25 September 2012

Keeping a stockpile

Even though I haven't written about our stockpile for a long time, it is still sustaining us. During our busy period with the book and Hanno's accident, we couldn't have done without it. No matter what stage or age you're at, whether single or married, having a stockpile will save you money and time. Of course the size of the stockpile will vary according to how many people live in your home. A friend of mine lives alone but she has a small stockpile of those things she can't do without - tea, coffee, baked beans, tinned salmon, sugar, honey, oats, flour, rice, toilet paper, toothpaste and soap. She buys milk, meat, fish, fruit and vegetables on a daily basis on the way home from work, but if she gets caught out through overwork and tiredness, or she's sick, she can leave the daily shop alone and still keep going on what she has in her home cupboard.

Our stockpile is in a cupboard in the kitchen, it's not the same cupboard we use as a pantry. The pantry contains the food we are using now and is usually stored in containers, the stockpile is all unopened.

We shop at Aldi for most things and the IGA and markets for the rest. I've just taken these photos of our current stockpile and it's looking healthy. This is because we ran it down a bit in the past few months and have just built it up again. It can sit nicely in our cupboard and although we don't have things like biscuits, crackers, cakes, muffins, sauces, mayonnaise, salad dressings, pasta and soft drinks in the cupboard, we have the ingredients to make a wide variety of those things.

Some of the soap and laundry products I made up last week. Below is my stockpile of laundry liquid and soap ingredients.

Of course, it's not only food we stockpile. We have ingredients to make laundry liquid, soap and a variety of vinegar and bicarb cleaners. You can buy these ingredients when you think of them and have enough to keep you going for almost a year. They won't go off and they don't take up much room, unlike the commercial liquids you buy.

We also have a stockpile of meat, chicken and fish in the freezer. I guesstimate that in the case of illness, being low on cash or wanting to use the cash for other purposes, we could live here using the stockpile for about six months. That stockpile would keep us going and we could supplement the stockpile using the eggs, vegetables and a small amount of fruit in the backyard.

Everyone sets up their own stockpile in the way that suits their own family circumstances. Whether you're part of a large family and use your stockpile and bulk buys to assist your frugal lifestyle or if you're a single fellow, with not much time to spare, stockpiling will serve you well. Along with budgeting, it's the first thing I recommend to people when they ask me what they can do to start living a sustainable, simple life. It's also a wise move if you know, or suspect you or your partner might lose a job. If that happens, get right back to basics. Find your tried and true recipes for things like salmon patties, meatloaf, pasta bake, fried rice, boiled egg salad and vegetable omelette, as well as a wide variety of soups and stews. They and your stockpile will keep you going through tough times and when you come out the other side, you can keep these strategies going to help save money to pay off debt and the mortgage.

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