With rising costs, food has become a significant part of every family’s budget. In fact, it’s estimated that the average American family spends 12.74% of their budget on food. With that in mind, the thought of spending even more money to stock an emergency food pantry might seem a little overwhelming for some.
While the extra cost might seem like a burden, the fact is, we all need to have a stockpile of emergency food on hand at all times. Just one look at recent events, is enough to show you how easily our modern food delivery systems can be thrown out of whack. From natural disasters, to future events like further economic problems, the need to have a stockpile of emergency food and supplies is something we can’t ignore.
With the country over 16 trillion dollars in debt, and unfunded obligations that make the actual debt number about $120 trillion, it doesn’t take an economist to see that we are in for some major trouble in the months and years ahead.
The cost of food isn’t going down!
Anyone who buys food knows the cost of everything has been going up pretty quickly. Even foods that were once relatively cheap, like rice, beans, and flours are all starting to quickly go up in price. But if you followed the advice on this site, or did any form of prepping over the last couple of years, you probably actually have more money on hand than if you had went about your normal everyday life.
While that may seem odd to those who haven’t started, the fact is prepping doesn’t have to break the bank. In fact, if done in the right way, it may actually save you and your family a significant amount of money.
Six Tips that will help you Save Money & Guarantee You Have Food When the SHTF
Buy a Food Dehydrator
A great way to start storing long-term healthy foods is to buy a quality food dehydrator like the Excalibur Dehydrator. I own one, and I can tell you that it will not only allow you to stock up on really healthy foods, it also can help you save a significant amount of money over time.
The trick is to buy large amounts of fruits, herbs, and vegetables when they are in season, and on sale. You can then use your Dehydrator to stock your pantry for the coming year. It’s also great for those who have a garden, or those who hunt. Trust me, homemade jerky in one of these machines is awesome, and it’s a great way to store your meat without refrigeration.
Learn How To Can Your Own Food
The art of canning is another skill that can help you save money, and increase your emergency food supplies. The money-saving principles are similar to the food dehydration tips that I mentioned above. By buying produce when it’s on sale, to canning your freshly picked garden goods, canning is an age-old practice that can help you on your food preparation journey.
Check out our article on Canning with the Boiling Water Bath Method.
Establish a Preparedness Budget
Before doing anything, you must establish a good written budget. Establishing a budget will help you understand how much money you can safely spend on prepping. It will show you what areas you might be overspending on, and it will allow you to cut those wasteful items from your budget.
Buy Your Food in Bulk
I’m not talking about shopping at Sam’s Club or Costco; I’m talking about those bulk bins at your local grocery store. From bulk spices and dry ingredients, to snacks and other bulk goods, these bins can help you save a large amount of money. Again, the trick here is to watch for sales and stock up the minute those items go on sale.
Another thing that most people aren’t aware of is not to buy directly from the bins. Most of these bins are filled from 5 – 10 pound bags that you might be able to purchase for an even larger discount. Many stores offer case discounts, and if your store offers one, it might be a good idea to buy the larger bulk bags or cases.
Rotation is the Key to Saving Money
Once you start stockpiling these foods, you need to use them. Far too many preppers develop a get-it and forget-it attitude when it comes to their emergency stockpiles. In my opinion, that’s about the worst thing you can do.
When stockpiling emergency food supplies, or any emergency supplies, you need to rotate your stocks. For instance, if you’re storing emergency food and water, they should be rotated into your normal eating patterns. By stocking up on foods that you already eat, and then rotating them into your normal diet, you will ensure that you not only have fresh food when a disaster hits, but you’ll also be saving a huge amount of money by not throwing away expired food. For more information, read our article on inspecting and rotating your emergency supplies.
Learn to Cook / Bake at Home
This is one of the most important, and best money-saving tips that we can give. From a preparedness perspective, knowing how to cook your own food from scratch probably doesn’t need much explaining. When the SHTF, finding that box of Twinkies may not be that easy; well now that they’ve gone bankrupt it might become impossible.
From a saving money point of view, learning how to cook healthy homemade goods can cut your food budget in half, possibly more.
One of the biggest mistakes preppers make is stockpiling pre-made and pre-packaged foods. While they do have some use in a fully stocked food supply, learning how to cook meals from low-cost, easily stored staples will not only help you save money, it will also help ensure you are able to feed yourself during a long-term emergency.