15 September 2020

Filling the Pantry One Thing At A Time To Stay Ahead Of Food Shortages

This week our pantry was boosted by five boxes of tea bags (Twinings Extra Strong English Breakfast - two mugs from one tea bag if you let it brew properly). 

I am fussy about tea (and coffee), so when the brand I like comes on half-price sale I use the slush fund to stock up. 

My tea was on half-price last week, so five boxes were added to the pantry. With everyone working from home, we are going through more tea than usual, and tea is one thing I wouldn't want to be short of. Even in hard times you need to have something you enjoy, one of those things for me is a nice cup of tea.

Back in March, when this pandemic/crisis/lockdown started Wayne and I had a talk and decided that we'd restock the pantry as we use things, rather than wait until the end of the year. 

Its working well to keep the pantry stocked, especially when quite a few of the ingredients we use are in short supply or still rationed. 

About three weeks ago I spoke of food shortages on You Tube, and there were plenty of people who can see what I see; but there were lots who questioned whether I was just scaremongering, or trying to boost ratings for the show or even trying to gain more business for The Cheapskates Club. Some went so far as to email me (shame both were using fake email addresses - my replies bounced back, making me think that it was just one person) and tell me in no uncertain, foul-mouthed terms that I was stupid, nasty, and a horrible person for spreading fear and telling lies. Hmmmmm.

Last night on 7 News, a main story was about the rice shortage (something I spoke about 3 weeks ago, and about 12 months ago) and how it will impact supermarket supplies. 

I don't tell lies. And I will never tell you something just to scare you. I speak from what I know, what I've experienced. I say it as I see it. I'll never tell you to rush out and spend thousands of dollars buying groceries. I will tell you to plan your shopping so your money buys more. I will tell you that it is just plain good stewardship and commonsense to have a stocked pantry to fall back on. 

And I will tell you that what you fill your pantry with, and how full you keep it, is up to you. All households are different. We all eat different things, use different toiletries and cleaning supplies. Some have pets. Some have children, some don't. Some are single person households, some are couples, some are families. Some live in the city, some in the suburbs, some are rural and some are remote. Some have special diets. Some can grow a garden. We are all different.

What is the same though, is that the steps to building a pantry are the same for everyone. And that's what I'll tell you. 

Fill your pantry one thing at a time, as you can afford it. If something on your list is on half-price, buy two. If something is on sale, buy one and put the difference towards something else to stock the pantry. 

Before you know it, you'll have your pantry stocked to suit you, and you'll be secure in the knowledge you will be able to eat and care for your family and home if money is tight.



  1. Hi Cath and thank you for your wise words and yes I can see what you see too and have for some time.

    I am replying anonymously with my name as I have no social media accounts so I hope that is fine.

    A good guide is to watch the grain reports for the year on what Australia is producing. With the drought and reductions in water allocations for a lot of farms a lot of farms have produced far less grains and vegetables this year.

    We too are stocking our pantry as we use things and see them on good specials/markdowns too where as before we shopped once a month only.

    We have been building our pantry since 2005 and continue to build it living more remotely in the country. Also we live in an area that can be flooded in on all sides so it is only sensible to keep supplies up here. Like you we did it one item at a time and bought 2 items when on half price special and in no time we had extras in stock.

    Thanks for your timely advice and had read about the rice shortage too.


  2. I read so many blogs I'm not sure where you live and I don't see it in your "about". (I am in Idaho, USA)

    Yesterday I found a terrific sale on ground turkey and butter. For $40 I have 10 pounds of turkey and 8 pounds of butter in the freezer!!!!! My freezer is absolutely stuffed between stocking up fish, ground beef and garden produce now this has me at full capacity and the garden is not done yet! What a great problem to have......right?


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