With the daily cost of living tugging at your pocketbook, you may wonder how in the world you can afford to add one more item to your budget. You may want to store food, but don’t see how your income can be stretched any further. The following tips may help you see how a food storage program can be put together without sacrificing money earmarked for existing bills:
- Set aside a plot of land to grow specific "food storage" plants. Consider growing tomatoes, peppers, and cilantro and putting up some delicious salsa, as well as plain tomatoes, for a rainy day. Or grow other fruits or vegetables that your family enjoys and are easy to prepare for storage. If you live in a condo or apartment, you can grow plants in pots in a windowsill.
- When the next urge to splurge on fast food or a pizza hits you, resist it! Take the $10 or $15 you would have spent and invest it in food storage.
- Sprouting seeds cost pennies to purchase, yet yield big dividends in nutrition. Learn how to grow this economical source of greens. Sprouts are tasty additions to salads, sandwiches, soups, and stir-fry and can be grown in a matter of days. (Note: Never sprout seeds intended for planting in gardens.) For more information, review the Insight Article on Growing Your Own Food.
- How many times do you buy food at the store, and put it in the refrigerator--only to throw it out a week or two later because you forgot to use it? Plan a menu and stick to it. Cut the waste, and every time you go to the grocery store for your major shopping, set aside an extra $5 that you normally would have spent on perishable vegetables you usually end up discarding. Within a month, you will have enough savings to purchase a "favorite something" on your food storage list.
- Come up with your own creative ways to save or make money, then use it to add to your food storage. Involve the whole family, perhaps a family paper route or other job will provide just what you need.
- Store what you and your family will eat. Don't just arbitrarily put together a food storage list. Purchase the basics (honey, salt, wheat, powdered milk, grains, legumes, and garden seeds), and build upon that (don’t forget the non-food items as well). Sit down with family members and organize a personalized plan. Systematically develop your storage according to you and your family's food preferences.
- Remember that a short-term, as well as a long-term food storage program is the most sensible. If you cannot afford a year supply, work on a 72 hour supply, then a week supply, and so on.
Storing extra food and other necessities is just as important as having money saved in the bank. Once you have some extra food, remember to keep it dry and cool. Also, learn to rotate it as much as possible so that it doesn't go to waste.
When a crisis arrives, good people work together--so do your part to prepare and share. It is amazing how we can help each other.