The little birds...

If you watch little birds you will see they are busy and happy! Using whatever they can find they create the most gorgeous little nest.
I would be the little bird with some glittery thread in her nest!
We can be like this. Happily working away with the things that are available to us to create a beautiful and happy home.
All the while with a little song in our heart.

Banner by Free Pretty Things for You.

Monday 22 June 2015

Pantries and Preparedness. I didn't know this...

Last week I covered some information about shortages that are currently on the cards here after my handy chance meeting with the Chinese man in our local grocery store! This brought to life a lot of facts I had discovered and it was really helpful! 
Since then each time I am in the supermarket I have asked various staff questions.  Even though it is a big place I am a regular there and I always talk to people so lots of them know me. (I am a chatter, who would believe that!?)

So last week, when tins of baby formula seemed to be in very low supply on the shelves, I still assumed what I always assume. That is that there are pallets and boxes out the back that just need to be unpacked so that the shelves are replenished. 
My whole life when there is something sold out on the shelf you ask someone if they have any more "out the back" that they could bring out?  In my mind I imagine a giant storage space filled with pallets of supplies waiting on coming into the store.... so that if something sells then they bring it in. Right?

It occurred to me to ask if the four tins of the baby formula in the brand that Lucy has bought (she has had one tin) were about to be added to from "out the back?" And ta da! I discovered no. There is NOT ONE out the back. There are no boxes or pallets of back up stock. None. The four tins were it. 
The other brands were in equally low supply.
mmm really? After the next four people what then?
The answer is that the computer will "know" to re order it.
"Out the back" is in fact a mythical place/concept that no longer even exists. And hasn't for a long time!

I have kept asking questions.
I also had this from Glenda who is in the US as she is aware of this being the case there...

"We’ve known for a long time that stores only stock the items that you see on the shelves and nothing in back or in a warehouse, as they used to do. My grandparents/parents owned a grocery store and we stocked extra food, so when an item got low on the shelves we could restock. Now days, they have an “as needed,” or “on demand” supply system. When the shelf has reached the “reorder level” then the item is ordered. Many stores here, since they are large chain stores, have no idea when their next supply truck will arrive."

and this...

"Conrad, the manager of Natural Grocers where we shop, said they were having so many supply issues they actually switched warehouses from where they order. We asked why the supply issues and he said some of it was drought, but the rest ‘who knows.’ ‘Who knows’ won't work in a shortage situation. People will clear shelves in a matter of hours and no truck will be coming in to replenish anything".

So this week I decided to use my built up friendly relations and ask to speak to Nigel the store stock and orders manager. And he was very helpful and didn't mind my plethora of questions. 
Firstly, in regard to the Baby Formula stocks he said it was a constant battle. He gets numerous phone calls per day from people wanting to buy bulk amounts. He said most are Asian and want to send them overseas. Many are from overseas and some are local. It takes up part of his day everyday. He seemed worn out just talking about it.

We stood in front of the baby section and I asked were there more "out the back" than the half dozen that were there? He confirmed no, there is not one, of any brand, out the back.
He explained as you go out the check out the computer counts the level of each item and the system re orders items. Then trucks turn up with deliveries which go straight to the shelves.
There are no reserves.

Thats all folks.

So... off the top of my head I said... ok, if there is a strike, a power failure, a trucking problem, a fuel shortage, a computer glitch, a computer hack... what would happen? And the answer is that stock would not turn up at all. This half dozen tins of formula would be it for our area aside of one much smaller supermarket near by. I also checked the chemist. They had ONE can. That is not much is it? We could travel further afield in search but everywhere is much the same so it would probably be joining in an army of others doing the exact same thing.

So we discussed other vitals. Like, if there was a power outage for a couple of days or longer... are the six torches, 12 packets of candles and nine packets of tea lights all they have? Yes. I asked Nigel how long did he think they would last on the shelves in a crisis before they ran out? He estimated about 5 minutes. So if you heard a power outage was going to be around for a while by the time you got in the car and made it to the supermarket all the candles etc would have sold out well before you even get there. You would literally need to be standing in the supermarket the moment you found out about a need like this to stand a chance of getting any supplies.

