Thursday, August 5, 2021

Back to stocking up

There's a few factors that made me go back into stock up mode again. Delta being the main one. I read international newspapers daily & have seen how Delta has crippled India & the UK. The UK is so bad with contact tracing (they have an app that they use to ping folks who need to quarantine), that they're predicting food shortages due to lack of employees, especially truck drivers who help keep the supply chain going. Australia (who's been doing so well) has been in lockdown again too. Same with my family & friends in South Africa. They're still currently in lockdown. In fact, I think their lockdown has been extended. 

Then there's the Suez Canal disaster. Yep, it happened a while ago. My sister in law has worked for a major shipping company for over 30 years, so I have a bit of an idea of how things work. I remember helping her when she had to work weekends. I remember typing up & sending Telex to their Swiss headquarters or maybe it was to different ports. I really can't remember, it was so long ago. Anyhoo, I know how she used to rush to work when a ship was late to arrive or depart or when containers weren't loaded on time. We lived in Cape Town (the reason for South Africa's existence. A little history lesson. Ships used to sail from Western Europe, all the way around South Africa (southernmost tip of Africa) to get to the east. This was way before the Suez Canal existed. So in 1652 the Dutch East India company decided to set up shop in Cape Town as a way station for ships who sailed to & from the east. You'll still find some original buildings, including the Castle of Good Hope that the Dutch built). So Cape Town (not South Africa's busiest port, that would be in Durban) is one of 2 SA ports for imports/exports. Hence SIL's job. I don't think people realise how one catastrophe like what happened recently, can set businesses back a long time. Add in the pandemic and it's even worse.

Then there's the rising food costs. Gosh, I can't keep up with price increases. I've seen many people blog about how packages are shrinking, while prices are increasing. This is nothing new though. It's been happening for years. However, we really feel the pain now that inflation's come to bite us in the behind. 

So I've decided to work hard towards filling in the gaps in my stockpile. I'm not going crazy like last year. We still have a really good stockpile. I've stocked up on paper products (Sams) and canned goods (Walmart). I need to remember to pick up another package of tissues/Kleenex at Sams. I only have 1 pack (12 boxes left) and that is too little to get us through winter. We keep tissues in all our vehicles (we have more than 2 vehicles) and in many rooms in the house. Same goes for disinfecting wipes and wet ones. There's a tub in each vehicle. 

I've made a standard list of things that I need to stockpile on each trip. There's only 10 items on that list. It's mainly canned goods, vinegar & bleach. I buy a bottle of bleach whenever I'm at Aldi. They have the large bottles for $2.50, whereas the grocery stores only have medium sized bottles for over $3. I'd like to have at least 6 bottles of each in my stockpile. I'm halfway there.

I'm hoping that we don't end up in lockdown again. I'm now over this darn pandemic. But if we do, we're fully stocked again. If things go well with this pandemic, then we'll at least be well stocked for winter. I'm not always in the mood to go shopping, especially after heavy snow. I just want to stay home & bake yummy treats. 

As for last month's shopping. I  hit Sams & the produce market as soon as the month started. Oh how I missed Sams. While Costco is nice, they just can't beat Sams. They don't have all the products I can find at Sams like ICBINB, drinking yogurt, muenster cheese (at least I couldn't find the cheese). I've also found that their packaged lunch meat is priced by the pound, whereas Sams has a fixed price. The big issue though is the Costco is pricier than Sams. I comparison shopped both stores and noticed that Costco was $1-2 more expensive on certain items, than Sams. The Costco membership also costs $15 more than Sams. I'll keep the Costco membership, but will mainly check the monthly instant savings deals. I just received an offer from Costco for a $30 gc if I sign up for auto renewal. That $30 is tempting, but I'm not even sure if I want to renew my membership next year. 

