Thursday, February 11, 2016

Yearly Shopping

A question was raised in a Facebook homesteading group I belong to:
"What do you stock up on on a YEARLY shopping trip for off grid living?"

 Boy did that start the thoughts swirling in my brain! (I KNOW better than to open Facebook before my second cup of coffee!) I'm trying to put the thoughts in order, but no promises....

 In this instance, the writer only has the option to shop once/year. Could I do that? Would I WANT to if I could? Hmmmm

 At first it sounds daunting but when I compare my shopping trips now, maybe it would be better. Because a trip to town, even though town is only 10 minutes away, can throw a monkey wrench in the whole day. It doesn't matter if I'm doing one errand or ten, I always come home mentally tired. Raising this question of yearly shopping made me look deeper into WHY I am always tired when I go to town. Switching mental gears can be more of a challenge than I realized. I guess I could compare it to the trouble with switching off "work" thoughts when I would come home to housework and busy kids at the end of the workday. Now, instead of thinking about unfinished tasks at "work", I'm wondering if the bread is finished rising, did the chickens get locked up, will I have time to weed a patch or heat the canner, or be milking in the dark when I get home?

 Then there is the question of organization. In order to stock up on a year's supply, one would have to know how much was used the year before OF EVERYTHING. Wow! That would entail some kind of stocking system. And space. How much space does one year of toilet paper take up? Someone like me, who has trouble keeping the mixing bowls organized and don't even ask me where the last batch of tea bags I bought ended up, would be really challenged to keep things in order. That could be a good thing, too.

 What about the budget? The first year of doing this could be a shock to a bank account. It would also take some self-discipline to save up for the next year's shopping spree. If you couldn't make a trip to town to grab something you ran out of or for entertainment, would it be easier to save for that big yearly expense? Or would services like Amazon Prime and Sam's Club online be too tempting and enable you to fritter away your band-aid and toothpaste allowance? Myself? I make trips to town for other things- taking elders to the doctor, banking, church, etc... Would I have the willpower to skip the WalMart (that's right on my route) to grab something I ran out of?  Would I be able to redefine "emergency" or would living 3 months without shampoo be a deal breaker?

 I believe self examination is good. This question has really got me doing that!  Being a good homesteader requires one to know their own strengths and weaknesses. I see some room for improvement here. How about you? Thoughts on supplying your homestead?


  1. I just read a book about a woman who went off the grid for about 10 years. However, she never grew a garden, nor obtained any sort of dairy animal, nor raised her meat herself. She had no electricity and no way to refrigerate food. I could go without a hair dryer, but come winter I'd be cutting my hair short to dry by the fire.

    1. I wonder if she lived in town or just made several trips to resupply? Fascinating!

  2. I enjoyed this post. We feel the same way about town, no matter the planning it always takes longer than you think. I think we may try this on a shorter term....once a month to start with?

  3. I think whatever you're comfortable with that works, and it's so easy to get sidetracked shopping and running errands. I do what I call "guerilla shopping"- get in/get out with what I want and get home....


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