Zombie Q-pocalypse

Preparing for the Zombie Apocalypse with Coupons…

Those of you who belong to or follow the doomer blogs probably have heard of the importance of preparing for the Zombie Apocalypse by stockpiling food and other necessities that could be disrupted.  Now of course we’re not actually talking about zombies, we’re mostly talking about fossil fuel supply disruptions leading to power outages, empty grocery shelves, etc., that could last indefinitely. 

pantry 004

I don’t typically talk about the apocalypse (in fact, I had to slow down and think about how to spell it each time I typed the word), but on some days I definitely fall into the “doomer” category.  I do, however, try to be an optimist.  But I think it’s important to have a supply of food and other necessities for emergencies that are more likely to occur, for example- power outages due to weather extremes, which will only become more likely thanks to our changing climate.  In fact, there are some people in our state who were without power for a few days after a strong system of thunderstorms moved through last week.  We didn’t lose power here, but in the event of such an outage, I can be sure that we’d be near the end of the priority list for the utility companies to turn the power back on.  They’re concerned with getting the electricity back on for the most people in the quickest amount of time, and since we live on a dead-end street with less than 10 houses, I’m pretty sure we’re low priority.  The big problem for us is water, since we have a well, so if the power goes out so does the water.

What does this have to do with coupons, you ask? After a recent discussion with a colleague who’s gotten into couponing, I realized how coupons could be the ticket to developing food stores for families like mine who simply can’t afford to go out and buy a stockpile of food when it’s not on sale.  Confession time: I never even looked at coupons until about two weeks ago.  I always figured that my store card gave me discounts and if I shopped the sales, I’d be all set.  But then I watched an episode of “Extreme Couponers” and started to feel like a chump! Here I’ve been, paying full price for most items all along, when I could be getting them for cheap or free! Who couldn’t use more money?

While I don’t plan to go the route of the extreme couponer, since I don’t need a “toothpaste room” or 100’s of containers of mustard, it couldn’t hurt to buy, say, an extra jar of vitamins or boxes of pasta when they’re on sale and I have a coupon.  The coupon discussion came up in the Green Moms Carnival yahoo group a few weeks ago and the consensus was that most of us won’t benefit from coupons because we tend to cook from scratch and avoid processed packaged foods, which are the majority of coupons.  However, I think there are some items that even the avid home cook should consider using coupons for: pantry staples that won’t go bad, basic cleaning supplies like baking soda and borax, vitamins, even bottled water. 

Now, I am typically opposed to bottled water but have come to the conclusion that I should have a few bottles in my pantry in case of emergency, since our water goes out with the power.  It’s a good idea to fill the bath tub before a storm so you’ll have water to flush the toilet, but that water’s not potable and I think it’s a dangerous practice with children in the house.  With a toddler, I’m simply not going to do that and will have to just resign myself to use flushes wisely.  You can, of course, use clean soda bottles with a drop of bleach for storing water, but that sounds like a lot of work to me.  If I have a coupon for bottled water, and that water goes on sale, why not stock up a little bit for pennies? It seems like a smart thing to do.

So, my resolution.  Once I’m out of school, I’m going to take both couponing and food storage more seriously.  I’m going to clean out and organize my kitchen and pantry, clip coupons, look for sales, and start stocking up on items I’ll actually use.  Since I’m hosting the July Green Moms Carnival and the topic is Food Preservation, I’ll be knee deep by then!  That picture above was my pantry back before I was a mom.  Look how orderly it was! Those days are gone, haha!

If you’re new to food storage, check out The Chatalaine’s Keys (formerly Casaubon’s Book) for a wealth of info.  And since I’m new to couponing, please share your tips in the comments!

This post is my contribution to the June Green Moms Carnival: Half-Year Resolutions, hosted by OrganicMania.

PS- I say “COO-pon” but I’ve noticed that all the extreme couponers say “Q-pon.”  How about you?

