Build Your Own Great Depression Pantry

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Can you use some help to build your Great Depression pantry? Just imagine living off a limited supply of food for a long period of time like our parents, grandparents, or great grandparents had to experience through the “Great Depression?” At times, simply having buttered bread and beans was what they considered a whole meal.

I’m updating this post because I feel an urgency to let you know what I saw again at the grocery store today. Empty shelves, rows, and rows of empty shelves. One box of pasta, no beans, and no rice. Even the OTC medications were more scarce than usual. Please stock whatever you can. Hopefully, you are stocked, or have a plan in place to do so soo. We all should know what to do.

Thankfully, we can cook from scratch, if we’ve learned how. This will help us stretch our grocery budget. We have prepared for this, do not panic, I’m just letting you know what I am seeing here in Utah. Please let me know how your shelves look.

Build Your Own Great Depression Pantry

How to Build Your Own Great Depression Pantry

Heaven forbid that something as drastic as the Great Depression would ever happen again in our lifetime, but it’s never a bad idea to be prepared. There are a number of cheap foods and solutions that can expand your meal options while costing little. Take a look at some of these less expensive foods that you should stuff into your pantry. Build up your inventory now. Prices have been going up, and they are expected to continue in that direction for a while.

#1. Ramen Noodles

Pantry food doesn’t come any cheaper than stocking up on ramen noodles. Each pack costs on average around 13 cents. Ramen noodles may not be the healthiest or most filling item in your pantry, but you can buy it in several flavors and mix it in beans or vegetables to add the nutrients we all need to stay healthy. 

I don’t really think you can go wrong when it comes to stocking up on Ramen. Sure, it may not be the best thing to make from a nutrition standpoint, but remember when depression or disasters hit, it’s all about survival.

Snack Ramen

#2. Rice 

Rice is another cheap food that you can buy in bulk to help make your limited meal options stretch further. I consider rice to be a true staple in any pantry storage plan. White rice doesn’t contain as many nutrients as brown rice, but it is still a valuable item that can be used in so many recipes as we plan meals.

We suggest using brown rice whenever possible but keep in mind that brown rice has a very short shelf-life (six months in the pantry and 12 months in the refrigerator or freezer). Plan your rice inventory based on family size and how many meals you see using this product.

Rice

#3. Boxed Pasta 

It doesn’t get much cheaper than the boxed kinds of pasta we see at the store when you want an easy meal solution. In most cases, you can find a box of pasta for under $1. There are also so many styles of noodles that you can change up to keep your children from getting bored with eating spaghetti noodles so often. 

Every time I go to the store, I stock up on some sort of boxed pasta. You really can’t go wrong with having any and every kind of boxed pasta on hand.

Build Your Own Great Depression Pantry

#4. Dried Beans in Bulk

Do you have a family of carnivores who want to eat meat with every meal? During a depression, meat might be too expensive or hard to come by. Dried beans in bulk are a great substitute. Beans are not only full of protein but they can also be added to all kinds of dishes and recipes, making meals more filling.

Dried Beans

#5. Canned Meat/Fish

Like I just mentioned, meat may be harder to come by for your family to afford after an economic crash. Having a stockpile of canned meats and canned fish beforehand will help solve this.

Read More of My Articles  What to Store in Your Pantry for an Emergency

Not only is it far cheaper in many cases, but it has a somewhat longer shelf life. Having a decent supply of canned meats such as chicken, beef, tuna, and salmon should satisfy your family’s craving.   

#6. Peanut Butter

Peanut butter is another cheap food that is filled with protein. Plus, if you have kids, there’s no way you’ll survive without it! I’ve tried a can of peanut butter powder, it’s okay, but I only bought one can. Enough said.

#7. Oats

What about a cheap breakfast solution? Oats are an option that’s cheap and have a long shelf life. Oats aren’t only good for making oatmeal, but also for stretching out your ground beef and making delicious granola snacks. Consider adding some oats to your next casserole to provide larger portions and see how your family feels about the flavor and texture with them added.    

If I find oats on sale or marked down, I always buy them. Plus, most people forget all of the yummy things you can make with oats.

#8. Barley

Barley is another great source of fiber, calcium, and vitamins, while beneficial to your digestive system. It also contains fewer calories than oatmeal. Add fruits, cinnamon, and nuts to it and you have a healthy and delicious breakfast. Barley can be made into other meal options such as soup and stews.

Let’s not forget about how filling barley can be too! I always enjoyed eating barley as a kid, and it’s a great food to have on hand in your pantry!

#9. Bagged Popcorn

As far as cheap snack items go, bagged popcorn is at the top of the list, and for as little as a few pennies per serving. 

You can also eat popcorn as a snack or for a meal. It’s sustainable and so delicious! It’s one of my favorites for stocking up my pantry.

If you feel the need to add some butter, the snack might not be as healthy and keep in mind, butter may not be readily available during tough times.

Popcorn

#10. Raisins

Raisins are another snack that’s reasonably priced that you should have in your pantry. This dried fruit contains fiber, vitamins, and other minerals and helps with your digestive system. 