So think of all the things we think are well stocked, surely, and what would happen when there is a sudden extra demand? ie matches and candles in a massive blackout, powdered milk if the milk deliveries didn't arrive, bottled water if the local supply was contaminated... and so on. There is only supply for the first few customers and that is IT! 

Maybe I was really naive to not have realised this. "Out the back" seemed like a back up to me and apparently it is YEARS since things worked that way. 

A few of this or that is not reassuring!  Some things we can manage fine without. But baby formula is not one of them! You expect to go to the store and find more and not worry about it. Or candles or matches or milk or what ever it is you really count on. The things we MUST have varies family to family but most of us have things that are vital in some way.

The other day when working on this I drew a map of our biggest store. I know it isle by isle. Once you take out the plastics isle, the beauty, the cleaning, the pet food, the kitchenware, the soft drinks , the gardening, the Manchester, the stationary isles and the plastics and paper goods (ie paper napkins and so on) the actual food in a supermarket is not as much as you think! Oh, I forgot magazines! When you get down to necessities and emergency supplies there are surprisingly low numbers on the shelves. And that is IT.

It means we all need to know what we need to have spares of at home. Things we know we cannot afford to run out of we must have our own reserves. It means thinking ahead and also getting ahead. And deciding what is a wise and realistic amount of time to allow for? A week? A month? Three months? More? 
I have been working on this and thinking what items MUST we make sure we have in case the shelves are empty due to any kind of hold up?  It takes some thinking!

I told Mum this as she had seen the levels of formula on the shelves. Her response to my story was "WHAT? they have NONE out the back?!!" and I could see her leaping into action. And me too. Going from thinking I must keep an eye on that to I must do something. 

So there is a review here. I feel I must have believed in fairy tales and it was nice too! Quite reassuring. But just not true and the reality of such a vulnerable supply and situation really has rattled me.

This realization has changed my thoughts on my pantry and what I am preparing for. It has doubled my resolve that we need reserves of everything and to be prepared. The number of people caught short in the case of an interruption to fuel supplies or a strike or computer glitch (or whatever!) would be mind boggling. Everyone just assumes there are plenty of supplies, neatly stacked in pallets out the back. 

My first target, and our greatest vulnerability, is baby formula. Next is probably milk. So this is where I will start. 

Another for us is medication but this is another story and that one is still coming... 

Our pantries are so vital. More important than we ever realized. The needs of our family are protected by our preparedness. Over time we have covered a lot of good reasons to build up our pantries and I was convinced anyway. But now I've had a shake up!

What items are absolutely essential in your family, that you cannot afford to run out of? 

What things would just be really unpleasant to run out of?

How can we be ready in case there is a glitch in the system and things don't arrive for the week or are sold out or in shortage?

Every week we have worked on building up our pantries and encouraged each other, shared ideas, learned so many ways to add to our supplies. It has been wonderful! I am almost at the six month point of my challenge too! I have learned so much. And now I have more reasons than ever to do a good job of this!

I hope you are having a great week and your pantry is growing! xxx


  1. Annabel, I was talking to the CEO of NQR ( Not Quite Right Stores ) a few years ago. He said in the USA, warehouses only have stocks enough to last 2 - 3 days. In Australia we have enough for 2 - 3 weeks. That's why you see riots in America with people fighting over food and shops being stormed by crowds. Although we are better off in Australia, I will not be running to the shops to get anything no matter what the crisis is. Stockpiling is so important on so many levels.

    Yesterday I had some major dental work done. I can't drive for two days but I'm not stressing. We have plenty of food in the house. No one will starve.

    My advice to everyone is - Don't be one of those panic sticken people fighting over the last bottle of water ( or in the case of cyclone Sandy ) the last tin of cat food. It's just not worth it. Start planning now !!!

