7 Key Tips To Getting Your Emergency Food Pantry Off The Ground - Hersite BlogI have to admit, when it comes to food saving, canning, and food storage, I have a long way to go in terms of learning the trade.  I am willing to press in and learn little by little, and think it is one of the skills we are no longer taught that is of high value.

You may be in the same boat…  The skills of canning, making food from scratch, food storage (without a fridge) are all skills I am behind on….

While it seems like the economy is on the upswing, I assure you it’s not.  Food prices are slowly increasing month by month, and many families simply CANNOT live from week to week without running to the grocery stores for their weekly food supplies.

Are you one of those families?

If you are, you can make the decision to get prepared {starting now}, so your family won’t go without if there is an increase in food prices, a job loss happens, or a disaster hits our nation….

Here are a couple statistics to keep in mind that should convince you why you need a working stocked pantry…

 

  •  We Don’t Make Enough As A Nation To Afford A Job LossIn this article,  we read that 50 percent of American workers make less than 28,031 dollars a year, and 39 percent of all American workers make less than $20,000.   This means that food has to become a priority for the majority of families out there.  A loss of a job can easily cause many families to go without the basics very quickly.
  • Our Priorities Are All Screwed Up– Did you know that Americans spend more money on Christmas than the yearly GDP of the entire nation of Sweden?  Even though I write about the latest luxury products on my blog, there is nothing more important than having a good amount of food in the cabinets first and foremost.  This comes before any luxury expenditure.  This should be a no-brainer, but apparently it is not…..
  • The Economy Is Slowing Down Everywhere– As disposable income decreases, major retailers are closing thousands of stores all over the country.  Some are even calling this a retail apocalypse“.  Not convinced?  Here are 12 charts that show proof, that across the board, our nation has changed and things will not go back to the great times of the past.  This year the rate of home ownership is at a 19 year low this year.  Owning a home was once considered “the American dream”, yet it has become impossible for most families.  This also goes to show the state we are in as a nation.
  • Middle Wage Jobs Are DisappearingIn 2008, 25 percent of all Americans in the 18 to 29-year-old age bracket considered themselves to be “lower class”.  In 2014, an astounding 49 percent of them do now. In fact, 95 % of jobs LOST during the recession were the middle class jobs- read it here.  In addition, CNN is reporting that our paychecks have fallen back to 1995 levels…
  • Food Prices ARE Increasing -The price of ground beef has risen 17 % over the past year.  The price of chocolate has gone up by 45 percent since 2007, and it is being projected that it will now be increasing at an even faster pace.  Most food has increased, however because of the steady incline, we don’t realize how much.
  • Drought Seems To Continue Year After Year– Many people in California are having to buy their daily water at the grocery stores, yet…. you never hear about that do you?  Nearly half of all of the produce in America comes out of the state of California, which means as a nation, on-going drought year after year is going to deeply affect all of us.  Food prices have already been rising at an alarming rate, and the longer this drought goes on the higher they will go over time.  Will we have another drought this year?  We may…..
  • Grocery Stores No Longer Store Extra Supplies When Trucks Stop, America Stops.  The truth is that grocery stores operate on “just in time” inventory.  That means that if there was a national disaster, what is on the shelves is what is for sale. It is very expensive to hold and store inventory, so most manufacturers and retailers rely on a continual flow of deliveries that are scheduled to arrive “just in time”. That means if there was a major nationwide transportation disruption, store shelves WILL be picked clean within an hour.  Read more here.This means that if there was a problem, you can forget about going to the grocery store at the last minute to buy your weekly supplies.

 Additional Articles To Read:

Are You Ready For The Price Of Food To More Than Double By The End Of This Decade?

20 Signs The Epic Drought In The Western United States Is Starting To Become Apocalyptic

10 Things That We Can Learn About Shortages From Greece

The Coming Food Stamp Riots

Not Prepared: 17 Signs That Most Americans Will Be Wiped

Due To Extreme Drought, The Number Of Cattle In The U.S. Is The Smallest It Has Been Since 1951

The Worst Drought In The History Of California Is Happening Right Now

An Unprecedented Plague Has Hit Oranges And Another Has Hit Bananas

Why Meat Prices Are Going To Continue Soaring For The Foreseeable Future

22 Signs That Global Weather Patterns Are Going Absolutely Crazy

Historic Drought, Giant Dust Storms And Massive Power Grid Failures – A Glimpse Into Our Future

Ok….  Going forward, there is hope for your family and mine………

The prices of food are still relatively stable RIGHT NOW.

