Wednesday, January 13, 2010

How to Build a Year's Supply of Food Storage with Only $5 a Week

Like most people, I make resolutions every year. Some I actually follow through with; others...well, not so much. Like I resolved to floss every day last year; only sort of did. I resolved to finally start my novel; totally did that and I'm about half-way through my first draft. I also resolved to keep my bedroom clean; didn't happen at all...

One of my goals this year is to keep up on my food storage. A principle that my church teaches is that every family should have at least a three-month supply of food and eventually a year's worth of food storage in case of emergencies or some kind of financial difficulty. The thought of getting together a year's worth of food storage is a little daunting - especially if you think you have to do it all at once. However, I have a great list of purchases to make every week - which usually only tacks on about $5 onto your grocery budget per week (granted, there are weeks, now and then, that fall somewhere a little closer to $10).

When I first started doing this (rather unsuccessfully, I might add) when I first got married, I thought you had to save everything you bought for that unknown emergency or for hard times. This didn't make a whole lot of sense to me, so I kind of gave up on it. However, once I understood how to work my food storage into my everyday cooking, the concept of food storage clicked. For example, if you've followed the weekly food storage purchases, you'll have 100 pounds of flour. I use my food storage flour, but once it runs out, I buy another 25 lb. bag to replace it, even though I've still have 75 lbs. left. Then, if you do run on hard times or if there is an emergency, you use what you've stored up (you can worry about replacing it later). I know lots of people - especially since the economy took a turn for the worse - who have relied on their food storage. That's one great thing about having even just a month's supply of food: it brings peace of mind.

So, I thought I would post my weekly food storage purchase schedule. You don't need to follow it exactly. Mine is based on one my mom had, but I altered it to fit into what I cook and what my family eats, along with certain basic needs (like toilet paper, soap, etc.) and for cleaning (that's why there's so much baking soda). I'll post the whole list here, but I'll also keep a weekly reminder in the sidebar if you want to follow along. So, without further ado, here is THE LIST...

Week 1: 25 lbs. all-purpose flour
Week 2: 10 lbs. sugar
Week 3: 5 lbs. peanut butter (I don't ever include jam on this list since I can a ton of it in the fall, but if you don't do this, you can consider buying a jar of jam every time peanut butter is listed)
Week 4: 2 large cans (28 oz.) or 4 medium cans (14 oz.) of tomatoes (diced, crushed, or whole)
Week 5: 4 cans of chicken or tuna
Week 6: 12 rolls of toilet paper & a tube of toothpaste
Week 7: 5 lbs. popcorn kernels
Week 8: 5 lbs. baking soda
Week 9: at least 5 cans of beans, any variety (you can substitute dried beans - I do the canned ones because I'm more likely to use them. It's good to have some dried on hand because they keep for a long time.)
Week 10: 4 lbs. brown sugar
Week 11: 6 lbs. pasta (spaghetti, macaroni, egg noodles - any variety)
Week 12: 4 cans of fruit & 4 cans of vegetables
Week 13: 25 lbs. all-purpose flour (you can also do whole-wheat flour if you prefer)
Week 14: 10 lbs. rice
Week 15: One container of each: mayonnaise, mustard, ketchup
Week 16: A gallon of bleach & a bottle of aspirin/ibuprofen/Tylenol (either regular or children's strength, depending on your family's needs)
Week 17: 2 cans of beans & 2 cans of refried beans
Week 18: 4 lbs. powdered milk
Week 19: 1 lb. yeast
Week 20: 3-5 lbs. honey
Week 21: 2 gallons of white vinegar
Week 22: 25 lbs. flour
Week 23: 5 lbs. peanut butter
Week 24: 2 large cans or 4 medium cans of tomatoes (diced, crushed, or whole)
Week 25: 2 lbs. cornmeal
Week 26: 4 cans chicken or tuna
Week 27: 1 gallon of vegetable or olive oil (or a half-gallon of each)
Week 28: 6 lbs. of pasta & 5 lbs. brown rice
Week 29: 12 rolls toilet paper
Week 30: 1 large box of instant potatoes & 4 bars of soap
Week 31: 2 bags of chocolate chips & box of cocoa powder
Week 32: 5-10 lbs. sugar
Week 33: 2 cans baking powder & 5 lbs. baking soda
Week 34: 6-8 lbs. rolled or steel-cut oats
Week 35: can of shortening (I hate this stuff. This goo is so horrible for you. One of my resolutions last year was not to use shortening anymore and I actually followed through with it. However, I include it because it might be useful in an emergency. Even then, when this week comes around, I still might not buy it. This might be my week to buy a big bag of cat food. Pets need food storage too, right?)
Week 36: 25 lbs. of flour
Week 37: 4 lbs. powdered milk
Week 38: 4 cans fruit & 4 cans vegetables
Week 39: 4 cans of soup
Week 40: 3 cans beans & 2 cans refried beans (again, you can substitute this for dried beans)
Week 41: 10 lbs. sugar
Week 42: One container of each: mayonnaise, mustard, and ketchup
Week 43: 2 large cans or 4 medium cans of tomatoes (crushed, diced, or whole)
Week 44: 6-8 lbs. of pasta (spaghetti, macaroni, egg noodles -- whatever variety you use most).
Week 45: Up to 15 lbs. of various flours - whole wheat, barley, spelt, potato,etc.
Week 46: 4 lbs. powdered sugar
Week 47: 5-6 lbs. (80-96 oz.) laundry detergent & a gallon of bleach
Week 48: 6-8 lbs. rolled or steel-cut oats
Week 49: a bottle of real maple syrup
Week 50: a box of cornstarch & a box of matches and some candles (store in a jar)
Week 51: 1 gallon of vegetable oil or olive oil (or a half-gallon of each)
Week 52: 50 lbs. good quality wheat & wheat grinder (this is a good one to work up to throughout the year.)
That's a long list, I know. You can add or remove whatever you want - it has to work for your family or you'll just be wasting money. Last year, I was pretty good about following this until about week 22 and I felt so good about it. It was nice to have a stocked pantry and knowing that, even if worse came to worse, at least that aspect of our lives would be taken care of. And that's worth an extra five bucks a week.

1 comment:

Markelle said...

thank you friend, I think you're fabulous for sharing...

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