I just finished reading “A Place in the Woods” by Helen Hoover. It was about a ’60’s couple that left urban Chicago life for the Minnesota woods. It is definitely on my shelf now as one of my favorites, right up there with Walden, One Man’s Wilderness, and Sand County Almanac.
That’s not the purpose of this post however. In that book Helen and Ade have to look at placing a food order in bulk, due to their remoteness among other things. Basically they purchased enough to get them through the entire winter.
Currently I shop for groceries every week, sometimes every other week if we can eke by and I don’t feel like going one weekend. After reading this it just seemed to make more sense to buy in bulk. If we can have it delivered as well, then why not? One less thing to do on an already time shortened weekend.
I spent a little time this morning looking up bulk buying sites. I’m not sure if I’m disappointed or disconnected. There are things, like staples, that seemed to be a no brainer. There were also things that I just sat there looking at quizzically. Grains for instance. Sure, I could get a 25 pound bag of grain, but what then? Would I use it? How would I use it?
There are also canned vegetables on some sites. That’s all fine and good but something didn’t jive with me on those but I don’t know what. Grains and baking mixes and staples come in a form that seems to have some life to it. Canned vegetables, for me, have the connotation of factory processing and sterilization and industrialization. Maybe that’s it, I’m not sure. Maybe I’m just being romantic about it all. It would be ideal, I think, if I could instead just grow the vegetables I need and can them and put them away. It’s also funny that I don’t look at things like potato flakes and dehydrated milk the same way, those seem to be just fine to me.
I looked at another site, a preparedness one, but the prices on that just seemed excessive. Also, the majority of items were freeze-dried or bundled up as 1 month to 1 year food kits that range in the thousands. I suppose that all has a place, it’s just not ideally what I’m looking for. Granted we may not always be able to buy things in bulk and have them shipped, so a long term storage plan wouldn’t be a bad idea, but it’s not what is interesting me at this moment.
I have tried “stocking up” over time at the grocery store but that’s a bit tedious and a full time job to keep updated.
Perhaps there’s a strategy wrapped in there somewhere. I think this would be a good way to learn and to adapt to a different style of life. If I could get the garden going and depend on it for fruits and vegetables I could use bulk sites to purchase other staples like flour, grains, rice, beans, and things like sugar and honey.
Along with this it might not be a bad idea to put together a small supply of the freeze-dried goods.
If hunting goes well, and fishing goes well, we could put away a good supply of meat along with maybe a bulk buy of canned meats. Of course this leaves things like toiletries and cleaners and so forth but I can figure those out later I suppose. Maybe even find a way to clean with things like baking soda and vinegar, which we could buy in bulk.
It is something that deserves more thought, and potentially could change how I do my preparedness to something that is more traditional, seasonal, and connected to the land, which is right up my alley.
I would be interested in hearing your thoughts on it all. Do you buy in bulk? How often? What do you buy?