I ran across an amusing Fun Filled Fact from an article several years back. Frijoles Y Fusiles is Spanish for Beans & Guns, which was the name of a counter-insurgency program carried out by the Guatemalan government in the ’80’s involving a scorched earth policy aimed at the Mayan peasants and funded in part by Bush Senior ( and blamed on Reagan ). This happened about the same time G.I. Joe was spreading the message to kids everywhere that war was fun and nobody got hurt, a necessary propaganda piece to aid in the voluntary military personnel recruitment. The phrase is also very similar to Beans & Bullets, the Rawlsian policy of stockpiling ( well, I’m not sure if it originated there or was just adopted and popularized ). So, whenever you are stacking cases of ammo up to the ceiling, you can visualize little Indian dudes running away from burning villages and getting mowed down with machinegun fire paid for by George “New World Order” Bush.
But today I won’t waste any electrons on imperial overreach, crooked politicians, our support of dictators the world over to keep our colonies productive and cheap, the futility of anti-communist wars or even the bastards who made the propaganda cartoons ( okay, I’ll admit it, I was watching the show when I was nineteen years old and enjoying the extra helping of cheese ). Instead of discussing that old F&F, I’d like to touch on another F&F, Flour And Flashlights. Nothing new or earth shattering, just a sale at, of all places, Wal-Mart. And the F’s in flashlights aren’t even flashlights but LED garden lights, but I had a note for Frijoles Y Fusiles and couldn’t for the life of me figure out how to make an article out of it ( it was a cool title and a cool Fun Filled Fact ) but I wanted to make an F&F title one way or another. Hey, do you think the magic created here is painless? No, the NOL wanted to go early prior to the heat so rather than writing first thing after the ads were changed and the comments answered ( you know that if I move back out to the B-POD, because of death or economic meltdown locally-if it is nationally the Internet will be down anyway-I won’t be right on top of comments or research. I’ll get into town a maximum of three times a week then. I’ll think about a cell phone for access, but I won’t commit to it just on principle. $50 a month is not chump change when your monthly revenue is $300 ) I went to Wally and stocked up on these two items and I thought I’d blather about that.
I forgot all about it until just now ( we were looking at replacing the water sprinklers with metal units ) but when I saw the garden lights I was reminded that I used to stock up on those 97cent LED’s every year. Just grab a dozen or even three at a time and store them inside until needed. Repeat yearly or every shopping trip. Don’t expose the panel to light so as to extend the life, and don’t activate the unit by removing the tab covering the battery terminal. They should store forever. Are they made from the cheapest material? Of course. Are they so cheap you can stock dozens and forestall the use of candles for much longer, years longer? Of course. Should you stock them exclusively at the expense of better quality lights? Of course not. They are a supplement, an add-on and a back-up. Keep the whole unit. You don’t need the stake you plant in the ground ( these are the lights you place in a row along paths to see at night ), and the plastic globe surrounding the bulb will degrade very quickly and block a lot of light. But keep the unit together for recharging during the day while covering the bulb to keep it from being damaged. Then at night you unscrew the top and turn it upside down to rest on a flat surface with the bulb facing up uncovered to deliver the maximum light. They are 1.5 lumens, so they deliver very little illumination. They are your BTN solar lighting, the first tier. If everything else is damaged or stolen, these are so cheap you can stash them all over the place and always have some kind of light. Hell, you might even be able to use them for keeping that green glow tube, the forever lights, going for hours to read by or whatever you do tactically to keep your light discipline.
I used to use these lights at the entrance to my B-POD, and they did a good enough job for you to see what you were doing, but they did only last a year or two. They are cheap for a reason. Of course, I’ve had $5 or $7 lights only last five years maximum and deliver barely more light, so you are still getting your money’s worth. I had to keep changing out the dying units, so I probably only have a good fifteen or twenty of these unused in my stockpile. And that is buying a few every year. Let that be a lesson for you. Slow and steady purchases add up nicely, but even the smallest skim off your stockpile defeats the whole purpose. I SHOULD be stocking dozens at a time, but they are a pretty low priority item. Just don’t ignore it completely. I didn’t even want to go to Wally for those anyway. I had seen flour on sale. Which is normally not even an item on my radar. I have plenty of whole wheat kernels, and they are more nutritious and cheaper than white flour. Normally I keep my investment budget for grocery store items for sugar as you get more calories per unit of storage. But, I figured I couldn’t go wrong here.
