Monday, June 6, 2011

Pantry filled with discount groceries all the survival food you need

    Back in March, I posted that it was a good time to stock up on discount groceries. Areas of Japan were facing food shortages due to the Earthquake and nuclear disaster, and I pointed out that it could happen anywhere.
    There are plenty of companies out there selling survival food supplies at inflated prices. The best survival food source is your local grocery or Costco store.
    The fact is, it is highly unlikely that any of us will ever have need of an emergency food supply. So spending a lot of money on stockpiling specialized food is just money poorly spent. On the other hand, buying large quantities of groceries on sale or at low bulk prices is another matter if you actually eat the food. Then you not only have an emergency food supply, but you actually lower your grocery bill. Just make sure you stock up on items that have a long shelf life.
    So how do you create an emergency food supply? Simple: Have as much food in your pantry as you can without allowing any of it to go to waste.
    Costco sells flour, sugar, rice and dried beans in 25-pound bags at a fraction of the price you would have to pay at the local grocery. Yes, it's a pain to transfer the food over into smaller Ziploc bags, but doing so will dramatically lower the amount you spend on these staple items. (We still have about six pounds of rice from a 25-pound bag that we purchased three or four years ago!).
    I've been able to buy pasta on sale for 50-cents per pound for the past few years. Whenever I find this low price I've bought as many as 50 one-pound boxes (I generally make several trips to the store so as not to look like Mr. Piggy). I've managed to buy Ragu sauce for as little as 83-cents per bottle, although the best price I've seen recently has been $1.25. At these prices, stock up!
    This Thanksgiving and Christmas grocery stores will offer Campbell's Cream of Mushroom and perhaps Cream of Chicken soup for 50 or 60 cents per can. It usually costs more than $1.25. Stock up!
    The point is, don't buy any special food you won't eat, but buy lots and lots of food that you will eat when it is on deep discount.
    Now, if disaster should strike, I don't believe we will suddenly find ourselves without food. We are more likely to face temporary food shortages, and perhaps price shocks caused by a currency crisis. But during this time, having a full pantry can make the difference between having plenty to eat and actually going hungry.
    Take a look at the following food and price chart:

    So for less than $160 a family of four can have a two-month supply of food, assuming a 1,500 calorie per day diet. Throw in lots of canned goods, and that two-month supply easily stretches into a three or four-month supply.
    Of course, in a real disaster food is still going to be available. In a starvation-type disaster, you can expect food to be rationed. Now I'm going to be lined up for free food whether I've got food at home or not. People are going to be able to hunt and fish. So a three-month supply of food at home should actually keep one's family eating well for six months to a year.
    America's food distribution network is a lot more fragile than many people realize. Have you ever been in a grocery store just before a major snow storm? Notice how many the shelves are empty? Now imagine that no trucks would be ariving for two weeks. Now imagine that everyone in the community were to KNOW that no trucks would be arriving for two weeks. The shelves would be completely bare.
    Just remember, disaster probably will not strike. The only real use you will ever make of your bulk food purchases is that you will save money on your grocery bill. And depending on grocery prices and what's on special, you pantry of groceries will fluctuate from a one to three month supply.
    Since having a full pantry will actually save you money, it really doesn't make sense not to have one, does it?

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