If you’re anything like me, you’ve heard the saying, “Two is one, and one is none.”
This is especially true when we’re building up a storehouse, filling our pantries and freezers, and purchasing enough toothpaste for the next several months.
Our grocery budgets are not just for food, are they?
Hair needs to be washed and conditioned
Dishes need to be done — again
Laundry needs to be cleaned, softened, and sometimes whitened
Floors, toilets, and sinks need a good scrubbing, too
Pets need to eat
Litter boxes need to be cleaned
The roll needs to be changed
So, you should stock up, right? Right!
What Are You Putting In Your Storehouse?
Tuna, Chicken, and Beef?
Tomato Paste, Sauce, and Puree?
Mustards, Vinegars, and Spices?
Dental Floss, Kitchen Sponges, and Shampoo?
Almond Flour, Coconut Oil, and Raw Honey?
Pet Food and Kitty Litter?
Household Cleaning Products?
Batteries, Candles, and Lanterns?
Charcoal, Wood Pellets, and Matches?
Try To Make It Worth Your While
When I restock our food or household supplies, instead of just one, I’ll grab two or more of something, whenever it’s feasible. Rather than let my supply run completely out, I like to gather the replacements and their back-ups at the same time.
Also, if a product is priced significantly LOWER when I’m restocking, it’s a great time to stock up! Seasonal foods come to mind, like canned pumpkin, nuts, and spices. Even olive oil.
Need a new toothbrush, a tube of toothpaste, or some dish soap? Buy a multi-pack or an “economy size,” if you can. Same goes for hair-care products, deodorants, or laundry supplies – anything you’re likely to run out of in six months or less.
It makes sense that you wouldn’t make a shopping trip for ONE roll of toilet paper, ONE sponge, or ONE box of floss. What a waste of time, money, and gas!
Where Do You Find The Things You Stock Up On?
Grocery stores, farm stands, or club warehouses would be the likely choices, but…
We also make use of many different resources for shopping, and some don’t even involve driving! Amazon.com (known in our house as The General Store), Thrive Market, and Thrive Life are terrific online stores that meet different needs.
Amazon is the everything store, and sometimes their prices and Prime shipping just cannot be beat. The annual Prime fee is more than made up for in the free shipping and many other benefits that Amazon provides. One day, I’ll do a post all about my go-to “general store.”
Thrive Market is something like an online Costco, but just for healthy things. It’s nice to have so many options in one place! There is a membership fee, but, like Costco, if you don’t save that much in your purchases, they’ll give you the difference.
Thrive Life is where I shop online, (and HAVE a shop!) for long-term food storage, and for foods that we eat every single day. Thrive Life has the best-quality vegetables, harvested at their peak, freeze-dried, and sealed in two different sizes of cans.
I am telling you now, your kids and grandkids will snack on vegetables! (You will, too, my friend.)
A word of advice: Buy what you eat and eat what you buy!
It makes no sense to stock up on freeze-dried peach slices, if no one even likes peaches.
On the other hand, if you can’t seem to get enough peaches, then buy a 10-pack of Pantry cans, or a 6-pack of #10 cans.
(I once bought a 10-pack of strawberries, to stock up on movie-night treats!)
Okay, you’ve shopped locally, and ordered online, now where do you PUT your haul? I may have some ideas for you. Use whatever shelf, drawer, cupboard, mason jar, or bowl you can find — and make do with what you’ve got, unless and until you can do something else.
A “Pantry” may or may not be an actual room or closet in your house… If you have one of those — USE it to the max! Wall-to-wall shelves, from floor to ceiling.
The Larder, the Stockpile, the Stash, the Storehouse… any of these might be under-the-bed roll-out bins, shelving in the garage or basement, space above the kitchen cupboards, over-the-door shelving, 2-gallon glass canisters, hidden drawers in the toe-kick, or even a storage ottoman.
Those clean-lined cube shelves, with the coordinating baskets, will stylishly stow a ton of little things – hidden in plain sight! Think outside the box when deciding what to store inside a cube: Shampoo, batteries, napkins, tissues, dish towels, a bag of rice, light bulbs, or a supply of dark chocolate, perhaps?
Keep heavy things lower, and lighter things higher up.
Galvanized trash cans hold lots of charcoal or wood pellets (think cooking and smoking). They’re also great to store things like chicken feed, scratch grains, and pine shavings.
Most folks have certain foods or ingredients they would rather not be without. I am no exception, and, I’m willing to bet, neither are you.
In my kitchen, I use a lot of olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic, and ONIONS. It’s not uncommon for me to buy these in bulk!
Salt and pepper don’t require special storage – other than keeping them dry. Cool and dry is best for olive oil and garlic, too.
As for onions, (fresh or frozen; dehydrated or freeze-dried; granulated or powdered; sweet, red, yellow, white, or green), I keep a variety on hand for several different ways to add that onion-y goodness to almost every meal.