Raisins are pretty cheap if you buy them in bulk. Plus, if your kids are in the mood for something sweet, you can point them towards raisins for their next treat.

#11. Dried Fruit

Raisins are not the only dried fruit that stores well in a pantry. Dried banana chips, pineapple chunks, apricots, or figs are a few other fruits that contain a lot of vitamins and nutrients. When a great depression comes through, you won’t believe how valuable dried fruit will be.

#12. Nuts

You are probably thinking, “nuts aren’t a cheap snack item.” While nuts are one of the pricier protein snacks on this list, they’re very filling and can be stored for a long period of time.

Before emergencies hit, stock up on many varieties of roasted nuts. Please store them in the freezer to keep them fresh or they may go rancid pretty quickly.

Nuts

#13. Applesauce

Applesauce is another snack/dessert pantry item that has a somewhat longer shelf life. It’s another snack that works great on your digestive system. Apple butter is also a good one to stock up on.

#14. Spices/Sauces

Don’t go stingy on the spices in your pantry. Always have a healthy supply of your favorite rubs and seasonings. Kosher Salt, ground peppercorn, and cinnamon are a few that you simply can’t go without.

They’re cheap and will make your simple meals taste that much better. Cocoa is another one I have to have stocked. Just think of cookies, cakes, and hot chocolate that would all taste great when it feels like the world around us is crumbling.

Read More of My Articles  What You Need To Know About Food Storage

#15. BBQ Sauce

BBQ sauce is another food item that lasts for a very long time, depending on the brand, while being a cheap flavor enhancer for your meals. In the summertime, you will have a hard time swallowing grilled foods without this addition to your pantry. 

#16. Honey

You can do so many things with honey. It’s a sweetener that’s a great substitute for sugar that you can add to your oatmeal, tea, and a number of other foods. It lasts indefinitely, but please store it in mason jars, if possible. If it crystallizes, you can set the jars outside to soften and melt in the heat. from the sun.

Honey

#17. Instant Mashed Potatoes

While you might enjoy homemade mashed potatoes, you might have to stick to a cheaper solution for a while. Instant mashed potatoes last for a short period of time, but you can rotate them and fill the belly when needed. We recently found the brand pictured below available in a number of local stores for about $1.00 per package. Note that they come in a variety of flavors.

Instant Potatoes

#18. Canned Fruits and Vegetables

Have a significant supply of canned fruits and vegetables stashed in your pantry, just in case! They’ll provide the essential nutrients your family needs at a great value. 

#19. Flour

You’re going to want to have a good supply of flour during hard times. You can make all kinds of meals and baked goods from scratch, while at a fraction of the price than buying the foods already processed. You will be able to make delicious homemade flour tortillas. Let’s not forget you can also make your own bread! Flour doesn’t last a long time in storage. Be sure to check the expiration dates on the bags, and plan to rotate at least once a year.

#20. Vegetable Oil/Coconut Oil

Don’t forget to have vegetable oil or some coconut oil tucked away if depression were to ever hit again. It will return you to normalcy by giving you more meal options during this time. 

Our ancestors didn’t really have time to prepare as we do! Make sure you stock up your great depression pantry with vegetable oil and/or coconut oil.

#21. Creamed Soups

Stocking up on canned soups that contain meat and beans will be a filling meal, often for as little as a dollar. Another good idea is to have extra cans of creamed soups that will work great for a number of recipes. Save money later by stocking up now. These are excellent to have in your great depression pantry stockpile. Most stores seem to have case lot sales in the fall months. That’s a great time to stock up.

Build Your Own Great Depression Pantry

#22. Chicken/Beef Broth

Another cheap way to add flavor to your meals is with broth, stock, or bouillon cubes. It won’t hurt to have a supply of beef, chicken, and vegetable broth. This food is perfect for a depression era. I buy these all the time: Organic Broth

Final Word

It’s never a bad idea to stock up and create a “Great Depression” food pantry. These are a number of cheap food ideas that can get your family through hard times. I hope this post has planted a mental “seed” that will prompt you to get going with a healthy pantry inventory if you haven’t started already.

If you’ve ever had to live off a limited budget for a long period of time, what foods did your family turn to? What’s in your Great Depression Pantry? May God bless this world, Linda

Copyright Images: Snack Ramen Depositphotos_48105919_S, White Rice Depositphotos_41767785_S, Pasta Depositphotos_375421210_S, Beans, Depositphotos_37168727_S, Honey Depositphotos_13672748_S, Popcorn Depositphotos_23948801_S, Nuts Depositphotos_4494406_S, Beans and Legumes AdobeStock_272949721 Pixel-Shot

63 thoughts on “Build Your Own Great Depression Pantry

  • October 10, 2019 at 7:52 am
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    Great list! Than, you for this. I am a prepper. I hope for the best, but prep for the worse.

