Stockpiling for Sustainability

Reader Contribution by Anna Twitto

Above: A partial view of our stockpile

I used to think that stockpiles were mostly a part of Doomsday Prepping, but our stockpile has helped to tide us over through many a tough time, sometimes dwindling to a very thin remainder as we ate our way through it. 

Our stockpile was not created deliberately, it just grew; most often, my husband would see something on sale, and buy several items instead of just one for immediate use. There’s often something at a good price that can be stored for a long time – canned vegetables, pasta, rice, beans and barley, non-perishables such as shampoo and toilet paper. I must admit that back then, I felt a little pang in my heart whenever I saw the grocery bill, thinking to myself that here are things we could do without, taking up storage space. Time proved that I was wrong.

I was always of the philosophy that buying something you didn’t plan to buy was still spending money, even if the price is very good. It is indeed a fine line between stockpiling wisely and becoming a pack rat. Unhealthy foods, snacks loaded with salt and sugar, are never a good deal even if they happen to be very cheap. And luxury items won’t help you stretch your budget, no matter how you look at it.

Yes, it’s true that we bought more than we needed at the moment, but back then, we could spare the extra cash. I was very glad we did when time came to cutting back costs as much as we could. Our stockpile proved to be a major grocery budget stretcher.

We always keep an eye on those non-quickly-perishables at good prices, and buy some for immediate use, and some for stockpiling. Some of that stuff can last for years. Just one caveat: each year before Pesach, we need to get rid of the items that are not kosher for Pesach. Last year, it meant giving away a pile of pasta.

There is really something very comforting about knowing that you have a lot of food in your house, food that can tide your family over in tough times. Having a stockpile may also reduce the frequency of shopping, which saves money and time.

So where do you store your stockpile? Many people, myself included, have a problem with storage space. I barely have room for the bare essentials in my kitchen, let alone keeping a stockpile. Personally, we keep our stockpile in a cabinet in the guest room. An unorthodox solution, but it will have to do until we have a nice big kitchen with lots of cabinets.

This post was an excerpt from my book, The Practical Homemaker’s Companion.

Anna Twitto’s academic background in nutrition made her care deeply about real food and seek ways to obtain it. Anna and her husband live on a plot of land in Israel. They aim to grow and raise a significant part of their food by maintaining a vegetable garden, keeping a flock of backyard chickens and foraging. Anna’s books are on her Author Page. Connect with Anna on Facebook and read more about her current projects onher blog. Read all Anna’s Mother Earth News posts here

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