So, how do you acquire all of this food storage??
After you have planned out your meals, made an ingredient list, and know how much to buy, you will need to go shopping.
-Unless you have the budget, DO NOT go out and buy everything you need at once and put it on a credit card! Slow and steady wins the race. But DO put aside a little every month for your food storage. Or put off your wants until you have fulfilled your needs. Will that fancy vacation or fun new boat feed you in rough times? Priorities!
-Peruse the local grocery ads weekly and keep your eyes peeled for the items you need for your family. Shopping when items are on sale will save you money!! Purchase only the amount of items that your budget allows! Even if you only buy a couple of extra items each time you shop, you'll have food storage. Remember.... "A Case of food is you can...A Can if you can't." Coupons can also help tremendously, if you want to go that route.
-The grocery store sales cycle about every 3 months, so if you missed a good deal this time, it will most likely be back in 3 months. Plan ahead when to spend your money and save up for bigger purchases.
-In Utah we are lucky to have Case Lot sales at our local grocery stores. Food is sold in cases at a discounted price. Check with your local grocery manager, they might be able to order cases for you if you don't have case lot sales.
-Group orders and buying in bulk. Plan with friends, family, or neighbors and split the cost and bulk. Most food storage retailers have an online store. Sign up for emails and you'll get a heads up on sales! Black Friday, last November, had some amazing online food storage deals.
-When buying dehydrated or freeze-dried food/meals, make sure you have tried them first before buying in bulk. Every manufacturer is slightly different and you don't want a room full of dehydrated apples that no one wants to eat because the peeling is still on them. (guess how I know :)
-Plant a garden to save money and also to learn. Gardening is hard work and definitely has a learning curve. Practice now while mistakes won't cause hunger. Store seeds!!
-Share and glean fruits and veggies from neighbors, family, and friends. This is a great way to have extra food for canning and dehydrating. And who doesn't love getting homemade jam from a friend!
-Learn how to dehydrate and can. Saving money sometimes requires buying something in bulk that may have an expiration date. You can dehydrate almost anything and store it for use later. Click HERE to see how I store my dehydrated foods using a foodsaver. Canning also allows food such as meats and veggies a much longer shelf life in storage.
-The LDS Cannery is a great place to buy bulk items. If you have a friend that is LDS they can go with you to purchase items. There are also several staples that can be ordered online and shipped to your home for a very reasonable cost. Check out lds.org for more info.
-In the western United States there is a store called Winco. They have amazing prices on food. I especially love their bulk bin area for spices, cocoa powder, couscous, orzo, etc. Spices are really affordable in bulk and I highly recommend checking this store out if you live near one.
-Be on the lookout for stores that are closing. There was a store this week in my town that was discounting everything 20-40% off. I got medicine, feminine products, paper goods, trash bags, and deodorant for less than shopping with coupons! There are also great savings at closeout stores, and dollar stores. Just being aware of what is around me, I am able to save money and stock up!
-Walking around the grocery store today I noticed many closeout prices on medicine and personal hygiene. The stores don't like to keep inventory around when it isn't selling. Keep a look out for sales that aren't advertised.
It really is quite easy to accomplish a goal of having food in your home that will last three months. It will take a minute of your time to organize your recipes and shop but, if you commit to doing this, and do all you can, you will be blessed.