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    • October 10, 2019 at 8:04 am
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      Hi Deborah, thank you so much for stopping by. We preppers have to stick together and hope for the best and prep for the worst! Love it! Linda

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      • January 4, 2021 at 9:15 am
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        Thank you. I am a Latter-day Saint and self sufficiency is encouraged. I am learning to can as well. Do you have any suggestions on how to store dry goods long term to avoid moisture? Thank you for your ideas. So far I have a lot of the items listed for my food pantry. What spices to you encourage to save?

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        • January 4, 2021 at 9:40 am
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          Hi Tracy, I highly recommend checking with your local state extension service for canning classes. Please buy the book called USDA canning guide. They have a free download but it wastes so much paper I would buy one from Amazon: https://amzn.to/2X9aNvQ (affiliate link). Store the spices YOU prefer to use. I use 5-gallon buckets with Gamma Lids for storage. Linda

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    • April 14, 2020 at 12:06 pm
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      Wonderful list, but you need to store what you will eat. Cans of Mandarin orange slices look good, but we just don’t eat them often.
      Make weekly menus using the things on your own list and use the oldest but still in-date can on your food storage shelves, then restock next market day. Have recipes that use the bulk grains and beans. Hey! It’s Your PANTRY that stores tasty, nutritious ingredients that you are used to eating.
      Is feeling safe ok when you see empty market shelves? Because I listened and prepared in times of plenty, I had no need to buy toilet paper that is in short supply.
      I feel blessed for what I have, and have learned from websites like Food Storage Moms.

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      • April 14, 2020 at 12:55 pm
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        Hi Lynn, great comment, thank you for your kind words. All it takes is an extra can, TP package, spices or whatever each week to be prepared. Good job, Linda

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  • October 10, 2019 at 7:53 am
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    Just wanted to give a shout out to lentils – they come in a number of varieties and bulk purchases are pretty cheap with most varieties costing less than $1/pound and you get 7 cups of cooked lentils out of a pound of dry lentils. Best thing about them? They will last indefinitely if stored properly.
    While I have some lentils in the kitchen cupboard to add variety to meals from time to time, I keep a decent stock of lentils and white rice at the back of my LTS for any serious event. Lentils and rice cook in roughly the same time and create a complete protein, so the two together can be a survival food.
    In the sauces category, consider powdered cheese for use with pasta or veggies to make them more interesting (cheesy broccoli or cheesy potatoes…) I also have a supply of pasta (red) sauce and alfredo sauce so I can have pasta often and not let it get too monotonous.
    Growing up in a family of 4 on a teacher’s salary we ate a lot of pasta and casseroles (mainly Mac and cheese or tuna noodle casserole), so having the ingredients for those is comforting. And the canned cheese or cream of mushroom soup at the base of those casseroles can last for years, so I buy in bulk when they go on deep sale at the market. Same thing with pasta, I wait for the deep sales and make the store regret putting out a loss leader. 🙂
    Thanks again for the wonderful reminders of things we need to be prepared for!

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    • October 10, 2019 at 8:03 am
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      Hi DMWalsh, oh my gosh, I love your comment. I got the giggles over the lead loss! I do that when they have cold cereal on sale. Boy, do I get the stares! LOL! I just starting stocking up on lentils because you told me about them. It sounds like you and I raised our families with the same meals. Life is so good when you know how to stretch a meal by stocking up on rock-bottom items. Great comment, Linda

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      • October 10, 2019 at 8:20 am
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        I used to get stares and comments all the time, but my wife and I let it be known that we donate a lot to the food pantry so now the workers at the market don’t think anything is strange. And while we do donate quite a bit to the local food pantry, I also store quite a bit in my personal family pantry. 😉

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        • October 10, 2019 at 8:29 am
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          HI DmWalsh, great idea! The clerk always asks me who is going to eat all this? I just smile. Life is so good when you stockpile food you know you will eat. It’s a blessing to be able to donate to foodbanks as well. Linda

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        • October 10, 2019 at 10:08 am
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          Linda
          You are so right about Oatmeal making ground beef go farther. I use to be a cook at the University of Missouri and i made chili in bulk. To make it go farther PLUS soak up grease left in the burger we use to add Oatmeal to it.
          Great list

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          • October 10, 2019 at 10:45 am
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            Hi June, this is a great reminder to all of us!! Thank you! Linda

    • April 14, 2020 at 3:13 pm
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      There is a recipe for cream of whatever soup out there. I’m not sure which site has it, but you can search for it. It’s good and easy to make.

      Reply
  • October 10, 2019 at 10:03 am
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    One food that I grew up on, and mind that we raised our own meat, was the dried beef that comes in a little jar. To this day, I remember it as a treat!! Creamed chipped beef on toast, biscuits, mashed potatoes! I don’t do this much myself but I have a few jars on the shelf!

    Also, everyone, keep in mind that a cream sauce/gravy with veggies and meat is a great way to extend a very small portion of those veggies and meat. I grew up with a family of 8 for a few years until the older 3 left home. We had to make a little bit go a long, long way! I know I have told the story before but will tell it again: mom planted asparagus and in the 2nd year of growth, she was able to pick a few spears. It was not enough to feed our family so she cut it into small pieces (about an inch long), steamed it and made a creamed asparagus. We had that with our meat. I think we probably had mashed or boiled potatoes as well. So, we all had a small taste of homegrown asparagus and no one was left out.

