Friday, March 1, 2013

Things I Wish I'd Stocked More Of

Once upon a time I worked for local government. Delightful job, got to be treated like $*#*& all day long by taxpayers who blamed me for everything wrong in their world. When I realized I was fantasizing about setting them on fire while they slept, I quit and went back to my first love of writing. I spent the next six months getting serious about something I'd only toddled about with for decades, and then went looking for a publisher. Thank goodness I found one that took on not one but two of my novels, or I'd be cleaning hotel rooms by now.

During that time, our household income was cut by 45% thanks to my paycheck evaporating. If it weren't for the years I'd spent hoarding stocking food and supplies, we'd have been in bad shape. Or maybe we'd have been in better shape. We could both lose a few....

My "STOCKPILE" shopping list has gotten a facelift this month.

Cheese Soup - Everything is better with cheese. I used to put shredded cheese on a plate and nuke it until it was one big greasy crispy cheese crisp. That came to a rude stop around last July, when I realized just how MUCH I was spending on cheese! Having run out and with an unbearable need for macaroni and cheese, I dug out an old can of Campbells Cheese Soup "Great for Baking!" and used it. It isn't as great tasting, but it beats the heck out of NO cheese. I had three cans, and they were gone by August. I'll be adding a lot more... and yes I know I can can cheese, but having done it I can tell you the texture is crap and it doesn't melt right and it doesn't save me a nickle. This was never on my list before, but now I'm aiming for 40 cans.

Corn Flour - Before I used boxed cornbread mix. Krustez, mmm. After, I made from scratch. Honestly can't tell a difference. Will be adding 50-100 pounds of corn flour to the pile now.

Canned Chicken - Dollar Tree sells pretty good canned chicken for $1 a can, which is way cheaper than anywhere else. Again, I could can my own but mason jars and lids ain't cheap and though I've managed to score some decent deals on Craigslist, I've never found the kindly old person who happily gifted me their lifetime collection of Ball jars. Also, I appreciate a small can vs a quart sized jar, because sometimes I just want to throw a little bit into my soup and don't want to waste an entire quart of chicken. Originally I had 10 cans but I've since added a 0 to that number.

Tattler Lids - I've stocked boxes and boxes of the usual lids but let's face it, if you're serious about canning then there's no such thing as enough lids. The Tattlers are reusable and I had never heard of them until AFTER I wasn't getting my nice fat paycheck or I'd already have a thousand of 'em. The upfront cost is a little painful but they'll pay for themselves over and over. Aiming for the bulk 200 first.

Powdered Buttermilk - You can make buttermilk by putting a little white vinegar into your milk in a non-reactive container, but I'd rather just keep a tin of powdered buttermilk on hand. Great for pancakes and biscuits, and no worries about the power going out either. I'll be putting a handful of tins of this back now.

Socks - Face it folks, the quality of goods these days ain't what it used to be. I buy the same socks every time, Fruit of the Loom or Haynes white cuff socks. I have around a dozen pairs, all around a year or so old, and all worn thin. Some have nice little toe holes or holes starting in the heels. I thought I was good for a while, but apparently not. I'll be putting back several dozen now in addition to the dozen I'm gonna need to replace all these future dust rags.

Sport Bras - Same as above. Worn through material, blown elastic, not even that old. Next time I'm going with better quality than cheapo Walmart though. Need to see if there's a company that actually makes them in the USA, buy seven for now and put at least a dozen back.

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