One of your first goals as a prepper is to have a full, well rounded food stockpile. However, this task can easily become one of the most expensive preps, if you aren’t careful. The good news is that you can stock up on food supplies without wiping out your whole savings account. You just have to be a smart shopper! Here are some tips and tricks to build your food stockpile on the cheap.
Obviously, you are going to get items like canned goods, pantry staples, and even things like toilet paper and paper towels, if you shop store sales. Some stores, like Wal-Mart, will even match competitors’ ads on products, too. Don’t be afraid to buy store brands or generics, either. The products are usually just as good, but just cost less.
Coupons are a great way to build up your food stores, too. By combining coupons with store sales, you can get great deals on products, often paying pennies on the dollar for things like cereal, condiments, and baby items, like diapers or wipes. You can even download digital coupons to your cellphone from some retailers.
Shop the Clearance Aisles
I often look at the clearance section of my grocery store for great deals. If your store has a bakery, you can sometimes get day old French bread or buns, and freeze them for use later. I recently scored some loaves of French bread that had been marked down to $.39 per loaf. I tossed it in the freezer, and have been able to already use some to make breakfast casseroles. You can also get good deals on clearance meat. It usually gets marked down when it is close to the “freeze by” date, so all you have to do is bring it home and freeze it. It will still be fine several months later.
Use What You Have
You may find that you already have quite a bit of stuff in your cabinets already. Start with canned goods or other non-perishable items and start to build your stockpile. Then you can start purchasing other items.
Grow Your Own Food
This is a really easy way to save money and stockpile food at the same time. By growing your own fruits and veggies, you are taking an active part in providing food for your family, and you are also cutting your food costs. You can enjoy fresh produce, and you can also freeze or can the leftover harvest to enjoy later in the year. Even if you live in a small home or apartment with no yard, you can grow food in containers on a porch or patio.
Build a Little at a Time
Even buying just a few items each time you grocery shop can help you build up your food supply in no time. Pick a couple of food items to focus on each week, and add those into your regular grocery list. For example, one week you can buy several extra cans of tuna or chicken, and the next week buy dried beans, the next week buy peanut butter, and the week after that focus on things like oats, flour, or other pantry staples. Rotate your list over a few months, and when you bring those items home, immediately put them into your emergency food stockpile.
By implementing even a few of these ideas, you will be able to build up a pretty decent food supply, without busting your budget. Food can get pricey, but by shopping smart and planning, it doesn’t have to be an expense for you to worry about. What is your strategy for building a sufficient supply of food?