Years ago, when I moved into my very first apartment, I remember calling my grandmother to celebrate the moment.
My grandmother raised me until I was 3 and had always been the woman in my life that I could lean on in trials, and laugh with in triumphs – so it was only right that I’d underline my official entry into being “grown” with one of our hour long conversations.
There’s something so magical about grandmothers. Especially, as in my case, your mother’s mother. That maternal lineage runs deep inside a woman’s veins even when she doesn’t know or notice it.
We carry triggers, traumas, untold stories – and oh so much wisdom.
Women carry so much wisdom. Survival wisdom, and also, the wisdom to thrive. #WhatGrandmaKnew
It’s why I reflect back on those early adulthood conversations with my grandmother now with so much gratitude. The advice she gave me at that time – advice that was simple, easily executed, easily shared – has carried me and my family through lean seasons, and bountiful seasons without missing a beat.
I believe in being well-prepared as a woman and especially, as a homemaker raising a medium-sized family.
I don’t know about your home, but our little homeschoolers can eat, on top of that, they play, and I mean really play. At least 3 times a week someone scrapes, cuts, or bruises a limb and having a well stocked home means that I’m not running to the pharmacy for bandaids, peroxide, and antibacterial ointment day and night.
Another benefit of preparing your home is the peace of mind you get from knowing that everything really is ok, no matter what’s going on around you.
I remember my son having a fever and a serious sore throat during a tropical storm. I had no way to leave the house, especially with a sick child and sitting in an emergency room was not going to happen. It was a blessing to be able to step into my own medicine cabinet and know exactly what he needed to break his fever and calm the inflammation in his airways.
Motherhood makes you the primary care practitioner in your family by default, doesn’t it?
One thing I’ve learned throughout my (few) years of raising a family, and even before that – is that adversity doesn’t come into your life, not to tear you down, but to teach you – if you’re willing to learn.
Getting back to the basics is higher level learning that most of our generation isn’t privy to, and many who are just don’t want to. And that’s a choice, but since you’re here I’m assuming you do want to know, and I’m willing to share the simple, life sustaining skills and threads of wisdom that have helped me make order in the midst of chaos and beauty in the in-between spaces.
I believe in the saying that if you give a person fish you’ll feed them for a day, but if you teach them to fish they will eat for life.
So, instead of giving you another prepper’s checklist, or free this-or-that that’ll sit in your inbox collecting dust, I’ll share with you the exact advice so that you can apply it right away.
Tips for a Well Prepared Home (without hoarding)
- Focus on Value and Investment
That class you want to take, watch the webinar, invest in that skill you want to learn.
Because the greatest asset to your family is you.
If you focus on increasing your skillset and becoming a greater asset to your family they’ll be the natural beneficiaries of your investment. However, if you don’t they’ll suffer for what you don’t know and didn’t learn.
Years ago I committed myself to learning the various uses and applications of herbs and herbal medicine. I made the investment to learn what I didn’t know and it has paid dividends in our household of 6.
The same can be said for my husbands investment in an urban farming coach who helped him know and understand plants, soil, and feeding families and communities at a higher level.
Another way to focus on value and making good investments is in your shopping. If you’re anything like me, you love to shop. Gathering for your family and home creates a sense of peace and security that is hard to match. As you’re shopping, think of the investment items that will serve your family over the long term.
I think about the time I decided that over the span of a month I would spend half of our grocery budget on organic vegetable plants and seeds. We got creative with our meals, (and lowkey became foodies) and we also got a high yield return from a backyard garden that carried us through several seasons with fresh organic produce.
What skillset are you refining next?
- Shop Staples over Convenience
This piece of advice has benefited me in so many ways. From late night quick meals, to easy desserts when unexpected company shows up, to hearty and healthy dinner ideas when store shelves are bare – this is what I like to call “sustainable wisdom”.
My grandmother was never a rich woman, and while I hope to change that before she makes her transition, this piece of sage wisdom has ensured that her pantry shelves are always stocked, her essentials are overflowing, and she’s never without her necessities.
Shopping staples looks like:
- Purchasing ingredients rather than pre-prepared meals
- Buying bulk spices and herbs rather than pre-blended teas and seasonings
- Shopping the perimeter of the store, rather than the aisles
- Buy in Bulk
With a family of 6, most of my grocery shopping is bulk purchases.
Somehow, even when I was single, I’d cook like I was cooking for an army. I took it as a sign and started to share meals with friends and neighbors when I’d cook too much.
I also buy first aid items in bulk
Buying in bulk, whether you’re single or a mother of 5, means that you’ll always have what you need on hand – or at the very minimum, ingredients that will get you by until your next essentials run.
Items I buy in bulk are:
- Sweetener (What we use varies from coconut sugar to organic cane sugar)
- Eggs (and egg replacers like flax seeds, chia seeds, and chickpeas)
- “Milk” (or nuts to make milk)
- rubbing alchohol
- gauze & tape
Buying in bulk has been especially helpful during quarantine because much of what I use on a daily, I already had on hand.
Think about foods that you eat regularly and decide that you’re going to make simple comforts more sustainable by keeping your home well stocked.
I hope that this helps.