Food prices now are going up at rate higher than inflation. As preppers we seem to be the topic of the day with the media. We are often slandered and misaligned. The media tends to focus mostly on those who store food, and how “crazy” they are.
It is actually one of the best investments going. Though food prices have fallen in the last year, they are almost double that of 2004. All commodities have gone up over this time frame with sugar up over 300%. If your stock portfolio is like mine you did not get those kind of returns.
The key to storing food is to store what you eat and eat what you store. You were going to eat that peanut butter whether you purchased them all at once or one at a time. Most of the things in the middle of the store have a shelf life of 3-6 months. By buying the newly stocked items you are able to extend the shelf life by another few months. By storing what you eat you actually spend less money. How is this? By buying now what you would buy later you mitigate inflation. Buy 1 years worth of peanut butter now and wait 6 months and see what the price is. I guarantee it is higher. You may then think that you will eventually have to buy more peanut butter. This is correct. You are trying mitigate inflation not eliminate it.
After you have started to build up your storage, it is time to start using this opportunity to look for opportunity buys. Since you have at least a 90 day supply you will only want to buy when you have a coupon or the item is on sale. This allows you to notice trends when items go on sale. For instance, most grocery stores have case lot sales in the fall. So that would be the time to stock upon those items.
Next you will want to integrate some long term storage items. These are the items most think of when thinking about “survivalism”. They are wheat, beans , and rice. These are a good long term storage items that should be mixed into our food rotation. By having some of these items in our rotation we have a large amount of flexibility for a myriad of things which can go wrong. Also don’t forget to have some other items such as MRE’s on hand for your vehicles and bug out bags. Freeze dried food is also a good resource to have around for other emergencies. But be sure you try some first before you buy larger quantities. Craigslist is full of listings of people who bought too much of something their family did not like.
Next you should be a producer of food. Start a garden. Learn to hunt and fish. Find foraging opportunities in your area. Hunting, fishing and foraging are more seasonal, but have the advantage of not being on your own land, where you would have to take care of such animals or plants. You will need to check with your local agencies to be sure when you can harvest.
Gardening is the best direct source of food for your family. Being a producer allows you to augment your current food storage with fresh items to make it last longer. You can also use farmers markets to augment your storage. By buying in season you can get a good deal on beans and put them away for when they are out of season.
Realize there is no silver bullet. All of these choices present a holistic way to store food. Learn how to dehydrate, can, pickle, make jerky, ferment, salt, and smoke. Having more arrows in your quiver is always a good thing. Realize you may be painted by some as a “survivalist” or “extremist”, but just remember you are only doing what your grandparents or great-grandparents used to do. Remember the ants? They stored food and lived while the grasshopper died. You are not a grasshopper.
Got any other food ideas?
Making Life’s Road a Little Smoother