    1. Dear Wendy, Firstly thank you for getting me started in the first place!
      Our supermarket I refer to is the largest in the area. In the event if a computer glitch, strike or fuel shortage there is only one day supply of many things, perhaps a few days of others? I am trying now to find out how much might be stored at a central location or depot... so I can find out overall how many days (or weeks ) supplies there are overall, if only they can move them in. This will be interesting. Hopefully I can add that next week.
      I hate dental work! I know this is something you really wanted to have done... I hope you are feeling ok and happy with the results.
      I know your household is well prepared. Knowledge is power! I will let you know what I find out, I need to get the manager again to ask the next questions! Many thanks, Annabel.xxxx

    2. Hi Annabel, it was about three years ago when I spoke to the NQR CEO and he was talking about food stocks in general in depots and . warehouses for supermarkets. Not what's out the back of the supermarket. The figures might be different now but we should all be stockpiling as much as we can so we're not relying on the supermarkets in a crisis.

  2. Annabel, that is really thought provoking. Makes you feel rather vulnerable doesn't it. Very timely for me as I'm doing a pantry clean out and will look at everything twice now to ascertain how important it is to our family.

    1. Hello Seachange! So nice to see you!
      Yes it makes you consider what we really should keep reserves of. I have been having a real think!
      Thank you so much for commenting I really appreciate it! Love Annabel.xxxx

  3. Dear Annabel and friends,
    I didn't know.....I feel like wearing the t shirt that says this! Two years ago I went to buy 24 bottles of Berri Grape Juice. It's a supermarket staple. I took all the bottles off the shelf but I was still short. I asked a shop assistant if more could be bought from out the back. SHE DIDN'T TELL ME THAT THERE WAS NO OUT THE BACK.
    She simply said that they didn't have anymore in stock but they could order more and I could come back the next day.
    As I needed it that night, I declined. I remember feeling that this was strange, and have thought of it several times since, but I never knew.
    We are always told that supermarkets have supplies of three days food.
    As you know we have been eating through our pantry supplies as I want to reorganise it all and the practical thing of not having to shift so much food.
    The upside of this is that I now know the quantities and the food that we eat, so when I restock it, I can do so with confidence.
    Does anyone else feel cross? I do. Britain came close to not being able to feed it's people during the second World War.
    An excellent mini series that Annabel and I have watched several times is the BBC Wartime Farm.
    You can view it online.
    Why oh why are we viewing and talking about so much rubbish, and yet there isn't even the public information and encouragement that every household needs to keep a well stocked pantry?
    Thanks Annabel for a fabulous article. I hope the message spreads.
    Love Helen x

    1. Dear Helen,
      I know what you mean. We have been serious about our pantry project all year WITHOUT knowing this! Now I think oh my goodness the responsibility is ours to keep stares of vital things.
      It does mean we are very vulnerable to anything that goes wrong in the system, it woudnt take much. Apparently we would run out of fuel in one week if the supply line to Aust was cut or interrupted... and then no groceries arrive, no medicines... nothing.
      I do feel we lived in a false sense of security.
      When I felt so prompted to do something, to store up, to do this, I know there was a reason.
      We have come a long way in six months! With love, Annabel.xxxx

    2. Wartime Farm is a good series for learning how to get by in adversity. Watched it last year and learned a lot! You can view it on Youtube.

  4. The stocking issues in the U.S. are across the board; all retailers. There is nothing "out back," and hasn't been since the 1990's when the Japanese model for putting the burden of financial weight, for warehousing, on the manufacturer was implemented.

    Being prepared includes medical supplies; household goods; repair and sewing supplies; resource books; of course, food and water; garden seeds and tools; lighting supplies; heating sources; cooking sources; etc..... Think of the things you use each day that are required for your family's needs and some of their comforts.

    Most people have seen the newscasts of shelves that were emptied in a matter of a couple of hours when a major weather crisis is forecast. As Wendy mentioned, the scenes of people fighting over food and supplies isn't unusual here. People fight over sales items here, also, which is totally ridiculous.

    We have a stainless steel Berkey water filter which is an excellent back-up to have in case of contaminated water. It is an investment, but well worth it if ever needed. There are many sizes of Berkey water filters to choose from in a range of prices.

    Being prepared, as much as possible, in every avenue of need is a wise and Biblically sound principle. Don't forget the pets and a little extra for neighbors, extended family, and friends, also.

    Great article, Annabel, and very important timely information. Thank you.