I went to Sams & the market 3 times last month. I didn't buy much at Sams the first time around, because I was waiting to see what good instant savings deals they'll have. I especially didn't buy DS's drinking yogurt, hoping that it will be on sale, but alas. No such luck. I had $75 gcs (thank you Ibotta) that helped pay for the membership & 10 lbs chicken breasts. I stocked up on meat and bought some drinking yogurt for DS & plain greek yogurt for myself. Then stocked up on some other items we needed.

I was so proud of myself for spending a less than I did in June at the produce market. That lasted until I had to go shop a 2nd time...lol . I only bought one $2 box of apples for juicing. The box had 17 kiwis too, which I peeled, sliced and froze for smoothies.  I also found pint blueberries for $1.19, so I bought 6. I froze 4 pints and we ate the rest fresh. Then we ran low on some fruit and beets, so I made another trip. I told myself that I was NOT gonna buy another box. That juicing takes work. So I walk into the store and see only 6oz blueberry containers for $0.69. No way. I just paid $1.19 for a pint on the first. This is way too expensive. Then I saw that the clearance ($2) section was loaded with boxes, so I just HAD TO go take a look....lol What do I see, a large amount of blueberry boxes. Shut the front door! Each box contained 12 6oz containers. Say no more! I picked up 3 boxes for $6 (36 containers). Sorted and washed it when I got home, then into the freezer. I got 3 full gallon bags out of those boxes. I'm so happy. It's my favourite berry. Last year I did the same thing and had 2 gallon bags in the freezer for winter use. 

This is why I've spent so much at Sams and the produce market last month.As long as I have meat & fresh produce, we have meals. The pantry is still well stocked. I added a few canned goods from Walmart. I'm adding little bits at a time, because I don't need much. I'm so glad I stocked up on those bonus size Rotel cans last year. You can't find the bonus size anymore. I'm having a hard time finding Walmart brand peas though. I love their 'no salt added' canned goods. I've never liked eating a lot of salt. You can give me tons of pepper any time, but not salt. I've also found that they're always low on store brand artichokes. I've been to 3 different Walmart stores and it's the same thing at each store. Is there an artichoke shortage that I don't know about? 

And just to make Kim & Sluggy jealous...lol. When I opened my car door at Walmart, I spotted a shiny penny right next to my car. I pulled a disinfectant wipe from the container and picked up that beauty. Then at checkout, I found another penny on the floor. I rarely find coins, but when I do, I always think of you ladies :)

Is anyone else stocking up or am I the only crazy one again?...lol

24 comments:

  1. Yep, stocking up! Spent more than usual in July to get our freezer and pantry full…

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    1. That's what I did too Traveling Oltmans. I'm not worried about doubling the budget last month, because I know it will pay off in the end.

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  2. I have been buying extra, for the same reasons you mentioned. There are some things I always keep stocked anyway, but I am making a conscious effort to add a couple of stock up items each time I go to the store.

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    1. That's my current game plan too Anne. I keep that stockpile list in my wallet, so I can buy a few items every time I go shopping.

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  3. I'm not doing too much stocking up, as we typically keep a fairly full freezer & pantry. We haven't noticed any shortages yet, but if that happens, we may add a bit more. We're pretty flexible eaters, and mostly would miss fresh produce, if that happened. Luckily, it's garden season, so we are much more self sufficient in that regard, than we were last time we had shortages.

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    1. You are so blessed to have such long gardening seasons. I love seeing all your fresh produce. Our garden is beginning to produce, but by end of September it needs to be cleared out again. Winters are very long here, so I like to be stocked up on non perishable items. I'm still dreaming of getting a 2nd freezer. I don't know when DH will cave, if ever. A spare freezer will help me in a big way.

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  4. Well I am not necessarily stocking, but I am certainly keeping track and adding where i see fit.

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  5. Oh my gosh, what a deal you found on blueberries! I love them too and always have them in my freezer. I would have jumped on that deal too.

    I loved reading about the canal and Cape town. It certainly makes me wonder about what the recent future will hold as far as food supply and prices go. Thank you for the heads up.

