My last post was hoping to see how very far I could stretch my $115 in groceries for our family of five (all adult eaters). This fun frugal challenge, however, came to an abrupt end when my husband took us on a switch in direction. We are now re-stocking our 6-8 month pantry. Why? and How? You may ask. Well, here are the reasons:
1. All but ONE of the gas stations within 45 minutes drive of our home are out of gas. So trips to the store will likely be limited soon.
2. Stocking up NOW while prices are lower (yeah, don't laugh - they will be higher as gas shortages affect shipping) is a wiser move than waiting.
3. A 6-8 month pantry is a safety blanket. We lived in suburbia through three hurricanes which knocked out power and cut shipping supplies. I've seem the National Guard have to pull guns on people for fights over ice and bread...don't like the thought of that if food supply gets more expensive or shipping gets cut off due to shortages.
4. Bulk is often much cheaper and sales hit 'whenever' so stocking up makes sense.
Those are the 'why' - on to the 'how':
1. Take stock of what your family WILL eat and multiply by the # of people, times the # of times a week it's worth eating it and then by 4. You then have a month's worth of some dry pantry good. If you want 6 months worth, multiply THAT number by six and start stocking up!
2. Although we are not Morman - this site is helpful if you wonder how much of what to stock up: http://lds.about.com/library/bl/faq/blcalculator.htm There are some basic ideas that may spark some ideas of your own.
3. Start looking for ways to have long term storage. Freezers need electricity so they are great if you have no power outages or plan to cook a LOT if there were an outage. Also pails such as this one:
They stack high and are air-tight.
4. Dehydrated foods store well for things you might usually keep fresh such as fruits.
I'm no 'gloom and doomer' - I promise - this is actually a fun thought for me to be prepared to care for my family with a 6-8 month pantry!