    1. Dear Glenda, Thank you so much for your contribution to this post! What you said about the system is exactly what the manager said to me... the storage issues and space is the problem and responsibility of the manufacturer and not the supermarket, they store nothing. Exactly the same.
      The water filter is such a wise investment. When you think of the things we spend money on, vital things should come first!
      Thank you so much for your help on this! With love, Annabel.xxxx

  5. Gave me a lot to think about, thank you!

    1. Thank you Cindy, it has me thinking and Mum and quite a re assess of my pantry! Thank you for commenting! xx

  6. Over the years I've noticed a couple of things I buy not always in stock. And they've been out of stock for some weeks. So these things I always keep a fairly large supply at home.

    Apart from the milk powder (of which I need to top up!), Lux flakes for making soap and laundry liquid is another that is often out. And generic brand make-up remover pads. I've had to buy other, more expensive brands before, but no more! Now I have several packets ready! I know make-up remover pads are not a staple, but it really put me out when there were none in the shops. So I learnt ;)

    Thank you, as always, Annabel
    Fiona xx

    1. Dear Fiona, Thank you for commenting on this. In the past I have noticed some things have been missing from the shelves for just ages but nothing I had to have so much. Now though I am keeping reserves of our true staples. Powdered milk is one of them and that has been on and off in supply here. Lots of love,

  7. Annabel,
    Wow! This is another very informative post. Since I live in a rural area, I've asked more than once about a sale item at our local store. They always say they can order it or more will be in on the next delivery day. It never occurred to me to ask about the "stock" in the back room. I totally had my eyes opened today and I will ask more questions next time I am there

    However, if we have a crisis due to weather, strike, gas shortage, etc. I will be staying at home!! No need to go out.

    I was at our "local" Wal-Mart about a week ago (it's 20 miles from us). The bagged salads, spinach, etc. shelves were half empty and they were NOT be refilled! Same with the eggs.

    I will be rethinking my food storage and supplies. Making a list tonight! I do agree with Glenda about having extras to share!

    One thing that I have learned over the years is to buy in bulk and have the necessary ingredients to make my own "convenience" foods. This list would consist of sugar, flour, oats, wheat, dry beans, staples for baking (yeast, baking powder, baking soda, etc), salt, milk and oils. Then to add variety canned fruits and veggies, chocolate chips and keeping my dried foods stocked and rotated. Using and replenishing is so important. Cooking and baking from scratch keeps us rotating. I'm thinking I need to check my baking supplies.

    I just re-read, today, an article about someone's experience after hurricane Sandy and one thing was mentioned to have more than what you think you will need in the way of paper plates, plastic silverware, etc. as water to wash dishes with wasn't available nor heating the water.

    I use my powdered milk on a regular basis so I wouldn't want to run out of that. And I would not want to run out of coffee or tea! :) That would be very unpleasant!!

    Annabel, you are doing a great job of getting the word out about preparedness and food storage. Thank you so much. I learn from everyone!

    Love, Teri

    1. Dear Teri,
      I have wondered if country towns are more or less vulnerable... here I think more. My parents live in the country so I am going to get Mum to ask questions there.
      I also would hate to run out of tea. A cup of tea is a cure for many things and a great comfort to me!
      Reading peoples experiences from real life events like Hurricane Sandy is a good idea, there are things I dont think we would even think of! Experience is a good teacher.
      I think powdered milk is a great thing to keep. So many things can be made if we have milk.
      Thank you so much for all your encouragement Teri. I am glad you are keeping your eye on supplies and asking questions. With love, Annabel.xxxx

  8. Very important information that I neither knew nor had considered. Thankyou for sharing.

    1. Thank you Garden Del. I had no clue either! So I am really reassessing what to keep spares of at all times. Big learning curve! But it is so good to know these things. It would be so easy to be caught out. Many thanks.xx

  9. So I wonder if this also applies to Aldi?

    Rain cheques are the answer that the supermarkets have come up with when they can not supply items on sale but, I wonder if they are also available for items that are not on sale but are often on short supply?

    Like Helen I am working my way through the pantry sorting out what is in there that we use and what I need to reconsider - I have also been thinking of how I can get more storage and have a couple of ideas up my sleeve. One being the old upright freezer that is currently in storage - rather than send it to the tip it will still function as a cupboard so I am thinking the only change will be some solid sheeting on the shelves for added support when I start storing extra tins in it and also removal of the power cable.

