Shopping for disaster


I was never a Boy Scout, but, darned it I don’t seem stuck on that one oft-repeated motto.

By now, regular readers know my background, but for the remote possibility of a stray newbie accidentally landing here while lost in cyberspace, here’s the short version:

I live alone, no pets, no kids, no visitors except twice a year BBQ’s and an occasional sister or niece stop-by. I live in South Florida, which means one time a year, I have reason to stock up on “stuff”.

So why do I shop like every day is hurricane season and I’m feeding a family of eight?

Okay, maybe it’s not that extreme, but my “always be prepared” method of living leads to some silly extremes when it comes to shopping.

My purchasing decisions remind meof past Dilbert comic strips I have read, where there is a backup to the backup of the redundant system.

So, I’ll buy the 600 pack of napkins and then another one when the first gets down about halfway. I always have two boxes of foil, Saran wrap and plastic storage bags (quart and gallon). When the soap gets about halfway (bar, liquid or machine), off we go to pick up the “backup”.

Of course, it’s silly. I use – maybe – three napkins a day. Four, if I’m eating wings. So, 300 napkins means I won’t need a new package for, oh, over three months. How long does a half-filled container of dishwashing soap last? A lonnng time.

I do this same thing with just about everything dry goods. Sauces, spices, cooking ingredients. Sometimes this comes out a disaster – I currently have 4 containers of panko bread crumbs (because I didn’t see the two I had in the back of my pantry before shopping).

I used to even do this with some refrigerated items, but I found out how bad a disaster that can be (and how costly, when stuff needed to be thrown out).

How far does this extend? Well, let’s just say I’d rather not tell you how many pairs of socks I own.

It’s an inexplicable trait, this over-preparedness, but I recognize one saving grace: I’ve never become a member at Costco.

Now that could only lead to a shopping disaster.

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