“Load up the pantry” as advised by the Wall Street Journal (and Wendy Jeub)

As Wendy and I prepare for another presentation of “Cheaper by the Baker’s Dozen,” we are tempted to rename the presentation “Hurry Up and Stock Up the Pantry.” News item after news item is validating what we have been saying ever since oil began its rapid increase of prices. Add the minimum wage increase, growing demand in Asia, and government environmental policies for biofuels, you’ve got a recipe for expensive food!

The Wall Street Journal came out with an incredibly persuasive article on stocking up the pantry. Columnist Brett Arends lists the reasons with logical analysis in his article “Load up the pantry“:

  • Food is a global economy, so economic food prices in Asia does effect us in America.
  • Inflation in 2007: Flour up 13%; dairy up 10%; eggs up 30%; poultry up 5.4%. Compare that to the average money market fund (2.5%).
  • Food companies are no longer absorbing costs for raw materials (e.g. wheat has tripled in three years).
  • There aren’t “starving children in China” anymore, as a rising middle class is demanding more food (same in India).

Now, I just want to note that I was NOT one of those alarmists freaking out about Y2K. Back then I thought the claims of food shortages and riots were greatly inflated. You remember, computers would all collapse and ships would stop shipping food and chaos would consume. I remember thinking, “If that happens, I’m going hunting,” and I let others stock up on food and candle wax.

Also note, however, that the Y2K fears were not based on economics: they were based on technological opinions that no one fully understood. As I claim in Cheaper by the Baker’s Dozen, “Economics is as sure as gravity.” You can always count on it to work out, for the better or for the worse.

What should you do? Our third Principle of Frugal Living listed in the presentation states, “Frugal living requires creative solutions to economic realities.” Notice we didn’t say “economic problems” or “catastrophes.” There is really no such thing. Economics is amoral and simply a “reality” that we must deal with. The ideas Wendy and I come up with are simply ways we have dealt with the reality for 17 years of our marriage raising 14 kids.

Wendy’s Love in the Kitchen cookbook has a section in it called “Stock your shelves.” No kidding: nearly the exact same title as today’s Wall Street Journal article. She explains how she frugally keeps a tight reign on our family budget and how you can too. It isn’t computer engineering; much of it is simply understanding the family economic unit. Really, the advice she gives is worth much more than the price of the cookbook.

Could you do us a favor? Cut-and-paste the content of this post and send it to your friends. We’re onto something here, and you can help. Spread the word, for I believe our cookbook and CD ROM are rightly timed to serve a growing need out there. Thanks!

About Chris & Wendy Jeub

The Jeub Family live in Monument, Colorado. They encourage couples to love God and love one another, building an atmosphere of love in their homes.

  • http://huffmasterfamily.com Dawn

    Thanks so much for this post and linking articles! I’ve copied it over to my blog, with links back to your site.
    Joyfully blessed wife and mother of “almost” 7!

  • missy parris

    I have recently read your “love in the House Book” and I am hinting for the cookbook for Mothers Day. We need all the help we can get . We will soon be a family of 7. My question would be how do you handle eating out times? Do you just not do it No Questions Asked or is it just a special thing. I was wondering if your cookbook has anything like quick easy stiff we can do instead of eating out. Thanks, Missy in TN

  • Deanna

    I don’t think that the majority of folks have an idea of what it means to cut back, stock up, or just economize. I am by no means perfect in this, and there is always room for improvement. Since my husband and I have decided to pay for everything in cash, we are becoming a lot more creative in areas that needed improvement. If we are craving something,..we just find a way to make it ourselves. It’s nothing new, I just think in the era of fast food, fast lives, we have become used to that way of living. Those thing have their place, but now we use them as a special treat. Actually, I don’t really miss it so much. I have a couple of older books that I read from time to time, to remind me that being frugal is a very wise thing. Even the older Betty Crocker Cookbooks were always reminding the wives to make good use of their resources. It’s not so much a question of what you don’t have, it’s “how can I use every part of this meal?” Believe me, I would be the last one to try and save the broth that had come from boiling meat…but if I can use it, then I should. Reading of how folks made it during WWII for example, is really helpful to today’s need for cutting back. Our family of nine actually eats better now on a tighter budget, then when we were just winging it, and not counting the cost. Having the basics on hand: Rice, Flour, Sugar, Noodles,..and some others,..really is economical. I hope that nobody reads this and thinks I know it all and am perfect….not at all. Just can’t help sharing what I’ve learned, because like I’ve learned from others..maybe it can help. I look forward to being able to order Wendy’s book soon, and to learning all of your family’s best kept secrets!! p.s..sorry this soooo long!! :):)

  • Jane Buss

    Thanks so much for your advice. Over here in England for the past few weeks the head lines in all the papers have been “cost of living on the up”, “food bills rising £15 a week”, “families are struggling to live”. I too am not an alarmist but the fact is it is happening. We know that God provides but also that we are told to be good stewards, so thank you so much for your advice. I really believe God has gifted you both to help families to be good stewards. I very much look forward to recieving Love in the Kitchen and really believe this will transform our shopping bill and the way we look at food shopping.
    Thanks once again.
    Jane Buss ( mum of 5 )

  • http://www.jeubfamily.com Chris Jeub

    Missy- Great question. We hardly ever eat out. Yes, we do have several quick recipes in the cookbook that we make. Also, we mention our “activity night” routine in our Cheaper by the Baker’s Dozen CD ROM.

  • Michelle

    HI! I got my cookbook today, and I am so excited! LOL, just when I reading all this gloom and doom, plop, here came the mailman with my cookbook! I know it will bless this family, and I have given away copies of “Love in the House” and I will be sharing recipes with my friends. Thanks Wendy! And all the Jeub family.

  • Valerie

    Chris, I have a question about your “Cheaper By the Baker’s Dozen” CD ROM. I am not much of a “techie”, and I was wondering if it will play on a regular CD player as an audio-only, or will it only play on a computer? Thanks!

  • http://www.jeubfamily.com Chris Jeub

    The CD ROM plays on audio (like your car stereo), but comes with a download code for slide that can be downloaded onto your computer.