The beauty is, for most of us who don’t have gigantic gardens to harvest from, or have the skills of canning, or have deep pockets to buy expensive emergency food, is that you can buy food that will last for years just by shopping in your local grocery store.

I was surprised to find that I could buy canned fruit in simple fruit juice, (not corn syrup) that doesn’t expire until 2017 for just $1 dollar!  So check the labels the next time you are at your grocery store, and look for canned food that you would eat, and that doesn’t expire for several years, and start stocking up week to week….

Why We Finally Invested In A Food Saver Vacuum Sealer

At the end of the summer, my husband and I thought we would invest in a vacuum sealer to attempt making more efficient use of our freezer space.

Oxygen is the number one reason why food goes bad in freezers.  As the oxygen circulates through the freezer, it also circulates around your food.  If your food is vacuum sealed, the circulation keeps the overall plastic container of food cold, while not touching the actual food itself.

Are you tired of buying frozen vegetables, and when you finally get to the package, they seem freezer burnt? 

Do you remove the packaging of the products to make more use of your freezer space?

Do you find some of your dry food goes rancid right after opening it? 

If you answered yes to any of these questions…  you may be interested in trying out a food vacuum sealer.

At the end of the summer, Yoke’s supermarket had a special on orange bell peppers, which happen to be my favorite.  In our local stores sells them for about $2 -3 dollars each, making it a luxury buy for me throughout the summer.  So when we found them for 50 cents each, it seemed like too great of a deal to pass up on.

7 Key Tips To Getting Your Emergency Food Pantry Off The Ground - Hersite Blog7 Key Tips To Getting Your Emergency Food Pantry Off The Ground - Hersite Blog

Bell Peppers- at 50 cents each….what a deal! 

 I bought several cases, and went to town cutting them to fit in our freezer for this winter and spring of next year.

The model we bought was the FoodSaver® V2865 Vacuum Sealing System from Bed Bath and Beyond.  After reading the reviews, I found many people recommended to buya model which was either middle of the road, or high end was the best buy for your money and quality.  It seemed like the lower priced models priced at $80 dollars simply didn’t have good reviews. So keep that in mind when shopping for one.

7 Key Tips To Getting Your Emergency Food Pantry Off The Ground - Hersite BlogFood Saver Reviews From Amazon

7 Key Tips To Getting Your Emergency Food Pantry Off The Ground - Hersite BlogFood Saver Reviews From Amazon

7 Key Tips To Getting Your Emergency Food Pantry Off The Ground - Hersite Blog

Here you can see the top of the system.  This model cost us $149.

7 Key Tips To Getting Your Emergency Food Pantry Off The Ground - Hersite Blog

Here you can see how the vacuum sealing works.  You put the textured side of the bags down.  Fit the plastic bags under the black bar, close the lid and press “vacuum and seal”.  There is also another option which allows you to just “seal” for mylar bags.  I am not sure what other bags they can seal, as I haven’t experimented with it enough.

7 Key Tips To Getting Your Emergency Food Pantry Off The Ground - Hersite Blog7 Key Tips To Getting Your Emergency Food Pantry Off The Ground - Hersite Blog

Mylar Bags for Long Term Emergency Food Storage Supply on Amazon

Mylar bags are basically metalized storage bags that create an oxygen barrier to protect food and keep it from going bad during extended long-term food storage.

Mylar bags come in large enough sizes that you can use them in 5 gallon buckets as you see above.  You can store items such as rice, beans, flour and wheat. Smaller mylar bags will allow you to open one bag at a time, instead of a larger bag which you have to re-seal. You cannot vacuum seal mylar bags, although you can try to remove as much air out of the bag as possible before sealing it.

Here is how they work:

Transfer your food into the bag.   Leave several inches of space at the top of the bag to allow for heat sealing.   You can seal mylar bags with a straightening iron that you use for your hair, or a standard clothes iron.   Before sealing, be sure that the top of the bag is free from any food as it will affect the quality of the seal.  Fold over the top inch and press the iron down firmly for several seconds, and you are done!

The Best foods to store in mylar bags are powdered milk, powdered eggs, baking powder, baking soda and powdered mash potatoes.  Yeast is not recommended to store long term.  Freeze dried fruits, dehydrated vegetables, rice and beans, and any kind of spices are excellent to store up.  Hot chocolate mix, tea and coffee are also great to store in these bags.

