In the LDS church, members are encouraged to have a one-year food supply. My parents have always had cans of wheat lurking underneath the stairs, buckets of sugar in random closets, and tins of salt in cupboards. I have never been that organized.
When we lived in Cairo, I tried to have three months' worth of non-perishable food stocked in my cupboards in case of emergencies, which is about as adherent I'd ever been to the one-year food storage guidance. Previous to moving to Cairo, we had lived in various places, all small and all thought to be temporary, so I never invested in a supply figuring that I would be moving soon, so what would be the point?
I now have the opportunity to make up for that laxity.
Over the past few weeks, I have been filling in a several-page spreadsheet. I've driven my children crazy at the store, slowly perusing all of the aisles while jotting down prices in a notebook. I've just about driven myself crazy trying to find the absolute cheapest price for coconut. Despite owning a Costco membership, I'm buying one at Sam's for just one visit, because they stock Ghirardelli chocolate chips, McCormack chicken stock, and fifty-pound bags of popcorn.
In the next few weeks I get to put together not a one-year supply, but at two-year supply of everything I can think of that can't be found in Baku. When we were in Cairo, we had a lovely commissary, but in Baku no such luck. So instead, Brandon is entitled to a consumables shipment, 2,500 pounds of whatever we can use up and think that we can't live without.
Think of whatever you go to Target to buy. Ziploc bags, diapers, shampoo, laundry detergent, plastic wrap, toilet cleaner, deodorant. And then think of buying it for the next two years. Then think of all of those American foods that you enjoy so much. Chocolate chips, black beans, whole-wheat pasta, cold cereal, goldfish crackers, peanut butter. Two years of those also. I've made sure to put two years of root beer on our list. And brown sugar.
Which is why I've been driving myself insane filling out my spreadsheet, figuring out the price per ounce of vanilla, or oxy-clean, or coconut, or butter-flavored Crisco. Because when you're buying two years' worth of brown sugar (approximately two hundred pounds), an extra twenty cents a pound starts to add up.
So when you come to visit in a few weeks, don't be surprised to see toilet paper and dishwasher detergent as our new accent pieces in the living room, with wheat decorating the upstairs hallway. I'm hoping that our new home in Baku will have a little more space than our townhouse.