Stockpiling.

Dione

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To my mind an essential part of being prepared for lifes storms.

The disaster doesn't have to be *htf but it could be the loss of your job, a natural disaster,
ill health, huge unexpected bills or a family emergency.

A store of shelf stable food and more in a chest freezer means the difference between eating
2 min. noodles for weeks or eating like a king (or a queen).

Rules of thumb are:

*Rotate your stockpile.
*Stock what you eat. Eat what you stock.
*Buy when items are on special and buy multiples.

I find that items go on sale in cycles of approx. 6 to 8 weeks. so I don't buy that item until then.
I buy and can meat when it's on sale. Canning makes the meat shelf stable for over 2 years.
I write use by dates and price paid on the packet of the item in large print with a sharpie pen It makes it easier to keep track of used by dates and how much I spent on the item.
Food is going up in price and the amount in the packets are going down. A stockpile is a hedge against inflation and it's hunger insurance.

I also stockpile paper goods like paper towel and toilet paper.
Petrol for the car and 9 kg bottles of gas for the camp stove.

I live in a cyclone prone area so stockpiling and such comes as second nature.
 
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Letsgokate

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Yeah I think it's also a good idea. I've started storing some food in an outside room and have started canning and of course growing my own veggies. Like you I buy up when things are on special. Don't have a big supply yet but made a start, I need a bigger freezer, it's in my list
 
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Mark

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I stockpile food also and buy up big on specials particularly on long lasting items we tend to consume a lot. Whenever I see our favourite coffee on special I go crazy :p

My strategy isn't overtly to insure against disaster but more to save money whenever possible. Of course, I probably should/could be better prepared for the unexpected.

I do think to grow your own fruit and veg is becoming increasingly important to combat unforeseen disasters and rising food costs. I see the prices of fruit and veg at the supermarket and wonder how high are they going to go before people just stop buying altogether.

Yesterday, I saw avocados on "special" for $2.50 each and tiny limes for $1.00 each - it's just disgusting!
 

ClissAT

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I also have small stockpiles of dried or canned foods that I bought on special at the supermarket but I only buy them if I cant grow them myself. Things like baked beans, canned fish, canned tomatoes & lentils.
As far as stockpiled home grown foods are concerned, I bottle a lot of stuff some years then eat them over the next couple years.
Same goes for frozen fruit or veg soup mostly.
I just clear picked one orange tree that the rats & crows were into & will make those 4buckets of fruit into marmalade.
ATM with my health being rather poorly & the rats, bats & birds feasting on my precious F&V, the stockpile in both cupboard & freezer is coping a hiding! So easy to just get a container out of the freezer.
But as you said in your original post Dione, that's what its for.
 

Berkeloid

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I never considered myself a prepper but I have to confess the idea really appeals to me!

I live in the suburbs close to Brisbane and in the 2011 floods the roads all around me got cut off (I live in a unit on a hill) so I was isolated for a few days and couldn't get to any shops. I didn't have much of a stockpile being in a unit, so by the time the water subsided I only had a few packets of two-minute noodles left and my parents were on the verge of organising a military-style extraction. When the water did subside the local supermarket didn't reopen for eight months as it went under and needed major repairs, and since I didn't have a car at the time it was a bit of a challenge to get food in as the next closest supermarket was an hour's walk away.

I can't complain as I fared much better than a lot of people who lost way more than I did, but it was a bit of an eye opener about the importance of having at least a small stockpile.

I learned quite a few things from the experience, like having all the frozen meat in the world won't do you any good if there's a problem with your electricity supply and it all starts to thaw out, and you can't cook it because you only have an electric stove/oven which doesn't work either. I've never eaten so much icecream in one go before. I've since learned that many grid-tied solar systems will shut off in the event of a blackout (as opposed to just disconnecting themselves from the grid and still supplying you with power) so that's something I will watch out for when I'm in a position to get solar installed, otherwise if it can't help you out in a disaster it's not as useful as it could be.

Likewise things along the lines of noodles and pasta will last for ages, but they are of limited use if you don't have the means to cook them. I've since read that you can soak rice and lentils overnight, but of course that will only work if your water supply is still working (luckily mine still was the whole time, which would have been much worse as I only had two days' drinking water in the fridge.)

I've also since noticed that the local supermarket shelves empty very quickly now when there's an announcement of an impending weather event, like the cyclone late last year. But having food already stockpiled means this is a minor inconvenience rather than a big problem, as it is for all those who leave it to the last minute.

