Are you a stocker-upper? I sure am, and while it verges on obsession at times, I'm happy that I'm able to do it.
I just got done separating 3 family-sized packages of boneless-skinless chicken breasts into freezer bags and meal-sized portions for Ken and me. They were on sale this week, and who am I to pass up a good deal?
I think I come by my hoarding tendencies honestly. My parents grew up during the Depression, and I know that there were many times that they were hungry kids. When I was growing up, my folks had two refrigerators (the regular one in the kitchen and an old one in the basement for pop), a chest freezer (for the side of beef they'd buy most years, the corn she'd blanch and freeze, the noodles she made from scratch, and the strawberry and blackberry jam she'd make every year), a pantry upstairs for all the staples, and a pantry in the basement (for all the vegetables and fruit she canned). And we also had a vegetable garden so we could have fresh vegetables during the summer. Believe me, there was never a lack of food at our house.
Mom is such a smart shopper, and one of the many things I learned from her and Dad was to take advantage of a good deal and a great sale. When I lived in apartments, I wasn't able to stockpile groceries, although I managed to keep the hallway closet full of toilet paper, toothpaste, aspirin, etc. When we bought our house, there was already a good-sized pantry in the basement, with many shelves on which we could load cases of canned mushrooms, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, green beans, corn (kernels and creamed), asparagus, soup, and peas, along with pasta sauce, pasta, granola bars, salad dressing, salsa, coffee beans...you get the idea. We bought an upright freezer, and I look for meat on sale, so it's stocked most of the time with ham, pork tenderloins, fish, sausage, frozen vegetables, frozen pie crusts (for quiche), and the side of beef we bought from one of Ken's coworkers earlier this year. A little over a hundred pounds of hamburger, along with packages of steaks and roasts, made me feel more confident about us not starving to death. Not on my watch!
I'm really happy to have so much space for this kind of food storage, because I love being able to go downstairs and figure out something to put together without having to shop frequently. I can always rustle up something, even if it's a frozen pizza and a salad, and I find it oddly comforting to have my little pantry "security blanket." I'm not sure how much money we save by stocking up like we do, but I'd be willing to bet it's quite a bit. I'm glad I got this particular quirk from my parents...it might be close to a bunker mentality, but it will be a cold day in Hell before we run out of toilet paper here.
Besides, if we ever experience a national crisis such as nuclear bombs or pandemic influenza, we'll be the most popular people in the neighborhood!