Building Our Food Storage

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food storage (Medium)In my last post regarding the state of our country, I wrote about the need for us to start preparing for troubled times ahead. One of my recommendations was that you begin building a food storage, if you haven’t already.ย  I even went on to say that, in these times, I strongly believe that it is wiser to have food stored up than to have money in a savings account. If hyperinflation sets in, what good will your money be? None. It will take a wheelbarrow full of your paper money to buy one loaf of bread. And if you are to lose your job? Then, groceries would be one less thing you’d have to worry about paying for! Food storage is just a good idea.

You may not believe that hyperinflation could be a reality here in the United States, but let me share something with you. As part of my budgeting, for the past two years I’ve been keeping a spreadsheet of the cost of food at Aldi’s, so that I could sit down and calculate exactly what my grocery list would cost me. I adjust my spreadsheet as prices fluctuate. Well, looking at my spreadsheet I can tell you that just two months ago a can ofย  green beans cost .39 cents at Aldi’s. Last month, that same can of green beans cost us .49 cents, a ten cent increase. And tonight, as I look over my receipt from our trip to Aldi’s a can of green beans now costs .59 cents… twenty cents more than it was just TWO months ago!!

Is the price increase do to seasonal demands? I don’t know. But that wouldn’t explain why the price of a box of Kool-Aid went up .18 cents in one week, now would it? There’s nothing seasonal about a pack of flavored sugar. Maybe it’s all coincidence. Maybe. But I don’t think so.

I see inflation subtly creeping in. Keep your own spreadsheets, watch how our prices are rising, see for yourself.

This is why we are feeling such a strong urge to prepare. This is why we are building up our food storage. We want to have what we need while we can still afford it. We want our dollar to buy the most it can while it still has buying power.

But having a food storage isn’t only wise in preparing for the possible collapse of our economy. What if for whatever reason trucks can no longer bring food into your local grocery store, and the shelves are suddenly wiped clean? What if your town is quarantined, or a natural disaster strikes? Do you want to have to rely on somebody else to feed your children? Not us. We don’t want to have to *hope* that we would be taken care of. We choose to prepare. We choose to survive.

But how much food should you store up? What all do you need? Well, the girls over at Food Storage Made Easy have some great tools to help you figure all of this out, including a Long Term Food Storage Calculator, which helps you estimate how much of something you’ll need for “X” amount of time.

We are, as quickly as we are able, building up a year’s worth of food. My husband has built shelves in his closet, to stack the food on. Our hallway coat closet is now for food storage. Our pantry and our cabinets hold food, as well as buckets of grains and legumes anywhere else we can hide them. We still have a long way to go, but we are striving towards a goal.

We may get funny looks, and even comments, from people who see us in Aldi’s pushing two shopping carts loaded down with canned foods and things, but we don’t care. We just joke that we have a lot of kids, or something silly, and then tell them that really we are buying what we can before prices go up any more. This usually brings a thoughtful expression to the other person’s face, and they respond by agreeing with these sentiments. I think it’s important to get other people thinking about being prepared as well.

We cannot simply hope that everything would work out for the best. Yes, we have faith. Yes, we pray and believe that the Lord is good, and that He will provide for us. But we also need to put feet to our prayers and do what we can to prepare for whatever may lie ahead.

I am reminded of the stories in the Bible where the Lord spoke to His people, warning them to store up food during the good years so that they would not go hungry when the bad years were upon them. Despite the spiraling situation our economy is in, we are still in a “good year”. I urge you to consider using your resources wisely in order to prepare for the “bad years”.


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Kendra
About Kendra 1106 Articles
A city girl learning to homestead on an acre of land in the country. Wife and homeschooling mother of four. Enjoying life, and everything that has to do with self sufficient living.

34 Comments

  1. I am so glad to have found your website! For over a year now, I have felt the need to have a large food storage. My husband is in the building trade and it has certainly benefitted us. I continue adding as I am able and feel that we are only beginning to see the need to prepare for an uncertain future as a country.

    I also shop with Aldi’s and am surprised at their higher prices. Have you ever gotten into coupons. I can shop the ads and use coupons to save so much money and get many items free. It takes a little time to get started, but saves my family a great deal of money. I still manage to do this and work full-time, can from a large garden and spend a lot of time with family and grandkids. My favorite coupon site is http://www.thekrazycouponlady.com

  2. Kendra, A post on how to keep track with a spreadsheet would be a big help. Tightwad Gazette says to keep a “price book”, which I have tried but haven’t had much success keeping up with it. But a spreadsheet, would be in one place all the time and could keep it calculated, etc in a snap. How do you keep track of each date’s purchases and prices and compare them to last week or last month or last year? Each “tab” is a new shopping trip or ??? Thanks and I really enjoy your blog!

  3. Kendra, I’ve been following your blog a few months and really enjoy your self sufficiency posts. Our family is trying to do the same thing and recently raised our own beef for the first time. I too feel like the prices at Aldi have increased every time I go there. A clerk there once told me they change their prices on Saturday nights. Thanks for sharing your experiences!

