Saturday, September 28, 2013
October Pantry Insurance Challenge
OK on to the October challenge. You might ask what the heck is Pantry Insurance...well it's a made up name for a full working pantry. I consider a full pantry as sort of an insurance policy that you can eat. We all pay monthly/yearly premiums for health, home, car, life, disability and who knows what else insurance should we have and accident, illness, or death. I am sure you are all like we are in that we hope we never have to use the insurance we continually to pay on but having it makes us all sleep better at night.
A full pantry for me is just the same. I hope I never have to cash in my chips (use it all up) But in the event of a job loss, lay off, or unexpected expenses I know we have a safety net to eat from. Like any insurance policy you need to make regular payments/deposits into it. Unlike insurance you can use coupons and sales to cut the cost of your premiums and you never feel like your just sending money out the door to never be seen again cause your gonna be eatting it all in time! How cool is that
In the old days before the recession hit our country the rule of thumb was everyone should have 3 month's of salary stashed in saving in case of a job loss, layoff, or illness. Now days that 3 month's has been bumped up to 6 months salary. Talk about a daunting task!!! I am sure that chunk of change would have even the thriftiest of us cringing in our boots. Like anything else in life worth having it takes time, a little saved here and there over the years and it can be done. In the times we are living these days that task is almost unreachable with the cost of EVERYTHING going up.
Food, clothing, and shelter are the basics in life. If you have enough food on hand for your family that's one less worry in the event of a family disaster. FEMA now suggests that families have a two week supply of food on hand at all times for natural disasters, that's way up from the three day supply of way back when! The average amount families spend on food varies a lot, the middle ground seems to be 15% of the total budget should go towards food. Now if you didn't have to spend 15 % of that unemployment or disability check on food it would sure as heck go a lot farther.
Now let me be clear I am NOT talking about food storage although there is something to be said for that. You won't see me running around with a tin foil hat in the woods forging for food, I couldn't skin a rabbit if my life depended on it!! I am talking about food we eat every day (all day for some of us that will go unnamed) Think back to the old days when ladies tended the garden, put up food for the winter, and cooked from scratch. It was a way of life. People ate what was in season and preserved for the off season. Now you don't need to pull out the tiller and canner to pull this challenge off but you will have to have a plan and work the plan!!
I'm gonna give you a head start so you will be ready to rock and roll come October 1st. Here is a list of things that will help you get ready. Already have a nicely stocked pantry? There will be a challenge for us as well.
1.) Clean out your pantry. I mean every nook and cranny. If you have expired food throw it out! If you have food your family won't eat donate it to your local food pantry. Organize that thing in a way that works for YOU!
2.) Clean out the freezer. Toss out that freezer burnt food, make a mental note to yourself how it got that way. Did it get lost? Is somebody (again nameless) messing in your stuff? Come up with a plan to stop the freezer burn, it's just money wasted.
3.) Clean out the spice cabinet. If you have 3 jars of garlic salt combine them now while your kitchen is in a mess anyway. Tape an index card or some cute note paper to the inside of the spice cabinet to jot down spices you need to pick up before the holiday's. Hold off on restocking spices if you can as there should be good sales and coupons coming up soon.
4.) Collect your local grocery store flyer's ,coupons, paper, pen, sticky notes and whatever else you use when you plan a shopping trip. If you don't plan your grocery shopping trips you gotta long way to go this month! Ha
5.) Figure out what your weekly budget for groceries is. We will be working with CASH only, leave the debit card at home. Afraid the register might go over the cash you have in your pocket? Better get yourself a calculator or you will be putting stuff back at the cash register.
6.) Take time to think......what works for your family will be very different than what works in others. The goal is to build a WORKING pantry that WORKS for you!!