    So now I am rethinking my pantry and what I store in it as well as the contents.

    I can remember our daughter saying that just after the floods of 2011(?) that she could not get bread or water, she had walked for miles and no one had any. We were not living up here then so couldn't help her out.

    There were lots of things that were unavailable not just food items.

    I have been working on things like toothpaste, toothbrushes, soap and the like but my storage is limited so I have not got in as much as I would like. Then I switched to cleaning items - I use the miracle cleaner but I think when people are under stress from something major the familiar is easier for them to deal with.

    So now that I have worked out some extra storage I need to look at what I use to make the miracle cleaner and start stocking up on that.

    One thing I do when grocery shopping is hunt through for the longest useby date - there was a time when the whole section would be taken apart, wiped down and then restocked with new stock first then the old stock but that doesn't seem to happen anymore.


    1. Dear Lynette, I am not sure about Aldi, with their own product lines. I would love to find out! An Aldi is coming to near us which I think is a good thing.
      I notice that often everything even at the back has the same use by dates as I look for the longest use by dates too!
      An old freezer could be useful for storage. And as you re do your pantry you might find all kinds of ideas... look at the ideas on Howards storage world and IKEA etc as many times the ideas are great but we can improvise and dont need to buy the products. I have pinched some great ideas that are clever and really improved my space. Now I need it even more as I will be keeping many more basics on hand. With love, Annabel.xxxx

    2. My understanding is that Aldi doesn't keep much out the back either. Cath from Cheapskates told me that Aldi keep their suppliers on short contracts. That's why some things disappear off the shelves for no reason then to reappear months later. Creamed corn is a good example. When it came back into stock again recently I bought 14 cans as I use it in a tuna casserole.

    3. Thanks Wendy I doubt very much that the Aldi I shop at would be able to hold a lot of supplies, the turnover must be massive as I have never not been in without others doing their shopping, no matter what day or time.


  10. My experience is if it is actually "out the back" it is because that item is part of a load has not been fully unpacked and the shelves replenished yet! I am constantly told they are waiting on the truck, the supplier etc etc. So I do guess that underneath we suspected this and it is not really surprising nor shocking.

    The only place I think can be seriously trusted for reliable stocks is "out the back" in my own storeroom!!! It makes it all the more important for everyone to keep reasonable stocks at home, doesn't it??

    Food security truly is more precarious than most appreciate. This is why I now keep a tin of formula here. When my daughter had run it down to the last scoop a month or so ago, I near had a fit and vowed and declared I would take it seriously on my grand daughters account to NOT run out!!

    I do think everyone just assumes it will be there waiting and with endless immediate supply! Complacency could have terrible consequences. A timely post Annabel.

    1. You are right Kaye we need to trust our own supplies and back up and keep a watchful eye on those. Replenish as we can.
      I think I will do a lot more reading on food security. As Helen said, during the war this was all such an issue. Now everyone has forgotten!
      I like your statement about complacency. It could be a killer!
      Lol at your near fit. That is a good one. I have had near fits myself! xxxx

  11. You know this has got me thinking ...a lot! I have asked if they had some things out back and most of the time they say yes. It makes me wonder if the shipment has just arrived! It pays to be prepared and I will try to do more preparation in the future.

    1. Hi Vickie,

      Often, we hit our organic natural grocers store the day the truck has come in and we ask for an item that is empty on the shelf. They will go search to see if it came in and if they can access it easily for us. Often, it didn't come in, but they tell us another truck will be coming in a few days.

      Workers, for all stores, is an issue in our area, so sometimes stock is sitting in the back that has arrived on the truck waiting to be put on shelves. We've, also, experienced stock shortages for over a month where it didn't come on any truck. In addition, we've experienced, recently at one store where we shop, the situation of discontinued items due to supply issues at the manufacturing end, so those won't be back on the shelves.

      Very wise to stock up!