    The key thing to surviving an emergency is to learn how to stretch what we have into many more servings. Since we have all most likely become used to having a bounty, it will certainly be a shock to our systems to not have as much as we are used to. I know that I need to realize this and stop eating so much and at such a whim! I live 6 blocks from a big grocery store and if I “plan” something then decide I am not in the mood for that, I can just run to the store and get what I want. I really need to STOP doing that!!!

    With that in mind, I am going to start incorporating a survival meal in my meal plan once a week. I will cook nothing fresh – the complete meal will come from my storage. Well, I do this all the time as I rotate my canned/boxed foods on a regular basis but I will be more mindful of what I am making!

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    • October 10, 2019 at 10:11 am
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      Hi Leanne, oh my gosh the meat in the jars. I have several of those jars because my family loves it when they come to visit. Cream chipped beef is so awesome! I love your story about the asparagus because I planted some this year. I can hardly wait until next year when it’s ready to harvest! We really need to gear up for a famine of sorts. Life is going to get rough in the coming year. I’m glad you and I are prepared. Linda

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      • October 10, 2019 at 10:13 pm
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        Love this post! It is so very important to me too. Our power went off, with no warning, for 10 days in January with out temperatures hovering around 20 degrees. We were very comfortable with the wood fire place for warmth & for cooking.
        Did discover that our new soft fleece sheets were a wonderful purchase. No trouble keeping warm on those below 0 nights.
        Very comforting that we can eat, stay warm & have water when power goes out & we get snowed in. Thanks for all the ideas from everyone, & to you Linda, for giving us a place to come to & learn from each other. Love to watch your how-to do videos!! They are fun.

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        • October 11, 2019 at 7:50 am
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          Hi LaRene, you are such a good friend, thank you for your kind words. Wow, I hadn’t heard you were without power for 10 days!!!! So glad you knew how to survive without power!! Hugs, Linda

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    • January 17, 2022 at 10:45 am
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      Leanne, what a great comment!

      Reply
  • October 10, 2019 at 10:55 am
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    I live in a rural area and several years ago we had a major flood blocking all access to stores followed by an ice storm a couple months later where we lost power and roads again were unpassable. Both events convinced me that having a modest stockpile of foods, water, fuel, hygiene supplies and medications for humans, pets and livestock are essential for survival. I estimate that we are good for 3 months, my goal is 6 months.

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    • October 10, 2019 at 12:27 pm
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      HI Carol Ann, I wish other people would see the wisdom in having 3 months worth of supplies. Six months would be awesome too! Those ice storms are scary. You cannot drive or walk on any surface. You rock, keep up the good work! Linda

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  • October 11, 2019 at 12:46 am
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    Over the years we have dehydrated many items. We now have a freeze dryer and have been using it for many things and can preserve things we couldn’t with a dehydrator. Wish I had taken a picture of some peach slices that we dehydrated and freeze dried. The dehydrated ones shriveled up and looked bad, but eatable. The freeze dried ones looked about the same when we put them in and took them out. The freeze dryer also lets us do many food items the dehydrator couldn’t, although fatty and greasy foods don’t do well in a freeze dryer.

    Glad rotating food was mentioned. When we buy something, I write the date and price on a piece of Scotch tape and put it on the item. Interesting how prices change. First in, first out. Also try to keep list of items in a notebook.

    I haven’t seen any dried beef in glasses with a lid on the for years. I loved the salty taste of the beef and besides eating it in sandwiches, ate it plain.

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    • October 11, 2019 at 7:57 am
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      HI Chester, I love hearing your comment! I looked at the freeze dryer but worried I wouldn’t know how to take care of all the rubes on the side. The price tag was a little too high for my budget, but I love hearing how you are using it. You have to look really hard for the meat in the jars. If I see it I buy all 4 jars. They don’t stock much of it anymore. It’s down the tuna aisle when they have it. Love love love your comment! Linda

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      • October 11, 2019 at 10:24 am
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        Thank you for your reply and kind comments.

        Reply
  • October 12, 2019 at 5:09 pm
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    How long will bagged popcorn keep if put in a mylar with an oxy pack?

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    • October 12, 2019 at 5:15 pm
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      Hi Jennifer, I do not use Mylar bags. I only buy commercially processed popcorn from Honeyville Grain in #10 cans. It has a shelf-life of 10-15 years. I am guessing the Mylar bags would be one year. Linda

      Reply
  • January 17, 2020 at 9:54 pm
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    Just a note on Ramen Noodles. I use the flavoring package as a dry rub on meats. For each serving, I put an egg on to soft cook, about 6 minutes per egg. In a separate pan, I cook the noodles in real stock. I then add grated carrots, finely sliced bok choy, a few slices of radish and top with a soft boiled egg sliced in half. It isn’t real Japanese ramen but it is very good and much healthier than using the flavor packages in the noodles.

