Thursday, April 19, 2012

Stockpiling and extra storage space

My husband is the one who drives, so he is also the one who does the shopping as we have no stores within walking distance. Fortunately, he likes this task; he relishes comparing prices, clipping coupons, and is thrilled when, by the simple effort of walking through two stores located side by side, he manages to save money. 

Having said this, I was a little astounded when, at the beginning of our marriage, my husband showed up with thirty-six cans of mushrooms. Just in case you're thinking I exaggerate, that was an exact count. It was a really good deal, he explained, and canned products may last for years without spoiling, so why not? I walked off to free a shelf for the mushrooms, which were soon joined by twenty-something cans of corn, tuna, tomato paste, and such like. Gradually, the canned goods and other non-spoiling products expanded over an entire cupboard. The bathroom cabinets, meanwhile, were stocked with shampoo, soap and toothbrushes to last for years.

At some point I came across the term stockpiling and voila! I had official authorization to feel clever, because we were already doing it. This week, my husband affixed an extra shelf across the top shelf of the stockpile cupboard, utilising space that had been wasted previously. 
Here is part of our stockpile, namely the canned part. We also stock on rice, flour, pasta, toilet paper and other non-perishables. 

What I did and still do sorely feel is the lack of freezer and refrigerator space. We recently acquired a used refrigerator as a free gift, and are still deliberating whether, considering the additional cost of electricity, it would be wise to plug it in, or whether we should find other uses for it. A second refrigerator, and especially a second freezer would be a luxury, but perhaps we should just learn to be more efficient with the one we already have. 


Thia said...

Right now we have a regular fridge with top freezer space. We also have an upright freezer in the basement. The top freezer space I use for freezer meals, open bags of grated cheese and the such. The upright freezer holds our meats, frozen cheese, an extra frozen milk, frozen fruit/veggies, butter, frozen juices. This system has served us wonderfully. When my husband and I first married, we were "set" for months at a time. Now, with 4 children, I shop, fill everything up and by the end of the month, we're running close to empty. So...we are considering adding a chest freezer! The price of beef is going up here, so we think that buying beef privately will be better for the budget. That can go into the chest freezer (a cow or half at a time). The removal of beef from the upright will free up some room there. We hope. might not be of benefit for you now, but with the growing appetites of the kids, it might be soon.

Ellie Rae said...

Stocking up is a great idea. How wonderful that your husband likes this task!

Heather said...

We live out of town too, so I do have an extra refrigerator and it comes in very handy for milk, vegetables, fruit and cheese. This way I can go once a week, stock up and I don't have to go back for another week sometimes more. I do have two additonal freezers besides the ones in the refrigerators, those are used to store all of our meats, frozen vegetables, fruits, flour and jam. It seems like a lot, but one or two big trips a year and then all I need to buy are a few fresh things and our dairy.

Leah Brand-Burks said...

I am certainly a stockpiler too! I have enough toothpaste and toothbrushes for years as well. An extra fridge could be a mixed blessing. But, it appears as though you are quite organized, so you could likely pull it off!

LouLou said...

My husband and I do the same thing. While I use the vehicle once every few weeks to get things like groceries and diapers, my husband enjoys stopping at the store on his way home from work (at 2 am!) and picking up milk, or a snack, or something special for dinner.

My in-laws bought us a freezer, and it has been one of the best gifts we have ever received. Our stockpile has lots of beans, corn, chicken broth, pasta, rice, frozen turkey and hamburger, frozen chicken breasts, and lots of juices. My husband's job is one that is not consistent financially, so when we have the money, we pay ahead on our rent, electricity, heat, and buy extra food. That way, when his checks aren't large enough to cover living expenses for the week, we don't have to worry about food or housing. If we have a roof over our head, food in the pantry, and gas in the car to get to work, we are doing better than many people in the world and choose to be extremely grateful of that fact.

Suze said...

We have two fridges and they are generally filled with the bargains I find. How I wanted to weep when one was found opened and all the organic meat and roasts I had kept aside for out southern hemisphere winter had to be tossed.

If you do not have access to a good electricity supply I would be thinking twice as this is not the first time I have had to throw away food. Our electric costs are defrayed by a solar panel system on the roof of the house.

Gothelittle Rose said...

We stockpile. I have two sturdy plastic/rubber "basement shelf" sets, four shelves on one and five on the other, and our basement area also holds an upright freezer. Everyone in my area who doesn't live in town has a setup similar to this. (Basement shelves and a secondary freezer.) I grew up with it being normal and so did my husband.

If I was ever rich enough to have my own house built for me to my specifications, it would definitely include a full walk-in pantry with the spare freezer right next to the kitchen! Failing that, though, our basement setup is pretty good.

Next week, I'll be picking up and paying for a quarter of a cow. I expect it'll fill up about half of our upright freezer. The freezer also contains frozen vegetable packets, pounds of butter, frozen meats/poultry/fish, and loaves of bread.

I live in rural New England, where basements are not only very common in houses, but they have been used for food storage for hundreds of years. They're conveniently cool, even in the summer. The older ones are dug in the dirt and lined with stones or bricks. The newer ones are dug out, cast in concrete, and lowered into the hole.

Anonymous said...

I'm Mormon and am consequently big on food storage (our term for stockpiling). I really feel strongly that storing up foods and other goods for future calamity (whether it's natural disasters, a break in employment, or even a flat tyre and you can't get to the store that weekend) is a wise way to live.

Way to go!

TanyaL said...

I don't know if you like to (or want to start) fermenting vegetables, but I find myself limited in that regard because of lack of refrigerator space. My climate doesn't allow for a cool garage/root cellar/basement. And I feel that the probiotic benefits of fermented veggies are significant, so I really want these in our diets regularly.

That said--if you had a choice, an extra freezer may be more useful, we have an upright and it is wonderful for buying meat and culinary herbs in bulk when on sale.

Sheila said...

I'm smiling when I read your post. I got 24 cans of mushrooms yesterday because I'm just tired of puttin them on my list. What you're doing is something I'm going to be trying more of in the future.
Best wishes to you and your family,

Avigayil said...

Your post made me laugh out loud. So reminds me of my husband. He also LOVES to do the food shopping, compare prices, bargain hunt, etc. As much as I think hoarding - ahem, STOCKPILING - is a wise practice, when our cupboards in the kitchen AND our machsan (storage room downstairs) are already bursting, I want to scream when said husband turns up with so much pasta it looks like he's preparing for a 5 year seige. When I loudly protest by saying, "But where am I going to PUT IT." He rolls his puppy dog eyes and says, "But it was on SAAAAAALE!" Sigh. What can I do?
Oh yeah. And the toothbrush/toothpaste thing? Need a decade's supply of toothpaste? Call my husband. Need plastic cups for the next 3,000 BBQs you attend? Call my husband.
Buried Under Pasta

Joluise said...

I have a well stocked pantry just incase I can't get to the store. It's not a bad thing to do. Only last year I bought a chest freezer so I could buy in bulk now that we have a Costco in town. I haven't noticed much of a difference in my bill.