Sunday, November 23, 2014

Store It At The Store

We raised 4 kids on a small acreage in a rural area in a small town.  I can recall many days of leaving the grocery store with TWO grocery carts full of supplies to get us through the week.  I was conditioned to keep a sharp eye out for sales and then I would stock up when I could.  I froze, I canned, I dehydrated everything I could and squirreled away food as if we were preparing for the Apocalypse.  It was natural to buy by the case.  I could throw down a meal for 25 without even making a trip to the store, and this happened pretty regularly with impromptu gatherings with the kids and their friends as teenagers.  Have you ever seen how much teenagers can eat?  Good Lord!

One of my biggest adjustments has been (and continues to be) NOT buying the JUMBO pack, the MULTI pack, and three for the price of two.  I realized that they do, in fact, sell fresh chicken pieces in packages smaller than 35 pieces.  You can buy a package of pork chops with just 4 little pork chops in it instead of 16.  Who knew?  I also learned to create meals for "two" which has taken me a while and I am still working on it.  I forced myself not to bring along the huge cooking vessels into the RV that I had at home and gave them to my kids.  When I am going to need a 32 quart pot in the RV?  I'm not. The cooking supplies I had at our house looked like I ran a soup kitchen.

When you really think about it, unless we have a national crisis (and yes, we might, I know) there is really no reason to expect that you are going to be unable to visit a grocery store on a very regular basis.  Only get what you need.  Don't buy 4 cans of diced tomatoes if you don't plan to use them THIS WEEK.  Buy one, even if it costs you a little more, and live with the fact that paying a little more per ounce for your food in smaller portions is a good investment in so many ways. I know, this goes against everything your mother taught you! But bear with me on this...

It's more than just space saved.  Saving space is critical when every bit of it is likely spoken for.  It's also about weight.  True, a few extra cans of food aren't that heavy, but it's more about a code of conduct.  You must be mindful of bringing THINGS into the RV to be hauled around with you.  The worst thing that will happen is you will have to make a trip to the store for items you don't have to make something in the kitchen that you hadn't planned on.  No big deal, and how often does that really happen anyway?  What IS a big deal is having an extra several hundred pounds of "stuff" that will undoubtedly start collecting over time until you will be forced to get rid of it. There went your "savings" for buying in bulk, and I am not even going to talk about gas mileage when you weigh 1,000 pounds more than you really need to.

So, "Store it at the store"! IF the Apocalypse happens, then you will be better off than most. You can hitch up, take off and go somewhere where the grocery store has what you need!  Part of "full timing" is changing the way you manage your grocery inventory. It might not feel natural at first for some of us, but the reward is, much less wasted and unwanted food that we are only eating to "get rid of it".

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