When I started down the road of using up Mom’s prepper pantry I had no clue what was coming. I don’t know what I was expecting, but it sure wasn’t this.
Before I get to that, though, a quick update on how I fared the first two months that I had going before everything went sideways.
One thing I’ve done poorly at: staying within my weekly budget.
I made a number of fortunate purchases of canning jars at thrift shops. I doubled the number of quart and pint jars I have so I’ll be better able to store food this year.
I also ended up working a lot more hours than expected as we are short staffed at work. I bring food and drinks from home, but on days that are long hours and/or big miles I run out and hit the gas station or the grocery store next to work for a quick, but expensive, snack. More hours, but more spent is a wash at best.
One thing I’ve been really good at: watching food waste! I’ve been drying or canning every bit of leftover fruit or vegetable I have. Trimmings still go in the compost, but the wasted food is largely gone.
And now the elephant in the room:
The initial WWIII scare in January was short lived, but holy crap have things changed since.
My job, as things stand, is considered an essential service, so I’ll be a plague rat for my entire town until further notice. I’m slightly more financially stable than a lot of people I know because of that, so that’s a relief. I’m staying on task by using up what we have and by keeping a close eye on things so I don’t waste anything if I can at all avoid it.
Otherwise right now I’m like everyone else—concerned, trying to figure out what’s going on, trying to be prepared for something none of us have really dealt with before, and trying to do what I can to help everyone around me.
Some suggestions I’ve been seeing and can get behind:
- Be courteous and kind. It’s shitty out there and it’s only going to get worse before it gets better.
- Check on your friends, neighbors, and relatives. Help if you’re able.
- If there’s a food item labeled for WIC please leave that as that’s the only food some people are able to get.
- If possible, leave the ready-to-use and easy-prep foods for people who don’t have the means to make food from scratch. Living in small apartments, retirement homes, campers, dorms, vehicles, motel rooms, etc limits your food storage and prep considerably.
- Help your small businesses in an appropriate manner if you have the means. They’re the ones that are going to hurt the most through all of this.
- If you have the means to grow even a small amount of your own groceries that can help ease the strain on the supply system. If you have extra, consider donating to food banks or share with friends and neighbors. I’ll make a post about safe food preservation soon.