One of the biggest decisions you will have to make is whether or not you believe you have enough time to slowly store up enough food for your family or if you feel in your spirit that the time is running more short to need those supplies. Some of this will be because of what you feel is the impending emergency and by your available budget. My first suggestion would be that you attempt o stock yourselves a 3 week supply of food as quickly as possible. In another post I mentioned making a menu list of favorite meals. From that you can quickly choose a meal of two worth of ingredients to purchase extra each week to stock up ahead. Once you have been able to amass that food, if your budget is a tight one like mine, you can now start to more slowly amass a year’s worth of supplies for your family. Remember along with stocking your pantry you also need to be storing enough water for your family needs. You will be able to survive longer without food than you will without drinking water.
So now that you have put up the favorite meals let’s consider a year’s worth done slowly over 52 weeks For this we will assume a family of four. There is some discussion the amounts for children versus adults however I count children equal to adults if at all possible – they tend to grow quickly and under stress everyone will consume more calories anyway. To accomplish this 52 week shopping excursion, we are going to spend approximately $10 extra each week.
What Items You Need to bulk Purchase:
80 pounds dry milk
24 – 30 pounds of salt
10 – 15 pounds of peanut butter
360-400 pounds sugar
20 pounds honey
88-100 pounds of rice
44-50 pounds dry beans/lentils
1000 pounds of grains/wheat/part in flour, part in oatmeal, part in cornmeal
150 cans of soup – part of this in chicken or beef bullion (for flavor over rice and to eat)
45 boxes macaroni and cheese
48-50 cans tuna
10-12 pounds of yeast
12 pounds shortening
10 gal. cooking oil
25 pounds pasta
Baking soda and baking powder added to this will allow you to bake cakes and cookies also.
Much of this can be purchased in bulk at Sam’s Wholesale Club, Costco, or even Wal-Mart. Aldi is another great place to shop for foods at decent prices. We aren’t able to double coupon here but for those of you who can, use those coupons! Target will allow you to stack a manufacturer coupon on top of a store coupon as does CVS. However we want to try to keep this as close to $10 weekly as possible and easily storable in your pantry area. Remember if you are thinking about using garage, attic, or basement, the temperature fluctuations will affect how long this food will last. All of this food will run about a total of a bit less than $600 although this can begin to creep higher as prices begin to increase. The list here is a suggested list. You will want to add all types of seasonings – and favorite herbs in addition to favorite comfort foods such as cake mixes and cookies. Pudding mixes and jello are also great along with popcorn kernels.
To give you some examples – this is what it costs at our local Sam’s Club for some of the items:
Pure Wesson® Vegetable Oil – 1.25 gal $8.30
Morton® Iodized Table Salt – 4lb. box $0.98
StarKist® Chunk Light Tuna in Water - 5 oz. – 10 ct. $8.46
Uncle Ben’s® Original Long Grain Rice - 12 lb. bag $8.48
Diamond Pre-Washed Pinto Beans – 50 lb. bag $34.69
Maruchan Ramen Noodle Soup – Chicken Flavor – 3 oz. – 36 pk $6.87
Daily Chef™ Spaghetti Pantry Pack – 1 lb. – 6 ct. $4.98
Kraft Macaroni & Cheese Dinner - 7.25 oz. – 12 pk. $9.37
Daily Chef™ Penne Rigate Pantry Pack – 1 lb. – 6 ct. $5.76
Natural SueBee Clover Honey, 2.3 k (5 LB) $13.30 – an all natural honey will be more expensive
Jif® Creamy Peanut Butter – 2 jars – 40 oz. each $9.98
Fleischmann’s® Instant Yeast – 2/16 oz. bags $9.36
ARGO® Baking Powder – 60oz $5.78
Arm & Hammer®Baking Soda – 13.5 lb. bag $6.64
Domino® Sugar – 10 lb. Bag $4.68
Bakers & Chefs All Purpose Flour – 25 lb. bag $8.83
Sam’s Club sells Auguson products in 25 to 35 pound buckets – these have an average shelf life of 25 – 30 years which is nice if you want to consider a very long term storage option. You will notice that a few of these items go over the $10 price but buying in a large package such as for the beans will save money if you repackage into jars or mylar bags and seal them. Make sure you date and label anything repackaged. It is also a good idea to use a marker and date everything with purchase dates and try to circle the expiration date if it is marked.
Remember we want to have fun and the goal is to achieve peace of mind so stick to your budget and don’t stress while doing this!