  4. I love that you keep yours in the flats. We do that too. As a small tip, if you mark the expiration date of the cans on the side of the box, you can make sure you rotate the food easily. For the items that don’t come listed with expiration dates, mark the date purchased. It works for us.

  5. I would be sure to save only seeds from plants that are heirloom quality. As I understand it, seeds from some of these newfangled laboratory genetically enhanced varieties are not suitable for planting. If anyone could shed some better focused light on this subject in 15 words or less it would help us all. Also, on food storage and preservatives. I would rather take my chances with some chemicals that might harm some lab rat in mega injected doses than to starve my family by not having saved food for a long time emergency. Let’s call that one “Food for Thought” pun intended. Thanks.

  6. Another thing about building a pantry is being able to take advantage of sales. I cannot grow everything that I preserve, but it really helps when I can buy it cheap during peak season. My freezer is full of chicken and turkeys ($7 each!) bought on sale plus local grass fed beef from the Farmer’s Market that ended last fall (the price is very competitive to the stores too).

    I think my regular pantry (including the freezer) would keep us fed for about two months. My back-up pantry about another 3-4 months. Then there are the buckets of grains and beans that I’ve been stashing away so hopefully we will go a year on it.

    Several tips – if you buy bulk from a co-op or health food store, break it up and stash it in the freezer to kill critters. I lost some garbanzos last year due to weevils – thankfully it was the early stash (maybe 3-4 pounds). The 25 pound bag was just starting to hatch and I stopped it in time. Yes, I am picking bugs out of the water but I am not throwing them out. The early stash though was sawdust when I found the bugs. Wheat berries are notorious for developing critters.

    Be careful of buying bulk beans from the grocery store. I bought two 25 pound bags of pinto beans really cheap from a national chain. Within a few months they were so stale I could not cook them soft. I haven’t tossed them yet, but we cannot stand eating them either.

    • I freeze my dry products when I get them for a week and then pull them out and store them. It is suppose to kill any eggs that are in the dry goods.
      Good luck

  7. I have been talking about this same thing lately on my blog. About 2 months or so ago, the Lord pressed upon me to start preparing. I didn’t know what I was preparing for, but food and money came to mind. We put all available money (not much, mind you, but any unnecessary spending money) into the bank, and started using our grocery money to stock up the pantry and freezer. We were able to do this on $50 a week for 5 people, so that is to encourage your readers – it can be done. Well, my husband lost his job 3 weeks ago, and we have been able to feed our family and pay the bills because we were prepared. I will NEVER go unprepared again. My next goal, when he resumes working is to try to get our stocks in the pantry up to about 6 months. We were able to do a month’s worth in 2 months, so within a year we should have 6 month’s worth. If not more. We are ok for now, somehow (God’s devine will, I am sure) there is more food in the freezer than I remember from before we started adding to it. ๐Ÿ™‚ God is awesome!
    Bless you.
    Shellie

  8. – WELL SAID Anita!

    Great post Kendra! I totally agree. We live in a small mobile home but I got into food storage a few years ago and have slowly found spots to store things. It’s amazing how much space you can find if you really look.

    For those that suggested gardening… I’m a gardener. I have a small garden now but have dreams of having huge gardens in the future and canning all my own stuff. But gardening in an extreme emergency (i.e. End of the world as we know it) is very different. You can grow all you want but you’ll have to protect it 24/7. That’s tough…

    I urge people to look into sprouting too. It’s perfect for emergency situations. Few supplies needed, little effort, grows fast, great nutrients and you just need a window seal.

  9. I just found your site and I love it! We’ve been hard at work putting away food and we finally have a scant-year’s worth. I too worried about the expiration date, but since I read that, for the most part, an expiration date means *nothing*, it doesn’t bother me to eat it food that is slightly past its date.

  10. I have to say we aren’t in the food storage probably as much as we could be but we do can our veggies, make our own salsa, BBQ sauce, spaghetti sauce and I’m going to learn how to make our own grape juice and possibly jams this year. My husband is also a hunter and fishermen so I know if it come down to it he could go to any lake or stream or go into the woods and bring meat home. We usually always have venison, groundhog and squirrel in our freezer. I should definitely be doing a better job of this storage!

  11. year round garden in my neck of the woods is a bit hard… 5 feet of snow coving the ground most of the year.. but we do can and freeze as much as we can during the spring , summer and fall.. But we have just started to build a better place for storing food in our basement. I just quit working from home. So we have freed up two whole rooms in our house for whatever! One is going to food and house hold goods. Have a good chuck out back but this will free me up to have it better set up and add more to our stock pile. I do think we often live in a dream land that just because we have money in the banks does not mean IT WILL BE GOOD FOREVER! I am just greatful that my house has hope! I know the end of this crazy story called life and it is good.. JOy unspeackble…

  12. Kendra, yes, a post would be good, because I understand the basic idea of why you are doing it, but dont know how to map on out myself. I can imagine it takes some disipline to write it all down everytime though.

