Sunday, February 26, 2017

The Prepping Economist

I hoard butter.
Seriously, I do.

At any given time, I have between 15-20 pounds of it in my freezer.
Cheese? Yeah, not as crazy but I still like to have around 5-10 lbs of it, frozen. Mozzarella, cheddar, Monteray Jack, etc. You just never know when the mood for a quesadilla or pizza will strike!

(And my favorite cheese? Ah, pricey, but I panic if I have less than three wedges at any given time. What is this miraculous cheese? Well, Balsamic Bellavitano, of course.)

When I get that low( <12-15 lbs) I start scouring the sales ads for more butter. Now you might think that is just crazy. And I won't argue that, heh. Not at all.
However, I would like to point out that I am what I would call, a Prepping Economist. Self-titled, of course.

You've seen those crazy coupon shopping shows where people have stockpiles of groceries in their garage, basement, closets, under beds, etc.? Well, I am not *that* bad. Mostly because I don't use coupons. I should, but I don't. (Again, that is an economist thing- You need time to devote to clipping enough coupons to make it reward the effort- and I simply do not have the time.)

No, I am a self-titled 'prepping economist.' Which means as I go about my weekly shopping, I purchase extra quantities of items, stocking up on items that are on sale at a price I'm willing to pay.
Let's say I need pasta (thin spaghetti, penne, small shells, etc.). If it is on sale, maybe .30 cents off per box, I'll purchase two of whatever type of pasta I need. The extra couple of dollars I end up spending for that weekly shopping trip is not that extravagant.

But, when an item is on SALE (as in BIG sale, not just sale sale, but BIG SALE) at an incredible price, maybe the item is going out of stock? Maybe the grocer got a fabulous deal on something? Well, when that happens, I forego purchasing something from my weekly shopping list and stock up on the BIG SALE item by purchasing several of the item(s).
Once again, the extra few dollars I spend for that particular weekly shopping trip is not that extravagant.

(Side story- when I first moved to Illinois, my (now) husband didn't have but four towels. Ugh. Men, right? So each time we went to the store, I would purchase one towel. I did this for two or three months and currently we have around 25 towels. Small weekly extra purchase, long term investment savings.)
One such shopping trip my (now) husband and I were with his boys at the store, having finished our shopping and almost to the register I said, 'Now do you know what time it is?'
And my youngest stepson pipes up with, "Towels!"

We laughed because that had been our m.o. for so long...but we had finished acquiring all the towels we needed. I was just tickled that the lesson was sticking with the young boys.
Small increments of anything is an advancement of something. Might as well make that advancement worthwhile, right?

Over the course of six months, I have managed to stock up with 40+ lbs of chicken, 20 +/- lbs of butter, 15 +/- pounds of pasta, 10 cans/jars pasta sauce, 20 cans tuna, 15 cans tomato sauce (and equal amounts of puree, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, etc), 30 lbs flour, 25 lbs rice, numerous canned soup, etc etc.

No, I am not feeding an army, why do you ask? :)
I feed my husband and I. Occasionally his son(s) when they come over for the weekend.

So when I say I panic when my reserves get low? I do. Because we don't have much money. After child support, health insurance, and taxes, we have about 50% of my husband's income left for our rent and bills. A car repair sends us running to the credit cards.

My food reserves are what has enabled us to eat for the past month and a half since I've been out of a job (which is a double panic since I have a car payment (my other vehicle kept breaking down every other month) and that car payment is what my paycheck goes towards.)

I wouldn't trade this life for the world, though.
I am happy being the poorest church mouse so long as my husband is by my side. My husband makes me happy, just by being him.

Of course, if you aren't doing anything to improve yourself, you're going in reverse. At least, that's what I feel.  Stagnant at best. And really, who wants to be stagnant?

Which is why my husband and I agreed we would live poorly until I got out of school.
That time is fast approaching. Three months from now, to be exact. And there's no guarantee I will get a job right out of college, anyway. A job, yes. Although statistically the number of people with degrees working in their field of study is negligible (27%).
Which is one reason why I stock up on food supplies in the first place.

Besides, what if my husband's work hours were to decrease, which they've done steadily over the past three months? Less money coming in means less money for food. It just makes sense to stock up when I'm able. It's also why I'm into canning and dehydrating food.

So, yeah, I'm a prepping economist. I work with what I have to the best possible outcome not only for now, but for our future.

Who knows, when I graduate I could land that dream job.

Okay- so I'm not holding my breath....I guess I'm a realist, too. :)

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