Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Island Life: Stocking Up For Winter

In my last post I talked about people stocking up for winter and it got me thinking - did I stock up enough? That cart is full of stuff I brought home back in September. I'm kind of a planner (my husband would say worrier) so I start stocking up early. All summer long I buy a few extra things on each shopping trip, so by the time the boats stop in January, I'm prepared.

Just take a look at my pantry in the basement. OK, I have to be honest, we don't really call it "the pantry," it is more often referred to as "the Hell Hole," but we've been working cleaning and neatening to make it a bit less Hellish...

Between the Hell Hole, the closets in my bathrooms, and the laundry room I have the following items on hand; this does not include the open items we are currently using. Also, I usually use off brand products, but it's just easier to refer to things by the name brand here.

10 boxes of cereal
2 cases of paper towels
1 case baby wipes (8 refill packs)
5 tubs of Oxyclean
3 bottles of Formula 409 (spray cleaner)
4 boxes of tall kitchen garbage bags
90 island garbage bags (the ones required by the city)
2 cases of Pull-Up type diapers
4 boxes of Ziplock bags
2 rolls of aluminum foil
2 rolls of Saran Wrap
2 bottles of Woolite
8 laundry detergents
4 tubs of cat litter
5 boxes of dishwasher detergent
2 boxes of Bounce
12 boxes of Kleenex
2 refills for the Diaper Genie
3 bottles of bleach (1 regular and 2 for for colors)
About 20 light bulbs
2 big Softsoap refills
2 bottles of body wash
8 bars of soap
2 bottles of No More Tangles spray
1 box of tampons
2 boxes of pads
2 boxes of Q-tips
2 bags of cotton balls
2 hairsprays
2 giant bottles of Listerine mouthwash
2 bottles of face wash
3 boxes of Theraflu (cold medicine)
2 jars of kid's vitamins
3 bottles of rubbing alcohol
2 bottles of Pedialyte
7 deodorants
5 tubes of toothpaste (3 adult, 2 fluoride-free)
6 bottles of shampoo
3 bottles of conditioner
6 pumper bottles of Bath & Body Works hand soap
1 gallons of Tilex Fresh Shower
2 quarts of Windex
2 replacement shower curtain liners (It is so much easier to replace these at $1.00 each than to clean them!)
4 Thermacare Heat Wraps (for your back)
3 bags of cough drops
1 pregnancy test
25 rolls of toilet paper (I'll need to get more)
4 big containers of oatmeal (2 regular 2 quick cook)
2 boxes of microwave popcorn
4 cases of soda
3 50 pound bags of dog food
3 25 pound bags of cat food
4 bottles of dry gas
2 gallons of snowmobile oil

That list doesn't even include the food and supplies that I keep in the kitchen or in the freezer downstairs. Pretty much I have two or three of everything - in the way of food. That way use a couple and still have one left when I go shopping and can get more before I run out. Because, who knows, it may be a month before I get to the grocery store again. I am so glad I have a basement. I don't know what I would do with out it.

Now, in theory, I'll use up most of this stuff before the boats start running again in April. I stock up partially because I don't want to run out of anything but also because while hauling groceries on the boat is free, the airplane charges. Depending on what you bring over they charge either by the box or by the pound. Even at just $2.50 per box it adds another $10.00 to the grocery bill. And since I have to pay $50.00 for the round-trip plane ticket, shopping as infrequently as possible is a good thing.

Now I can also shop from my living room if I want to. The grocery store in St. Ignace (the city on the Southern most tip of Michigan's upper peninsula) does something really nice for the island people. They'll let us fax a grocery list to the store, and as long as I am willing to keep my credit card number on file with them, they will shop for me, box up the order, and deliver it to the airport for only $10.00. Which is great sometimes, but there are other times where you just want to get off of the island for a day or two or you have a dentist appointment and it is just easier to shop for yourself.

Which reminds me - when I fly off the island next week I'm going to have to find a ride - my car is still parked down at the boat dock. More about my car next time...


muralimanohar said...

No such thing as being too prepared. Costco was built just for, is my personal opinion (and I MISS it over here! Wah!). :p

So how long is all that supposed to last, anyway?? Did you say September to April?? Might you be a little UNDER prepared on a few things???

muralimanohar said...

Just for ME, that should have said. Duh.

susan said...

better to be safe than sorry. living up in the tobin sometimes is isolating especially if it has been snowing for days,,,i wont drive and its dark when goes to work and comes home and once he is here he wont go anywhere so we try and have a couple weeks worth of dinners available. but for you, once the ice comes in you are pretty much cut off unless you fly or snow machine it. i liked the "one pregnancy test"

Amy Jo said...

I would guess that island living would make you be a planner even if you weren't one already!! I can't even get my mind around planning for enough cereal until April. I can't plan enough cereal for 1 week!! :-) Love these posts....

Marcia said...

I suppose after 16 years you have a very good idea of exactly how much you need to stock up on. It's great that you can order groceries that way.

Marcia said...

P.S. Love the pregnancy test in reserve! What do you do about medical attention? Is there a PA, Nurse Practitioner or doc on the Island?

Anonymous said...

Whoa. That is some reserve stock! I bet you'd be awesome at planning a big event :-)

Sam said...

This is so interesting. I love knowing how other people live, and after reading your list, I KNOW I would forget stuff. The plane would make plenty from me, lol.

I found it odd that the boat has only just stopped running in January. Stupid question: doesn't it get icy before then?

Can't wait for the next installment :-D

Anonymous said...

Wow! That is alot of stocking up.

I love hearing about island life. Thanks!

jacquie said...

what wonderful posts liz. i was on the edge of my seat reading each one.

Maggie said...

Ha! How funny that I see your basement for the first time on your blog. :) I too keep a well stocked pantry in the basement-- I stock up when I see good deals.

cinnamongirl93 said...

You have an excellent list of items. I will admitt, I probably would have forgotten some of the supplies you stocked.
You could teach a class on how to be prepared!!!!
I loved today's post!