By this time, we have all seen the posts, the pictures, the news shows and newspapers and heard it said over and over again on the radio. Panic Buying, Rationing, Empty Shelves..
SLOW DOWN.. Breath.. Take another deep breath, yes I know maybe you are out of milk, maybe you are out your favorite fruit, maybe you are low on fresh bread.. Maybe even more concerning for some. you are saying.. no you can’t have that.. one portion at this time..
This post is not meant at all for those that are out of their homes, stuck on the road but its for pretty much will work for everyone else..
Do not let the Media get you spun up
Do not let the Canadian Food Guide rule at the moment..
Do not worry if your family is eating half a cup of apple sauce daily for a week or two.. they are getting their fruit..
Instead of looking at what is missing.. take that deep breath and look at what you do have!
- Take stock of your kitchen cupboards. and I do not mean open it and look at it.. I mean take things out from those dark corners, that can of lima beans, that jar of antipasto, that small tiny jar of jam that came in a gift basket..
- Take Stock of your deeper pantry, be that a small walk in kitchen pantry or your where you keep your rice, flours, beans, pasta and so on.
- Look into your tea and coffee area often extras are tucked in that area, like hot chocolate, or herbal tea or perhaps a tea box set has extra has something extra in it.
- Look over your spice/herbs
- Look in your fridge, take a good hard look at the sauces, salad dressings and all the little bits and bobs you have
- Look in your freezer, perhaps use the top, side or bottom freezer in combo with your fridge, perhaps you have a small apartment freezer.. take stock of what you have..
The odds are very good that you have far more then you think you do.. or if you are truly super lean, the odds are you do not need this post. you already live lean and are the queen of figuring out how to take a small amount of x combine it with broth for soups or pasta or rice to make full family meals out of it..
If and when you do get to the store.. NOW IS NOT THE TIME TO STOCK UP!
Stop.. just stop! Unless you are truly lean (as in extreme limited income/food bank/community support programs, you had time to put up a extra bag of rice or pasta, along with a few other stables after the lock down.. if you truly have made the past two years and you spent your money “supporting the local and ordered in” without a thought of bringing in at least a 14 day personal home lockdown stock up..
Well, honestly, I am going to shake my head at you while giving the stink eye.. and also welcome because you have clearly not been here long..
So if you are lucky enough to find items on the shelf, take only what your family needs and think outside the box but stay flexable. if you can get a jar of apple sauce and have a working fridge, you can portion it out, do they only have the fruit cups, don’t get fuss right now.. you can find a way to use the cups somehow.. or maybe they only have soft apples.. that will only last a short time.. eat while you can, but be prepared to process iffy items instead of passing on them.
If you can get a bag of powdered milk or canned milk even if its just one, along with a smaller milk, if your house is a milk drinking.. keep the fresh milk for the littles, make the powdered for all cooking needed.. keep the canned for use as a rich way to replace milk..
Allow yourself to think outside the box. no butter.. consider Gee in a jar.. consider cream cheese, consider any kind of nut butter.. for certain things.. for cooking, baking etc.. move to oils or lards..
When you make your list.. come up with the backups and then come up with backups for the backups.. be willing to take the store brand, be willing to try new foods.. if you want fruit cocktail in a can and normal one is not there but the ones with papaya is.. take one jar and make it fun and adventure.. BUT if you know you will not eat it unless you are “starving” do not take it..
If you have a well stocked pantry.. stay home for a few weeks..
Keep track of what you are using most and they should be the items you are looking for to refill your own gaps as basic things become somewhat stable.. Hubby and I have made a list of lets add this list per once a month shopping trip.. its not a long list, and we are looking for one of each, its not something we are out of, it is something we use regular and this will mean that we will replace what we are using and rotate though oldest to newest.
We need to eat, of course we do.. but do we need to eat as much as normal? the odds are strongly no we do not.. I know, I know, I am totally a stress eater.. I get it!
However this is a area that we can STRONGLY look at.. over and over on so many media and blogs, its all about how to make frugal meals and I am right there.. but the truth is most of us N.A. eat far more calories then we need daily..
Could we eat 10 percent less calories per day for a few weeks, could we eat 25% less calories per day, could we make a “kitchen sink” type bits and bobs soup and have it with tweek’s for lunches.. its a trick used forever, add broth and make the bowls seems fuller then they really are, tastes good, makes us feel full..
Instead of looking to the stores or the supply chain or the feds to make everything “normal” .. its not normal times right now for tens of thousands and another storm is coming right at the other half of B.C right now..
