Scarcity

I remember when I was little, my mom would take me and my sister to the local grocery store. This was back before the huge strip malls and corporations had built their headquarters just down the road, and there were strawberry fields and orange orchards as far as the eye could see. The grocery store was only two blocks away from our home, but with the way she would shop, you would have thought we lived miles away.

Every shopping trip, she’d pile up two shopping carts full of groceries. The bill would be around $200 every time to feed 4 people and a kennel full of dogs. I don’t remember how often we would go, but if I had to guess, it was just once a month.

These days, I go once a week, though I try to extend it to every two weeks if I can, I use the smallest cart the store provides, and my bill is at least $120 every trip, even though I am just buying for me. It used to be, four years ago, the same trip would have been around $60, and that was with buying for 3 people.

When lockdown happened, the grocery stores out my way got raided. All the shelves were completely empty as people panic bought everything they could get their hands on. This includes those who were “preppers”, by the way, so don’t believe them when they say they can live a year without having to depend on outside sources. They were the first to rush to the stores and buy everything they could.

Things didn’t return to the shelves till almost a year later, and some things were still impossible to get because they’d be bought the moment they came in and were stocked. It wasn’t until this last year that the grocery stores started looking like they used to be.

Once the grocery stores started looking more like normal, I decided to start stocking away. I made a list of the essentials I needed that I didn’t have. I made sure that everything to be stored was canned or shelf stable, but not more than I would use in a year and could easily replace when used. I even stocked up for Roger because he is important to me. I also picked up those things that were strangely gone during the lockdown, like beef consume, condensed milk, and fruit pie fillings. Things I don’t normally use, but found the occasional use for them.

I still have more to stock on, but the basics are taken care of. Now, I’m storing things that I don’t use as much of, such as oils, jarred garlic, cocoa powder, apple cider vinegar, as well as ample kitty treats for Roger. My goal is to not just have enough should something happen again, but so that I can reduce my grocery bills since there seems to be no action, nor any being taken to reduce prices back to pre-covid days. At least now, I have enough stock that I am seeing a significant difference in my grocery bills, so it has had that effect, which is still very welcome.

I’m hoping that my gardening will produce enough that canning and food storing can be possible, though I need to find a way to afford the jars and a pressure cooker. I’m also hoping to be able to add a couple hens to my family and store eggs in jars as well, since eggs seem to be another precarious grocery item. canning is something I have always wanted to learn how to do. The recipes have certainly grown from when I was younger. I’m looking forward to making some pickled snow peas for ramen with the first harvest of peas and maybe some pickled radishes as well as my own jarred marinara sauces.

Along with getting back in touch with some older traditions that my family either long ago forgot or never did in the first place, I am very excited to give it all a try. And if it helps me in the future for situations like in 2019, though I hope that never happens again, then it is all the better. It is also a skill that I can learn that will be beneficial later in life.

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s