Stockpiling-- Here are the weekly “best buys” I found for adding to your stockpile (therefore the list is mostly of shelf stable items or toiletries). Some of the stores are regional. If you do not have a store listed in your area, or if you do not eat the items mentioned, then consider taking $1-$5 from your weekly grocery budget to use for building your stockpile.
If you find some deals I missed, please post in the comments section. The scenarios are from the websites I’ve linked for the sales and match-ups.
It looks like it will be a good week to score some deals, especially at Kroger with their Mega Sale continuing this week.
Kroger—The Mega Sale continues this week. This is a good time to stock up on evaporated milk, pancake mix, Betty Crocker potatoes, canned chili, and all sorts of other items.
Target—The best deal this week will be the buy 3 cereals and get one free deal. The buy 2 pop tarts get an item free deal is also decent if you have the coupons. You can also use the $1/2 Target coupon on Halloween marshmallows to score some very cheap marshmallows. I was at the store today, and the only bag left was messed up. Duncan Hines cake mixes and lightbulbs are also on great sales with coupons.
Walgreens—This is a good week to stock up on Campbell’s Soup, Hunts Tomato Sauce, and mandarin oranges. There are a few toiletry and drug item moneymakers. I’ll be working this Lubriderm moneymaker this month!
CVS—Pack up your coupons and head over to CVS for free Kleenex, Post Cereal, Glade Candles, and flossers.
Three Rivers Market/Co-op Advantage Stores—My favorite deals to stock up on are the Annie’s Mac and Cheese, Terra Chips, Back to Nature Crackers, Thompson’s Raisins (in the bulk area). This $3/3 coupon is very exciting, and I’ll be scoping the store to find the best way to use the coupon to get the most bang for my coupon buck.
Emergency Preparedness—Last week I encouraged you to put a blanket in your car in preparation for colder weather, and if you already had a blanket, I hoped you would add a tarp.
This week I encourage you to think about having a few items on hand at all times. This is much easier for us gals than it will be for the men. Most women carry some kind of purse or bag. In my purse (among many more things that I care to mention), I have bandaids, surgical gloves, a granola bar, cash, a pocket knife, a cell phone and charger, and basic id. Let’s look more closely at those items:
- Bandages and surgical gloves are if I need to give basic first aid to a stranger or family member. I’ve used bandages as tape before and surgical gloves to pick up items alongside the road.
- I keep a granola bar on hand for many reasons. I’ve worked with the elderly and know what it is like to see someone with low blood sugar. My father has diabetes. My sister has food allergies. I keep one that either of them could eat if need be. I like the idea of having one in my purse if I’m out somewhere and am hungry or if I’m stranded somewhere. I keep other emergency food in my car and when I had an office would do the same there.
- Cash. When I was a teenager, I was driving home to Memphis late at night in late November and had car trouble. Because of the late hour, no one would have known where I was or where to start looking for me. When I arrived to a place and was able to receive help, I was glad that I had cash on hand to pay for needed supplies and repairs.
- Pocket knife—I’m Southern, and you rarely see any Southerner without a pocket knife—man or woman, child or older adult. ;) I use it at least once a week for something or another.
- Cell Phone and charger—the story I noted above prompted me to purchase a cell phone the very next day. I rarely am found without one. I know that they have their limitations, but my cell phone has come in very handy on many occasions. I keep the charger available if I’m unable to charge the phone in my car.
- Basic id—I keep my work badge with me at all times in case I were pulled into work for emergency reasons. I have my basic photo id and my “In Case of Emergency” numbers programmed into my phone. When I was taking medications, I had a list of those in my purse. Since I no longer take anything but a multi-vitamin, that is noted.
When I am going out, even for a few errands, I usually pack a drink and snack of some sort. Life is unpredictable, and sometimes a simple errand takes all day long.
I hope you will think about what supplies you can keep available when you are out of the house. If you have a young child or baby with you, you probably already know the importance of having what you need when out—“just in case”. What do you never leave home without?
Food Security—This week I encourage you to consider how self sustaining you are. How much food do you grow for yourself? How many items are you able to make for yourself and your family? I’m reading the book A Nation of Farmers, and subsequently my husband and I had a discussion about how much food we grow and buy locally. Here is our list:
- Green Onions and onions—Almost every grocery trip before our daughter was born involved the purchase of green onions. We use them in a lot of recipes, and I was always buying them. Sometimes they would rot before I could use them all, but most of the time, we used them up. Every other trip involved the purchase of onions. Since we expanded our garden, we have not bought onions from the store in over a year. Some of the onions we have were from our CSA basket we bought this summer, but even excluding those, we have grown enough onions for our family. I freeze the onion tops and scallions not used immediately, and these are so handy to pull out for a quick omelet. Even with the soggy ground, I was able to freeze over a gallon of white and yellow onions for later use.
- Bell peppers and hot peppers—Not only did we freeze and can some in the form of pepper jelly and jalapeño rings, but we use them every week. We were able to donate some to our food cart at church and pass many on to friends.
- Zucchini—We froze some grated and chopped to make easy muffins or casseroles. We sautéed some and added others to soups that were frozen. We dehydrated others. Gave away bags and bags, and ate more than I care to mention.
- Winter squash—We planted vines of butternut squash and were so pleased with the results. To date we’ve given away more than 10 of them and still have enough to last us throughout the winter.
- Potatoes—We have not bought potatoes for ourselves since early this year. While our stored potatoes will not last through production next year, we are stepping in the right direction towards self sustainability. We’ll need to plant more next year, but we’ve made progress.
- Green beans—what I said about the potatoes goes also for the green beans. I froze what I could and canned what I could this year. I need to plant more next year.
- Tomatoes—I don’t think that we’ll ever have enough tomatoes to make a year’s supply of ketchup, sauce, paste and salsa. However, I canned tomatoes this year and look forward to seeing how long they last. This will help us determine how many more we need to plant next year. We had trouble with pests and blight this year, but we were still able to can tomatoes and some salsa.
- Beets—We grew enough beets to can and eat our fill. I suspect we’ll still plant more next year, though. We love them.
- Herbs—I can’t think of the last time I bought herbs at the grocery store. I might still purchase a few bunches of cilantro at the farmers markets since I’m terrible at growing them, but other than that we do not have a need for store bought herbs.
How self sustaining are you? What steps can you take over the next year to move towards more of your own food production? For those items you cannot grow or provide for yourself, how close to your home can you purchase them from the source?