Thursday, September 17, 2015

My pantry savings account

the pantry, but it doesn't include the closet under the stairs,
where I have baking items and the 16 jars of peanut butter stashed


My pantry is simply bursting at the seams these days. It may even cause a minimalist to break out into hives. But as I was looking through everything, this past week, I surmised that I had about 4-month supply of food, between my pantry, freezer and fridge, if I bought nothing else for that time period.

Yes, I think we could eat well-enough for about 4 months. Sure, we'd run out of milk and eggs, but we would have enough to eat, otherwise. I currently budget $185 per month for food-only groceries. So, at $185/month for 4 months, my "pantry savings account" contains about $740 worth of food that I could draw on in a very lean time.

freezer no.1

Lean times could happen to any of us, at any time. Job loss, medical emergency, unexpected repairs -- keeping a well-stocked kitchen gives me a safety net, should we need to feed ourselves in an extended financial crunch.

freezer no. 2

So, while the neat-nick in me would prefer a streamlined-appearing pantry and freezer, the one who looks after the finances in this family can appreciate the value of having a good stock of groceries. After all, I wouldn't keep my bank account balance hovering at a low dollar figure, simply because I didn't want the mess of all of those 0000s in there.

freezer no. 3

I've seen this mentioned in articles about frugal living -- for some folks, their pantry IS their only "savings account". In the most dire circumstances it's something not to be overlooked, when calculating what you have and can rely on if your income came to an abrupt halt. The contents of that pantry could feed a family a couple of weeks, at least. And any needed spending during that time could be diverted to absolute necessities, giving a family a week or two to begin on a plan out of their financial difficulties.


Twenty-something years ago, my husband was relatively new in a job when on a Thursday afternoon, rumors began flying that the company where he was employed was about to institute widespread layoffs. He was told to sit by the phone on Saturday, and wait for a call. Sure enough, he was one of the ones to lose his job. We'd only been married for a year and a half, had a baby and hadn't really accumulated much in the way of savings. He received a two-week severance pay, and then we had to rely on unemployment comp. There's a gap in receiving unemployment benefits. If I recall, we had to go 2 weeks without any pay at all, before receiving a UE check. And even when the UE checks began arriving regularly, the amount was significantly smaller than our previous, first job, post-student years, pay. (Those first jobs pay practically nothing, for many of us.)

I had been stocking my pantry (as opposed to just buying one week's worth of food at a time) for about 4 months, at that point. I remember that Saturday afternoon vividly. I let my once-per-week Mother's helper go. We turned down the heat in every room, except one, where the baby and I stayed most of each day. We let our landlord know of our circumstances (he was a jolly man, right next door, and very helpful with finding resources). And, I inventoried our kitchen's stock. With what I had right then, I figured that my husband and I could live on what we had, and only buy what we needed for the baby. And it appeared that we had enough in the way of groceries to last us about 4 to 6 weeks. Some of our meals were unusual in combinations of foods used. Some were repetitive. But as I had been stocking up on healthy items, all meals were relatively good for us (I wasn't much of a cook, at that point, so it was definitely "eat at your own risk").

We eventually got back on our feet. But those early days were managed with the knowledge that we had enough to eat for several weeks. At that time, I had been spending about $30 per week on groceries. So I estimate the value of that pantry savings account was about $180 to $240. For a young couple, just barely out of school, with a baby in tow, all those years ago, that $180-240 was a significant amount.


Now, every once and again, I survey my pantry, fridge and freezer and make guesses at how long we could go without buying anything at all. We're pretty well-stocked right now. This isn't the most stocked-up we've ever been, but it's awfully close.

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Do you ever think about how long you could go without shopping, given what you have on hand right now? Do you calculate the value of the food you have stored up? Or am I just a crazy lady, who loves math, and has a few minutes to spare for the calculation?

Just for fun -- if anyone cares to make a guess at the value of their pantry savings account, feel free to share in the comments below! Just make an estimate of how many weeks or months what you have in stock could last, and multiply by how much you spend per week or month. I bet there are some really amazing pantry savings accounts out there!