Look inward to what you have and make it count!
You bring up so many good points as always. I think this time, people simply snapped. They’ve been grinding along for two years now, lockdowns, masks, vaccinations, etc etc – most doing everything they’ve been told to do (stay home, no gatherings, no church, no family Christmas, you name it) because we’ve all been told if we buckle down and stay the course all will be well and we can get back to ‘normal’. Now this. I think the instant hoarding behaviour is a testament to where people’s heads are at these days, how close to the edge they’ve been living, how much stress they’re under. It was the tipping point. We’re losing our civility and sense of reason.
A couple weeks ago I was heading to the back of a long lineup in a grocery store with one item…a lady motioned me to go ahead of her. We did the usual ‘oh no I’m fine to get in the lineup’ ‘no,no – go ahead you’ve only got one item’ thing, so I popped in front of her. An older man, probably in his seventies, left his spot near the back of the line, marched up to me and lost his shit on me. Started yelling that I needed to get to the back of the line.
Yep, I think many people are simply done with the BS. I also think many people are being very ‘first world problem’ about this. We’re all spoiled. Food has always been available and we rage when it’s not. Food has always been convenient- many have no concept how to make a gravy from scratch, and now they’re hoarding packaged gravy mix. The mindset this time is quite different than it was during the pandemic hoarding – looking at the shelves in the stores, of course the milk, eggs, TP are gone…but this time, the convenience items are gone. The pandemic saw us hoarding dry beans and yeast…now we’re hoarding…gravy mix and hash browns? Is it because we still have a glut of dry beans we never used, or are we simply sick to death of having to put so much effort into making a meal?
My supervisor’s mom went to the stores in person for the first time since March 2020 this week, and commented on how bare the shelves were. It makes me cross – people buy more than they need, meaning someone who doesn’t have the means to travel further afield to buy food miss out:(
WOW.. the first time since march, that must have been a shock in so many ways.. so many ways, the “new” normal is better done in bits then in wham in your face..
Here, it’s still 8 deg outside, so look there, too. There are several green things I will harvest now that I might not have bothered with before. Now I am determined, more than ever , to use every leaf! I saved my pumpkin seeds today to sprout them and will be starting other sprouts. Only small actions, but good for my mental health if nothing else.
That is a excellant point for many folks that live in the lower mainland, island, yes for sure with some starting and cover row cropping plus forage, you can for sure be finding some greens to be adding into the meal planning..
I don’t panic buy anything.
We stock what we eat, grow most of our own, and the rare time we run low on something, we buy a substantial quantity so that we don’t have to do it again for a while.
If that leaves others with out…*shrug*…I am past the point of caring.
When this all started, I was gung ho to “do the right thing” and to help people out.
My Hubby works long hours, and after his days he would spend evenings with me packaging and loading hampers that we sent out to those who needed help.
My daughter and I stayed out of stores, and he was the only shopper, wearing a mask to make others feel better (even though it was detrimental to him).
He also took on extra shopping trips for friends who were too afraid to go out, get curbside or didn’t want to pay extra for delivery.
We were “doing our part” and trying to be good citizens.
Fast forward to now, where he faces losing a job of 27 years (and his pension) for making a personal health decision, and some of those very same people that we went out of our way to help? They’re cheering for it, saying anyone without the vaccine deserves to lose their jobs, homes and livelihoods. A few have even gone so far as to tell me that we deserve to be shot for not “doing our part”.
So I’m done.
I tried playing nice within the whole “social contract” idea.
I look out for me and mine and no one else.
If someone goes without because I bought too much?
Not my problem.
I signed no contract saying I’m obligated to owe society anything, yet every where I turn, the demand is that I put the “greater good” before my own family, their health, and my own health.
I’m never doing that ever again.
I struggled on if I wanted to write you back in the very mode of what I thought when I read your post.. and I am going to..
Holy Shit.. that was the first thing to leave my mouth, that was the overwhelming thought in my head on a echoing repeat..
Now that was not a “holy shit” how could she think like that.. it was a straight up Holy Shit.. HOW could you and yours be treated like that
I have been shocked at peaple I know in a general sense that are full on, hook line and sinker taken the PR line and bait and are targeting their anger at what is point in fact happening and will continue happening at anyone that is not qoute “towing the line” and yes right up to the lock them up, or they should be shot..
Its scary as fuck.. (parden the lang) and what to me is just as scary is that its driven good peaple, peaple who have helped others in so many ways to say enough..
I am truly sorry that “the mob” have pushed you and yours to this point..
I hear you.. I hear you..