Non-Doomsday Prepping Part 3: Staples and Beyond

Kristin Devine

Kristin has humbly retired as Ordinary Times' friendly neighborhood political whipping girl to focus on culture and gender issues. She lives in a wildlife refuge in rural Washington state with too many children and way too many animals. There's also a blog which most people would very much disapprove of

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29 Responses

  1. Slade the Leveller says:

    This has been an excellent series. Thanks for writing it.

    Re: bacon. The high price of bacon has always mystified me. As good as it tastes, and I do love me some fatty bacon, it’s the last thing you get to on a pig before the squeal.Report

  2. Oscar Gordon says:

    You don’t like Cheddar? Note about bagged shredded cheeses, they are often coated with a bit of cellulose powder to prevent sticking. Don’t use bagged shredded cheese for making cheese soups, you won’t like the soup.

    Regarding milk: Whole milk lasts longer than lowfat or skim (go ahead, compare expiration dates at the dairy cooler), and if you really want lowfat milk, you can always just mix in water with the whole milk. Lactose free milk, while more expensive, lasts even longer.Report

    • George Turner in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

      Did it ever strike you that “whole” is the wrong word to describe a fluid? “I never buy a whole milk because it weighs too much. Usually I just buy a half milk.”Report

    • Brandon Berg in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

      Regarding milk: Whole milk lasts longer than lowfat or skim (go ahead, compare expiration dates at the dairy cooler), and if you really want lowfat milk, you can always just mix in water with the whole milk.

      That’s…something lower in fat than whole milk, but it’s not lowfat milk. Lowfat milk has the same lactose, protein, and mineral content as whole milk; it just has some of the fat removed. I’ve never tried it, though; does it actually taste like lowfat milk, or is it obviously watered-down?Report

      • It’s better than skim, but not as good as whole. Some people prefer it because they find whole milk too creamy.

        I (and many other nutritionist-type people) find that skim and part skim dairy affects blood sugar very badly and it’s actually healthier to have whole milk in moderation so if you’re tempted to try it for health reasons, IMO stick with the whole milk.Report

      • Oscar Gordon in reply to Brandon Berg says:

        Akin to powdered milk. Kinda watered down-ish.

        I just drink whole milk in moderation.Report

    • No I do like Cheddar, I included it in the more important dairy section and not the optional one.

      Thanks for the tip about the shredded cheese in the soup and the milk!Report

    • Slade the Leveller in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

      That’s precisely why I would never buy that shredded stuff. I own a cheese grater.Report

  3. Jaybird says:

    The local news station had a segment that I thought was really, really good for not panicking. They went to the 20 acre warehouse and showed how full it was and pointed out that THERE ARE NO SHORTAGES. There are just too many people shopping and buying too many things.

    Don’t panic, I told myself. Don’t panic.

    Just don’t panic.Report

    • Marchmaine in reply to Jaybird says:

      I know a guy…Report

    • Kristin Devine in reply to Jaybird says:

      YES!! I saw a very reasonable explanation about why some things are running out and it’s NOT because we are having true shortages.

      Toilet paper for example is humongous and takes up a lot of room in storage. So stores can’t keep that much of it on hand, and if everyone goes and tries to buy 2 weeks of food all at once (which is what many municipalities have recommended) well of course they’re going to run out. It stands to reason that they would, and then this perceived shortage caused some people to hoard, although I’m not entirely sure people were as hoardy as it appeared, it may have been more that the stores just ran out

      Meat and produce and milk spoils fast, so stores don’t keep tons of it on hand. If they did, under normal circumstances it would go bad before they use it. So again, it’s not terribly surprising that everyone going and buying 2 weeks’ worth of food and these things ran out.

