Storing extra food does not have to be expensive. Begin with just an extra item in your shopping cart. Think about what an average week in meals looks like for your family, then make a list of foods you could stock up on that your family likes. Why spend thousands of dollars for those emergency meals in a bucket, when you can start gathering items yourself that your family loves to eat? Planning for emergencies is the most impressive act of self sufficiency you can perform. The more self sufficient you are in an emergency, the less dependent you are on outside help that may or may not be there you when you need it. Depending on the nature and scope of the emergency, help from outside your neighborhood may not arrive for a few days to as much as a few weeks. When that help arrives, there may not be enough to help everyone.
On previous pages we talked about water, how much is needed for each person per day, and how important it is that you think ahead about how you will ensure those needs are met. Storing food for emergencies can be done the same way, one day at a time, then three days, then a week's worth, and before you know it you will have a store of food that will see you through tough times.
Do Your Homework
What is your shopping style?
Do you shop at your favorite grocery store several times a week, buying only what you need for the moment?
Perhaps you shop more than one store in your area after reading the sales circulars, planning your meals for the entire week?
Maybe you have a membership at one of those Big Box clubs, buying larger quantities of items that your family uses regularly?
No matter which way you like to shop, knowing what things cost and having a plan in place to take advantage of a sale
will help you stretch your food budget. There are a few things to keep in mind:
Larger Sizes save you money (sometimes)
Knowing how much something costs doesn't help you much if the different brands all use different sizes; knowing what
that item costs per ounce helps even the playing field and allows you to make a better decision. Generally a larger container is cheaper per ounce,
but always do the math. Sometimes the cost per ounce is displayed on the grocery shelf, next to the price.
Generic or Store brands cost less than National brands
Sometimes the brand isn't important. Be willing to try the less expensive brands and you may find that you like the generic, and save money too.
Shop for fresh foods in season- fresh fruit and vegetables in spring/summer. Some manufacturers have periodic sales throughout the year, like major holiday celebrations, Back to School, etc.
Save and clip coupons for items you actually use, or want to try. Some stores also save you money on gasoline when you shop there.