38 comments:

  1. Good morning Lili! This topic has been on my mind for a while lately. Now that we are on a tighter budget, it's been really formative for me as far as determining what we buy and/or don't buy. I have always been someone to have a deep pantry, but now my focus has been on foods that store well and provide maximum or at least very good nutrition. Previously I was more concerned about purchasing the things I liked and wanted always to have on hand. Both are important concerns, but I feel better knowing that I have the nuts and bolts to MAKE what I like, rather than x number of bottles of our favorite salad dressing. Not that I'm knocking keeping ready-made food on hand (at all!), just that with a smaller budget it's made sense to focus on purchasing ingredients and other basic foods. I'm trying to fill in gaps that I perceive in our pantry right now, but all things considered, I think we could go three months with what we have on hand right now. There would definitely be some inventive meals happening by the end of that time period and fruits and vegetables would be the first to take a hit, here (after fresh foods which I don't really consider part of long term food storage). That statement makes me anxious about the fact that I don't have a decent garden, but I really have a mental block about a garden plot at this point -- it's been so frustrating for me here in terms of growing vegetables that produce well.

    Anyway, to respond more accurately to your original question -- assuming we've been sticking to an approximate monthly budget of $365/month and assuming we have at least three months food on hand -- my pantry has a value of a little over $1000. On just pure caloric value, we could probably go longer than three months, so theoretically my pantry value is in fact higher. But it would be very pitchky-patchky!

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    1. Hi Laura,
      That's a hefty pantry savings account! I hope you never need to test out just how long it WILL last. But it's nice to know that you do have that to fall back on.

      One thing about a garden, in terms of should you have a desperate need for one, you can always start in the spring, if some year that need does arise. I sometimes run through my own mind where else in the yard I could plant more veggies, by working them into the landscape, or by transforming an entire area into more garden space. I may never have the need to do this, but I keep it in the back of my mind, as a just in case measure.

      Have a great day, Laura!

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    2. Laura, I think that this is so wise... to stock the nuts and bolts to make what your family likes to eat. It's cheaper and more practical than the packaged things, and it also gives you more options.

      When I first talked to our kids about why you have a well-stocked pantry, one of the things I showed them was how basic ingredients can be mixed and matched to make a wide variety of things, especially if you also stock herbs and spices, etc.

      You sound like you're doing great! :) Sara

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    3. Thanks ladies!

      Lili, I am actually considering a fall/winter garden and limiting myself to only three or maybe four items. The Florida climate is really uncomfortable for me in terms of being outside in the summer, and the heat/sun means that many things don't actually produce terribly well then either. It is just really hard for me to adjust my northern sensibilities!

      Sara, my mom's (and grandmother/great-grandmother) example is definitely where I learned to keep a stocked pantry. For a while I had a fairly high-stress (to me) job and that was when convenience foods crept into our diet at a much higher rate. I am glad to not be working in that position even though that has definitely affected our bottom line.

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    4. Laura, that's a great idea! I've found that by making a limit to how much work I will undertake does amazing things for my motivation. And I think your plan to just try out a winter garden, given your heat/humidity there, is excellent.

      So, what are you thinking of or your garden? I imagine all of the greens would do well, there in winter. And I understand trying to get past northern ideas of what is "normal". This was a warmer than usual summer for us, and it was frustrating to have problems with garden items that normally do well for us.

      Best of wishes with your garden plans!

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    5. Sara and Laura,
      and following up on what you said, Sara, about making what your family likes with the basic ingredients on hand, I found that when trying to duplicate a commercial product, even when I couldn't get all of the elements of that product perfectly (like the edges of my homemade corn tortillas are ragged, and the texture tends to not fry up as crispy as commercial corn tortillas), my family still thought what I had made was an acceptable substitute.

      It's all a trade-off with our money -- we can save on meals, and then have extra $$ for a day out, (like my daughters and my trip to Poulsbo last month), or some other expenditure that we'd find valuable. And my family has always understood this. I will do my best to recreate commercial favorites, so that we have more money in the budget for the fun stuff.

      It's the backbone of frugal living -- becoming intentional with our spending, so we CAN afford what matters most to each of us. In the early years of our marriage, what mattered most to us was for me to stay at home with our kids. Laura, it sounds like you gave up that high-stress job, but have taken on cooking from scratch, more. Even though you may have to cook more, or do without some of your favorite convenience items, you have lowered your overall stress levels, and improved your quality of life.

      I've had people ask me why I don't just work more hours outside the home, so we can have a higher income. Well, we tried this, and what we found was my working meant I had less time and energy to cook at home, and we ended up spending every last bit of that "extra" income on convenience foods and take-out! And I was more stressed, trying to juggle more items in my "act".

      The other thing I've found is our family eats so much better because I cook from scratch, than if I bought convenience foods.

      With 3-plus months of food in stock right now, Laura, you're doing a great job at insuring against future loss of income or increased necessary spending.