    2. I dont know if city is better or worse than country or if it varies place to place Vicky. It seems the new norm though from what I am hearing. A bit of a shake up for me that is for sure. We are wise to be prepared and have spares at least of vital things.
      Thank you so much for commenting! xxx

  12. Annabel, I've know this for quite some time ... I discovered it on my way to a store bathroom one day while shopping. You had to go by the double doors of the stock room and what I didn't see made me do a double take. I started paying closer attention to stockrooms of grocery stories when I would go by and they were all the same. This post is a great reminder and our discussion question on the A Working Pantry Facebook group today is based on it. Great job Annabel!

    1. Dear Patsy, I would love to get a peek at out the back! It is quite maximum security around ours.
      Thank you so much for the link on A Working Pantry. The weekly goals are a big help to me. It has been a big year of learning and we are only half way!
      Thanks so much, Love Annabel.xxxx

  13. Pretty much everything functions this way these days. Our son is an engineer for a major auto manufacturer and if one of their suppliers lines goes down then it shuts down the production line at the auto plant. It is our son's job to be sure this does not happen because it results in huge monetary losses. Most all manufacturing runs this way and so I have to assume that it is the same for food producers. If a supplier fails to deliver then the production shuts down. It is supposed to save a lot of money in not having stock that could go to waste and less need for warehouse space. That is hardly comforting. I have not noticed shortages in the USA at this point but with the drought in California I expect prices will rise.

    We are well stocked here but I worry for our adult children who do not see the need to keep extra on hand. Most live hundreds of miles from us and we could not help them in a time of disaster.

    For any medical needs I have a large stock of essential oils and training on how to use them for any illness. We do not take any prescription drugs for which I am thankful since we would not need to worry about stocking up on those.

    We are on a well so we always keep water in case of a power outage. A few months ago we purchased filter straws that allow us to drink water from
    any source. A stream runes through the woods at the back of our property so a walk with a bucket would yield water.

    1. Dear Lana, You explantation shows how one thing going wrong has a domino effect. That is the worry!
      Prescription drugs is my next frontier as Andy takes several and he would be in big trouble without them... he has a stainless steel heart valve as he was born with something wrong...
      So my mission is now to find out about chemists/pharmacy's and supply.
      It is really wonderful you have that stream. Also is sounds beautiful!
      Thank you so much for this, it is so interesting.
      I understand it being hard to convince "the kids" to be prepared. I am trying to achieve the same. In my case they are both bear by and I could buy Harper formula to keep here just in case (as I did today) and I am thankful for that. It must be hard being a long distance apart.
      Thanks again, Love

  14. Oh if everyone would grasp how important and scary this is and put up a few extra things,,,then there would be no need to panic in times of scarcity.

    1. Exactly Diana, there would be no desperation, no riots... it would be much more secure. Also I dont even want to be out there if there is a push and rush over things, it would be much safer at home.
      Thank you so much for commenting! xxx

  15. Annabel, I just wanted to comment of the shortages here. My son went to his local Wal-Mart and all the onion bins were empty!! No re-stocking! Also, egg shelves were half full and the milk shelve were also half gone! So....not sure where this will all end!

    1. That is a double whammy with the eggs and the drought... I think once fresh is gone the frozen and dehydrated will soon follow so get them stocked up as you can. Its very interesting, this is why we need to know ahead, if we can, what is coming. It gives us that chance to stock up a bit at home. Thanks for this report Teri, xxxx

  16. Thank you very much for the thought you have put into this series Annabelle. I live in the lower half of the North Island, New Zealand, where we have recently been hit by floods. Thankfully the provincial city that I live in was not badly affected but this event, along with your post above, prompted me to have a conversation with the manager of my local Pack and Save grocery store. Pack and Save is the budget chain in NZ and is supplied via the Foodstuffs warehouse distribution centre. The manager said that because the distribution centre is on the outskirts of our city resupply would be unlikely to be a problem - at least if the roads were accessible. He added that apart from the loss of speciality items which are trucked in from other parts of the country, it is likely that the stock of basic foodstuffs (stored above the shelves and stacked almost to the ceiling of the store in true discount supermarket style) would probably last a week. He added however that candles are bought by the pallet and so would soon run out, while batteries and torches would last longer. So it was an interesting conversation - in a discount supermarket there are considerable quantities of food stored above the shelves (I must be really stupid not to have noticed this before!) in addition to an smallish 'out the back' area, and therefore would be the best 'first choice' of supermarket in situation of shortage.

