There is something enormously satisfying about having a full pantry. It's been a fairly recent exercise for me to stock up and I'm sure to make some mistakes along the way.
My parents have a membership at Sam's Club and took me along last week. It was interesting to learn that buying in bulk quantities kept the price down by around 25% compared to the grocery store. I kept my purchases limited to items I know will be used and were practical--no huge boxes of snack foods. A 3 liter bottle of extra virgin olive oil, 2 gallons of vinegar, large bag of baking soda (that covers a lot of cleaning), large bag of walnuts (which will be frozen) are some of the items I got.
This weekend I bought a gallon of local honey. A gallon seems like a very large amount to me, but this is the only food that never goes bad. I wish I had bees, but for now all I can do is plant lots of flowers for them.
So, why the deep pantry? Although it's a terrific way to be frugal and prepare for financial hardship that isn't what motivates me. I worry that we (everywhere) are balanced very precariously in so many ways (economically, population, environment, resources...) that anything could throw us off. I was talking to one of my co-workers recently about having water for emergencies and his response was that if anything happened to the water supply he'd go buy some....is this just the difference between people who come from farms versus city folk??? As if in that situation all the hundreds of thousands of other people in the city wouldn't be trying to do the same thing?
I follow the government recommendation for water: rinse containers with a mild bleach solution and fill with water. Refresh the supply every six months. I'm still working on building up a stockpile as gallon containers become available.
So, that's where I'm at. A lot of the people I know think I'm a bit nutty but that's ok. Normal isn't all it's cracked up to be. ;)