How many oxygen absorbers do I use?

100cc oxygen absorbers are about what you use for per 2 gallon when storing grains, flours, or rice. You can use use about 4 per gallon when storing Pasta and Beans. Grains, flours, and rice are more dense, so there is less oxygen to absorb and get rid of, while pasta and beans have more oxygen between them, which means more oxygen to absorb.

What does 100cc mean? 300cc? 500cc?

CC is a unit of measurement that is equivalent to milliliters. For example 1cc=1ml. and 1000cc or 1000ml=1 liter. So one 100cc oxygen absorber will absorb 100 cubic centimeters of oxygen. Remember that air is about 20% oxygen and 80% nitrogen. The oxygen absorbers remove the oxygen only. 300cc and 500cc are bigger and stronger oxygen packets. You would just use less packets when packing your food.

Be sure to seal your oxygen absorbers in a vacuum bag after you use what you need from your collection.  We bought our lot in bulk from ebay and they started to get hot after they were exposed to the air.  We understood that once they are opened up to the air, they start to loose their effectiveness, and will no longer be useful to you.  So keep that in mind

7 Key Tips To Getting Your Emergency Food Pantry Off The Ground - Hersite Blog

Foodsaver functions, which appear on most models

7 Key Tips To Getting Your Emergency Food Pantry Off The Ground - Hersite Blog7 Key Tips To Getting Your Emergency Food Pantry Off The Ground - Hersite Blog

What I did before fall started was buy large bags of mixed vegetables from our grocery store, and separated them to make them more interesting for our meals.  I know I would get tired of having mixed veggies over and over, but individual kinds of vegetables could be interesting from dish to dish.  

7 Key Tips To Getting Your Emergency Food Pantry Off The Ground - Hersite Blog

Our freezer now stores our seasonal food storage, and we use our regular freezer in our kitchen for day to day, week to week use.  Longer foodsaver bags store larger quantities making your food last longer……

How You Can Get Started Building A Pantry

While most of us will never go through a natural disaster, we are guaranteed that food is going to go up in value and cost.  Like I mentioned above, nearly half of all of the produce in America comes out of the state of California, and if they continue to experience drought this next year, our food prices will again see another increase.

Here is the kicker….. 

Scientists tell us that the 20th century was the wettest century in the western half of the United States in 1000 years, and that extremely dry conditions are normally what we should expect for most areas from the Pacific Ocean to the Mississippi River.  If long-term conditions truly are “returning to normal”, then the state of California could be heading for a water crisis of unprecedented magnitude.

Preparing a pantry has never been so important in a recession, like we are facing today.  With a job loss, the lack of a monthly income can make it really difficult for a family to get by without a backup supply of food.   As a parent, you want to do everything possible that you can to prepare your family for such events.

Step 1: Figure out What Exactly You Eat

When Michael and I started stocking up food, we made some mistakes, and continue to make mistakes as we go along. We are learning as well…….

I remember a store going out of business in Falls Church, Virginia, and so I bought about 50 jars of peanuts, which I have to say, weren’t cheap!  The peanuts were sealed quite well (where the air was removed) , and I should have left them in their packages. We were living in a small apartment at the time, and I needed to save space, so I removed the contents, and stored them in gallon size ziplock bags.  Over time, they were fed to the birds because they went rancid.  What a waste of money!

Figure out what you eat, and stock up of those foods. We have several boxes of ichiban, because at the time, they were cheap…and we wanted to get started with storing food.  Yet we don’t eat ichiban.  I later found an article about how bad this food is for you.  So, mistake made and learned from.

I would also suggest buying brands you know taste good.  Going though our stock today, we tried a macaroni and cheese brand that we bought some time ago.  It was so horrible, my husband just didn’t eat it.  Last week, we finally decided to try out an emergency rice dish package that said it was good until 2028, (which IS quite impressive), but it was so acid tasting, we both threw it in the garbage.  If we had stocked up of that particular food, we would have been miserable eating our dinners.  So this is why you stock up on food that you eat from day to day.

Start taking notes of the recipes and ingredients that you use most frequently. This will help you create a working list of food that you will want to start storing up.

The idea behind a working pantry compared to an emergency pantry, is you eat from it week to week.  It isn’t food that is meant to be stored for a disaster, but rather food you already eat day after day.

