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I really struggle with having the time (and energy) to be the perfect housewife and mother. I know nobody’s perfect, but it’s incredibly challenging to work from home, balance homesteading duties, and still find time to make sure the things I’m purchasing for my family are actually healthy and sustainable.
Permies has been a massive source of information for me - I love that I can just come here and throw a question out there, and brilliant Permie people just jump up and give me gobs of information. Too bad you guys can’t do my shopping for me too!
I don’t know if you’ve ever had to run errands with a baby/toddler, but I can tell you, it’s about as fun as juggling with your pants on fire while reciting the alphabet backwards. I live in a really rural area, so town is a two hour round trip drive, and it takes all. Damn. Day.
Keeping kids entertained while you dart back and forth between errands is hard enough, but reading labels on the fly, actually remembering your grocery list, hoping like hell the bag doesn’t split in the middle of the parking lot - it’s enough to make me insane.
In my desperation, I sought out solutions to torturous all day grocery shopping trips. I was hoping it was just as simple as going to the almighty Amazon and ordering all of my dry bulk goods, and having them delivered to my door - not so much.
Not only does Amazon charge an arm and a leg for everything (expect to pay at least 30% more on most grocery products), but many of their grocery items are only available to Prime Pantry members, which means you actually have to sign up for that program to even be able to order them.
That’s all fine and good for some, but the prices weren’t great, and Prime wasn’t something that would have been worth the money for my family.
Further research revealed that there was NO grocery delivery service in my area, and the only places I could even get curbside pickup from didn’t carry a lot of the things I wanted to feed my family, so I wound up having to make a bajillion stops in town anyway.
It was just so frustrating - there are only so many hours in a day, and I just have no time to run from store to store. So what do you do when you can’t grow everything yourself? What happens when local options aren’t an option for your family?
The only thing I ever found to really work for us was Pantry Paratus - I can order all of my dry bulk grocery items online, and have them delivered right to my door. They carry a lot of the healthy specialty items I like, but they’re affordably priced, and seriously, the fact that they don’t require a membership just sealed the deal for me.
I can literally order my dry groceries online while my toddler naps, and then just head to town to pick up the fresh stuff when I have the chance. It’s fast and easy, and shipping on orders over $300 is free, so I try to stock up all at once.
So yea, definitely not hard to spend $300 once or twice a year there
From one busy homesteading working mom to another just generally busy person who wants to buy healthier groceries without breaking the bank, Pantry Paratus is my all time favorite place to go. It’s small, locally owned (for us Montanans anyway), and they have fast and real live human being type customer service.
As far as I know, they do ship internationally, but of course you can check with them for your specific country by emailing them at firstname.lastname@example.org, they are just great about responding to emails, so you should hear back in no time.
I do know they actually ship to APO/deployed military address for FREE, which I think is just the bees knees. Seriously, they are just so nice, and such a great company to work with. I'm planning my next order to include Berkey filters, unbleached muffin tin liners, and a couple of books.
Oh yea, they even sell BOOKS! And even their blog is pretty fabulous. They actually feature Ernie and Erica for their chocolate making business in a recent post!
If I'd need something like that, I'd have to find it in the country I live in. Transportation over long distances is too bad for the environment.
But there's no need to do this for me, I can ride my bicycle to the centre of town in five minutes. I did that the same way when I had toddlers (who now have their own toddlers ). Here in the Netherlands we know how to use our bicycles!
"Also, just as you want men to do to you, do the same way to them" (Luke 6:31)
What about you Permies People, what have you done to save time and sanity with grocery and supplies shopping?
We have a family obligation to make a one hour trip to Bremerton, WA once a week to care for my wife's mother which gives me the opportunity to shop Winco Foods bulk section which is huge. The one in Tacoma is even larger but I am not commuting that way any longer. They have a good price on small avocado which if I pick the wans with long necks have small seeds therefore more flesh often as much as the large ones that have huge seeds.
I can shop Lowe's or Home Depot online and have what I need at the checkout for a quick stop on the commute. My raw milk dairy is not far off the shortcut route so if I time it right I can have her fill 3 two quart jars that have the starter culture in them with warm milk then keep them warm in my waterbed. The cultured milk keeps for a month.