Im a prepper but im not crazy

One factor that I have been working on for about a year now is prepping. You may instantly think of dooms day preppers. Well no. We aren’t phychos who think the world is ending. But prepping is an important tool for any one. I was alarmed to learn that a lot of homes don’t have enough food and water to last them even 3days…are you serious? Do you people shop daily?? My mother always shoped fortnightly as that’s when she got paid. That’s what I do too but I go a step further to meal plan, stick to a budget and stockpile ingredients when they are on sale so I save even more. How does this work? 

1. Start cooking from scratch more. Ingredients are cheaper and store longer than packet mixes and also have less additives.
2. Work out which ingredients make the most meals. A tin of tomatoes can be added to about 10 meals I have on rotation so we always have a lot of them. Bonus, they are cheap.
3. Work out meals that can be easily made. There is no need to be fancy to be delicious.
4.  Challenge yourself, half your grocery bill and see what you can do with it. Then gradually raise it until you are in a comfortable, but challenging, space. I lowered mine to $150 a month. This didn’t work well and it went to $150 a fortnight,  now that I’m making meals for my partner to take to work it’s now $200.
5. Stock pile. This means that if something you usually get is half price or less, but lots of it, then you won’t need to buy it at full price. Keep an eye on the pile and when it runs low keep an eye out for those sales again, they are generally on a 3month cycle.
6. Shop online. Its only about $3-9 for delivery and you save much more than that by doing it this way. Build your shopping list by using the half price sales list for that week, check the price of the item per 100g rather than overall price, just because its $1less than the other bag doesn’t mean it’s the cheaper option, the other bag may be bigger so it’s a better cost per 100g. Shopping online also means you don’t buy things you don’t need. You can see the cost as you go and add or remove items and you don’t forget things because your list stays there until you checkout.
(this is my store cupboard in addition to my pantry)

So what do I buy? Items usually in my stock pile include:
·        Pasta spirals .59c a bag homebrand
·        Pasta sauce $1.50 on sale Leggos (not the cheapest but I prefer the taste)
·        Tinned tuna $2 homebrand
·        Shampoo and conditioner $7.50 ea Tresseme
·        Frozen Peas and corn $4
·        Crumpets 2x$3 sale (I freeze them until needed)
·        Rice $9 5kg bag
·        Wraps $3
·        Flour $1.80 2kg homebrand
·        Sugar $2 2kg homebrand
·        Dried red lentals (great for adding to mince dishes)
·        Potatoes $8 2kg (they are expensive atm I suggest growing them)
·        Wipes $7.50 (bigw brand 6 packs a box)
·        Diced tinned tomatoes .80c homebrand
·        Mince $8 500g (try get this marked down close to its useby then freeze it)
I of course have more than this but these are the things I always ensure I have available. I know I can make several meals from them if needed.
Now back to living in a field. This comes with several challenges. Blackouts, storage and access being the main ones. If the dirt track we use for access to the field gets too wet we will get bogged for maybe a week or more and not able to get out. We need food on hand. Our local supermarket is also small and expensive, the next major market is an hour away, not a drive we want to do often. So storing food is a big priority. This brings me to the issues in storing food. Firstly running on solar we may bottom out and can’t run the fridge/freezer. So the majority of food should be dried goods or canned. This has its own issue of pantry moth and mice. I know about this already unfortunately as we had a massive plague of both at our last house and I lost my stock pile twice. Now I use glass lock top jars to store dry goods like flour and rice and freeze them for 24hrs once filled. This kills any lave that are already in there (fun fact all your dry goods come with these bugs, we normally eat it before they hatch). Never leave open bags in the house as this attracts both pests. Of course jars are also much prettier than open bags. Win win.
In terms of blackouts I am planning to get a backup generator which will kick in should the solar run out but as it runs on diesel it’s is an expensive method. Plan C is to take the contents down to the in laws place 30mins away.
These plans may seem extreme and you may think that because you live in the city they aren’t issues for you. But we lived in the city when our house was attacked my mice and moths and it took us 6months to get rid of them having to throw out all our food.  Rockhampton in Queensland and parts of Adelaide and WA also lost power for a full week last year causing many to loose not only all their food but shops couldn’t open to sell more. People had to drive long distances to find places that were open not only for food but fuel.
How long would you last without a trip to the shop?

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