Step 2: Set Space Aside For A Working Storage Room

Start looking at the available space you do have, and come up with a plan on how to store your food.  Most everyone has some sort of a storage room that they can work with.  Start getting rid of extra stuff you no longer need or use, and make use of the space for food which is more important.

Apartment and condo style living can be tough when trying to carve out room for food storage.  In this article, I show some pictures of floor to ceiling curtains, which can create an artificial wall, which can house hidden bookcases.  You can hang mirrors over the curtains so your home looks designed and beautiful, while at the same time, carving out space for your food storage. If you have a pantry with a little extra space in it, perfect, but if not there are still plenty of ways that you can hide your food storage in your house.

7 Key Tips To Getting Your Emergency Food Pantry Off The Ground - Hersite BlogHow To Get Food At A Discount

Tip 1 – Join Membership Clubs If You Have A Large Family

Membership clubs like Costco or Sam’s Club work well for larger families, as they sell in large bulk items.  If you can buy 25 pounds of rice, and set aside five pounds for immediate use, then store  the remaining 20 pounds in air-tight containers, you could save money buying in bulk.  This is especially true for staples such as rice, powdered potatoes, pasta, and grains that simply don’t go bad.  Buying cans of meat, fish, and vegetables sold in one lot is also a cost efficient way of stocking up.  Consider the cost of the membership, and check into the prices at your local food stores, as often the prices are generally about the same, and buying these memberships may not be worth the trouble.

Tip 2- Sign Up For Community Supported Agriculture

Community Supported Agriculture [CSA] are great ways to get loads of local and fresh fruits and vegetables for canning purposes.   Basically you sign up and you get a box or bags of produce each week.  Often times the produce prices are far less than your local grocery store.  If you don’t have time to garden, consider this option. You can then space out your canning through the summer, than doing it at the end of the season like most gardeners do.

Tip 3- Buy BULK Foods That Will Last Forever

If you are like me, you have stocked up food that ultimately went to the garbage at one point or another.

This summer, we tried some taco shells that were just nasty- acidy in taste, and had to be thrown out. It is a bad feeling when you have to take food that cost you money and dump it in the garbage.

There are plenty of ways to help avoid spoilage – Rotating your foods is one key to making it last.  Eat up your food that expires first, rather than eating food that you just bought home from the grocery store.

Focusing on storing foods that have ultra-long shelf lives is another key to successful pantries.

Salt, baking powder, and granulated sugar are said to have no known shelf life when stored in their original containers. This means the food will last indefinitely; if there is no evidence of spoilage when handled properly.  Salt, sugar, and baking powder are great items to stockpile because they are considered staples in cooking and baking, so they might be of more use than you think.  Sugar doesn’t usually keep quite as well as honey, but if you store it well, it will keep for years.

Foods that Will Last 30-Plus Years

As long as they’re stored in cans, foil pouches such as mylar bags, or buckets, – foods like wheat and rice will last for 30 or more years!

  • White Rice is affordable and can be used in so many ways .  Rice can be used as an addition to soups, ground up as an alternative to wheat flour, or just on its own as a side course.
  • Dried Beans are not something that most people pick up on their own, unless you are into cooking as a hobby.  However, dried beans are another meal that can last for 30 or more years, particularly pinto beans.   Again, these foods need to be stored in mylar bags, or gallon buckets with the oxygen removed.
  • Vegetables Are Great To Stock Up In Cans: Vegetables picked at their peak ripeness and quick-frozen, can be stored in the freezer.  You’re better off stockpiling cans of vegetables, because many of the expiry dates will last several years.  On many of the cans we picked up this summer and fall, give several years of expiry.  Did you know that vegetables lose their nutrients very quickly after they’re harvested, so that means, that you might get more nutrition from a can of green beans than a bag of green beans which are frozen.
  • Peanut Butter– If you are looking for an easy store-bought product that will last, peanut butter is an excellent choice. You can live from peanut butter for months I am sure.  Officially peanut butter can last up to two years, but you may find that that it lasts much, much longer than that.
  • Honey- The Ultimate Storage Food- Honey is the king of long-lasting foods. Honey is another food that seems to last indefinitely.  Even if it crystallizes, you can reheat honey and use it normally. Microorganisms tend to stay away because of its low water content.  So stock up on organic honey.  Honey has been found in the tombs of Egyptian pharaohs after thousands of years, and if you keep it in your food storage it can make an excellent substitute for sugar or even can be used in a lot of recipes.
  • Powdered Milk- If you buy the powdered milk that comes in a airtight, sealed metal containers, you will find that it lasts for an incredible amount of time. If you do buy it in a box, vacuum seal it for long term use.  We use milk for a lot of staples through the day, so it will be relief to all of us who rely on it,  to stock up on it.
  • Wheat and Oats Are Great Food Storage Items– Wheat and oats when stored in airtight containers, will provide you with some staples from which you can make plenty of different recipes when you are in a bind.
  • Pasta can last 15 to 30 years if stored in a can or foil pouch with an oxygen absorber.   the USDA projects the available durum wheat supply to be historically small during the next year of 2015. There may still be further upside risk to durum wheat in the next several months, especially as supplies tighten next summer, so buy while the prices are low.

