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The current price of fuel brings to mind the profound social changes that were generated by the oil crunch of 1973, when shortages were acute, and there were fist fights in lines at the stations. A three-hour wait was not unusual, and some stations were not open every day.
The Great Big Discount Warehouse Chain emerged to provide household necessities at the lowest possible cost per unit. It’s a shopper’s carnival now, but in the beginning it offered twenty pound sacks of rice and of beans, restaurant-sized cans of tomatoes, and commercial buckets of detergent. To an eye conditioned by an ordinary supermarket, the shelves looked like privation. A housekeeper trained in the GPO home economics pamphlets published during the early twentieth century, though, could look at $.25 rice and see money in the bank.
Buying simple staples has many benefits. It’s unavoidably green, since the minimal packaging recycles. It’s unavoidably healthy, since staples are low-fat, low-sodium, and often low-toxin as well.
Simple staples of any kind, food or otherwise, save storage space, are versatile, and foster skill. It’s necessary to strike a sensible balance between home production and outside obligations, but factoring in time to think is worth the trouble.
-30- More after the jump.