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    • January 18, 2020 at 8:01 am
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      Hi Linda, oh my gosh, I love your comment! I love ramen noodles! Great tip, Linda

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      • January 18, 2020 at 9:21 am
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        Shoot correction six minutes per egg! We lived in Asia for 20 years and every so often we both crave ramen.

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  • March 16, 2020 at 4:44 pm
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    I couldn’t have crossed this list at a more perfect time! Thanks for making my doomsday shopping more organized! Stay safe everyone and WASH THOSE HANDS!!:)

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    • March 16, 2020 at 5:00 pm
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      Hi Dana, I just had a printable made so you can check off what you need. Stay tuned, thank you, Linda

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  • January 16, 2022 at 8:23 am
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    Empty shelves can make us feel anxious. I hate when I go to the store and see it. I am SO thankful for your encouragement to build up our food storage Linda! I used laundry baskets under our bed and propped the bed up about 8 inches on those upside down cup risers. So now we have the food sorted with like items, tucked under the bed. I do find the rotation is the biggest challenge, but my kiddos are getting the hang of it. When we first began to have food shortages, my husband and I were most concerned about finding allergy safe food for myself and my daughter. We cannot eat any nuts, wheat or dairy. Trader Joe’s is very helpful, as you can call and order a case of the rice milk we use and they will hold it for us. We live almost an hour and will usually order one for storage and one for the pantry. And we are diligent about rotating those. I also had to search to find gluten free flour. I finally found it at BJs Wholesale Club. I cook most all of our family’s meals from scratch and often make a GF version and the guys’ version. GF products are more expensive and it helps to not “waste” our specialty ingredients unnecessarily. We have found great prices at our Dollar General for regular pantry items. Sometimes our grocery stores are out and we have been pleasantly surprised at what is at DG. One other thought….We have been able to help some of our senior folks who are not able to get to the stores. We call and text our neighbors before doing a store run and offer to grab some things for them. (We had Covid over the holidays and though we are still cautious, we feel like our immunity is probably better than ever right now against the nasty stuff.) It is very important to reach out and serve those around us however we can. Our older folks are especially vulnerable to this virus and God calls us to care for one another. We want our children to actively care for those in need. So in addition to sticking up for yourself, consider taking a moment and checking in with someone else whom you can help. Sorry, not trying to preach a sermon! LOL

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    • January 16, 2022 at 8:32 am
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      Hi Steff, this is not preaching, you are sharing from your heart, my friend. I love how you found ways to “stash” food! Where’s there a will there is a way! Great tip on the dollar store. Yes, GF supplies are very expensive but I’m so glad you are able to stock and rotate. I love your comment about asking others if they need some items you can pick up for them. What a blessing you are to the elderly. Kids watch us and they learn, you are a great example to us and to your little ones. Good job! Linda

      Reply
    • January 16, 2022 at 10:12 am
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      I have a daughter with the worst kind of Celiac Disease so I know about the expense, etc. with GF foods. I’ve been noticing alot of stores have a very large supply of almond flour, especially Costco. Still expensive but it’s getting more available. What I’m unsure of is if you can straight substitute it for “flour” in recipes. I seem to think you need to mix it xanthan gum or something else. I know our local Winco carries alot of Bob’s and King Arthur “all purpose GF flour” but ouch, the price AND the small quantity. Still, it seems more people are needing GF products and the stores are listening. Best of luck!

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      • January 16, 2022 at 11:52 am
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        HI Robbie, great comment, thank you. I called King Arthurs customer service to find out if the GF flour 1:1 could be used to make bread. It cannot be used for any bread except sweet bread like banana bread. I tried making GF bread and it was cheaper to buy the “GF sandwich bread” at Costco. I spent so much on supplies to make a GF loaf of bread edible. GF would be very tough for me. Fingers crossed for Steff, she probably has a ton of tips for us. Linda

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        • January 16, 2022 at 4:56 pm
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          I have learned, the hard way no less, that it is much cheaper to buy GF bread from Costco. It’s a fairly decent sized loaf and my daughter said it tastes like real bread. It’s much easier on this old mom! I had just wondered of the almond flour could be used 1:1 on other items, also. My daughter doesn’t cook that much and never, ever bakes so it’s all on her to figure this out…LOL. Costco does carry Sabatosso’s GF pizza and she said that was real good too with extra meats put on it (it only comes in 4Cheese). I’m not sure how she ended up with such a severe case of Celiac Disease as we’re all Norwegian and no one else has it. Go figure.

