Use It Or Lose It

I’m sure you’re familiar with that phrase. We’ve all heard it and it’s usually said in reference to staying fit, but for people who are trying to live the homesteader lifestyle it takes on a whole different meaning.

I was looking over my prepper stash again and realized there are a few things in there that the clock is slowly ticking away on. Nothing lasts forever, of course, and keeping things for a “rainy day” is great until it doesn’t rain and you end up having to throw it out.

My Mormon neighbors are good at rotating their supplies, which is something I need to get better at. There is quite a bit of skill that goes into having a “prepared pantry”. My problem is that it takes a lot of discipline and hard work and I don’t always have the wherewithal to stay on top of it.

A few months ago I came up with a system to make it easy to see at a glance when things in my long term pantry expire, so that helps. I put colored stickers on everything and made a list of what year each dot correlates to. Not necessarily the ‘use by’ date, but when the food actually expires. You can read more of that in the post I linked to.

Then I promptly moved onto other things and kind of forgot to go back to check my list to see if anything needs to be used before it goes bad and I have to toss it.


So now I’m staring at quite a bit of food that I need to do something with over the next few weeks otherwise it’s going to go to waste and that’s not good. Most of it is things like flour, frozen goods (meat, veg, eggs), yeast, butter and some canned goods which I got for the hubs since I can’t eat most processed foods.

It’s not that I’m complaining, because I feel lucky that we’ve been able to store so much stuff over the last couple of years and it has helped offset the high cost of food lately. But if I have to throw it out, that’s not frugal. It’s the opposite of frugal!

I do have some options, like baking and cooking up a lot of different things and sharing with the kids or the neighbors or the pups or even taking it to the local food bank (the canned stuff at least), so I’m not overly worried about it but it is something I need to deal with.

Just one more thing to keep me busy, I suppose!

I’d really rather just take a nap. 😄

2 thoughts on “Use It Or Lose It

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