7 Key Tips To Getting Your Emergency Food Pantry Off The Ground - Hersite Blog

Bulk Meats On Amazon

  • Most Frozen Meats Can Last A Year, Canned Meats Last Several Years – Beef roast in the freezer can last up to a full year if you vacuum seal it.  The grocery store packaging is not appropriate for long-term storage and is only meant to protect the meat at your home refrigerator settings. Chicken and turkey can also last 9 months- You can buy next year’s Thanksgiving turkey this December, and know it will be ok by next year around this same time.  Poultry can last an entire year in your freezer.  Canned meats are even better, and longer lasting.  Consider checking the price of Amazon of bulk canned meat purchases.  It might be lower than your regular grocery store.

Tip 4- Stock Up Foods High In Fat

If you are considering stockpiling food, you cannot live on bread and pasta alone.  You want to keep in mind foods that have nutrients within; fat being one nutrient which is essential in every diet.  Fat becomes an important nutrient to providing energy for the body.  Certain types of fat are actually good for your health.

Eggs, Olive oil, nuts, nut butter, peanut butter are excellent sources of “good” fats.  When purchasing nuts, vacuum-packed options are the best buys, so that the nuts don’t oxidize as quickly.

A couple quick facts…..

Almonds, walnuts and pistachios are considered to be the best nuts to buy.  Almonds are the richest in vitamin E; walnuts contain a plant-based omega-3 fatty acid; and pistachios have lutein and zeaxanthin, carotenoids important for eye health. Research has shown that nut eaters are generally thinner, less likely to develop type 2 diabetes and have a reduced risk of heart disease.  Nut butters boost protein and fiber intake.  Oily fish such as salmon, tuna, sardines, mackerel and trout are full of omega-3 fatty acids, which are considered the “good fats”, unlike the bad saturated fat you find in most meats.

Tip 5 – Proper Storage

The quickest way to destroy your stockpile is to store it improperly.  Trust me, been there,…..done that!

If your main concern is just getting items on sale, then use your freezer to its full advantage, but note that frozen foods will expire.  Like we mentioned above, poultry lasts for nine months, seafood lasts three to six months, and uncooked red meat can last anywhere from four months to a year.

However, if your aim is to stockpile for a rough economy, increasing food prices, focus on building up a supply of nonperishable items that will last years.

Find A Cool Storage Room

For long-lasting, maximum shelf life, keep your food in a cool place that’s below room temperature. Room temperature or higher will lead to spoilage.  Take potatoes for example…  They may last months longer in a cooler place, than being on the counter-top in the kitchen.  Sugar that is supposed to be good for 30 years, can see it’s shelf life can be reduced by up to a decade in a hot storage area.

7 Key Tips To Getting Your Emergency Food Pantry Off The Ground - Hersite Blog5 Gallon White Bucket & Lid – Set of 3 – Food Grade – BPA Free $31 On Amazon

Invest In FOOD Grade Containers

If bugs make it into your stockpile of flour, sugar, rice, or pasta, you can wave all that good effort goodbye.  One of the reasons for choosing sealed containers to make sure that your ingredients are oxygen and bug-free.

If you find a good price on dented cans, ….avoid the buy.  Dented items destroy the integrity of the container, particularly if the damage is near the seams.   You just cannot take the risk, so only buy cans which are in good condition.