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          • January 16, 2022 at 6:02 pm
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            Hi Robbie, I did not have good luck with almond flour. It’s frustrating because it has such a short shelf life. So in the freezer, it goes. I love hearing she can get a pizza that is GF. I have a blond daughter with blue eyes that cannot eat anything with gluten. She is so thin, it worries me because she cannot eat so many things. We are Norwegian, not full-blooded not sure the percentage. My great-grandmother was full-blooded. Go figure, too! Linda

          • January 17, 2022 at 11:10 am
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            Robbie, my youngest brother had celiac long before much was known about it. (Think, the late 70’s). Literally, he dropped in weight from about 65 to 36. He was withering before our eyes. Small hometown doc just said to give him extra vitamins and more of his fave foods. I was in college, came home for the weekend, and told my folks to get him to the Big Town ER, stop listening to our doctor. I think they would have done this eventually but hearing Just one person Question the doctor’s advice helped to spur action. Back then, few people questioned their doc’s advice. Anyhoos, Nobody else in our large family/extended family has celiac. The term gluten-free was also not used back then…

  • January 16, 2022 at 9:09 am
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    One thing my famliy told me and taught me was canning. When I see fish, beef,chicken on sale I buy it and can it. Alot cheaper. I’m single mom of 3 and learning this from my grandma that lived during the depression has help me so much . When I make stews I make extra so I can can it save for later.

    Reply
    • January 16, 2022 at 10:10 am
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      Hi Renee, this is an excellent tip! I love to can food, you are so blessed to have had that example in your life. My family grew up canning, it taught my girls how to work. You are teaching skills and saving money at the same time! Good job! Linda

      Reply
  • January 16, 2022 at 10:09 am
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    Alot of stuff mentioned in your article, like pasta and rice, are not the best for diabetics like me. I have to be pretty careful to not eat foods that will spike my sugar counts. It makes it harder to stretch foods. I must admit I am very lucky with my husband. He grew up poor in Southern Utah and is so NOT the picky eater! He knows how to can, how to do all sorts of food-stretching ideas-he’ll eat just about anything except dairy (he’s lactose intolerant).

    My sister is convalescing here with me. She’s a widow and is an avid 99c store shopper She gets a certain brand of cereal for 99c at that store so when I went to the local market to get her more, it was $3.88! She gets alot of fresh produce at that store, too. We only have 2 of them locally but I’m going to start shopping there more often. Every time I go to the “regular” grocery stores, there are massive amounts of emptiness all over the place. It’s scary as I’ve never faced this before, being a baby boomer. We do live in sort of a “bowl” so whenever Donner Pass is closed and there’s no way truckers can get into the valley, empty shelves result. We only typically have about 3 days worth of groceries on our shelves here. If a America-wide disaster hits (worse than what we’re going through), we’re in big trouble. Well, not us! I listen to you, Linda! and we have alot of food storage. Just praying the power doesn’t go out. The wood stove will keep us warm but not power the frigs and freezer. I’ve still to convince my husband we need a generator.

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  • January 16, 2022 at 12:04 pm
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    Thank you for all the wonderful articles, lists, & recipes, Linda! They are greatly appreciated. I forward many to friends & family. Granddaughter on her own for the first time really likes the recipes & how to articles.

    We too have listened over the years & really stocked up on many of the items in your list, Linda. Here in NW Florida, shelves & stores are not empty, but the selection & amount available has dropped overall. We are seeing significant price increases on food, clothing, livestock & pet supplies, otc & vitamins, tools, hardware & building supplies of at least 10% since November.

    To add to the fun, our local power company was sold to a bigger conglomerate, that was granted a rate increase effective this month. Many had a bill significantly higher than they expected for December.

    Overall we are doing well. We have a list of items to keep an eye out for to bolster our supplies in a couple of categories that we are low on. Ordered some extra Gamma seal lids last month so can store extra rice, lentils, barley & beans.

    My husband is building a solar system as an additional emergency backup power source & should have it ready before hurricane season.

    My 5 little hens are happily giving us close to 3 dozen eggs a week. They got busy enough in December that I could gift everyone on our list a dozen eggs! Gotta love those happy chickens!

    I just harvested over 30 lbs of sweet potatoes from 3 volunteer vines & still have 2 raised beds of sweet potatoes to harvest. I was able to plant snowpeas this week & hope to get the Christmas blueberry & blackberry bushes in the ground soon.

    My son just left today for a job in Ohio. He’s carrying enough food to make all his meals for almost 3 weeks, extra tools & supplies to take care of any needs in a strange town. He even carries his own crockpot & cookware. Makes me happy that he takes being prepared seriously. He’s come a long way from the teenager who wouldn’t put his clothes away!

    The lady at the blog Prep School Daily had recipes for homemade cream soups & various other sauces & condiments. She recently even had one for Nestlé Quik!

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    • January 16, 2022 at 4:16 pm
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      Hi BDN, thank you for your kind words, my friend. Thank you for the information about food and other items in your area. How exciting you are getting 3 dozen eggs a week! Talk about a blessing, wow!!! I love sweet potatoes, oh my gosh, that is a great harvest! It’s wonderful you trained your son who left today for a job. He’s prepared for 3 weeks, that’s awesome! I will have to check out Jennifer’s blog with the cream soups. I think I’m an old dog that still loves my Campbell cream of everything soups, it would be hard for me to change. I will go check them out, I have yet to find some recipes I like for homemade cream soups, but that would be so helpful. Thank you, Linda

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  • January 16, 2022 at 12:26 pm
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    Yesterday’s wind chill was -10° and tonight into tomorrow is expecting 16 to 18 inches of snow. Our pantry is full and we are lucky enough to have a whole house generator. I have noticed “shortage” when I place curbside pickup orders. The cost of basic pasta has doubled. Chuck roasts are no longer being offered in large family packs with reduced prices. Forget covid at home test kits or N95 masks, are not to be found, if in fact they are worth it. Even the rye bread we usually order was unavailable last week. Milk is also up over a dollar a gallon. Since we have been retired the last 16 years, we are on a fixed income. The increase in this years Social Security is a joke, after you subtract Medicare increases. Fortunately we live frugal.

