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