This is not for the unmotivated! Canning, preserving, freezing and drying is time consuming, tiring and probably even boring for some. For those that persevere, the rewards are many! A full pantry with a year's supply, exercise gotten from the gardening and preservation and savings for the budget that can multiply the actual income many times.
Please don't feel that you should do this or have to do this. If you do start, go slowly! Maybe even one batch of jam the first year, and then if you like doing it, go further. But, build up gradually. Again, this is not for everyone.
Additional things that you'll need include labels, pens, pencils, markers, scissors, knife and utility knife with retractable blade. You'll also want a spiral book or inventory sheets to list everything in.
Our cleaning and survival shelves contain the following:
- two double batches of homemade soap per year
- one box of Borax for soap making
- one pump bottle of lemon oil furniture polish
- two pump bottles of Fabulous bathroom cleaner available at dollar stores (great to clean hard surfaces, etc. when there is no power or water supply
- chemical and special toilet tissue for porta potty or commode
- plastic liners for the commode or pail with lid
- enough plastic or glass jars to flush the toilet 3-4 times per day if there is a power outage or interruption in water supply
- two to three gallons of water per day in jugs for washing purposes
- a bag of clean rags cut into usable sizes
- one to two rolls of paper towels for emergency use only
- a year's supply of toilet tissue bought on sale with double coupons
- one gallon of Dr. Bronner's Peppermint soap
- one gallon of bleach
- one bottle of degreaser
- one bottle of drain opener
- a tin box with matches
- tin box with candles and holders
- flashlights and extra batteries
- two cases of sterno and two sterno fold up burners
- a two-year supply of firewood
- extra propane tank filled for the grill
- a complete first aid kit on each floor and in the fraidy hole (storm shelter)
We keep our personal things in ditty bags, so it would be easy to put into storm shelter if the need arose. It contains meds, grooming necessities and extra toothbrushes and toothpaste. Also, we keep an extra supply of dog food, Special needs for handicapped or infirm should also be in with the emergency supplies. It's also important to keep extra towels and a few quilts to cover the freezer with or keep warm. Keep a small stack of newspapers, a few magazines and games. Our pantry is in the process of being redone totally, so right now the emergency supplies are scattered and the food that is usually stored in the pantry is tucked in anywhere we could fit it. Our pantry has been our survival tool that had gotten us through several natural disasters and financial hardship. As soon as the pantry is finished, we will be stocking it up and enjoying the organization very much.
To be continued... The next post will cover amounts of dry goods and staples we kept on hand when our children were growing up. Naturally, we have modified the amounts since they have flown and grown.
Doris O'Connell is well known in the world of tightwadding.