  13. I have always had the mind set to store up food. When I was single, friends would come over and see actual food in my pantry and they were shocked. I always wanted to be prepared in case I was to lose my job. That mind set has followed me through today. I have been stocking more now and have actually worked to cut my grocery budget in half. Once my garden is producing, I will can anything I get. I agree, it is getting worse and I don’t see a “change” coming…..

  14. I am starting to do this myself. I am amazed at the price difference when for example you make your own salsa, which works out to about .39-.49 cents a bottle, to buying it for 2.99 a bottle and thats on sale. It just makes sense. And by the way if I had my own tomatoes and peppers it would 6 cents or less a bottle.

    Your right sometimes we just need to put feet to our prayers God gave us wisdom to use. He did not leave us helpless. We are to be good stuarts we all that we pocess.

    God bless and thanks again for a great post.

  15. Kendra, I am guessing that a spread sheet is where you list the price of things you buy, is it just aldis, or do you arrange it by different stores? do you write down off you receipt every thing you buy?

    • sandra-

      I only keep a spreadsheet for Adli’s ’cause they are pretty much cheaper than anywhere else. I use them as a “good deal” checker. With the spreadsheet I can calculate the cost of my grocery list, or I can use it to compare with sales at other stores to determine whether it’s really a good deal or not. Maybe I should write a post on how I do this exactly??

  16. I started canning veggies a couple years ago. I want to get a nice storage system for my basement to store veggies in. Thanks for the tip!

  17. This is a great post! I talk about this a lot and people think I’m crazy. But I believe that God is whispering these same thoughts to me…letting me know that I need to be prepared to take care of my family. It’s why I’ve learned to garden…and why I’ve got chickens in my backyard. We need to be able to take care of ourselves.

    I hadn’t thought of storing up canned goods…I always think in terms of being able to grow and preserve my own food. But stocking up on canned food is a great idea…to tide us over until the food we plant actually grows!

    Thank you for the links, too. Great info!

  18. I would think it also to be a wise thing to keep packets of seeds, you would replace them every year at planting times, use the old and replace with new, and you could save your own seeds as well from many fruits and veggies that you plant. If you have the acreage and money, fruit trees would be good as well. and maybe some gardening hints and tips.. and a good compost pile for that garden too. My grandma had a HUGE old tub that she put all her compost in. it wasnt too pretty, but her garden thrived on that compost, she had one of the biggest and greenest veggie garden in her neighborhood.
    My dream is to be able to live out of town, with acreage, and be able to be self sustaining. Solar panels and wind energy, well, water filtration systems (so you can reuse “grey” water for watering the garden and what not) have a garden fit to feed the family, and an orchard of various fruits as well. If we had to kill our own animals for meat – I would go veggi.. I dont think I could kill our own animals. Maybe a chicken.. but not anything else!
    The idea is to be self sustaining. who wants to depend on the system? no, now look at how hard things are right now. SO many people have lost jobs and stuff. what if say, someone got hurt (like your hubby) and you were not able to get a job. you cannot depend on the government to help you out. you have to be able to prepare for the things that you cannot prepare for. it does not mean that all the sudden the whole world will quit working and you wont be able to go to buy things at the store anymore, but that you are making preparations for “Just in case”

  19. are you worried at all about the BPA that is supposedly in factory-canned goods?

    I may be silly but I am hoping that if anything happens I’d just grow my own food.

    • Wendy-

      I’ve never heard of BPA being in canned goods. Wouldn’t surprise me though. Yes, you can grow your own food if times get tough, but sometimes hyperinflation literally happens overnight. Then what? It takes a while to get a garden established and productive. You don’t want to have to wait for it to grow. It would be a good idea to get that garden going now, and start storing your canned goods from what you grow, instead of hoping you will be able to do it in an emergency. Just a suggestion ๐Ÿ˜‰

  20. This is one of the reasons I encourage my readers at Homestead Revival to learn to garden year round. Storing food is good, but eventually you could run out. A garden would have the potential to be perpetual. Having a food store would keep you going while you got a garden going, but why not learn to garden NOW during the four seasons? Do both and you’ll have more of your bases covered. But in the end, it’s the Lord who provides it all.

    • Amy @ Homestead Revival-

      Yes, I definitely agree that a garden is a must! I covered everything I think you need to do to begin preparing for times ahead in my last post How To Be Better Prepared, food storage being just one of them, gardening another. Thanks for the reminder ๐Ÿ™‚

  21. That is so awesome what you are doing but my only question is if you are saving food up to last a year how often do you go through it to make sure something isn’t expired? And if its soon to expire do you use it and replace it just as fast? A year’s worth of food is a long time and stuff isn’t meant to last forever so I’m just curious. Oh and did you know that vanilla lasts forever?

    • Tabatha-

      When you have a food storage, you also need to have a system of rotating your food. For the sake of maintaining a year’s supply, my plan is to keep this food for a year (since all of it expires in a year or two) untouched. Over the summer and fall I plan on canning as much as I can get my hands on. Then next year we will use up our food storage and replace it with what I’ve canned. That’s the plan, anyways ๐Ÿ™‚

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