I've also added more toilet paper, rice and flour - I won't add any more rice, but toilet paper is one thing I have a fear of running out of so it's still on the list for a while yet :)
Kaylene emailed and asked me a few questions, one of which was why am I building such a large stockpile, is it because I know something about the economy that she doesn't?
That certainly made me smile, I know nothing more than anyone else, and probably less than a lot of Australians about the state of our economy.
I am stockpiling first and foremost out of habit. I've had a decent grocery supply in the house for 21 years now. It started off small, just a month or so of most of the grocery items we use. It grew over time to be a minimum of six months' worth of the basics, with up to a years' worth of some things I am able to buy in bulk.
But a couple of months ago we were given advance notice of some changes to our finances, meaning we'll be earning less next year than we have for a long, long time. And that means we'll have less money to spend on anything, let alone groceries. We've gone over our new spending plan and cut back where we can, including the grocery budget.
And so I've started to concentrate on building our food storage, cleaning supplies and toiletries and first aid needs.
I'm building this not out of fear of any national or worldwide economic disaster looming, but to ensure that no matter what happens, either within our family unit, the country or the world, we'll be able to eat, stay clean and have basic first aid supplies if they are needed.
I've been in the position of not having a regular income before. We lived for over four years on an erratic income. Sometimes we'd have money coming in, sometimes we wouldn't. I had to learn to budget and shop accordingly and run our finances like a business - just as though we were self-employed.
This time around we know what is coming and can prepare as best we can. For me as the main cook and shopper that means building our grocery stockpile as best I can with what I have.
We know our income is going to go down, but that's not the only reason to have at least a small stockpile.
What would happen if you were to get sick for a four or five days and couldn't get to the shops? What would happen if you found yourself without a car for a week or so? They are just two simple scenarios that could see you struggling - would you have enough food, cleaning supplies, toiletries and medicines in the house to survive?
There are lots of households that don't have even a day's food in the pantry, they shop daily. With either of the scenarios above they'd be, to coin an Aussie phrase, up the creek without a paddle.
I don’t stockpile out of fear of anything, I stockpile to save money, time and energy, to be prepared for a hiccup in our lifestyle and as a part of keeping our household running smoothly.
I encourage everyone to have at least a small back-up of pantry basics, just a week's worth, for peace of mind if for no other reason. It just makes sense to me.