And perhaps the most interesting thing is that if I mention stockpiling food to people, some of them think I'm crazy and preparing for the end of the world, until I mention practically running out of food in 2011, when everyone's attitude immediately changes and they all decide that it's a really sensible idea!
 

DTK

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Hi. I think your post makes a lot of sense. We had similar experience here in Bellbowrie in 2011 however we are caravaners so we were able to cook on gas and had access to a generator. Thanks for your post, I found it informative. Dan
 

Dione

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Well, here we are in the midst of a global pandemic and my stockpile, gardens and poultry are saving me having to go to the supermarket and get into a scrum for TP with panicking wild eyed cattle.

I did my final last min top ups when I saw the reports and pics of empty shelves in HK.
Yeah, nah...thanks for the heads up.

I'm also VERY grateful that I brought 21 20kg bags of prime wheat, whole corn and oat groats along with a manual flour mill.
I would have gotten 1 ton bulk bags if I had a forklift to get it off the truck.
As it was I had to haul 33 20kg bags from their depot in a two door Asian sub-compact.
At least I provided some entertainment value to the neighbors.
 
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ClissAT

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Dione, re your bulk wheat. It's most likely already infected with weevils living inside some grains.
Human grade flour grains are not treated with weevil killing chemicals like animal grade grain is.
The wholesalers rely on the fact that human grade grain is sold for use quickly enough that it is used before the weevils hatch.
However, if you hold grain past a single season the weevils will hatch. Even if you've stored the grain in airtight buckets, they hatch inside and begin eating the insides of the grains. Weevils don't need extra oxygen because the live grain makes enough oxygen for them.
It takes around a month before you really notice them in there unless you check all the buckets every week.
The only way to kill the little blighters without chemicals is via ultraviolet light and ozone injection.
Or microwave treatment but that has to be very high frequency because they can easily survive household microwaves.
Dry heat (high heat oven) can be used but the grain must be used immediately otherwise it deteriorates quickly and won't grind well into flour.
Flour that has been ground finely then sieved through a very fine sieve will keep for around two seasons because usually the weevil eggs are destroyed or sieved out.
Or if it was treated as detailed above with ultraviolet, etc, after being ground and sieved then sealed in airtight containers such as cryovac paks, it will keep a few years.
There is a process of boiling or steaming then freeze-drying grain in the whole state, to purify it for cryovac packing for transport to use in places like Antarctica or travel to Mars!
 

Dione

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I am abundantly aware of how to store grains long term.
Thanks.
 

Berkeloid

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That's interesting, not being used to storing bulk foods I hadn't thought about weevils and other pests having eggs on the grain. One of the regular YouTubers I watch has been doing videos recently about cheap UV-C tubes you can buy from China that are used for sterilisation, but unfortunately it looks like a lot of people are buying them now without much knowledge about how to handle them safely. Having them shine on your skin for only a few seconds is enough to produce a smell like burned pork, apparently.

I'm also one of those who are very grateful for having even the small stockpile that I do in my small apartment. So far I haven't had to miss out on anything despite all the empty shelves, although my Ryvita (rye crackers) supply is now getting rather low! Maybe I can trade some toilet paper rolls for more Ryvitas, since although I last stocked up on toilet paper in November, I've still got enough to last for another few months yet...
 
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Mary Playford

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Dione

And, PREPPERS got it right preparing for times like now. I know most Americans are more into it than us Aussies. But after this recent global issue, most Aussies will be more prepared. When I started canning I came across preppers that talk about this kind of stuff. I started buying extra stuff each time I shop for my storage and when Convid-19 hit us, I didn't panic. I had enough food to last us a while.

I would like to can more even if its just water bath stock like jams, relish, pickles and blah :)
 
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V8srfun

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Just a couple generations back preparedness was not considered to be anything but normal to the point that the term prepper was not even a thing. We in recent years have gotten so spoiled with the just in time delivery system that we have gotten dependent upon it. Unfortunately it is too easy to trust that your car will always start, that the roads will always be clear, that the supermarket is open, that there is food on the shelf, that you can buy as much as you would like, that the government does not tell you what you can or can not buy, that you get it home safely, that the food you bought is safe for consumption, that the refrigerator will run until you are ready to eat, and so on.

Being prepared is normal (at least it should be) it is just part of providing for the family. The problem is that there are preppers that have taken it way farther than necessary and that is the image that all prepared people get branded with. The truth is that every family has different needs and that preparedness will look different for all of us. For me living in Western Pennsylvania it is normal to have winter tires on the car (During winter only) because we can get some serious snow storms here. But for some reason people only have a negative opinion against certain things when it comes to being prepared.