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  2. Good job having four months supply of pantry food savings. I have never tried to guess but I don't mind stocking up as well. Last month I almost complete stopped buying food for two weeks leading up to tent fumigation. Since then, we have considerably slowed down our purchases. I realized how well stocked we are, plus the sales aren't that fantastic these days....except yesterday we came across a 99 cent per 750 ml of fruity rose wine and bought a dozen bottles to add to a previous 6 bottles. We drank one bottle and gave it our thumbs up. We try not to imbibe often, so this is just in lieu of the more expensive beers and wines.

    When our economy hits another downturn, you are well positioned. If not for our upcoming trip, I would probably be stocking up not holding back on more purchases. I am having that awful feeling again that the economy is not sound and a collapse could happen. But those bean patties and our easy to grow vegetable is assurance for us that we can survive awhile without buying food. I'm sure I could substitute our prolific green onion for round onion in the patties if the markets ran short of supply.

    YHF

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    1. Hi YHF,
      just knowing you could plant that garden, should you need to, has value.

      I think it's wise to think through how we would deal with another economic downturn. So many folks got caught out, with the last recession, with having all of their finances tied up in one type of investment. I knew several already retired folks who's entire portfolios were in stocks. It was a very scary time for them. In addition to how we could save money, we can also learn from the Great Depression generation, and how they generated a cash flow, such as by renting out a room, by keeping chickens and selling the eggs. There will always be someone who needs to buy something we can offer. We just have to be willing to sell it to them (ie go to the work of keeping chickens, or have a non-family member sharing your housing). I have thought about this for myself. If something happened to my husband and I had to increase income on my own, how would I do so?

      For the onion, you could also look into buying dried onion in bulk, just to keep on hand should you need it. I've been buying onion powder this summer, while I wait for a super good deal on fresh onions this month or next, with the new crop. But I guess so long as you do have the green onions, those do make a good onion in most cooking.

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    2. I am trying to use our old Costco sized dried minced onions up, but it doesn't taste as good as fresh onions. I wrote in a previous reply to Sara that my husband inadvertently omitted the onions from bean patties and I could definitely taste the difference. I tried using the minced onions once before and though the patties were better than no onions (knowing how that tastes), still not equal to fresh of course. I think in worst case scenarios, you are absolutely right, that dried onions is better than nothing at all. I have not tried green onions in bean patties yet although it goes well in teriyaki style beef patties. After using up the minced onions, I may buy onion powder instead, sounds more potent.

      YHF

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    3. YHF,
      You can turn your dried onions into onion powder, using a spice grinder or coffee grinder. It works great, so long as the onions are not damp. If they're damp, then you may need to spread them on a baking sheet and dry in a very low oven for a few minutes. I love onion powder, more than onion flakes. You can get more of the oniony flavor into sauces, soups and refried beans, so would work well on bean patties, I'd think, too.

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  3. The economy the way it is (IMHO, on the cusp of a shift, technologically that may have profound impact on our economic model, as attested by central bank serial liquidity injections to no avail)...is the reason I am reluctant to retire too early. I am worried if not about how I survive, I worry about our children's family on down. I know usually we expect adults to pull their own weights but in today's economy I can't think so pigeonholed. Money is not to be wasted, even if I don't need it for ourselves. That's how I've been thinking for the past 20 plus years...just save save save.

    YHF

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    1. I know what you're saying, YHF.
      My best advice to others on the topic of the economy is, don't take on any debt, have a back-up plan for reducing spending as well as increasing your cash-flow, keep your head down, and keep your focus. As far as our kids go, I think families will need to work together more, shared housing, sharing other non-consumables, such as lawn mowers, and other equipment, sharing childcare.

      I've got more to say on this topic, but have to run, now. Have a great day!

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  4. Thanks for the personal story, Lili. It's good to be intentional with our savings, both in money and with consumables. I'm guessing we would be ok for about a month but meals could get pretty darn interesting! Ha!

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    1. Hi Kris,
      That year I spoke of, we went about 9 months without a steady income, and I'll tell you, our meals were interesting to say the least. I needed a dessert one evening to bring to a potluck, and I looked in my pantry and didn't see anything I could bring. Then I stumbled upon some packets of plain gelatin, and some frozen orange juice concentrate. I made an orange chiffon pie. It was okay -- wouldn't win any blue ribbons, but it was all I could manage with little money to spend on groceries (we had gone about 2 months at that point, and used up almost everything in the kitchen, and I was trying to not spend on groceries for my husband and myself, or spend as little as possible).