Food grade buckets are expensive, but well worth the investment.  Food that’s being stored for a significant period of time must be stored in food-grade containers to ensure no chemicals leaching into the food. Containers should be air-tight and spill-proof as well.  Food stored in these containers can last 20-30 years, which makes them a great investment.

7 Key Tips To Getting Your Emergency Food Pantry Off The Ground - Hersite Blog

Always make sure cans are free of dents and bumps. Dented cans are likely to contain tiny punctures that are invisible to the naked eye. Those punctures let in air that can breed harmful – even deadly – bacteria such as botulism. Never consume food from a dented can.

Tip 6:  Don’t Forget The Unforgettables

  • Vitamins And Medicine- Vitamins are expensive, so it may not be the first thing on the list that you buy as you start to stock up.  However, it is one of the first things that most people forget.  The food of today compared to previous generations before us,  had so much more nutrients in their food than what we have today.  If you are eating mainly from food storage some day, vitamins might make up the difference that your body may need.  Consider stocking up on this item after your pantry is well on it’s way.
  • Water- This is a tough one to stock up on, especially when plastic isn’t good forever.  My husband and I decided that the glass containers that we often get with the fruit juice we purchase can go for storing water.  In a pinch, you can easily boil water to make it drinkable.  For the longest time, we bought water from the store for our drinking water, and then re-used the containers for water storage under our house.  After stocking up on over 70 containers, we found that the plastic broke down, and we have containers which are half full, or leaking.  This past summer we had a water breakage in our city, where we were without water for several days, and it showed us how much we use water for our showers, or just basic clean up of plates and dishes.  Work a system like ours.  If you buy larger glass containers, fill them up with water…and they can be stored outside of the house.  If worse comes to worse, you have something to work with.
  • Light Sources, and Batteries- Your house may experience a power shortage, and if that happens, what will you use for light?  Windup flashlights are ok, but eventually they loose their power, and you have to crank them to get any light, making them sort of frustrating to use.  Invest in a quality flashlight.  My husband bought an Energizer Lantern, and it beats any flash light we own.  We can go out in the pitch black night and see 20 to 40 feet in the dark.
  • Food Seasoning- Making Food Storage So Much More Enjoyable-  Once you have your basics down, it is good to stock up on herbs and spices that already come in glass containers.  Spices can be expensive, so buy what you know you will use, and what you already use on a weekly basis.  Don’t forget shortening for baking and salt, cooking oil, yeast, powdered eggs, baking powder, and baking soda. Even the most basic recipes require one or more of these ingredients to cook.
  • Work In Luxury Goods- Your food pantry is a working pantry…don’t look at it as an emergency pantry that you never eat from.  Work in some foods that you enjoy as snacks.   A friend of ours lived off a food supply for one year, and the best advice he gave us, is to plan for snacks.  Sadly, his kids ate up all the snacks about a month in, and he had to go without for the rest of the year.  If you have a sweet tooth, buy the candy excess that always seems to float on the shelves in November.  Stock up on the foods you really enjoy rather than the variety packs.  I noticed that they now sell popcorn that is NOT genetically modified.  Read the labels next time you are in the popcorn isle.  This is an inexpensive snack that can make a lot for your kids to snack on, and doesn’t cost a terrible amount of money.
  • Our Dear Furry Friends– If you have picky cats like we do, they sometimes won’t every sort of meat you put in front of them.  Perhaps if they are hungry they will… After stocking up on Fancy feast and other wet foods, our cats really have a mind of their own for what they like.  They pick the dry food over wet foods.  After really trying to make an effort to buying a quality brand, and looking at the labels, we found 2 brands in our area that seemed to be the best buy for the ingredients they contain.  These brands are “Goodlife“, and “Purina Beyond“.  Walmart sells the “Goodlife” brand, and our local Safeway sells the Purina.  Both are grain free, and list meat as the main ingredient.  How we store them is in large 31-Gallon Trash cans with lids.  You can also buy 6, and 10 gallon containers with lids.

Check out my article -The Shocking Truth About Dry Cat Food That Every Cat Owner Should Know – here

Tip 7- Make It Affordable- Don’t Bust Your Budget

Don’t bust your budget while starting to stock up.  While planning ahead is important, don’t do so at the expenses of your monthly budget.   Build your stockpile each time you go to the grocery or warehouse store.  Be smart about what you buy, and consider investing in food with longer expiry dates.