    1. Thank you so much! A week is a good amount and the stacked up shelves there are far greater than anything here. It is so good to ask these questions and gives us some idea of what is good to keep on hand (like candles). We take things for granted but it would be so easy for everyone to be caught out. I have seen a few things this week too that have added to me resolve to keep things on hand. Next week I am looking at prescription drugs and medicines, how long do they stay on the shelves in a crisis?
      Thank you for your comment and kind words! xxx

  17. Crikey Annabel you have been a real detective!

    That was a very interesting read. I just said to hubby about the stores having nothing in storage out the back. And when I think about it they always have come back when we have asked for a product and said there wasn't any out the back. They do go and have a look though lol!

    I will have to check out the formula supply here. I know it is hard to get hold of home brand powdered milk sometimes and even the home brand long life milk gets short on supply.

    Thank you for such an informative post, keep up the good work!


    1. Thanks Tania! I am working in prescription drugs now as Andy depends on a couple (due to his heart) and now I wonder HOW long do those supplies last in a glitch?
      We take all these things so for granted! Thank you so much this was a lovely compliment! xxx

  18. The baby formula shortage especially concerns me. With one and soon to be 2 on grands, I certainly don't want to be short. I am going to show this to my daughter and I think I will be buying several more back up canisters of formula.
    Thank you for the info.

  19. The 'just-in-time' delivery system that supermarkets operate under now means that there is no stock kept in reserve. It is a very scary thought that in a crisis (as most people are not prepared), there would be rioting over the food in the supermarket within a day or two. I think Aldi keeps stock on hand; certainly our Aldi only gets deliveries twice a week rather than every single day like Coles and Woolworths. But even Aldi don't keep much.

  20. Hi Annabel! Vicky visiting you from the Working Pantry group! I have been trying to keep a year's supply of everything for years now and some things are very easy to stock and others not so much because should something bad really happen I would have at least 13 people to feed. The grocery system is for sure broken and here if there is a really good sale you need to get there early. I don't know if you know this or not, but if you had to there is a recipe for homemade baby formula. I keep cans of evaporated(not sure if that is what you call it?) milk as well as condensed and powdered milk. Do you have back up cooking sources? I have a lot of soup ingredients and foods that only require water because they use less resources to cook than something that would take hours to cook. I have to get a rain check at least once a week here and it sure does get old. The riots here due to weather are people's stupidity! Everyone who lives here knows we can get hit by bad snow storms and they are predicted in advance yet they wait until it hits. Also I hate to say this but the mentality of a lot of people in the US is that the government is going to take care of them. After we get our debt taken care of I am going to double down on adding to my pantry and long term supplies! My husband has not had success in finding a job when they see he is 50 and missing some of his fingers. keep up the good work and don't forget comfort foods! I hope to never run out of sugar! Even if I had to ration it I still want it!
    Good day Anabel.

    1. Dear Vicky thank you for visiting! You might be the Vicky on the A Working Pantry FB posts I think, hi!
      Thirteen people is a lot to feed. But maybe even more important for you to build up supplies where you can.
      My Aunt told me yesterday about homemade baby formula for emergencies as she is a nurse and back when she was nursing they did this. So that is good and she says it was successful. And of course years ago there was no formula.
      Keeping long life milk supplies is a very good idea and the basis of so many things to make.
      Yes, we have an outdoor gas BBQ with a gas bottle. We just got a spare full bottle too so we always have at least a full one plus a bit more and refill immediately. One of these would cook dinner and heat water for a month or more. I find a lot of security in this.
      We have a fair bit of the mentality you mention. However I know it isnt going to last, the gov will run out of money! Also in a crisis we have emergency services which are very good but if the crisis is big they may take days to get to you, if ever! You have to be ready yourself as far as possible. Most people are not.
      I really hope your husband finds a job. Tell him to think outside the box and go offer his services somewhere he sees they need someone... someone told us this and it helped Andy get a job... he saw a business with a problem and he offered to fix it. It worked!
      Many thanks Vicky and keep up the good work! Love


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