Are you stockpiling?

food cupboard

I don’t do politics; that is, I don’t make political statements on my blog, though it could be said that I have, on occasion, crossed my self-imposed line when I criticised NHS admin procedures but I would defy any of my readers to deduce from my posts how I voted in the EU referendum. However, there is an area within the debate which is particularly interesting me at the moment – the stockpiling of food.

The Guardian ran an article as long ago as July last year entitled A no-deal Brexit survival guide: what to stockpile. I missed it at the time but happened across it just the other day whilst seeking unconnected information. The report confirmed that the Government had drawn up plans to stockpile processed foods and medical supplies pending a possible no-deal in which a free flow of goods is not achieved resulting in shortages of essentials. At the time this seemed a little like scaremongering but just this week it’s been reported that Tesco and Marks & Spencer have joined other food retailers in stockpiling packet and tinned food.

The Telegraph reports that Majestic Wine, by the way, announced their intention of stockpiling £8 million worth of European Wine to address an ’emergency’. Good to know that they’ve got their priorities right – we might all starve but at least we’ll be happy doing it!

But seriously, should we be worrying? And if so, how worried we should be? The fact is that we don’t actually KNOW what will happen. If there are shortages then there are shortages so it would affect everyone regardless of how they voted. A friend told me before Christmas that she had started stocking up her cupboards more than usual. Another friend thinks this is insanity. I’m on the fence on this one – I don’t know what to think.

I’d love to hear what you think, but please be aware that, on this occasion, comments may be moderated if there is any Brexit reference other than to the issue of stockpiling.





  1. My freezer is always stocked if you can call that stockpiling. How about the idea that we buy British, lol I’m sure it will all be fine. Do you remember when sugar was rationed was it the 70’s? and people were buying all they could! I remember my mum saying that if everyone just bought what they needed there would be enough for everyone.


    • Great idea in theory, Maggie but we don’t currently produce enough in Britain to sustain everyone buying only British. If people can’t get the EU products that they usually buy, then that would increase pressure on the goods that they can get and would result in shortages in the short-medium term. It’s not only the actual foods but that the production processors wouldn’t immediately have the capacity. In our favour is that the supermarkets have been stockpiling for a few months now. And of course, unless there is either a no-deal or import/export documentation is made simple, then we may have no problems; I sincerely hope that this is the case. If it is, I’ll have a very low cost month of two as I use everything up!


  2. I have a ‘stockpile’ mentality, I think. It just comes naturally to have a ‘few’ spare things around. I’m doing nothing more than usual.


    • Perhaps those of us who were brought up by mothers who had been used to rationing are a little more inclined to have a stockpile mentality anyway, Joy. My freezer and cupboards are always well stocked too.


  3. I always have a well stocked food store and freezers as we are a little way out of town and being a none driver I don’t always have anyone here to take me into town.
    I may buy a few extras but it will only be things that we will need and would normally use. I won’t be going mad.


    • I think that probably sums up my attitude, Sheila. I will buy a few extras but only ever what I’d normally buy. I did buy extra toilet rolls yesterday, with the intention of storing them, but Husband opened them and put them away so that was a waste of time!


  4. It seems a no brainer to me, stockpile but only things you would eat anyway. I’ve made sure I have a stock of 8 weeks worth of basic food, all with a long use buy date). If things go on longer than that then I suspect the Govt will step in. I’m not so worried about food, I’m more worried about the people who may not be able to get their medications so easily. I hope there are plans by the Govt to deal with that but they aren’t very reassuring.

    I was one who laughed at the idea of food shortages during the petrol blockades of 2000s. While I was laughing, other people were emptying the shelves at supermarkets, local food shops etc. We were eating very odd things by the end of that period.


    • I remember various shortages over the years, including toilet rolls. We managed but since then I never get close to running out. My cupboards are always well stocked anyway but I am now holding more tins of salmon and tuna then I usually do.


  5. I haven’t stockpiled anything and if something disappears off the shelves, then so be it. As long as water comes out of the taps and we have basic foods in the shops, we shan’t starve. We try and buy British goods when we can, in any case. I don’t buy olive oil but UK rapeseed oil, for example. As for medication, we can only have a month’s supply at a time here in the UK, or so I believe. Anyway, where would I put a stockpile of goods, I’ve no idea? The cupboards are full enough as it is. But whether to stockpile or not, I’ve really no idea.
    Margaret P


    • Your last sentence sums up my dilemma, Margaret. I’ve really no idea either. Certainly what I read yesterday – that there may be a shortage of Manchego cheese – doesn’t leave me quaking with fear!!


  6. I always have at least a month’s food in the house. It’s the norm in my part of the world.

    When it’s -30C, you don’t want to be nipping out for a can of something!

    Medications? Always refill before you run out. My system only allows you to hold a six month supply at any one prescription filling.

    We don’t belong to the EU but have no problem obtaining products from Europe. The companies aren’t going to stop selling just because they have more paperwork to do.


    • Unfortunately Linda, it’s not just about paperwork. If Britain comes out with no deal, there will be restrictions on what level of trade EU members are allowed. We just have to see how it pans out. However, I always have full cupboards and anyone looking at them might wonder if I wasn’t stocked up for a siege!