The fresh, unpeeled variety are in a big bowl on the bottom shelf of a kitchen rolling cart – so it’s easy to see when we’re running low. I like to have diced or sliced onions ready to go in the fridge, for cooking, adding to a salad, or topping a burger.
During Walla Walla or Vidalia seasons, it’s great to stock up on the sweet onions. If keeping a case or a big bag of fresh onions is going to take up too much real estate in your kitchen, set aside a day to dice the whole lot. Then portion them into freezer bags and have ready-to-go onions for the months ahead!
You could say I have an onion obsession — and you’d be right!
Recently I mentioned the need for a gallon jug of Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce, to re-fill the bottle that somehow keeps running out. My wish was granted – thank you, Dear! Now I can stop adding that item to my shopping list – for a while, anyway. The gallon jug has its place (next to a gallon of vinegar) on the bottom shelf of yet another rolling cart in the kitchen.
Out On A Ledge
From our previous home, we have several aluminum and wood picture ledges where I keep my spices, powders, various vinegars, and oils. They’re out where I can SEE them and USE them, not hidden behind each other in a cupboard – lost, forgotten, and unused.
I want a more uniform look someday, so, when I need a new spice, I buy the organic version, and aim for consistent container sizes. It’s easier to alphabetize that way, too.
Eventually, each spice will reside in a refillable COBALT BLUE glass jar, with its name etched on the side. Oooh – goosebumps!
Put It In The Freezer
Meats, cheeses, butter, vegetables, coffee, flours, and nuts can all go into the freezer.
Freeze-ahead meals can be slow-cooker- or Instant-Pot-ready and stored in gallon freezer bags. There are even 64-ounce, restaurant-quality freezable tubs that will perfectly shape your meals to fit an Instant Pot. Talk about convenience!
We purchase grass-fed beef from family. Once the beef is harvested, cut to order, and wrapped, we store it in a couple of small chest freezers in the spare bedroom.
Another small chest freezer on the back porch has our soup bones, chicken, pork, and vegetables. Until we rearrange things, this works for us. You’ll find what works best for you.
If you want to be a better steward with your resources, have rich choices in your menu-planning, feed your family quality food on a budget, and smile in the face of a job loss or an emergency, let me suggest you invest a portion of your grocery budget to long-term food storage.
A THRIVING storehouse makes it SO much easier to
Shop your pantry BEFORE you hit the store (…or the drive-through!)
Scoop-and-store your dry ingredients (Easy as that – no refrigeration necessary!)
Skip the hassle of wash-peel-dice (Sometimes just that is a blessing!)
Eliminate the buy-forget-waste cycle (No more bearded berries or slimy spinach!)
BONUS: It is super-easy (and much lighter) to transport freeze-dried food to your friend’s house to make her some homemade soup when she is sick. (No spilled-soup-in-the-car worries, either!)
The Magnificent Canned-Food Butler!
Our basement is equipped with specialty units for storing CANNED GOODS. (Canned in a can, as opposed to “canned” in a jar…) Thrive Life carries these wonderful creations that hold from 112 to 300 cans of food, depending upon the configuration you choose. The cans roll in and are stored in such a way that it’s first-in-first-out.
Whether it’s Family Cans or Pantry Cans from Thrive Life, or the soups and tuna you stocked up on, these babies will hold them all. Seriously, they’re an organizer’s dream!
We keep freeze-dried fruits and vegetables – from apples to zucchini – along with freeze-dried beef, chicken, turkey, ham, shredded cheeses, and instant milk. These were conveniently ordered and shipped, then stored in their places (with bright, shiny faces!) on the patented can organizers. Being below ground-level, the temperature is good for maximizing the shelf-life – which is about 25 YEARS!
Grooming And Cleaning And Kibble – Oh, My!
Keeping your potions and sprays out of children’s reach is the priority. After that, you need to consider temperature. Extreme heat or cold is no good. Once you find the place to keep your cleaning products ACCESSIBLE TO YOU, try to keep track of what you are stashing away. Like foods in the pantry, rotate your stock.
A bin for kitchen sponges, a basket for the dryer sheets, and a dowel to hang the trigger-spray bottles would be a good place to start.
I keep a 5-gallon bucket full of clean shop towels, microfiber rags, and my washable dust-mop cloths. Need a rag for something? The Rag Bucket is the place to look. (One year, at a gift-exchange, my husband, Lance, scored a giant package of 60 terrycloth shop towels! YES!)
Hero and Bandit, our dog and cat, have their kibble in two stacking 18-gallon bins with doors. So much better than the bags sitting out.
I wonder what else you could store in those containers…
Remember Where You Put It!
When you get used to putting aside spares, back-ups, and reserves, remember to rotate them into your daily life.
That big supply of AAA batteries won’t do you any good, if you forget to use them – or worse, where you put them. Also, keep in mind the shelf-life of your foods and other provisions, so you can buy what you use, and use what you buy.
Here’s to your thriving storehouse!
P.S. Don’t forget to pin this to your favorite Pinterest board!