I was amazed that I could buy canned fruit at one store that was stored in fruit juice and contained no corn syrup for only $1 dollar.  The best part was it didn’t expire until 2017.  What a great deal!  You could easily start a great pantry on that product alone.  As you shop, take notice of these sorts of deals that are cheap, but at the same time nutritious, and start building a supply around those foods.

Look for coupons, specials, or buy-one-get-one-free deals. And don’t be afraid to buy off-brand items.  Be smart and consider buying in bulk.  While you never really considered buying, 5, 10-, or 20-pound bags of staples, now you have some tools in your toolbox of how to store them. These items could go a long way toward starting your stockpile.

Come up with a food storage system that has a rotation schedule. While setting this system up isn’t easy, it is well worth the effort.  This can done by simply writing the expiration date on each food item in large black marker.

By stocking up, you will ensure that your family has something to eat, even when the prices go up at the grocery store.  God forbid you ever lose your job, at least food is one expense that you don’t have to worry about buying, leaving room for that mortgage payment.  Now is the time to start building a food pantry.  While gold and silver are always fantastic investments, you cannot eat your gold.  Food will become more valuable as the years go on…

We hope you enjoyed this article… and if you did, please share it.  If you have tips of your own, please leave a comment below…. Meranda

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  • Meranda Devan

    What do you think? Do you have any suggestions of how to start buying food for storage?

  • fancygrlnancy

    So much information. I really need a new food sealer. I need to work on saving more food for any possible emergency.

  • Robin Rue

    Wow, that was a ton of great information. I need to start stalking up I guess.

  • Pauline Cabrera

    Nice suggestion! This will come handy just in case. It’s good to be prepared.

  • Debbie Denny

    Awesome post. I do a lot of freezing and canning. Been thinking about a vacuum seal system.

  • Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell

    Yikes. This is a little overwhelming, but I do have a food saver vacuum system so I’m off to a good start. Thanks for all this information!

  • Nicole Ramage

    I love canning. I will can most anything. A food sealer is such a great idea. In Oregon, many working families depend on food stamps, and then still end up spending $200+ on food because it’s so expensive/ there isn’t adequate funds to help feed a family. For many years my family lived on $10k a year. I’m really not sure how we did that at all.

  • Chrysa Duran

    With only two of us in the house we end up wasting more food than we should. I should really look into using a food sealer myself.

  • My friend and I were just talking about wanting one of these! I really want to split one with her. They can come in so handy especially with buying extra meat.

  • Pam W

    We have quite a stockpile of canned goods, just in case. I have been wanting one of these food sealers!

  • Amber Conaway

    Me and my husband have been talking about this lately. We’re slowly but surely getting a stock pile of food and water for emergency! I have always wanted an air tight sealer!

  • Dawn

    We have an emergency-type food pantry in our home. Thanks for all the helpful tips!

  • Ann Bacciaglia

    I am not prepared in case of an emergency . After reading all this great information i am going to start preparing. I have always wanted to try canning. I have noticed the prices in the grocery stores going up. It would be nice to have a bit of a reserve.

  • Veronica Solomon

    This is such great information and an eye opener. I need to get into starting a working pantry. God forbids that anything like that ever happens to my family. I am it for them

  • mail4rosey

    I just took strawberries out of the freezer, and was so happy to wait for them to defrost so I could use them. When they defrosted I found they were ruined. I wonder if the vacuum sealer would have helped?

  • agape084

    Wow, there’s so much great information in there. I’ve been wanting a food vacuum saver for awhile. Would be great to have for emergencies

  • traceynicole

    This is amazing! Thanks for this informative post.

  • I never would have thought to vacuum seal food. Very interesting concept!!

  • I really need to get an extra freezer so we can stock up on food. I like to also stock up on already prepared meals.

  • Camesha

    Great ideas. Your freezer is stocked. We’d need a whole extra freezer to pull this off.

  • Dawn

    I have a Food Saver and I love it. It’s amazing how long you can keep food in those vacuum sealed bags.

  • I love our Sam’s membership. With 5 of us, it makes sense to buy in bulk.

  • ebmommy

    What a great and informative post. I need to start on my emergency food pantry asap. Thanks for the tips!

  • savoryexperiments

    I guess I hadn’t really given it too much thought. We also live in a small home in the city, so we can’t keep large quantities of anything. Now I feel under-prepared.

  • Melissa

    These are all great ideas. We have been talking about getting a freezer for a while and definitely need to get one so we can stock more.