      About a month is pretty good, I think! A month gives a family time to figure out how to manage until things turn around.

      Have you ever read cookbooks from the depression, or personal recollections from people who lived then? Some of the cooking ideas were pretty inventive!

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    2. I spent one winter reading old cookbooks. My husband has some from his grandmother. One recipe in there was so awful, it was funny--a banana covered in mustard, rolled in ham, covered in cheese sauce, baked in an oven. I can't even imagine coming up with such an awful idea--it wouldn't be motivated by frugality and it certainly wasn't motivated by gourmet cookery!

      I think your orange chiffon pie would have been good! Not sure I could have pulled that off.

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    3. Oh, that is funny, Kris! The strange thing is why? Why a banana in there? If the banana had been left out, or maybe a hot dog substituted instead, then the rest might have been okay. But the banana makes no sense!

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  5. We could live a few months on our reserves right now. It might not be what we wanted to eat, but it would be food nonetheless.

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    1. Hi Anne,
      That sounds pretty good! And I agree, what we have, especially after that first month, may not be what we wanted to eat, but would be good enough as sustenance.

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  6. Ha! Well, I'm still working on eating down the freezers, but I could easily go for several months... and the cat food savings account, well, let's just say that I react to the stress of having a sick fur baby by buying more cat food, so I can say with confidence that we won't have to buy any more for a looooooong time!

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    1. I'm sorry you've had a sick fur baby. I need to rebuild our cat food savings account, for sure. With six of our own, plus one foster kitten left, they blow through the food!

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    2. Hi Cat and Cat (oh, that seems so funny),
      With what I've seen of EcatLady's freezer, I am certain you could go a few months, with out shopping. And with all that you have in cat food, too -- you are set for any sort of financial hardship, with regards to food. But I'm sorry that you have the surplus of food, for the reasons you do.

      And Cat from OK -- how do all the cats get along with the chickens? It seems like the chickens would be a great source of entertainment for the cats, until the chickens were full-grown, and then I'm sure they could hold their own against the felines!

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    3. They really don't interact much. I have primarily two cats who like to go outdoors. The elderly one (16) does like to hunt the mice who come to snack on the chicken feed. But she doesn't mess with the chickens. Our chickens are enclosed, though, due to local laws.

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  7. I know we could last a few month's on ours (including the freezers in there), but it would definitely not be balanced meals as I'm quite low on veggies of any sort at the moment. But we'd be good on beef and have some chicken as well. I had a good stockpile at one point, but have used up much without rebuilding it again....need to work at this again. I have planted some fall crops, though it's still so hot they haven't done well (supposed to be 98-99 today but hopefully cooling off over the weekend), but hopefully when we get a true cooldown they will take off.

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    1. Hi Cat,
      oh that does sound hot, still. We've switched over to rain, here.That's good for things like the cabbage and kale (which look like they grew overnight), but not so good for the peppers and tomatoes.

      I think the lack of balance is the downside to most people's "emergency" supply of food. Our family would be eating the same veggies and fruit, day after day, and we'd be out of milk and eggs in about 2 weeks.

      But a few months, for you, is really quite good, especially with a big family to feed!

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  8. It's very interesting reading different blogs. There are those who are on the more minimalist side who buy only what they need for the week or what every time period they're shopping for. They find that they waste less food that way. Others have almost a year's food in stock.

    Like most things, I'm in the middle. Just for the fun of it, the only thing I've bought food-wise in the last three weeks (not counting vacation) is milk and we're doing fine. Also, we're eating at home all of the time which is different for us. However, I'm missing some of the fresh foods, so I think there will be a trip to the store this weekend.

    While our pantry is not stocked for long term hardship, our bank accounts are so I feel okay. As I said in the beginning, we all have different approaches to things factoring in what is best for our own situations.

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    1. Hi live and learn,
      It is interesting, isn't it? I do know of one blogger with a full year of food in stock at any one time. And they did have to rely on it, one year. I think part of what might go into the planning for how much you might need in stock, would be how vulnerable a person feels about their income. The Prudent Homemaker's husband is in real estate, I believe, and when the huge downturn in the Las Vegas area hit the real estate market, a few years back, their income plummeted severely, and they had to rely on that one-year pantry.

      I feel that our personal income is vulnerable, for other reasons, and am doing my best to prepare for the uncertainty in future income. Part of that is in planning for next year's garden, part in stocking our pantry, and part in keeping our investment portfolio balanced.