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    1. Glad you enjoyed reading it Belinda! Who knows what other catastrophes the future holds for us. However, I'm just praying that things will get better for everyone soon.

      I'm a planner though. Not as in 'the sky is falling' type. I just trust my instincts, because it's always right. I'd rather have too much or alternatives, than run out of things.

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  6. What a great deal on Blueberries! I wish we had a produce market here. But then again, we do have the Farmers' Markets. My garden (very small this year) gave me enough summer squash & cucumbers to share and eat fresh but not enough to freeze or make relish. Thankfully I still have both from last year. My 2 tomato plants have started bearing but again I think I will only get enough to eat fresh. Farmer's pumpkins are infested with squash bugs but we have spotted a few pumpkins in the dying vines. The Aronica berries and Elderberries are ready. I'll pick this weekend. The pears are not nice this year. Too wormy to can. And I will get a lug of Colorado peaches tomorrow. They are the best. I'll freeze them and can if need be this fall.
    I'm also stocking up on shelf-stable items. We'll do a big Sam's shop at the end of the month for canned goods and pasta. I'll get more flour & sugar at Wm in September. I'm watching and if I need to get these items sooner I will.
    I'm always so thankful we raise our own meat.

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  7. I'm sorry to hear about your squash & pear trees Kay. I planted cucumbers for the first time & it looks like we'll have an overabundance of it. I only have 4 plants, but there's oodles of blooms. I'm gonna have to learn how to can so I can do the tomatoes & cucumbers. I do have canning supplies.

    I love Farmers markets. We have many around here (there's lots of farmland around us). What I wouldn't give to live near you for your meat. I grew up eating good meat (without any additives or other junk). You are so blessed to be able to raise your own.

    I've slowly started buying flour again, because I actually ran out of AP flour from baking so many muffins this summer. I just buy a bag of AP & Bread flour every time I'm at Walmart. I need to get another big pack of Members Mark t/p at Sams. I still have a spare, but told myself I'll buy one as soon as I open one of the 2 packs I have. That way we'll never run out. I hope you guys are getting enough rain.

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  8. I am stocking up here as well, though I never really quit. Delta and Lambda (coming from South America) have me worried. While we are fully vaccinated, I would much rather be safe than sorry.

    God bless.

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    1. Well said Jackie. We're fully vaccinated too, but not taking any chances.

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  9. I placed an order for Amazon for tomato sauce. I hope it is the good bargain it appears to be...lol. It has no salt added. I need to buy shelf stable milk. I keep enough food and buy a little more all the time. I prefer fresh produce but can live out of cans for some produce if necessary.

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    1. I love the 'no salt added' sauced & veggies. You are wise to stock little bits at a time. That's the best way to stockpile.

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  10. You are very wise, not crazy. You would think that people would have learned after last years toilet paper issues, but most did not. I was given a very generous gift card for helping out a friend so I used most of it for stocking up.

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    1. You sure put that gift card to good use. Yes, I sure wish that people would've learned from last year. Sadly, my own family don't listen when I warn them to stock up.

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  11. I was in sam's yesterday and it was well stocked with artichokes

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    1. Thank you! I never thought to check Sams for artichockes. I did find it at Walmart this week.

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  12. I do keep our freezer full of meats and frozen vegtables. Oh,yes... I am doubly stocked up on toilet paper too. lol

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    1. Lol Lisa. Me too. Got to make sure we always have enough t/p, otherwise those Sunday newspapers will have to be put to good use...lol

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  13. Even the things I have in abundance have one more added. I buy one package of toilet paper every month. There are some things over bought, so not even buying those. They won't go to waste. I never really considered stopping buying. Sales on things I need are where I go.

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    1. That's the best way to shop Linda. I do the same, because I hate running out of things. I'd rather have too much than too little.

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My life in South Africa during apartheid

DISCLAIMER : This post is in no way intended to offend or attack anyone. It's not meant to be about politics, race or religion. I have ...