As I mentioned, grocery stores have stocks of food, right now, but that could change in a heartbeat. It used to be that grocery stores had larger warehouse areas in the back of the store, they received fewer but larger shipments. Now, most stores have at best, a 3 day supply of food in the store, including the stock room in back. They receive multiple shipments a week, but ultimately receive less stocks of food from each one. If anything were to happen to the transportation of these foods, trucks, or trains, or airplanes or ships, then your grocery store will run out of food within about 3 days, that’s IF there isn’t a panic run on food, then you have hours at best. If something happened and you could not leave your home, starting right now, today, how long would it be before you started running out of food? How long before you would be in real trouble? A few days? A week? A couple of weeks? A month?
Today I’ll talk about how to prep in the area of food, even if you are on the tightest of budgets. If you say to me that you cannot afford to put back extra food for emergencies, I will tell you that is precisely WHY you need to do it. If you have extra food, even as little as an extra 2 weeks to a month’s worth of food, then in a financial emergency, such as an unexpected bill, or job loss, you will not have to choose between buying groceries and paying your rent or mortgage.
Ladies, how about doing your own nails for a month, or you could go to a beauty school to have services done. Do you really NEED every premium channel on satellite or cable TV? Do you really NEED to drive as much as you do? Fuel is very costly, running around for no good reason eats into your budget. How about putting your gym membership on hold and working out at home, or find a cheaper gym for a while. How about shopping in resale shops? Do you really NEED to pay full retail price for clothes and such?
Now that you have determined how much you can spend, now to decide what to buy. Ideally you would buy foods that don’t require refrigeration and will last a long time. Obviously rice and beans come to my mind, also canned foods, dehydrated or freeze dried foods. The reason to stay away from frozen foods is in an emergency where you might not have electricity, you don’t want to lose hundreds of dollars worth of food that you worked so hard to put up. If you are really good in the kitchen, you can even can your own foods in Mason jars and such. I have a friend who buys chicken and beef in bulk quantities when it’s on sale and cans it, she spends a day preparing and canning the meat, she even cans her own stock/broth.
You can also stretch your money by clipping coupons, you can even print coupons from the internet, but be aware, the ink you are using might be digging into your savings, so decide if you printed coupons are worth the savings. Get together with coworkers, people from your church and neighborhood, create a coupon co-op, that way anything you don’t want, someone else might be able to use, and you can get coupons that someone else might not want. Use store sales, if there is something you like that would work well in your preps, and it’s on sale, then instead of buying one or two, buy a few extras to put aside. If your store limits the number of a sale item you can purchase, then bring along a friend or family member to help, and don’t forget, they probably will not try to stop you from buying something, taking it to your car, coming back in and buying it again.
Be sure to rotate your foods too, you don’t want to find out that your foods have gone south when you are in a position to have to eat it. Grocery stores use a system called “FIFO”, first in, first out.
One more place to find food to put up, is at food banks. I have gone to food banks and I often find many people walking past the foods that would be best for putting up, things like bags of beans, bags of rice, one food bank I used to go to would allow you to take as many bags of beans and rice as you could fit into one grocery bag, I was amazed at the numbers of people who would walk right past that to go to the more convenience type foods. Please don’t let pride stop you from providing for yourself and your family.
Later I’ll discuss how and where to store your precious foods, what other items to stock up on, and security related to your preps and family.
I originally wrote this article for www.off-grid.net, as of right now, I have 4 total articles in this series, I'll be posting the rest of them here in the coming days.
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