Friday, February 7, 2014

I'm Saving, I'm Storing, My Food Storage is Growing!

Food storage is a very smart thing to do and since the economy is not in the best shape and it doesn't seem to be getting any better, for some people, having a stock pile of food is important.  Now I'm not talking about going overboard like some of those extreme couponers do, although they are building up some pretty impressive storage for their families.  And I'm not talking about going out and spending thousands of dollars on prepackaged, preboxed food that is all ready to go for you - although those are nice.  I am talking about working on it slowly over time so that it is not a painful or intrusive project and one that fits your needs.

You never know when you are going to be faced with an emergency, job loss or unexpected life change and once that happens, you need to have your food storage already in order.  We have had food storage in our home for years and some years it has been plentiful and others, it has really needed some work but it has been so nice to have that little safety net to fall back on in times of need no matter what they may be.

Building your food storage up can seem daunting and expensive but there is an easy way to work on it for your family that is not only inexpensive and easy to manage but can help you to add things that will appeal to your family, not someone else's.  I am going to again point you to Microsoft Excel to create a chart that looks like the one below.  It is a simple chart that can easily be adjusted to suit your family's needs.

The list above is a list I put together after doing some research on other sites on the internet.  I have changed my list to suit the needs of my family and feel that this will be manageable.  There are a few steps that I would suggest to you if you are going to do something similar.
  1. Adapt your list to things that your family will use.  Not everyone likes brown rice or tomato paste so switch those things out with items that you buy a lot of and use heavily.  Just because it is on sale and cheap, doesn't mean you should buy it.  If your family isn't used to it or doesn't like it, you will actually be wasting money rather than saving money.
  2. Set a weekly dollar amount that suites your ability to purchase. Each week you will be under or over a little depending on the items you are purchasing.  For example, if you don't live near a  Sams Club or a Costco, you may end up having to go to your local grocery store to stock up.  If you need to purchase some yeast, the largest container they have at Walmart is a bottle of Fleischmann-s-Yeast-Bread-Machine- for $4.58.  For my budget, I would only be able to buy one bottle and that would leave me $1.42 additional to spend but I can either spend that on a package of macaroni, which I know is about $1.00 or I can just forgo getting anything else.  
  3. If you have a few extra dollars from your weeks expenses for other items, you can go ahead and buy extra of something as long as you are always at least keeping with your purchase for the week.  If for some reason you are running short of funds (it happens to all of us), just try to make sure you catch up the next week.
  4. As you go along, feel free to adjust your list as it is your list and no one else will know!
Again, the idea is not to buy everything at once but to build it up gradually in increments that your budget can handle realizing that you may use some of your storage throughout the year as you go along but that is okay. That is what you have it for!  It feels so great to go to the cupboard or basement and see the food that you have stored away for your family and know that you will have food to eat if something goes wrong.

Let me know if you have any other ideas on how to build a food storage over time that is easy on your budget!  I would love to hear them.

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