Some people feel as though they have to get shelves and shelves of food that is quick and easy to fix in case of an emergency. These would be cheap foods with preservatives and artificial colors and a shelf life of a rock. Other people think they need to get the ready-to-eat meals (MREs) that are simply the ‘add water’ foods. Most MREs are far from healthy with high salt and fat content, and designed for combat caloric intake which most of us are not going to be in. They are often quite pricey as well. Why are folks so quick to pay the price of quality and higher cost simply convenience?
Having the skill to use real food will help your health now and in an emergency, when you and your family don’t need to also be battling poor nutritional sustenance at the same time as stress.
Here are some ideas for stretching your budget while buying real food for storage :
Coupons – This can be a simple start to saving on one purchase so that you can buy more the next time. There are FREE sites on the internet for finding out your deals. One trick is to use a coupon when your store runs a sale at the same time.
Buy one get one (free or half price) – Instead of just getting one at half price, use one store the other. This way you know you will eat what you’ve stored.
Find the scratch & dent or almost out of date section – Usually these items are found at the ends of some longer isles in the grocery store. Some items are still in great condition. It is still a good idea to stay away from dented cans. Meats that are fast approaching the ‘sell by’ date are often tagged differently or located at a different part of the refrigerated isle. Use or freeze the meat as soon as you get them home.
Cook from scratch – Often single ingredients stretch further due to the variety of ways you can use them vs. a one box mix food that can only be that food. When cooking from scratch, one item can be used multiple ways with the cost per use being drastically cheaper than if it were an ingredient in a box mix.
Look for an alternative that costs less. For example, buy the store brand of an item. Often the same exact growers, packaging facility grew and labeled a big named brand as the store brand. If it’s a storage can rotation system that costs over $200 that has you down, there is a less expensive (and in my opinion much more versatile) option here
There are many ways to stock up your real food storage, long term workable pantry and not break the budget. Just getting started is important. You’ll be happy you had even a little food storage on hand as prices continue to increase.