  7. I live in earthquake country and so, I stockpile for a major earthquake! One that will disrupt services.

    We are advised to keep a minimum of 3 days’ worth of drinking water at the rate of 1 gallon per day per person plus additional for pets; a minimum of 3 days’ worth of food per person, plus a supply of pet food. And prescription medications, etc.

    But, beyond the minimum, we should keep enough items on hand to last for several weeks, if not months, because of all the damage such an earthquake could cause. We might be without electricity and natural gas (which we use for cooking and heating); water mains and sewers might break and we won’t have running water or be able to flush our toilets. Roads and buildings might be damaged; food trucks might not be able to make deliveries and people might not be able to travel to the stores if roads are damaged; grocery stores might not be open if the buildings are damaged. Without electricity, everything comes to a halt, these days – food in the freezer will spoil, both at home and in the stores; gas (petrol) pumps won’t work, credit card machines and ATMs won’t work, etc. We are advised to keep sufficient cash on hand, if that happens.

    Assuming our homes are still standing, we’d need to have enough food and water and a way to warm up or cook our food, heat our homes, and care for ourselves until services are restored, repairs are made, and normal life resumes.

    I am no where prepared, but I do have a supply of drinking water, some canned and packaged food as well as dried food (rice, lentils, etc.), trash bags to line the toilets which can then be closed and buried in the back yard until sanitation services can be resumed, a first aid kit, wet wipes for personal hygiene when running water is not available, toilet paper/paper towels, etc.

    What are the things one needs to survive for 1 week, 2 weeks, or maybe even 1 month, if one can’t get to a grocery store because the car has no petrol, or the road is broken, or the buses don’t run, or one hasn’t a bicycle, or can’t walk to the store? Or, if one does manage to get to the store, the store is closed, because the building is damaged, or they don’t have any stocks left because the deliveries can’t be made?

    I realize that it is a different scenario than what you are facing. But, to answer your question, yes, I do stockpile! 🙂


    • This all sounds very scary, Bless. I cannot imagine how you cope with the threat of earthquakes. There are many areas you mention that I haven’t ever considered.


  8. Difficult one this:

    – To stockpile ?( can smugly glide through any shortages / but may be left with a cupboard of things you would never eat but got in “just in case”);

    – Or not to stockpile ? ( in reality less choice / abject starvation “if you listen to the papers”).

    These are big (and potentially expensive) questions.

    I’m going down the middle. I’m stocking basics. Flour, butter, lard, sugar, frozen veg and fruit. I have my normal meat and stuff in the freezer to cover bad winter weather or periods of illness should either occur. I always have milk in the freezer anyway and my eggs are local.I have a sack of spuds in the garage. If I have these things I can rustle up various meals. I am lucky I am able to cook from scratch and I have time to do so. I’m also taking advantage of current offers on tea and coffee brands that I use and stocking up with those – that’s a price thing that I would do under normal circumstances anyway.

    I am buying a few extra bottles of a particular olive oil I use to tide me over until the fuss dies down as that may get caught up in any port hassles.

    My concern is not non-availability of food – there will be something but not perhaps the plethora of choice we currently have – but I am convinced that prices will rise as traders see an opportunity to enhance profits. So I’m thinking all the things that went up in 2008 – 2010 – so that’s butter, rice etc. Think back to then and let that be your guide.

    I think my advice would be;:

    * To look at what you like to eat;
    * Think about where it comes from
    * Is it likely to get stuck at a port ? (avocados -yes / potatoes – no)
    * Plan accordingly / look at substitutes
    * Do I have storage space?
    * What can I afford?

    I hope this helps.



    • Love your balanced and very comprehensive response, Debbie. Like you, I stock up anyway when the things we regularly use are on offer. I refuse to spend £5.50 on a tin of my favourite coffee so always have several in because it’s on offer at £3 quite often. This applies to several other items too. We are spoilt with the variety of goods we can buy but when it comes down to it, there are very few specific things that we couldn’t manage without. Running a household and planning meals makes us good at improvising too.


  9. I’m not stockpiling! However, my main reason for commenting is because I’m no longer receiving notifications of when you have published a new blog post. I’ve no idea why. Perhaps I need to subscribe again? I even wondered if you were having a rest from blogging! Luckily, I have managed to reconnect and I’m now off to catch up with all those posts I missed!


  10. I’m not stockpiling as I hope that a rationing system would be introduced in the event of shortages. I don’t know what I would stockpile to be honest as we eat mainly fresh foods.i am however concerned about my DH getting his medication as he needs it for his diabetes and for his eyes to prevent him losing his sight. I’m refusing to panic buy and as we don’t have a proper barden, we can’t grownour own. Maybe my head’s in the sand, but I cannot summon up the energy or willpower to decide yeah or nae.


    • I always have well stocked cupboards anyway, but it has got me thinking. I hadn’t considered it before my friend mentioned it, and then I promptly forgot until I came across the article. I’m always after an idea for a blog post though so it’s come in handy! As to whether I am stockpiling – not consciously though my husband did ask why I’d bought so many toilet rolls!


  11. To be honest, I hadn’t given it any thought until I watched an interview on TV last week. One person suggesting we stockpile and another convinced it is all nonsense. I still don’t know what to think but I’ll be interested in what everyone has to say. X


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