a mild hoarder (nothing piled up to the ceiling, but I did keep tons of stuff "just in case"). My mother is like this and my paternal grandmother also. In this past year, by some miracle it seems (or maybe just hard work?), I have been able to declutter most of my house. Not everything but I'd say I'm 75% there, or more, which feels really significant.<br><br>
But I keep a lot of food in our pantry. I can't even fathom not doing this. I would say I have at least a month's worth of food and possibly several months' worth. I shop monthly and buy things in bulk, like 25# bags of brown rice. I have an extra freezer and fullstanding fridge, we buy meat in bulk from farmers, I buy cases of things through our co-op, etc. I feel like I need to also keep plenty of emergency supplies like candles and batteries. I feel like I ought to have more than just one month's worth of food (since we shop monthly)...lately I've been feeling like (for example) I'd feel better if we had one 25# bag of rice open, plus a full one in reserve, in case there is a delay in getting a new bag when we need one. We live 10 miles from town and I don't get to town very often so I plan carefully and want to make sure we don't run out of stuff. Also we have special dietary needs (gluten-free, sugar-free, dairy-free) so I can't easily stop in at just any supermarket for the foods we eat. I recently "decluttered" our pantry by using up or donating everything we won't really and truly use. But I still have a large set of shelves, my fridge/freezer, and probably about six Rubbermaid tubs full of stored food right now, not counting what is in my smallish kitchen.<br><br>
So is this hoarding, or is this frugal behavior? I think the hoarding part may be that I feel insecure without a pantry full of food, but in my situation maybe it does make sense...or am I making that up to justify it?<br><br>
I would love to get some perspective on this.
 

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I think it is okay. You went through and got rid of the food you won't use, and that is what the clutter is. I also feel a lot more "safe" if I have a lot of food stored. I have a friend that keeps nothing in her house, and it feels really anti-nurishing to me. I like to know there is a ton of rice, beans, pasta, canned goods, etc. Those will always get used. My problem is buying to many fresh things and then they go bad. I am excited to organize my pantry in two weeks when I move into my new house. I am already planning on buying a ton of stuff in bulk-and organizing it in a way where I know where everything is. Would love to hear other people's take on it though<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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It doesn't sound like hoarding to me. I think you keep the amount you will use from now until when you can reliably buy the item on sale again. Now, I'd say if you can always get your 25# bag of rice at the same price (or the store was very close) then keeping more than one would be pretty silly. However, it sounds like you don't have the ability to do that, so it would make sense to have 2 bags, etc.
 

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I would call it hoarding since it's fear based behavior. You are not doing it for economic or convenience reasons. That said, it doesn't mean it's bad, just yes, I would call it hoarding.<br><br>
I like to keep enough on hand to deal with two weeks if needed. If someone gets the flu and we don't get to the store, I know I don't have to drag out and do it anyway. We only live six blocks from our local grocery store. I can send one of the kids to pick up milk and bread if needed.<br><br>
If there is a huge emergency, we do have supplies, but not enough to keep us going for months. We live in a very isolated location and if supplies were cut off for a long period of time, it would mean we couldn't get other things like gas to cook with anyway. So, just a what point would I try and keep us going when everyone else runs out of food? I don't know.<br><br>
So, I think there are many factors at work. Money allocated to unused supplies, location to getting more food, time needed to replenish food rather than having it on hand, etc. Both of my parents were born in the early 1900's, in inner-city apartment housing and you literally walked to the store everyday for the day's food supplies. I'm sure my grandmothers would think I have an enormous amount of stuff on hand right now.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>oldgirl,newtricks</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7258967"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I would call it hoarding since it's fear based behavior. You are not doing it for economic or convenience reasons. That said, it doesn't mean it's bad, just yes, I would call it hoarding.<br><br>
I like to keep enough on hand to deal with two weeks if needed. If someone gets the flu and we don't get to the store, I know I don't have to drag out and do it anyway. We only live six blocks from our local grocery store. I can send one of the kids to pick up milk and bread if needed.<br><br>
If there is a huge emergency, we do have supplies, but not enough to keep us going for months. We live in a very isolated location and if supplies were cut off for a long period of time, it would mean we couldn't get other things like gas to cook with anyway. So, just a what point would I try and keep us going when everyone else runs out of food? I don't know.<br><br>
So, I think there are many factors at work. Money allocated to unused supplies, location to getting more food, time needed to replenish food rather than having it on hand, etc. Both of my parents were born in the early 1900's, in inner-city apartment housing and you literally walked to the store everyday for the day's food supplies. I'm sure my grandmothers would think I have an enormous amount of stuff on hand right now.</div>
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I am not sure, but I really thought about this and wanted to say a few things. My father was raised very poor-they never had enough food, so if we ever threw out food that was expired, he would literally dig it out of the trash and put it back in the fridge.<br><br>
So, maybe some of my mentality comes from that. But, what is the harm in keeping so many month's supply of food on hand, as long as it keeps and you know you'll eat it?<br><br>
What I hate is that three day period where I am so busy I can't get to the store, and I end up ordering out for every single meal. If I never have even a close chance of running out of rice or whatever, then that three day period never comes. But if I always have soups and pastas and sauces on hand, then during that time I know that I have something to make.
 

