Preparedness

I grew up in the country.

We were a single car family for a lot of my childhood so my mother went to town just once a week to do all her shopping. Back then, gas stations were closed on Sundays and there wasn’t a Dollar General in every hamlet across the country so, if you ran out of something, you likely did without until the next grocery trip.

I still live in the country but work in a town with a pharmacy, grocery, hardware and a couple of dollar stores. However, I attempt to limit my stops at the store, making a point to never need anything.

There are always plenty of supplies in my home – from toilet paper and rice to frozen vegetables and cat litter, I try to always have a supply of essentials on hand. This is especially true in the winter because you never know when you might be snowed in for a few days.

That’s probably why it’s so shocking to me to realize that other people don’t do this. Those who keep only a five day supply of food on hand are not my people. Those who could eat out of their pantry and freezer for a few months are.

And no, I’m not a hoarder – I tend to only keep what I can use – and bargain shop to get it. After all, if you don’t need something today, you can afford to wait for a sale later.

So I’ve been watching with interest as friends fearfully stock up on supplies like it’s a fresh concept. Last night I made one of my two monthly trips to Walmart. The goal was to pick up regular list items and to gather a few extra supplies I would need in a time of sickness or quarantine – Morningstar sausage patties, vegan chocolate chips, tissues, Clorox wipes, and cat food were on the list.

After all, if the zombie apocalypse is going to happen, we can’t have Scout going hungry!

You can see where people’s priorities are. As I suspected, the selection of toilet paper was picked over and the shelves nearly cleared of soap, Clorox wipes, bleach and other cleaning supplies.

The store seemed busier than it should be on a Tuesday night and it made me wonder if people are just out doing their normal thing or if they’re stocking up for the COVID-19 which will inevitably hit all our neighborhoods soon.

In case you’re looking for some friendly advice, I suggest always keeping the house stocked as though you might not be able to leave for a few days – not because of this virus but because things happen. Your car breaks down, you get a nasty stomach bug, there’s a snowstorm- any number of things could keep you at home at any time.

That means it’s always a good idea to have soap for hand washing and food for the whole family including the four legged kids.

And one last thing, fellow adventurers. Stay safe but don’t live in terror. Practice good hygiene and protect your personal space in public. If you’re sick, don’t go places where you might spread germs like work, public events or school. And if you know someone with a weakened immune system, offer to run their errands so they don’t have to be exposed to the germs of the masses.

But please, don’t stop living for fear of illness. Go live your life and do your thing within reason. This too shall pass.

Cleaning out the fridge: a frugal lunch

I had some stuff in my fridge this morning that was approaching the point of no return. Another day or two and they would either get tossed or pushed to the back of the shelf to languish until the mold is so severe I contemplate how badly I want to save the container.

Sigh. This is not a good place to be.

So today’s lunch is an assortment of bits and pieces that might otherwise have been wasted. Some turkey, a banana that was a day away from turning soft, some very tasty hot pepper jack cheese and the last of this week’s grapes. It’s a little bland looking but very tasty.  It’s also a nice feeling to know that this stuff I worked to pay for won’t be wasted.

Easy Chicken Enchiladas

Looking for a quick and easy meal tonight? I’m always on the lookout for ways to stretch a buck or to cut corners in making a meal. One of my favorite ingredients is rotisserie chicken from the grocery store. In fact, my favorite Kroger often marks down their chickens to about $3 and I sometimes have coupons that bring the price down to around $2. It’s great to buy these cheap chickens to shred and freeze for a later meal.

I also really like the Philly Cooking Cream that’s used here. It can be a bit pricey but there are normally coupons available so I try to keep it on hand.

This recipe is a great example of how handy it is to have shredded chicken on hand. It goes together super quick and you have plenty of time to toss a nice salad while it cooks. If you like this recipe, click on the picture to visit the Philly Cooking Cream website for other recipes. By the way, I’m not really endorsing the product so much as telling you that it’s a quick fix for weeknight meals and they do have some tasty recipes.

Find more easy recipes from Philly Cream Cheese by clicking on the picture.

1 small onion, chopped
2 tsp. oil
3 cups shredded cooked chicken breasts
1 can  (14.5 oz.) no-salt-added diced tomatoes, drained
1 tub  (10 oz.) Philadelphia Santa Fe Blend Cooking Creme, divided
1/2 cup Mexican Style Finely Shredded Four Cheese
8 flour tortillas (6 inch)

Heat oven to 350°F.
Cook and stir onions in hot oil in large skillet on medium heat four to five minutes or until crisp-tender. Stir in chicken, tomatoes, 3/4 cup cooking creme and shredded cheese. Spoon about 1/3 cup chicken mixture down center of each tortilla; roll up. Place in 13×9-inch baking dish sprayed with cooking spray; top with remaining cooking creme. Cover. Bake 15 to 20 min. or until heated through.

It’s that easy! What are your go-to ingredients or kitchen secrets?