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    • January 16, 2022 at 4:22 pm
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      Hi Chris, I found some Covid tests today at Walmart.com, I think I got the last six sets. If you check different stores in your city, you may find some. But you have to be fast. My daughter picked them up for me, I wish I had had them shipped, but there in our house now. I like the BinexNow ones. So that’s good. With that cold weather, you would want to stay in, yikes! That is cold! I saw one box of pasta yesterday, that was it. Now I want some rye bread, wow, I love that stuff! Mark and I are going to cut way back on meat. I refuse to cave to those prices. We live very frugal too, it;s a way of life for us. Linda

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  • January 16, 2022 at 1:54 pm
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    I have over a thousand pounds of beans in a big barrel. My husband stores it out in the garage. I also have a couple hundred pounds of white beans for baked beans. I am hoping I can buy a pig and half a cow from a friend who raises them. She usually sells all that they don’t need to processors but if she knows someone who would like to have some she sells it usually at what it cost for her to raise it.

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    • January 16, 2022 at 4:26 pm
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      Hi Jackie, oh, that would be a blessing for sure to get a big and half of a cow. Those beans are truly a blessing! I love hearing this! Linda

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      • January 16, 2022 at 10:02 pm
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        I went to Kroger when I got off work this morning. Chicken breasts with rib meat was 99 cents a lb. The huge case that held all the chicken only held 2 packs of chicken. All the frosted flakes and fruit loops on sale for 1.47 were gone. Many shelves were empty or had big holes. I’m just glad that I have chicken in the freezer and canned. Thanks for all the articles Linda. It looks like we’re going to need the the stuff we’ve stored.

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        • January 17, 2022 at 7:49 am
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          Hi Linda, wow that was a good buy on the chicken breasts! Thank you for your kind words, we will be so glad we have stocked! I will check the cereal aisle next time. Thank you for the heads up! Linda

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  • January 17, 2022 at 11:21 am
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    Robbie, my youngest brother had celiac long before much was known about it. (Think, the late 70’s). Literally, he dropped in weight from about 65 to 36. He was withering before our eyes. Small hometown doc just said to give him extra vitamins and more of his fave foods. I was in college, came home for the weekend, and told my folks to get him to the Big Town ER, stop listening to our doctor. I think they would have done this eventually but hearing Just one person Question the doctor’s advice helped to spur action. Back then, few people questioned their doc’s advice. Anyhoos, Nobody else in our large family/extended family has celiac. The term gluten-free was also not used back then…

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    • January 17, 2022 at 1:10 pm
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      Hi Wendy, oh, thank you for sharing your thoughts on celiac!! Oh, my gosh, glad you questioned the doctor. Linda

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  • January 18, 2022 at 7:33 am
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    Shortages at our local stores have been hit or miss, but I normally go to two different supermarkets and BJs Wholesale Club every week to top off on items so my inventory doesn’t dip. So normally I can find everything I need at one of those three places, but this week I couldn’t find any ramen packages. They had noodle bowls and cup of soups with ramen, but the cheap ramen packs have disappeared. So next time they show up I’ll stock up more than usual since it lasts so long and is a great filler to stretch other ingredients when prepping a meal….

    And yes, it’s sad to see so few cans of vegetables and even soups on most supermarket shelves. Here’s hoping things get back to normal soon….

    Thanks for bringing this article back up for folks to look at it. Plenty of good ideas for the supply chain disruptions we’re all dealing with these days.

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    • January 18, 2022 at 7:56 am
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      Hi DMWalsh, I couldn’t find any ramen either!!! I fear for those who do not know the shelves are empty. Some people have no clue. Hopefully, people will stock up as soon as they see the items they will use. Linda

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  • January 21, 2022 at 8:13 am
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    I went to our local grocery store a few days ago and was lucky enough to find 2 packages of hamburger and a nice steak marked down. Burger went in the freezer, steak went in me. I love doing this.
    I did find one of the recipes my mother used to make for us when we were growing up I would like to share.
    Hamburger, potato casserole
    1 pound hamburger
    3 cups thinly sliced potatoes
    1 ( 10.75 oz) can of cream of mushroom soup
    1/2 cup chopped onion
    3/4 cup milk
    salt and pepper
    1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
    Brown hamburger in a skillet, drain. In a bowl mix soup, onion, milk,salt and pepper.
    Layer potatoes, soup mixture, and meat in a 11X7 baking dish. Bake for 1 to 1 1/2 hours
    or till potatoes are done. Top with cheese and bake till melted.

