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Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Building A One Month Preparedness Pantry ... part 3

Part 1 of this series can be found HERE and part 2 can be found HERE.  

The reason I started this series can be found 
HERE.

Part 3 is about disposables ... paper plates, plastic cups, plastic utensils, paper towels, etc. As a general rule the only one of these items we use on a regular basis are paper towels unless we have a power outage!

A power outage for us means we do not have running water and if we do not have running water I'm all about those paper products.  I'm all about using and throwing it all away. Why?  Because it's just easier not to have to heat water to wash dishes in and in a temporary off-grid situation where everything takes longer and is harder to do this little convenience is one I'm going to use if at all possible.

Are they expensive, they can be, but they don't have to be!  I have a collection of holiday paper plates we use that I've gotten by purchasing them for a fraction of their cost after the holidays are over.  Just recently I added the plates in the picture above to my collection about a week after Halloween for $.37 a package.  It doesn't matter to me that they are holiday plates, to me they are our emergency preparedness plates.  So, in a plastic tub they will go along with our plastic cups and plastic utensils.  

Once a year, at Christmas, we purchase red plastic cups in bulk 
 to package the fudge in that my husband makes for food gifts (We get the cups at Sam's Club and I think there's either 180  or 200 cups to the package.  The package usually runs around $10.).  Whatever is left of those goes into our emergency paper products preparedness tub. When we travel and have to stay in a hotel, we bring home the unused styrofoam or plastic cups that come with the price of our room. Between the two, we can usually keep enough in our preparedness tub to get us through a power outage. Remember, we're preparing for a 1 month power outage so save accordingly.

We do purchase a box of plastic utensils at Sam's Club, the one's that are individually packaged with a napkin, fork, spoon and possibly a knife, to have in our preparedness tub. One box will last us a long time and it sure does make cleaning up from a meal in a non-electric situation a lot easier.

Being prepared by having disposables on hand will make a difficult situation a little easier to handle!  Trust me on this! 

Patsi
She looketh well to the ways of her household … Proverbs 31:27






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A Working Pantry is more than just about food! It's about household items needed to keep my home running smoothly readily available when needed.  It's about keeping a gift trunk so that I'm ready for any gift giving occasion.  It's about a lifestyle.  It's about keeping my home and looking well to the ways of my household and it's about doing it all as frugally as possible.  I hope you enjoy what you read here.
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20 comments:

  1. Since you talked about storing your paper products in a plastic container could you tell us where you keep all of your stores? I live in a home that is only 960 sq ft so I have to be creative with my space.

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    1. Wendi, I surely understand the space issue. My home is 925 sq ft! As for where I store my tubs ... in my pantry, in a closet we added shelving to and turned into a pantry, in the bottom of our clothes closet. I have to prioritize what I keep in my home so that I will have room for those things that in my opinion are needful. I hope this helps!

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  2. Yes, Patsy, we've done the paper plate and plastic cutlery thing! If we had both been worn out from forestry work, and had guests, paper plates were excellent! We could burn the plates afterwards!! Thankfully, we have gravity-fed water, and can access it by bucket also. I have a system whereby I can rinse dishes from a bottle, along with the use of a homemade washing soda cloth, and do one larger wash up (heating the water on gas, or in an ecobilly, burning leaves and sticks, if I get stuck) rather than a wash up after every meal. It's a survival tip.

    Regards,
    Rachel Holt

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    Replies
    1. Rachel, when you say you have a system whereby you can rinse dishes from a bottle, what do you mean? And what is a homemade washing soda cloth? Thanks!

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    2. Hi Patsy!!

      Okay, 'rinsing dishes from a bottle' is used for very basic situations, like when the water pipe to the kitchen sink breaks or one is having an outdoor meal. At these times, it is easy for us to bucket water from one of our rainwater tanks (from outdoor taps). Water is then poured from the bucket into a three litre plastic milk bottle that has a handle. I find that I can easily lean this milk bottle over (or pick it up) with my left hand. I just tip water onto a plate, say, run my soda cloth over the plate and cutlery, rinse again and then stack rinsed dishes. I stack plates on top of three upturned, tall preserving jars - where the outdoor critters cannot reach! A small bucket keeps cutlery safe. A tall bucket is for cooking implements!

