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Am I a Food Hoarder?

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Could I be a "Food Hoarder"? 
Feb. 20, 2012 2:47 pm 
Updated: Dec. 9, 2012 10:43 am
Hello my name is Rotorwife and I have a problem! I am a food hoarder!

Not the kind of hoarder that has half eaten cans of food and trash all over their house, but the kind of obsession that forces me to have extra jars, cans, boxes of whatever food it might be....just in case I run out of whatever it is I think I might need.  If I get halfway through a jar of pickles and don't have a backup, I go into panic mode.  If we use half the milk in the carton I'm already planning my trip to the grocery store to get the backup carton.  In my mind I think....what if we have a freak storm and all of the electricity goes out and the stores don't open?  What if the entire banking system goes down and my ATM card won't work...what will I do then? What if there is a rice shortage again?  Would this mean that I can never have fried rice?  What if I wake up in the morning planning to make pancakes and my husband wants yogurt instead?  

You would think that I'm worried about feeding a large family but my son is grown and in college so it's just my husband and I.  How do I stop this crazy obsession?  What could possibly happen to me if I ran out of maple syrup?  Would I just cease to exist?  Turn to dust?  Is there some sort of vitamin deficiency I could suffer if I went 3 or 4 days without bacon?

I guess I should be grateful that my crazy behavior isn't harmful to anyone but myself, but gosh it would be nice to be like some of you AR users who shop their pantry or freezer every once in a while to stay on a budget.  I do use my oldest foods first so I don't waste too much money but I know that I could definitely be more frugal if I could beat this craziness.