      I definitely would have guessed that you were somewhere in the middle. You seem to be such a sensible person. Good for you, for eating at home more! I imagine it's a lot easier when it's just two for dinner most nights. At least, that's what I'm hoping for my own future! :-)

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    2. Planning emergency savings for an economic downturn or slowdown is one thing but I am having a different feeling these days. Maybe I'm just a doom and bloomer as I have been these past seven years but I think this time is different. If it were not for some troubling trends like boomers retiring and consuming less, the effect of technology on jobs, not just in our country but globally, the ineffectiveness of the central bank's tools to buffer the shift that's causing huge deflationary pressures, I wouldn't be this pessimistic about our future. Then the fact that no one is prepared, at least mainstream media is not saying. That is why being prepared food and supply wise is also smart. If there is a collapse worse than the 2008 recession (that was alleviated by central bank liquidity), what will save us this time? Because of counterparty risk in liquidity and solvency hysteria, the supply chain could be disrupted and food may become scarce. If the worst case scenario does happen, I too worry about how safe even bank accounts will be. Even FDIC Insurance. Certainly the FEDS not raising interest rates on Thursday raised some alarm bells, and has gotten the market nervous.

      I don't mean to be so negative, but it pays to think worst case sometimes.

      YHF

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    3. Hi YHF,
      You know, I just think our economy has become more volatile, with higher highs, and lower lows. And I do think many people have been lulled into a false sense of security, thinking that big gov't has their backs. Those who are always prepared, have learned to ignore what the Jones's are doing, don't take on debt and are generally hard workers, will do okay.

      In the last recession, our neighbor, who was in real estate, lost his own house to foreclosure. They took on too much debt with their mortgage, and had no back-up plan. It was so sad for their family as they were such a nice, nice husband, wife and kids.I hated to see them move. But this as a tough lesson. Some of us learn our lessons earlier in life. My own was as a single young adult in a new city. I learned my lesson about being prepared and taking care of myself.

      Taking care of myself, being prepared, helping/teaching my kids -- all of this gives me a better feeling for my own future, knowing I'm ready.

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    4. Also, I trust God will be looking out for me, always. I feel it. Little things, like I'm shopping, and I find a huge deal on a regular item, and I hear that small voice in my head telling me to stock up. I know that is God speaking. I feel taken care of, but also know that I have to do my own part in preparing myself.

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    5. You'r'e absolutely right about NOT taking in more debt...yet with the Feds lowering rates, I've often thought.....aren't they setting the people up to lose everything? I wasn't always as frugal early in our married lives, but since the early 90s I've changed how I view money and security. Maybe back then I was concerned about our retirement, and being self employed forces one to be more disciplined, but since the 2008 recession I no longer think it's going to be a plain vanilla downturn. I am not sure, but it seems more is at stake and trillions could be lost if we do have an ordinary recession, which can then snowball into a collapse. I've heard about 400 trillion in derivatives, but that number back in the 2000s has doubled. Though they say the losses will not be that great because where their is a loss there will be a gain, I dont think all can be paid. So their will be disruption at the very least and a collapse at the very worst. My own feeling is that is why the central banks around the world cannot afford a contraction, and any hint of a slowdown is met with more liquidity poured into the economy. Where will it end and how? I don't know much about economics, except what I've been reading on the internet, but it seems pretty darn scary. My gut feeling is this time will be different I don't think our current economic model is one God approves of anyway, and I think less focus will be on consumption in the new model anyway. Hope that is what God approves.

      YHF

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    6. Lili, I am not religious, sorry to say. But I do believe that things happen for a reason. Lately, I've noticed so many serendipitous moments (maybe a religious person like yourself will recognize it as God speaking), but it is almost unbelievable. This is silly, but this year, my husband and I have been able to use parts and supplies from our inventory which we had been accumulating (bought too much and couldn't use because it wasn't the right part). Is this God's way of saying to us...it is time to retire? It sure feels like we are winding down.

      YHF

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    7. This sounds very cliche, but it's how I live my life -- prepare for the WORST, but HOPE for the best. I like to feel that no matter what happens financially, I will find good in the world and people. I may have to change my expectations as far as how our retirement will be lived out, but I will still look for joy in life. It's just that my joy may come in the free things, like watching a sunset, or playing with grandkids, instead of a retirement of world travel. If I am fortunate, I will appreciate which ever retirement I receive.

      But I can be certain of this, if I am foolish with my money now, there's a very good chance I will pay the price and be miserable in retirement, no matter how many joy-filled moments I find. Having creditors breathing down your neck is no fun. And I will most certainly NOT have years of world travel. But if I prepare myself, financially, and make wise choices, now, retirement will be sweet.