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    • January 21, 2022 at 9:16 am
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      Hi June, oh my gosh, I think my mom made this!! Or something very similar! I LOVE LOVE LOVE old recipes! Thank you for sharing this recipe! I need to make this!!! Linda

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  • January 30, 2022 at 6:25 pm
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    Lentils: My vegetarian daughter cooks lentils, then adds a packet of taco seasoning to make lentil tacos and they are wonderful. I made myself a taco salad using them and had a pile of lettuce, tomatoes, avacodo, diced jicamica and topped with ranch dressing. Yummm

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    • January 30, 2022 at 7:05 pm
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      Hi Topaz, I’m glad you mentioned this about lentils. I’m going to be showing how to cook lentils and use them in recipes. Janet, a reader (friend) has been coaching me on how to do it. She makes tacos with lentils, too!!! Thanks for sharing how you eat them!! Linda

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  • January 30, 2022 at 6:46 pm
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    What is the best way to store the dried beans and pasta that you buy at the store? Right now I have about 6 months of recipe based food storage. I have a box for each recipe and inside I have all the ingredients including spice packets and a copy of the recipe. In that box, I have anywhere from 1 to 8 sets of ingredients to make that recipe. Some are real favorites and we eat it several times a month, others are very easy to make and may not be a favorite so we just eat it once or twice a month. We have a long, narrow storage closet in the basement and hubby put in shelves and I bought some plastic boxes from the dollar store to put the ingredients in. We started about three years ago with one recipe stored and now we have about 25 (if we include the cans of Dinty Moore Beef Stew as a recipe.)

    I also buy about $100 of Thrive Freeze Dried food 3 or 4 times a year and have for about 7 years, so I have a pretty good supply of those. We use the sauce mixes, freeze dried onions, green onions, celery and mushrooms all the time. The bullion is a favorite of ours. My husband loves having jar meals of beef stroganoff that are easy to fix.

    My next step is to get dried beans for chili and soups and find out how to store pasta long term. I also want to store baking supplies for 5 to 25 years so we can keep our sweet tooths happy. I had not thought about popcorn until you mentioned you get yours from Honeyville, I may have to order some from there.

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    • January 30, 2022 at 7:20 pm
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      Hi Topaz, I store my beans and pasta in 5-gallon buckets with Gamma Lids. Baking supplies are a little tricky for long-term storage. I only store my white bread flour for 12 months. I make all kinds of bread and everything must be fresh. I store my SAF Instant Yeast, Dough Enhancer, and Wheat Gluten in the freezer. Sugar lasts forever if kept dry. Honey will last forever as well. DO NOT STORE in 5-gallon buckets. If and when the honey crystallizes it is very hard to get it out. I store honey in glass quart jars. They are easy to put outside in the sun to soften the honey if it does crystallize. What you’re doing is awesome! Keep up the good work. I love Thrive Freeze-dried onions, bouillon, green onions, and celery. No waste, no chopping. I just checked Honeyville Grain popcorn is still out of stock. I may have to put my name on the list to contact me when they get it in again. Linda

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  • February 7, 2022 at 7:25 am
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    I work in retail and stocking up is a great idea in these critical times. However, when choosing your products, check the dates and pull the one with the farthest expire dates. (If the store is diligent in stocking, these products are towards the back of the shelf.) The shelf life on things such as instant potatoes is only a few months. As a side note, I have found storing rice and instant potatoes in plastic containers (such as tupperware) tend to have a plastic flavor after a couple of months. It may have just been the climate where I lived, but I had to throw away a lot of rice because of this. I thought I was being smart buying up a lot of bulk boxed goods when the local grocery store chain closed down and a year later I had to throw the majority of it away because it was buggy. Use wisdom when prepping for the long haul.

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    • February 7, 2022 at 7:42 am
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      Hi Ceri, oh my gosh, the majority was buggy. I’m so sorry!! Thanks for the tip on Tupperware-type containers. That would not taste good. I only buy Rubbermaid commercial containers. I learned that when I had some mice come visit one year. I had to throw out everything. I vowed that would never happen again. And it hasn’t. Great tips! Linda

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  • February 7, 2022 at 5:50 pm
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    Don’t have to worry too much about the bugs now that we have moved back to Michigan. Florida climate is conducive to breeding. I still store my rice, dried potatoes and beans in mason jars now after that experience, the burnt plastic taste is hard to forget. Have had to learn to be creative with my storage since the move. We went from a 4 bedroom historical home with lots of storage space to a 2 bedroom mobile home. I actually use my dishwasher to store my pots and pans, lol.

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    • February 7, 2022 at 5:55 pm
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      Hi Ceri, yay, no more bugs! I have heard a little about the moisture in Florida, wow! We are downsizing from a 4 bedroom 1900 square foot home to an even smaller home. It’s going to be interesting but we’re determined to make it work. I like the idea of storage using your dishwasher. Linda

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