Sunday, April 26, 2009

Paying for Food Storage

As I look around and see friends who are struggling because loss of jobs, etc, it makes me even more appreciative of food storage. However, the #1 excuse for not having a year supply of food is "It just costs too much" or "I don't have enough money." Does obtaining a year supply of food totally freak you out financially? It sure doesn't have to.

Food storage is anything that you are not eating right now. Anything in your pantry is food storage. Anything in your freezer is food storage. Anything in your "food storage room" is food storage.

Here are some ideas that have helped our family:

1. Do not buy your food storage all at once. Most families would not be able to afford that! How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. Absolutely do not go into debt for food storage.

2. Each week, grocery stores have "loss leaders" on their ad. These are generally 1-5 items that lure you into the store. These items will be on sale for less than what the store pays for it. The idea of loss leaders are to get you into the store, in hopes that you will buy lots more while you are there. When an item is a loss leader, buy your year supply of that item. For example, when ketchup was on sale for .59 cents, I bought 12 bottles of it. That cost me only $7.00 (not a huge increase of my budget for the week), and now I have my year supply of that item. Often times, I would buy 3-4 loss leaders per week, buying the whole year supply of that item.

3. Make goals for your long term storage (beans, rice, flour, oats, wheat, powdered milk, etc). I would make a goal for the month. For example: This month I am going to get 1 five gallon bucket full of wheat (about $8), one bucket of rice, and one bucket of oats. These are very attainable goals. I have found that the LDS cannery usually has the best price on wheat, oats, beans and powdered milk. I have found rice and flour cheaper at Sam's and Costco.

4. Use 5 gallon buckets for wheat, beans, rice, flour, & oats. Did you know that most bakeries will give you their used icing buckets (usually 4-5 gallon buckets) for free? I got all of my buckets (except for two that I already had) for free. Reams in Springville, UT, and Buy Low Market in Provo, UT love to give you buckets for free. A couple of other bakeries wanted to charge $1. Just call around and see who will give them to you. Do NOT use 5 gallon buckets for powdered milk. I only store milk in #10 cans. I do buy gamma lids for my buckets. These are lids that snap on but twist on and off. They are airtight, but MUCH easier to get into. They are expensive (but worth it) at about $6 per lid. Make sure you number each of your buckets as you fill them. When you have your year supply of that item, you should only have one bucket open at a time. When that bucket is gone, refill it, and start on the next numbered bucket. This way you are always using the oldest first. This idea came from my friend Vanessa. Thanks Vanessa!

5. Coupons. I have started couponing and seriously can't believe how much I am saving. Just think, if you save say $50 per month with coupons, you have an extra $50 that month for food storage. That would fill a few 5 gallon buckets.

6. Only buy items on sale. Stores cycle their ads about every 3 months. If you buy at least a 3 month supply of an item when it is on sale (preferable a year supply), then you won't have to buy it again until it is on sale again.

7. Food Storage Date Night. Instead of going on your regular date for the week, do a free date and use the money saved for food storage. If you forego only one date a month (dinner and a movie), you could easily have an extra $50-60 for food storage.

8. Tax Returns. This is the perfect time of year to use some of that tax return for food storage.

9. Store brands. Often times store brands can save you big. However, make sure that you buy one or two cans/boxes/bottles first to make sure you like them. No sense saving money on food you don't necessarily like.

10. Canning. When you find a great deal on meats, buy a bunch and pressure can it (future post). When boneless/skinless chicken breast is on sale, I buy 40-80 pounds and can it. Same with pork, hamburger, steak, etc. Canned meat is a great thing to have in your food storage. Do the same with fruits (apples, pears, peaches) and vegetables (beans, beets, etc). Last year I went to the fruit orchards and bought boxes of 2nd quality apples for $5 per box. One box did 14 quarts of applesauce!

11. Your food storage is an extension of your pantry. It is nice to be able to "shop" in your food storage room for the items you need. Take is slow. Take it steady.

12. Ask for food storage for Christmas or birthdays. The peace of mind we receive from having our food storage outweighs many of the other things we could receive.

13. Plant a garden. For several dollars you can get seeds to plant enough produce to feed your family.

14. Eat at home. This alone can save so much money- which can be put towards food storage. Not to mention much more nutritious.

15. Know that the Lord will bless you as you endeavor to build your food storage.

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1 comment:

  1. Your best tip in the list on your paying for food storage page is #15. God bless you for publishing this blog.