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11 Comments

Filed under Food, Home, Living from Scratch, Sustainable Living

11 responses to “Zombie Q-pocalypse

  1. Q-pon is the way I say it. I look forward to your entries on how your coupon strategy works out. I must admit I have no idea how those extreme couponers do it. We do like you: shop sales, use the store discount card and cook quite a bit by scratch.

  2. I am not a coupon user, either. And while we have coupons in Canada, I’m not sure we have quite the same system as in the US where you can get items basically for free. For instance, I’ve never seen a “double coupon day” at my local grocery store.

    But I agree that if I can find something I would buy anyway for less, that it’s worth stocking up on. It’s one of the reasons that I buy in bulk whenever possible, and that I’ll go out of my way to buy certain items when a good sale is on.

  3. Q-pon, baby!

    You are right about the stock piling but I always have so much trouble getting motivated. I live in earthquake country and I did recently invest in a Costco bucket of powdered meals because it came up and it was vegetarian (which I am). I’m sure they’ll be gross but they last for 20 yrs, they were on sale, my mom is a Costco member and ordered it from me, and her, and, well, that and some bottled water (I’m of the same opinion for emergencies), and we’re good enough, I hope . . .

  4. I’m fond of couponing SOMETIMES and I only use Coupon Mom‘s method. It requires that you have some popular chain stores in your area or that you at least have a chance to compare the sales ads from your local store to the Coupon Mom database to see if you have coupons for things. I’m not into carrying all my coupons to the store or even cutting them out if I may not be able to use them with a sale … and you save the MOST money by using them WITH a great sale.

    You’ll rarely ever find coupons for fresh produce (for instance), so cooking from scratch is not encouraged by coupon use. If you get preferred shopper coupons from stores you frequent, however, they oftentimes offer $xx off our dairy department or produce department or frozen foods.

  5. I find that the coupons and store sales come in waves. I found more green projects on sale + coupon and stocked up for the year. Since I have a small family that usually means buying one or two extra.

    Lately I do better with the store sales since I cook from scratch. I didn’t pay much attention to them or shop accordingly. Now I do!

  6. ctdaffodil

    I was one of the $$% of my town w/o power last week – I thought I was so prepared – lots of shelf stable recipies at my disposal, blah blah blah….after all I’m an experienced dry camper – Well, what a shocker for me….thankfully we have a pool so could flush toilets because my kids didn’t realize that when you have a well and no power you have no water.
    Shameful to admit but I was happy to see Walmart has gallons of water for 88 cents/per – the kids took bird baths before bed and school and we survived our 36 powerless hours….

  7. When I was in school I was very good at cutting and then using-now I always cut them out and misplace them. Good intentions gone awry. I need a system to organize. So once you’re out of school and you have the time to develop a system that works-please share! My New Yorker parents always said Q-pon and the Bostonian way is coo-pon.I thought is was the accent :)

  8. I took a “coupon class” several months ago and I have been using coupons to stock up when there are good deals. I was a little unprepared for the lack of energy/motivation that I felt earlier in this pregnancy so when it came down to eating out or buying processed foods I chose processed foods. We still don’t eat them a lot, mostly just in our packed lunches. Now that I’m feeling normal again we’re phasing out that junk and replacing it with homemade alternatives. I’ve become much better at utilizing my freezer for baked goods and prepared snacks so that we have some ready for days I can’t hack it.
    I still use some coupons, mostly for basics like nuts, cheese, pasta, toiletries, and paper products. We use Scott Naturals paper towels and they tend to have frequent coupon offers.

  9. I definitely say “coo-pon,” but I’m still not buying into coupons. I find I can get great deals by buying basic ingredients (wheat berries, rolled oats) in bulk — less packaging too!

  10. Cathy

    Those bottles of water are not meant to be kept longer than 6 months. I think a cheaper, more enviro-friendly method of keeping drinking water on hand is to save those glass gallon jars that you get cider or juice in the fall, fill it up with tap, and then change it every few months. I actually use mine to water plants, so the water stays pretty fresh.

    FYI, you are supposed to have one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days. So, that’s 3 gallons per person.

    FEMA has an emergency checklist – http://www.fema.gov/pdf/library/epc.pdf that you might find helpful.

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