We have seen just the beginning of food inflation. The price of food is certainly going to continue its climb. Don’t be surprised if it goes up fast. In my blog, QE and Your Food Budget, I list three factors why this is so. Any one of them is enough to cause the price of food to rise, but if all three happen simultaneously they present a perfect inflation storm.
1) What’s the point?
It’s inevitable food prices will increase. Eventually, you’ll have to pay the inflated price for food. So why store food?
Most importantly, you won’t be caught with a bare pantry. If you have a well-stocked pantry, you will easily get through the initial stages of inflation.
In addition, you’ll avoid having to go without, when a favorite food is out of stock. Food storage takes a bit of practice. Begin now and you’ll find out what you really need and what’s a bargain.
Also, you’ll be used to purchasing in bulk, when an item is on sale (even if the new sale price is higher). I’m a believer in storing what you eat. It’s okay to have some emergency food that you don’t normally consume, but for the most part store what you eat.
How much food does your family eat in a month? Three? Six? Is your pantry organized so you can easily rotate canned goods? Do you have a basement where you can set up food storage shelves? Working through the logistics is best done when you are not in a panic mode.
2) Consume food at it’s cheapest.
Food storage allows you to purchase when regularly consumed foods are at their cheapest. Once you begin to stock up when a regularly used food item is on sale, you’ll save money. There won’t be the mad dash to the store because you are out of canned tomatoes or chicken broth.
I keep often-used items on hand at all times, just because it makes dinner preparation so much easier. When time has gotten away from you, you can pull a large can of tuna from your pantry for creamed tuna. Or grab a couple of cans of black beans, pinto beans, tomatoes, picante salsa and some brown rice. Presto dinner in minutes.
Money is always an issue. Not everyone can run to the store to fill up the pantry with six months of food. But most can grab one-for-now and one-for-later. In a few months, you will have a working pantry. When an item that you use a lot is on sale, purchase a case or two.
3) Food storage in one shopping trip.
Obviously, you can purchase ready made dehydrated food. This is the easiest way to prepare for emergencies and inflation. If you want to enlarge your pantry at today’s dollars, the next thing you can do is to purchase more. Head to your nearest discount grocery store. This is a snap to do at a big box store like Sam’s Club or Costco, but a Super Wal-Mart or Target will do. If you shop at Costco, you’ll want to look at my Unofficial Costco Organic Foods List before you go. Don’t forget to date, use and rotate – remember first in first out. Let’s get started.
Food Storage Made Easy
(Remember this list is just a starting point.)
1. Purchase 20 pounds of rice and 20 pounds of dry pinto beans.
2. Throw in your cart 5 pounds each of sugar, flour, salt and oatmeal.
3. One gallon of extra virgin olive oil, 2 jars of honey and several large jars of virgin coconut oil (purchase in glass jars).
4. Go over to the canned fruit section and put at least 20 cans canned fruits and vegetables in your cart. Choose the fruit, which are canned in their own juice. Stick with regularly used foods like pineapple, applesauce, green beans, tomatoes and another often eaten veggies. A must for me is chicken stock or broth.
5. Pick-up 20 cans of various meats, chicken, salmon, stews, and tuna. Again buy only those brands with contents you normally eat and read the ingredient list.
6. Okay. Now to the to the peanut butter shelf and toss two large jars in the cart. Be sure to pick up the peanut butter WITHOUT added sugar. The listed shelf life is about one year. Peanut butter is an excellent instant survival food.
7. Off to the vitamin and supplement aisle, pick up several bottles of multivitamin and mineral supplements.
8. Now to the department men love – sporting goods. Go to the camping aisle and pick up 4 five gallon water containers. I purchased BPA-Free bottles at the whole foods store. Fill with tap water as soon as you get back home.
9. Purchase the best LED flashlight you can afford, extra batteries and bulb. Also grab two boxes of wooden matches and several multi-purpose lighters.
10. Don’t forget energy bars, popcorn, raisins and other dried fruit. These will satisfy your munching needs. It took me a while to find an energy bar we really like and one that’s low in sugar. Most bars have as much sugar (sometimes High Fructose Corn Sweetener) as a candy bar. The brand we like the best is KIND. Their Nut Delight has only 8 grams of sugar and the Dark Chocolate Cherry Cashew is as tasty as any candy bar with 14 grams of sugar.