      As for my 'homemade washing soda cloth', when doing my dishes, I set up a small bowl with my cloth and washing soda (about a tablespoon, so quite strong). Boiling water goes on top to sterilize the cloth, and dissolve the washing soda, which I find wonderful on even greasy dishes! The cloth could be made of any course cloth. In my case, I use hessian from a potato bag, loose ends folded inside, and the whole thing quickly wound with reclaimed string from produce bags. It's always sitting on the sink, in the washing soda solution, ready for use! (The washing soda is a water softener, and I don't mind it going on the ground in recycled water.)

      It's that simple! The beauty is that it works, and turns awkward situations into workable routines!! I guess this is just how the Aussie mind thinks!!

      With very warm regards,
      Rachel Holt

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    3. Rachel, thank you, now I understand. I had not thought of the homemade washing soda cloth but will be adding this idea to my preparedness notebook. Thank you ... simple and very doable!!!

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  3. I live in a similar situation to you in that if the power goes off, there is no water. Yes I make all my own cleaning products, but I also include some packaged wipes I.e. Lysol and this only because I got them for .50 cents a container. They have come in handy.

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    Replies
    1. Jean, those wipes come in handy to don't they?

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  4. Patsy we have paper/plastic plates, plastic utensils and paper towel stored in our caravan. We free camp a lot and have to be careful with water use. It can be a 1000km trip to the next lot of potable water. We also use these products when we have a get together as we don't have enough crockery or utensils to cover everyone. I also don't want to be washing up as I don't have a dishwasher to do the job for me. I purchase the generic brands as they come in decent quantities and are affordable. This has reminded me to check how much we have of these items.

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    Replies
    1. Jane, the generic brands work too and that's a good idea to store them in your caravan if you have one!

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  5. I have hot dog boats from Smart and Final. 250 for less than 5 dollars if you buy 4. I always buy 4 because it 1 dollar off each package. These are great salad,chili,stuffed potatoes etc and cat bowls. If we do not have running water I need to think of the cats too. I also have some to go containers that are left over from a outreach. The hot dog boats fit under the bathroom sink and the to go containers are in the hall closet. We are around 900 sq feet and do not have storage closet on the patio. You just get creative with storage solutions :)
    Patti

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    Replies
    1. Patti, I hadn't thought about hot dog boats ... I'll have to keep an eye out for some of those. Thanks for the tip!

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  6. This is an area I need to get to work on. I can see it would be much easier to manage... thanks Patsy! xxx

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    1. Annabel, during a non-electric event anything we can do to make it easier is welcome at my house!

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  7. My job last year was throwing away 2 cases of paper bowls. 1000 in each box. I asked if I could take them instead of them going in the garbage. They said OK. Gave some to my parents and sisters. Took a bunch away when we stay at a friends beach house. There is no dishwasher other then me so we use paper products since it is a vacation. I still have over a case left. I always buy leftover holiday paper goods. My mom just got 2013 paper plates for 5cents a pack. She bought them all and gave me 10 packs. 20 plates in a pack.

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    Replies
    1. Marybeth, I would have scooped up those paper bowls too! What a find! By staying alert for freebies and clearance deals we can be well stocked in this area.

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  8. We have the same no water situation when the power is out and it has been this way for 36 of the 38 years we have been married so we are quite good at coping with it now. I watch for sales with coupons throughout the year and always buy when they are 50 cents a package or less. A few years ago I declared Christmas when the kids are home and we are 16 here to be all paper plates and cups week. I do use Christmas themed ones but as you said they are easily obtained for cheap. I find that I would rather spend time with the family than deal with the dishes so it is worth it.

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    1. Lana, I'm with you on the large gatherings ... unless everyone is going to 'help with the dishes!'

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  9. I too keep a supply of plastic eating utensils, paper plates, bowls (for liquid foods such as breakfast cereals), and drinking cups. I never thought of purchasing paper items such as this after seasonal events, I'll do that! Thanks for the tip! Also, I'll be looking around at thrift stores for new, packaged paper plates. Now, thrift shopping will be even more fun!

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  10. I currently have running water, but the drain is blocked, so I can't use the kitchen sink. Boy howdy have paper goods come in handy!

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