Has anyone out there ever been on the brink of extinction due to a shortage of bow tie pasta?
Feb. 20, 2012 2:57 pm
Well, from the looks of the amount of Pumpkin Puree in my cabinet - well, I know why there might be a nation wide shortage. :) I am a work in progress - I am not looking for prefection - just progress. Oh and if I don't have maple syrup I could fall back on my stash of honey! :)
Feb. 20, 2012 3:19 pm
my wife is a Hoarder, it don't matter what, we bought a freezer, and some of the food in it is over a year old (I make sure it is dated). I go thru the fridge to make sure nothing is expired, but for some reason she clings to things. when I find things we don't need I throw them out.
Feb. 20, 2012 3:37 pm
I'm the same way with the pickles and the milk!!! Isn't that funny? I think you are a lot like most of us... not hoarders but very prepared individuals....! There... did that help any? ... it made me feel!
Feb. 20, 2012 4:58 pm
Baking Nana - you just made me realize that I don't have any Pumpkin Puree!
Feb. 20, 2012 4:59 pm
Terry...Thanks, that does make me feel a little better.
Feb. 20, 2012 5:01 pm should talk with my husband, he secretly throws out things and thinks I won't notice....BUT I DO! LOL
Feb. 20, 2012 5:28 pm
I was just re-organizing my pantry w/ my mom the other day and she called me a food hoarder, lol. I like Terry's thinking and I'm going w/ that...I'm not a hoarder, just prepared! :D
over the pond 
Feb. 20, 2012 6:30 pm
Don't worry, I learned the habit from my mom. During WW2 you had to stock up on anything available that wasn't rationed (not very much I'm afraid) She continued to do this for the rest of her life. I have a food cupboard stocked with staples, soup,canned veggies,jello helps when there is too much time between one pension check and the next. We can never go hungry. Some of the meals might be a bit different but we eat. Don't feel bad feel proud that you are planning for the future.
Feb. 20, 2012 7:24 pm
I have a brother who with a group of others was stranded in the mountains for 6 weeks with very little food. He has never gotten over the incident and buys 25# and 50# bags of staples at a time and he only has himself to feed. If there is a canned good he likes on sale he will by a case instead of 3 or 4. Much of what he buys spoils and has to be thrown out. He is very aware of his behavior but is unable to stop. He reminds us of his near starvation experience and tells us "you have no idea how desperate you become and what you are willing to do to survive." At least your hoarding is within the 'normal' range.
Feb. 21, 2012 3:21 am
I am just like you! I want to have 2 or 3 of everything - "just in case". My excuse is I want to be able to open my cupboard or fridge or freezer and be able to make any thing I feel like and not have to go to the store (since we live in the country we don't make extra trips). Every once in a while I do "shop" the pantry though and then "panic" will set in and I go back to the grocery and stock up! I've never reached near starvation when I ran out of bow-tie - but once I ran out of chocolate and it wasn't pretty! :)
Feb. 21, 2012 9:15 am
In Florida we use hurricanes as an excuse to buy and stock canned goods and non perishables, calling it our emergency supply. I have a friend who has taken this too far though. Her clothes closet floor is jammed with canned goods and she and her daughter live in a 4 bedroom, family room, living room, eat in kitchen, huge porch, garage home. To have it now spill over into the bedroom is crazy. She admits she finds bulging cans, but continues to buy and really can't resist a BOGO. Last peek 15 lbs. of rice in there. There is little hope it will ever change. Who knows what deep psychological doings cause this behaviour.
Feb. 21, 2012 10:39 am
I don't think maintaining a supply of staples and items you always use is hoarding. If I find something we like and use on sale, I will buy a flat of the cans, or whatever. Strawberries at a good price get sliced, sweetened, and frozen, etc. It's nice to be able to serve a meal without constantly making a grocery list, at the better price. It's no different than canning or freezing garden produce during the summer, or stocking the freezer with meat when you butcher. It just makes sense to me. The secret is to rotate food-last in goes to the back-etc. and checking to use items before they expire. Occasional time spent organizing the pantry fridge, or freezer is time well-spent, and keeps you from wasting food. King Sparta, why ;don't you rotate items for your wife, so you don't have to throw things out, and can use them instgead.
Feb. 21, 2012 10:40 am
Feb. 21, 2012 12:44 pm
I try to be careful and not be like my granny...when she passed away and we were cleaning out her house we found 52 cans of pork and beans...52!!! Anytime any canned good went on sale, she stocked up...I do stock up but thankfully have limited space so I can't go that crazy. (Of course she did have Alzheimers so maybe she just forgot she had pork and beans:) )
Feb. 21, 2012 12:58 pm
Karab, 52 cans = 1 can a week for 1 year! LOL
Feb. 21, 2012 1:32 pm
Karab...that puts it all into perspective for me. I can rest easy knowing I don't have 52 cans of anything! of writing this I don't store food anywhere other than my pantry and fridge...I guess if I start stashing cans in my shoes my husband needs to do an intervention! Marie least your brother has an excuse! I've never gone hungry in my life so I'm not sure what this obsession is about. I like all of the posts that just say I'm prepared....yeah...that's it.....I'm Prepared!
Feb. 22, 2012 4:34 am
I got a laugh out of your blog. I am the same way, living in a hurricane state is part of the reason. I do keep a good stock of canned items. My DH is a freak over milk, eggs and his precious sausage. Lord what would he do if he couldn't eat eggs and sausage one morning? When my MIL passed I found canned food that was a good decade old. I hope I never get that bad. Anyway I enjoyed the read.
Elane Williams 
Feb. 24, 2012 7:48 pm
We live in the snowbelt my 18yr old is sure we will run out of food but hoards things like tp ,paper towels,body wash,toothpaste. and recently kd
Feb. 24, 2012 8:50 pm
I get it, I really do. BLSL chicken breast is my primary. I don't know why. BLSL chix breast is my downfall. It is always on sale for $1.89 or $1.99 a pound. And there are only the 2 of us now. Apparently I buy them every week! And last year when everyone was talking about the great pumpkin puree shortage....I bought some. Well, maybe a lot. So I need some recipes for pumpkin BLSL chicken breast dishes. I do try to keep checking exp dates in the pantry and the fridge and freezers. HATE throwing food away.
Feb. 26, 2012 8:55 am
Ladies I'm 85 and when I die there will be plenty of food for my kids (LOL)When my electricity went out for 10 days and the snow was so deep we could not get out I was able to feed my family and my neighbors who were not prepared It is called think ahead I always take the older food and move it foward as that is the way we learn from our family when we are kids .When I go on line to see what I want for dinner I know I have it in my lauder which my grandson loves there is always something for him to eat.(and boy do they)
Feb. 26, 2012 9:03 am
A lot of this that I have been reading and by the way everyone Thank you for your imput, is from our parents teachings. Pay rent, bills and put a little away for a rainy day and food is one of them.
Feb. 27, 2012 10:57 am
I can relate! I always buy a backup of what I consider a pantry staple before I use the one (or two) that I already have! I do the same thing with toilet paper, paper towels, dish detergent, etc. Just don't want to run out of stuff like we sometimes experienced when I was a kid! Not that we starved or anything -- my mom just didn't always plan ahead. That taught me to be a list-maker, plan ahead, and always be prepared!
Feb. 27, 2012 5:35 pm
I get panicky if my pantry gets low! My children are grown, my husband died 16 yrs ago - my family ('specially the g-kids) always knows where to go - I always have food! Like Scarlett O'Hara I w/never be hungry again (maybe little over weight?). Just remember to rotate & you can store dry items in freezer (cake mixes, flour, any kind of powered mixes (in envelopes), etc - I live in SA, TX & am paranoid about creepy crawlies & keep a lot of things in the freezer! I don't consider my self a hoarder - just always prepared! You can make almost anything w/a little bit of nothing if you're fully stocked!
Mar. 18, 2012 6:24 pm
Oh definitely! I used to be so bad but as of the last few years not so much. However, I still have a problem is I am low on butter, sugar or flour. I go into panic mode if I have less than a pound of butter in my fridge! Since its just two of us in our house now also, it has gotten easier. Probably out of necessity more than anything though since we have been paying rent and mortgage for the last 18 months...otherwise, I would probably still have at least 5 lbs of butter on hand instead of two.. :)
Little John 
Dec. 9, 2012 10:43 am
I think it's somewhat natural for humans to instincively hoard food. Consider that the refridgerator has barely been around for 100 years. What did people do for the 1000's of years before us when they relied on the land to produce rather than the supermarket? They prepared accordingly. So that is a good thing. The danger, like anything, is when excess starts to take over. When it comes to desiring in excess of need, that is often described as greed. As with any vice, the best way to combat it is to practice the opposing virtue which is generosity. And it shouldn't be generosity in general. It should be specific to where the problem area lies. So, if one finds that they have a tendency to buy and hoard more food than they need, then make it a practice to periodically donate some of that food to homeless shelters or the neighborhood food shelf. Another remedy is periodic fasting. I find it interesting that almost all of the major religions have historically incorporate periodic fasting into their practices. For myself, I tend to follow some of my older Christian traditions and commit to seasonal fasting/abstinance during Lent and Advent as well as looking to do practice periodic fasting/absitnance during the rest of the year on Fridays of each week. I find that it helps, among other things, in the area of self control, being more generous towards others and realizing that the world will not end if I don't get what I want all the time. Believe me, I'm by no means perfect. I still have tons of faults. But the remedies I noted above have been very beneficial in helping me live a more balanced life. I hope this helps.
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About Me
I have a great job but it sometimes make it hard to cook on a regular basis. My husband is a helicopter pilot that does fire suppression all over the country. My job is to drive the fuel truck and refuel the helicopter. It's a very exciting life but we live full time in a motorhome and never in the same place twice. Needless to say I have a very small refrigerator and oven and almost no countertop space. Oh well...who doesn't love a challenge!
My favorite things to cook
Meatloaf (it's my husbands fave), banana bread, zucchini bread, soups and stews and cookies too!
My favorite family cooking traditions
Cornbread dressing on the holidays and blackberry cobblers....YUM!
My cooking triumphs
Anytime I don't burn something and it turns out edible I consider that a triumph! Actually, I'm pretty good at baking cakes and cookies. Too bad I can't eat those for every meal.
My cooking tragedies
Still can't make a good gravy, pie crusts or dumplings...I'm apparently FLOUR challenged....arrrgggghhhh!
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