a "been-there" mom of six offers encouragement
to wives, young mothers, and those not so young,
and simple common-sense approaches to
the "ings" of life:
child-rearing (hints and helps), homemaking (all areas),
cooking (simple, cheap, and do-it-yourself)
making (toys and gifts), preparing (for the unexpected),
maintaining (sanity and peace in this increasingly crazy world) and more---
all aspects of making the most of making do on little---
and having fun in the process.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Begin Saving Today on Necessities

"A penny saved is a penny earned."
"By failing to prepare, you are
preparing to fail"
Ben Franklin

I have posted before, and will again, about the need to be self-sufficient in case of emergency. It is unbelievable how fast store shelves can empty when something happens. . . or when something is even just expected to happen.

Even when there is not an emergency . . .
Provident living is a satisfying way of life. 
We save tons of money by buying much of our food and household products at case lot sales, or at least, when they are on sale. We still do this, even with just two of us.

We bought our first case 44 years ago. We took a chunk of our monthly food budget and bought canned pears. We didn't think everything through and we created a problem. We had used most of our food budget on that purchase so we ended up eating a lot of pears----depleting our supply and defeating our purpose.

We came up with a Plan
We decided that the best way to get started on storage was to watch for sales on items that we could not eat or at least not all at once: toilet paper, toothpaste, soaps, vegetable oil, sugar, flour, etc.

We started to buy staples when they came on sale.  When we couldn’t afford a case, we bought what we could. Then, we didn’t need to buy that item or those items until they were on sale again. We would use that little extra money to buy another item when it was on sale.

Slowly our supplies built up. So did our sense of well-being and security.

Self-sufficiency is one of our greatest securities!

We worked our Plan
When we were able to start buying canned goods I found it helpful to make a menu as an aid in knowing what to buy. I tried making a menu for each day of the month but found that overwhelming.

After trying several methods, here is the one that worked for me. I realized we ate basically* the same thing each week so I simply created a 7-day menu and multiplied the necessary ingredients by four. And there was a month's menu!

I know, 7x4=28 days, but work with me here, okay?

*By basically, we might have a Mexican night, an Italian night, a breakfast-for-dinner night, etc.  We didn’t mind having tacos once a week so that was not a problem for us, but if it would be for you, you could alternate burritos or a taco casserole with the tacos.  Many different Italian dishes contain the same ingredients just prepared differently.  Same with pancakes or waffles or eggs for the breakfast night.

Maybe you can come up with a better way --- or any way that will work for you.

When the time of need has arrived, the time for preparation is past.

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