Monday, November 17, 2008

Stocking a Pantry for 6–12 Months

Probably since I'm isolated up here in wintry Alaska, I'm more than a little freaked out by the tanking economy. We rely so much on the transportation of goods to our state, the necessity of electricity and gas in order to heat our homes, and a decent cost of living to allow us to buy and sell that it's a little scary to consider what could happen in an emergency situation. What would we do if trucks stopped bringing in fresh food, if our one power company in town shut down, or if the value of a dollar changed significantly?

One thing that would make me feel better is knowing I could feed my family. We've got warm clothes. We can heat our house with our wood-burning stove. But food? Is my pantry stocked well enough to get us through a lengthy crisis? I hate to admit it, but no. I've got enough supplies to feed us really well for a week or two, maybe a month if we're willing to eat a lot of canned soups and goldfish crackers, but I want to be better prepared. 

I got to looking around the Internet for ideas. Lots of sites offered to sell me huge drums of bulgar wheat. And many blogs encouraged me to buy brown rice and dried beans in bulk. A couple of posts referenced the Mormon Church's guidelines for building up a community food bank. But I had a tough time finding one place that outlined clearly what a real family who doesn't like lentils can do to stock a pantry for 6–12 months.

So I worked out my own plan. The first step was to assess my family's needs, which I will detail further in the second installment of this series that I'm considering titling, "How Not to Panic When the Auto Industry Takes Us Down."

Dinner last night: chicken and rice casserole


Scribbit said...

I've been thinking about this subject myself--though it takes me forever to actually get around to writing about it :) I tend to let things ferment for a while before I can come up with the words, glad to hear your thoughts.

twinmamabee said...

I am looking forward to hearing more about this, Kim! My husband and I are all about frugal living and any pieces of advice are definitely worth considering.

BTW - I read your comment on Helene's blog about the nasty mother at the park. I was cracking up! I would totally do the same thing!

glitzen said...

I will be watching with interest, and learning from you! I barely have enough to last a week, although we do have a moose in the freezer and some caribou. I need to stock up, I really do.
Thanks for sharing this Kim!

Helene said...

I'll be interested in reading this when you finish it! Here in CA (earthquake central), they're always advising us to have an emergency pack ready to go but I have never gotten around to doing it. That's terrible, I know!

I'll probably get some good ideas from you!!

MrsM said...

I'm totally gonna call you soon. If I forget, then just call me at a convenient time. I've been thinking about this lately and have started buying too... But not with any focus or plan, yet.

Michele said...

I can't believe I've been following your blog for over two years!

I am wondering whatever happened to your stocking-up plan. Did you build an addition to the house for your food bunker?