So what is the point of stockpiling food? It is different for most people, but here a few of the main reasons why I do it.
1. To make the best use of our limited financial resources.
Having a family of six is rather expensive! Just b/c we have added a new little one and increased our expenditures does not mean that Brad got a raise! It is a walk of faith to have four kids and live in a VERY materialistic country where what is considered necessary can be very expensive. (Think electricity, vehicles, insurance, medical care; these are huge luxuries that lots of people don’t have!)
When I am wondering how we are doing staying in our budget I often refer to the USDA cost of food statistics. I often find that it isn’t my imagination that costs of food have dramatically risen and that makes it harder to stay on track.
http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/images/general/CostofFoodatHome-bar.gif (Sorry I haven’t figured out how to put in direct links yet.)
So according to the USDA using the thrifty food plan & compiling the ages of everyone in my home we should be spending $181 a week- $785 a month -$9,412 a year. From what I understand about the USDA list this DOES NOT INCLUDE HEALTH & BEAUTY ITEMS OR PET FOOD/SUPPLIES. My goal is to spend $8500 this year INCLUDING HEALTH & BEAUTY & PET FOOD.
2. To honor God.
This goes hand in hand with the above statement, but also goes further. By stockpiling we can very quickly and easily help others in need. We can also help without having to wonder how can we afford to do so. Since stockpiling we have sent several large care packages to overseas military, we have filled up a paper grocery bag w/ food & paper products for someone in need, we have provided two paper bags full of toiletries & snacks for groups that our Sunday School supports, as a family we filled 6 bags for our church’s feeding the 5.000 food drive, and filled 4 shoeboxes Operation Chrismas child. I am not listing all of this to pat ourselves on the back, but to point out that there are many opprotunities to give. We might have given to two or three of the above mentioned ones, but we couldn’t have done all of them nor could we have donated as much as we did.
If you look at our current stockpile you would have no idea that we gave anything away. Now that I am beginning to see what the rock bottom prices are I know what to stock up on; one week it might be pasta, tomatoes and the next meat or yogurt. I am also learning how to work the coupons and ECB at CVS. One of my long -term goals is to reduce our OOP expense for organizing our Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes. I know I can get all of the toothpaste, toothbrushes, floss & soap for FREE. I also know that when I stock up on school supplies in August I cut our expenses way down. (Last year I forgot to this, so we spent way more than usual. Something about having a new baby I forgot to stash stuff away throughout the year!) Socks will also go on sale right before school and I buy a few packs for our boxes. I would also like to find little games/playing cards throughout the year. I have had varying degrees of success with that!
3. The Bible encourages stockpiling.
There are several instances where stockpiling is encouraged. The most obvious is Joseph in Egypt. God joined Joseph’s faithfulness and Egypt’s fertile land to save HIS people. God even commanded them to stockpile. I see that we are living in the 7 good years right now. (I am not saying the world is coming to an end.) I don’t know when the time of plenty will end. It could be a job loss just around the corner, a natural disaster or an even more severe economic downturn. It doesn’t matter what it is. I want to be ready. We try to prepare our family in several ways that I am willing to discuss online. The most obvious is to stockpile food. The second is stockpile clothes. I have four boys. It is a guarantee they are going to grow. To combat this I buy WAY ahead. When you see me shopping at consignment sales I am buying to fill in any gaps, BUT mainly I am buying ahead. Joshua doesn’t wear a 18-20 yet, but he will. (He currently is wearing 12’s, those seemed so big just a few years ago! I thought he would never wear them! But lo and behold he is and guess what I didn’t have to run out and go shopping b/c overnight he outgrew all of his 10’s with 6-8 more weeks of winter left! I went shopping in the next size up bin! I found a treasure trove of pants and shirts for him.
I know many of you are saying that only works b/ c you have boys. YES and NO! Yes, b/c I limit myself to fashion staples. Jeans, Kakhi, polo’s long-sleeved & short-sleeved, nice sweaters, dress shirts, nicer winter coats, boots, and jackets. Now many would say that would never work with girls. I can say if I had girls I would still do the same thing. I believe in my children wearing modest clothes regardless of gender. That means in order to find modest girls clothes I might have to look harder and longer making this even more of a necessity. I have no intentions of buying crappy clothes for either gender. I am not into the latest fad or pop idol. My kids have a few trademarked items, but not a lot. My kids are not going to be walking advertisers for Disney, Nickelodeon, A&F, AE, Old Navy…and whoever else. Yes, we have those items, but I am not brand loyal!
Enough of my random musings.