The way I look at is that we all need to prioritize the way we prepare for life. What are the weaknesses I have that will be most effected by a disturbance. For example my wife can go to the store and get windshield washer fluid for her car and refill it but if I have prepared properly she does not have to. She can tell me it is low and I will go get some from the garage and fill it for her. I know she does not like the car parts store so why make her do it. Preparedness is much more than having some extra food on the shelf it is a way of life when we realize this it is easier and much more effective.

The best advice I have is prepare with things you already use because many people have spent their budget on silly prepper trinkets that they will never use instead of buying something they could benefit from. If the only benefit something has is that it makes your wallet lighter you may want to consider just dealing with the weight in your wallet for now. I try to do the beat I can at weighing cost, benefit, and practicality. Just because it is within the budget and has great benefits does not mean that you should buy it must be practical to you. We have all seen that tactical prepper item that can do 10 things and will fold up in to a neat little package but if those 10 things are things that you never do what is the practicality of the item. The truth is that it is more likely that we will need extra food before we need most other things but how much depends on you and your situation. Do what is best for you not what someone said you should do. Only you know what you need so don’t let other opinions or popular culture decide for you.
 

Berkeloid

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That's very true about all the prepper trinkets. I often wonder what the point is of them. I've been told they are often handy for people who regularly go camping in faraway places with no infrastructure but there aren't many people around doing that!

But that to me is somewhat extreme prepping, getting ready for something that's incredibly unlikely to happen. Personally I'm much more interested in being prepared for things that regularly happen, like severe weather events or failed crop seasons. Those don't need trinkets, just safe places to store supplies and back ups for things that might get damaged or wear out.

Actually one of the most useful things for me and prepping has been living in the city outskirts and not having a car. Having to walk to the shops and carry your groceries home means you plan well ahead to make sure you have what you need on hand at all times, because you can't just pop down to the shops to grab something in the middle of cooking if it's a one hour round trip or half a day to get to the hardware store and back. Every time you go you make sure you come out with full bags because you want to make the most of the trip. Once I have what I need I tend to fill up any space in the bags with things I regularly use so that I'm always walking home with a full load. Doing that has meant that I have easily built up a stockpile of all the things I regularly use, and oddly enough, I end up making fewer trips to the shops than many of my neighbours with cars, despite them being able to carry much more in each trip than I can on foot.
 

The Rubber Kitty

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I stockpile food also and buy up big on specials particularly on long lasting items we tend to consume a lot. Whenever I see our favourite coffee on special I go crazy :p

My strategy isn't overtly to insure against disaster but more to save money whenever possible. Of course, I probably should/could be better prepared for the unexpected.

I do think to grow your own fruit and veg is becoming increasingly important to combat unforeseen disasters and rising food costs. I see the prices of fruit and veg at the supermarket and wonder how high are they going to go before people just stop buying altogether.

Yesterday, I saw avocados on "special" for $2.50 each and tiny limes for $1.00 each - it's just disgusting!
i think the best stockpile you can have is knowledge and skills ... plus some experience applying that which is why i am trying to get some self-sufficiency going ... i only have a 1/4 i live on, but enough to have some beds and pots around the place
 

Vicky

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i think the best stockpile you can have is knowledge and skills ... plus some experience applying that which is why i am trying to get some self-sufficiency going ... i only have a 1/4 i live on, but enough to have some beds and pots around the place
something that also goes hand in hand with knowledge and experience is realizing and accepting that life isn't always going to be the same when you are more 'self' sufficient. It could be a small change in diet when you start to eat what you produce as compared to what you ate when you got everything from the supermarket (often when you stop eating processed foods, your taste buds will change anyway), it could be having less of something that you can't produce but still like to have - making it a special occasion thing. It could be replacing a once often used/consumed product with something that works just as well but is greatly different to what you are used to and sometimes it is the small things that can make or break a journey, so be prepared for challenges :)
 

The Rubber Kitty

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[QUOTE="Vicky, post: 19397, It could be replacing a once often used/consumed product with something that works just as well but is greatly different to what you are used to and sometimes it is the small things that can make or break a journey, so be prepared for challenges :)[/QUOTE]

True ... I no longer consume a lot of sugary things ... but I have friends who produce a lot of honey so I swap with them for stuff and mead other things to swap with others for ^_^
 

RnR

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If the only benefit something has is that it makes your wallet lighter you may want to consider just dealing with the weight in your wallet for now.
Fantastic quote V8srfun :twothumbsup:

Self sufficiency and being preppared aren't about having all the flashy gadgets, they're about having the gear you need and knowing how to use it.