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In my opinion, the line is whether the food gets used before it goes bad. If you have the room for it, and the food is actively being used and rotated, having a stock is potentially very useful.<br><br>
But that may just be my mormon influences speaking <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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Do you know every single item that's in those bins and in your pantry, fridge and freezer?<br><br>
Do you use that list to plan what you're eating (whether in your head or with actual paper/spreadsheet)?<br><br>
I agree w/ the pp - it all depends on how long it lasts, how much room you have, and how well you use it.<br><br>
When my access was restricted (lack of good choices in my area) I was a stockpiler when it was warranted by sales or special orders; now that my access is excellent, I still have a good full pantry, though I'm ok w/ somewhat smaller numbers of each thing. I focus on variety now instead of sheer quantity.<br><br>
Most of all - <b>does it weigh you down, or boost you up?</b> Security is a great thing, as long as it doesn't box you in an uncomfortably tight space, mentally or physically.
 

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wow i'm impressed<br><br>
i would love love love to only go to the grocery store once a month<br><br>
i would love to get my family on dairy free, gluten free and sugar free<br><br>
you are doing awesome<br><br>
as long as it doesn't get wasted, you have room for it, and you are stressed out trying to find what you are looking for b/c of the sheer quantity, i think it is awesome.
 

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I think there's a difference between security and fear. It seems like you like to have food in your house because it makes you feel secure -- which I can understand. When my family has fallen on hard times, I've always felt better knowing that I don't have to worry about how we're going to eat until the next check comes in. That's not hoarding, that's smart.<br><br>
My personal rule is that if I have so much food that I can't with good planning consume it all in 3-4 months (which is usually the lead time we have before we move from one house to the next) then it's a problem.
 

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I agree, if it gets used instead of going bad or being tossed because it's just so old you can't stand to use it, and you are making your life easier by not having to shop so often, then it's fine to do!<br><br>
I horde baking chocolates... I don't know how many are in my pantry at any time, but it's the key ingredient to the icing I love for cake.. so I always grab 2 when I see them on sale...<br><br>
We moved about 2 months ago and I had 6 of them, I packed 2, and gave the others to my mom... I've used one, and have yet to buy another... but I now have 1/4 the pantry storage that we did before, so I have to be very conscious about it...<br><br>
Given a choice, I'd shop in quantity (like grab 6x the beans I need) and store, than going to the grocery twice a week just for regular meals. Shopping in quantity allowed me to get better deals (even if it was just buying the loss leaders at the store) and to plan meals based on what was in the pantry rather than waht is on sale at the store this week. I'm doing a very poor job meal planning based on the circular.
 

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I think as long as the food isn't going bad, it's not hoarding. Food is the one thing I believe we humans should be stocking up on. But then I also think we're headed for an ice age or that we'll see war on our own soil, so take it how you wish <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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I have hoarding tendencies that I have been slowly breaking over the years. I struggle with the same question. Three years ago we moved to a house with limited food storage areas and that made me really question my motives. We live right in town and I could snowshoe to the grocer if I had to (assuming they were open). I still keep more than the average person but I do know what it is, where it is, and use it all. I am almost fanatical about not wasting food. So I do not see it as a "problem" but I do see it as "hoarding". But pretty harmless if kept under control. I do feel a bit of a rush of panic when I open the fridge and it is almost empty. But due to location, like you, some of it cannot be helped. I have to buy most of my organic staples by bulk so I always have 1-2 25# bags of everything. But it gets used and it makes sense financially. As long as it is not a burden, I would not worry about it.
 
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