      If we were looking at a situation where young people who drive trucks and stock grocery stores, etc were becoming incapacitated by illness we could possibly run out of food (which is something everyone should keep in the back of their minds, for the next time, unfortunately) but as it is now, barring any other weirdness happening I think we’re gonna be ok with the nation’s food supply.Report

      • Yes, I have been calming friends and family down about the TP thing pointing out “it’s super bulky, they don’t like to keep an excess in the stockroom, this is simply “just in time” delivery failing a little bit, wait a few days, it will be okay, use facial tissue if you have to”

        Of course, I am speaking from the privilege of someone who bought her annual 15-pack back in February. (I would share, but most of the people worried live far away from me and I’m not exactly willing to wait in a long line at the PO to mail someone a couple loo rolls!)

        FWIW: Most US TP is made in the US. The kind I get comes from Wisconsin.

        My mom went to the Jewel near her today. She reported that TP, flour, dry beans, and potatoes were all low in stock but were being restocked – she talked to the produce dude, whom she knows a little bit (he was actually stocking the tp shelves! She commented on that and he said a lot of people were doing double shifts to keep the shelves stocked). He said stuff was coming in but it was hard to keep some of it on the shelves. He did also note if they were short on any produce she needed the truck usually came in around 2 pm and the stuff would be out not too long after that. And they are getting daily trucks.

        Me? I’m good for now, I’m gonna stay home and use the food I stocked up on, leave what’s in the store now for the people who didn’t or couldn’t stock up. (My last trip out – to get extra milk ahead – was Friday, and it was absolutely pouring rain, which probably kept some people away from the store)

        My brother reported fresh fruit stocks were down when they went to the store in Virginia. Blueberries are my niece’s favorite thing and there were two containers left in the store. He bought one, telling her (she is 7 so old enough to understand) that the kind thing to do was to leave the other for someone else who needed it. My brother is a good guy.Report

    • Stillwater in reply to Jaybird says:

      Hmmm. I talked to a re-stocker at the abruptly closed King Soopers on Sunday night who said that the distribution centers were short on supply (and that’s why the store was closed. He also said that there’s a shortage of truck drivers due to … you know). I also heard on NPR that there’s been a 30-50% reduction in cargo ships entering US ports.


  4. Crprod says:

    I’m not going to Costco today or probably some time to come. Their rotisserie chicken at $5 for a three pound chicken works very for a retired couple. We have leg quarters the first night, cut off the two breast quarters, and make chicken broth with the bones and wings. The breast pieces are rather large for quesadillas and fried rice that we’ll prepare the next two days so we trim them and add the trimmings to the finished broth to make chicken vegetable soup.
    As far as individual chicken parts go, we either buy thighs or fresh breasts from the butcher case. Thighs might be smaller than breasts, but their superior flavor more than compensates. They also freeze better. We generally avoid restaurant chicken dishes, which often seemed to be made with frozen breasts pulled from the back of a very large freezer.Report

  5. Ho Maid says:

    I just discovered this and thank you! I would like to respectfully dissent from your suggestion to buy salad dressing, unless it is one that has ingredients that you don’t stock in your pantry. If you have oil, vinegar, bottled lemon juice and the herbs you recommended, mayo, ketchup, and various pickly things you can easily whip up homemade salad dressings once a month or so and save $$ and use up some of those condiments you bought on sale.Report

    • Kristin Devine in reply to Ho Maid says:

      Thank you for reading! I was trying not to intimidate people who did not feel very handy in the kitchen (which was actually the main reason I started this project in the first place.) I find having people make too much stuff on their own leads to people feeling overwhelmed and giving up. I really appreciate your input!Report

  1. October 31, 2020

    […] and I mustn’t fail to mention the conversation that started off my Non-Doomsday Prepping series. A much younger mom friend, a much richer mom friend, and I got into a discussion about meal […]Report

  2. November 13, 2020

    […] 1 is here: The Case for Being Prepared Part 2 is here: Shopping for Stocking Up Part 3 is here: Staples and Beyond Part 4 is here: Filling in the Gaps Part 5 is here: Suppertime! Part 6 is here: What Do I DO With […]Report