      I don't think we can count on our government to do anything right for the people. If they happen to do something right, well then I see that as a bonus. I think we each need to look out for ourselves, but not in an ugly way, just in preparedness. And so, I do tend to think about "how could we survive the worst case scenario?" We chose the house with land that we did, for reasons. Our land has a tree lot, for heat, a large area for garden and orchard, and a space we could keep hens. Those would be the basics. We take as good care of our health as possible, so that we wouldn't need much in the way of medical attention, barring some disease which seems to strike randomly. We have 5 bikes, here. They need new tires, but we could have some transportation that didn't depend on petroleum.

      But, I have genuine hope that none of this will ever be needed.

      Aren't those small moments of seeming coincidence amazing? It's a very small voice I hear, and sometimes I ignore it. But when I listen, there is always a reward or avoidance of a nasty consequence.

      As far as your retirement goes, is there an alternate way to earn a little money, if you should realize you need or want continued income? Could you turn a hobby into something profitable? Sometimes, just having a back-up plan in my head gives me peace of mind with a decision.

      And truthfully, for myself, I cannot ever see a time when I don't want to be earning a little money. I just like earning money. Today, I volunteered at a charity tea, and one of the ladies I was serving with was telling us where she bought the apron she was wearing -- from a 90-something woman who sews them to sell, for $15 each. It's not a lot of money for her, but it's something. I'm always inspired by those stories.

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    8. Interesting, Lili, your cliche is the very one I live by. When my husband and I discuss the economy and how best to prepare, I tell him it is not so much how much we earn (SS and interest earnings) in our retirement, but how we manage to keep expenses below the amount that is earned. Since the beginning of this year, I've kept track of our expenses and I'm amazed that we can live quite comfortably with just those earnings. We're not high maintenance or big spenders. We enjoy saving money as much as spending, actually we enjoy saving more than spending lol Just working on paring our expenses is fun to me. The most expensive will probably be my craft endeavors. I'm hoping to make some very durable rugs that can be passed on to my children and grandchildren as heirlooms. I hope my time is not coming soon because lately I've been thinking about collecting stuff I think my granddaughter would love to inherit one day (my daughter or DIL are not crafty, so my granddaughter is the chosen one lol) Everyone could use a good cotton or wool rug, like my grandmother who sewed quilt blankets, I see myself weaving or hooking rugs, even with failing eyesight and gnarly fingers. I wouldn't mind selling what I make, but frankly I don't like the pressure that comes with making salable merchandise. I've waited all my life for the privilege of making what I darn well please, even if no wants or pays a cent for it.

      YHF

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  9. Cooking for two is easier, but cooking is still cooking. Just the volumes are less. What I think will be easier for you is when you don't have as many special dietary needs you're trying to meet. I think you will feel like you can relax a little more with meals sometimes.

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    1. Live and learn,
      you're right, its still all cooking! I do look forward to not having so many factors to consider when cooking.

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  10. Hi Lili,
    I love this post! We have always stockpiled our pantry & other items as well. I never figured out the value of our pantry but I think it could feed us for a few months, like you mentioned not necessarily what we would want to eat but would keep us fed. I did lose my job almost 5 years ago, my position was eliminated. Fortunately we always lived below our means & saved as much as we could. I decided I was much happier at home & have not gone to work outside the home. I try & do things to earn extra money. I do have an ebay store now that helps a bit with income, I get my inventory from yard sales & there is one thrift store that I like to try & get to about once a week, they have a outlet store where most things are 29 cents a pound & sometimes I pick up some good inventory there. I do need to start putting more effort into the ebay thing though, have gotten kind of lazy about it lately.
    I do agree with some of the others who have said they fear what may be coming with the economy, I think we may have some frightening times ahead of us, hopefully I am wrong.
    Rhonda

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    1. Hi Rhonda,
      Your ebay store sounds intriguing. What a great way to earn extra income, but doing it according on your timetable. I am always looking for ideas like that.

      Keeping your pantry well-stocked, on top of living below your means, probably gave you that extra measure of security for your future, when you were laid off. It really does pay off to live a modest lifestyle. I'm glad for you that you were able to create a life that worked better for you, after the lay-off. Well done!

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    2. Maybe you could sell things on ebay. It would be a great way to make extra money, you don't have to have an ebay store to sell, I think you can get up to 20 free listings a month without a store & you would just pay the fees if the item sells. With your eye for great deals I bet you would be great at finding things!
      Rhonda

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