We just had the wheat crop failure in Kansas or wherever it was, which caused whole kernels to shoot up in price. Then we have Hurricane Harvey which may or may not ratchet up shipping costs. We have plenty of crude oil sitting around, but if we can’t refine it into diesel then a supply bottleneck is created. And you know how one plant failure causes tripling of prices and shortages, on anything anymore. JIT inventory has turned out to be a real True Blue American invention ( the Nips perfected it but an American conceptualized it ). Not that I need to buy white flour, not even between now and years from now, but it is calories and it did go on sale. $23 for three months of calories? Yes, please. I had been at Wally just days ago and just happened to see the flour on “rollback” prices. I had walked down that isle to check on the bucketed wheat in the emergency preparedness shelf, and noticed vegetable shortening was down from $4+ to $2.98 ( when I screamed and warned and pleaded with you to run down to Kroger IMMEDIATELY and buy out their discontinued cans of shortening, did you? At like $2.25 or such, it was a deal of a lifetime. Yes, the slop is unhealthy. But it is a fat that stores for YEARS, years I tells ya! Did you feel bad you ignored me? I hope you did, because shortening has been very expensive since then. Now, the price dropped. BUY,BUY,BUY!!!!!!!! Don’t ignore me again ).
Flour in five pound bags had dropped to $1.32. For years it has been $1.79 to $1.99 for generic all purpose white flour, or a minimum of 36 cents a pound. The big 25 pound sacks went for about 32 cents a pound. Now, here is the small bags going for a dime under the old prices. Granted, if you were storing flour it didn’t matter all that much. You buy for quantity ignoring, mostly, the cost. But I don’t look at white flour as a necessity. It is nice, to add to whole wheat ( don’t mix more than half and half. Mostly white flour is bad for you, it is just empty calories. Adding a little to whole wheat gives you the calories without the downside of a refined starch ), but it isn’t necessary. So I only buy on sale. This definitely qualified, so I bought a hundred pounds. Hopefully I have the storage containers for it. I had run out of my free mayonnaise four gallon buckets I got from a former co-workers son working in a pizza joint ( evidently any place that serves sandwiches goes through a lot of tubs of mayo- another source for you to check out ), so hopefully I have enough coffee containers and the like. I always make it work, somehow.
Now, I’m bumping this article up in the queue, publishing tomorrow rather than in two weeks as is normal. I went to Kroger to make sure they hadn’t lowered their prices. They hadn’t and their case sale of flour was something like 50% over Wal-Mart’s pricing. So, I don’t know how long these prices will last. I wouldn’t imagine for long and I wouldn’t wait even a day or two if I was you. Again, white flour sucks nutritionally. So does white rice. But they store forever and you can add to whole wheat flour to fool your body you aren’t eating empty calories. It is still cheaper than rice, at this price. And it might be the last time you ever see it this low. So, a lot of flour, a bit of shortening ( whole wheat flour, some separate spouted kernels, shortening and a vitamin supplement pill all will keep you alive and relatively healthy for quite some time ) and a couple of LED gardening lights thrown in for good measure and you’ve got yourself a productive trip to the store. Get shopping. P.S. sorry, overseas minions, if this doesn’t pertain to you. I don’t know how widespread Wal-Mart is in foreign lands, or if the prices are similar. Perhaps the poly bucket holding mayo is still a good tip.
END ( today's related article http://amzn.to/2eyZdE0 )
* By the by, all my writing is copyrighted. For the obtuse out there
Butter prices are at a record high in europe. I blame the french (sorry Ave).ReplyDelete
Hey, I love the French. Not as snooty class wise as the English, not as broomstick-up-ass as Germans ( I'm half German, half Scottish-a frugal uptight breed ). I mean, dude! They invented mayonnase! But they can really screw some stuff up, too. It is like praising my hair prior to disagreeing with me. If you blame the Frogs, always mention the other side of the coin. Mayonnaise. And Bayonets. And the fact they helped some brothers out during the Revolution. I'm sure there are a few others, but that's good for now.Delete
Storage, master. Maybe an article clueing us in on where you manage to put everything.ReplyDelete
Hmm, that sounds suspiciously like tomorrows writing. Thanks!Delete
Be warned, white flour does not store indefinitely.ReplyDelete
In buckets with no oxygen absorbers and stored in a cool place, you,can get 3 - 5 years. It starts tasting stale/flat (I don't really know how to describe it.) Five year old flour and new flour -- you can really see (in cooking results) and taste the difference.
In cans or Mylar bags with oxygen absorbers, it last longer. I'm currently using some 10 year old white flour and it is still good.
But, would we care at that point? Even if it doesn't rise in bread, there is still pancakes or flatbread. Or, heck, barter. Even if it tastes bad it is still calories.Delete
Interesting. I was at a Kroger’s recently and saw Rosie O’Dumbbell’s wife backed up to the warehouse with a semi-truck, and the forklift was loading pallets of flour into it.ReplyDelete
I wonder what she needed all that flour for? 😀
Wow, try getting THAT picture out of my head! :)Delete