All of the craziness of 2020, including the pandemic and social unrest, certainly plays into the fact that it’s always wise to have some extra food/supplies on hand. I’m not talking about being a hoarder, stockpiling, or going into panic mode. Far from it. Rather, I’m talking about being prepared in case there are a few months in which you are unable to get to the store or the store shelves are bare. Or there are more forced lockdowns and quarantines and travel to the store isn’t an option.
Most of us remember not too long ago when we experienced the bitter taste of socialism as we visited our local grocery store only to discover certain items being rationed, or that some items were indefinitely out of stock. I remember that first time my heart lurched as I gazed at shelf after shelf at our largest grocery store, only to find a few stray dried pinto beans, rice kernels, a few miscellaneous dented cans, and nothing more in several of the aisles.
Of course we will always remember the craziness of the toilet paper caper (and truly, some of that panic was ridiculous) and the fact that cleaning wipes and hand sanitizer were obsolete. But in my neck of the woods, other things were difficult to find as well. Milk and butter were rationed and tortillas and any type of Mexican food (salsa, hot sauce, etc.) had disappeared. Cheese (admittedly one of my favorite foods) couldn’t be found. I honestly thought the cows had gone on strike. Potatoes were a luxury item.
My mom told me just the other day that toilet paper in her town (20 miles from a major metro area) had been rationed to one pack per person. Hopefully, we aren’t going to go down this route again.
The Lord tells us in His Word not to worry about what we will eat. He reminds us that the birds of the air don’t worry about what they will eat or drink and we are worth much more to Him that the sparrows. (Matthew 6:25-34).
However, I believe God desires us to use the common sense that He gave us. We should have food in the refrigerator and pantry for times when it might not be readily available to us. Or times when we might need to help someone less fortunate. And emergency preparedness is always a good idea.
One of my favorite things to do is to purchase extra when one of our smaller local grocery stores has their “case lot sale”. These extras can be used for food drives, which are especially prevalent around Christmas. These extras can also be donated to friends or family who may have fallen on hard times and need extra food to carry them to the next paycheck.
According to some experts, it’s always a wise idea to have at least a month’s worth of items in your pantry. Here are some suggestions:
Frozen fruits (strawberries, raspberries, bananas, blueberries, mixed fruit)
Frozen vegetables (peas, corn, green beans, spinach)
Meat (chicken, beef, deer, fish, turkey)
Corn, peas, green beans, and other vegetables
Peaches, pears, pumpkin, applesauce pineapple, and other canned fruits
Canned meat (tuna, chicken, ham)
Canned beans in several varieties (pinto, black, refried, baked, lima)
Oats, healthy breakfast cereals (including some that do not need to necessarily have milk to be eaten)
Jelly and jam
Granola bars, crackers, and other snacks
Sunflower and pumpkin seeds, almonds, peanuts, and mixed nuts
Peanut butter or sunbutter if allergies to peanuts
Canned or boxed milk
Flour, sugar, and other baking items
Canned spaghetti, Raviolis, and tamales
Dry beans in several varieties
Bread (which can also be frozen)
Jars of salsa
Ketchup, mustard, salad dressing, and other condiments
Three months’ worth of prescription medicines
Three months’ worth of vitamins and supplements (especially important are a multi, C, B complex, D, zinc, and a probiotic, but check with your doctor before supplementing).
Acetaminophen, ibuprofen (including these items for children if necessary)
aspirin (if needed)
allergy medicine (i.e., Benadryl)
Dental floss, toothpaste, lotion, hand sanitizer and/or hand wipes, laundry detergent, toilet paper, paper towels, shampoo, and women’s hygiene products.
Hand soap, dish soap, dishwashing soap or modules, and detergent.
Cleaning wipes, bleach, and other cleaning supplies.
Bandaids and gauze
Candles and a lighter
Personal water filter (such as Lifestraw)
One-time medical item purchases (always good to have on hand in case of illness):
Battery-operated blood pressure cuff
Be Koool forehead sheets for fever (these literally made a huge difference when I was sick with the worst flu this past January).
First aid kit (be sure to check periodically for expiring items).
It’s no stretch of the imagination that 2020 will go down as one of the most bizarre, unsettled, and perhaps even scary years in recent history. It’s never a bad idea to be prepared. The key is to not go overboard.
Other blog articles that may be of interest: