Apr 25, 2012

Why do I want a home store?

Should you have a home store?  Maybe we should first ask "What is a home store?"  Many people may call it their food storage, but a home store involves so much more than just food.  This shouldn't be only food but other household items, including toilet paper, cleaning supplies, medications, etc.  A home store allows you to have the items your family needs without making last minute trips to the store. 

Many people have found stockpiling a great way to save money because you're buying more of the items your family uses while they are on sale and using coupons.  This is one of the ways that I have been able to stay at home - taking the income we have and stretching it by stockpiling and other ideas (like using a clothesline in the summer instead of heating up my house with the dryer). 

My Story
Just over 3 years ago, my husband's employer started talking about another restructure.  We'd survived several already, including one where all the employees had to reapply for their current job, or other jobs in the division.  After the last restructure, my husband earned his Associates degree and changed positions, moving into another area within the division.  With the talks about another restructure, we looked at the job he was doing and didn't see how his position could be affected.  There were 2 people doing what he was doing and we couldn't imagine how they could do it with less, especially since they were already short one person who had just transferred out.  Can you guess where this is going?

Fortunately, I listened to the whisperings of the Spirit that told me that our family needed to be prepared.  That whispering was always around and we always try to follow it.  But I made an extra effort in the Spring of 2009 to get our finances in order, save up as much money as I could and stockpile food and other household necessities as much as we could.  I looked at our budget and identified those things that we could cut IF he happened to lose his job.  We avoided taking vacation days since at the end of his employment (voluntary or involuntary) those would be paid out to us.  But both of us were confident he would be fine, although we could see the possibility of having to move to St. Louis to be at the Corporate location to keep the job.

Because of work responsibilities for my husband that prevented him taking vacation pay, I took my girls out of town to a family reunion with his family by myself.  The girls and I had a great visit with my in-laws and headed home on Wednesday.  On the drive home, Hubby called to say he had a meeting just before 5 pm and could I be there with him.  Things were going down that day, others had already lost their jobs and he had a bad feeling about the meeting.  As soon as I got back into town, I left my girls with friends and met him at work.  I stood outside while he went in.  It didn't take long before he reappeared with the most defeated look on his face.  His job had been eliminated and he wasn't being transferred into another one. 

Those first days were horrendous for my husband.  On the surface, my husband may not always look to take his responsibility for providing for our family as his top goal.  But as soon as he was unemployed, it killed him and he really struggled to overcome those feelings of inadequacy.

After he regained some equilibrium, we sat down together and went over our finances.  I showed him how we were prepared and that with the severance package, a little effort, and our savings, we were going to be fine.  We set up a timeline for how long we could be without any employment and at what point did I start looking for a job as well.  Our goal has always been for me to be home with our girls.

Friends, family and church leaders came by to check on us, always asking what we needed.  I was actually excited to be able to tell them that we were good for the next 9-12 months financially, but if they wanted to help, the best things were prayers and IT job leads.

How could we make it for 9-12 months without a job? 
  • First, we were debt-free, and 
  • Second, we had a small home store so we didn't have to buy everything we needed to feed our family
I can't tell you how invaluable having that home store was!  I did still need to go to the grocery store, especially for dairy and meat items.  We were EXTREMELY blessed that my husband's unemployment lasted just 2 short months...  his job ended 1 week after school got out and the new job started 1 week before school started.  So one of the blessings was him getting to spend the summer with our girls, while job hunting.  I doubt we'll ever have that opportunity again!  Well I hope that's true - but if we do, our goal is to  be prepared.

So 3 years later, I value having a home store and I work to get it built up even better.  Whenever I look at what items I want in my next order, I always think "If my husband lost his job again, what foods will we want to have stored?"  My family eats a lot of meals with sour cream so the THRIVE Sour Cream Powder was one of my first purchases.  How nice it would be during unemployment to not have to go buy sour cream.  And cheese too!  Oh and what about Chicken and Ground Beef?!  And don't forget the fruits and vegetables.

There are so many reasons to have a home store.  From planning ahead for emergencies (including unemployment or electricity outages) to being in the middle of cooking dinner and discovering you don't have any eggs in the refrigerator to finish dinner having a home store can give you peace of mind.  If you'd like this peace of mind, I'd love to help you come up with a plan for your personal Home Store.  You can also check out our wonderful THRIVE Calculator!  In just a few minutes, you can create a custom Food Storage Plan for your family for anywhere from 3 to 24 months.  And it's so easy then to turn that plan into action with monthly shipments on the Q.