Spending money wisely is always a good idea. This is especially true right now as we’re getting hit hard by inflation.
Including food prices that are at their highest levels in 40 years. And if we have another COVID surge this fall as some predict, food shortages could follow.
That’s why it’s very important to get the biggest bang for your buck when it comes to spending on food.
Today I want to provide some suggestions for how you can do this. Even if you’re only able to put some of them into practice, I believe you’ll be glad you did.
Stockpiling on a budget
I’ve heard plenty of people say, “I wish I could prepare for an emergency. Unfortunately, I can’t afford it. I live paycheck to paycheck.”
But proper budgeting would enable many of us to have at least a small amount of income available to prepare for an uncertain future.
Stockpiling healthy, nutritious food for an emergency is a key preparedness fundamental. And it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg to do this. There are simple, inexpensive things we can do to get ready for a crisis.
Following an emergency, it’s likely the electrical grid will not be functioning properly. If at all. So you want to make sure a vast majority of your food items are non-perishable.
Saving money on food
Here are seven ways to save money while acquiring food to use now and during an emergency.
Make a list. Grocers know how to position products so shoppers will purchase them. If you have a list, you’ll know just what you need.
Buy store brands. Buying store brands can take a huge chunk out of your grocery costs. Sometimes there will be a brand name item or two you can’t do without. But more often you won’t notice the difference, other than the lower price.
Buy in bulk. This isn’t about warehouse stores with membership fees. It’s about buying more of items you use often when there’s a significant sale. If it means you shop less often, this can add up to even more savings.
Freeze meals. If you’re buying in bulk, make sure your food doesn’t go to waste. You can freeze many items including whole meals. There are cookbooks with recipes for freezing meals in bulk. When you make a meal, cook enough for two meals so you can serve one and freeze the other.
Use digital coupons. Many stores offer digital coupons not available in the newspaper. To acquire these savings, you’ll likely need to set up an account and check off the coupons you wish to use each time you shop.
Stick to the store perimeter. Center aisles have many expensive, processed foods full of salt, sugar and other additives. The outside ring of the store is where you’ll find more foods such as produce, meat and dairy.
Use fewer ingredients. Sometimes the simplest food tastes best. Sites such as AllRecipes.com are great for finding different options for your favorite recipes. Usually the top reviews will include tips on how to make them even easier.
Inexpensive food choices
The types of food that will give you the most calories and nutrition for the least amount of money include bananas, beans, canned tomatoes, canned tuna, carrots and corn tortillas.
Plus eggs, frozen fruits and vegetables, oats, onions and pasta. As well as peanut butter, potatoes, whole chicken and whole grains.
Here are a few more money-saving strategies when food buying:
- Eat before you go to the grocery store. It’s amazing how much more food we buy when we walk the aisles with an empty stomach.
- Buy plenty of groceries. Wait, I thought we wanted to save money. We do. This is a good way to do it because it will lead to eating in instead of eating out or ordering in. Just make sure to consume what you purchase.
- Watch for daily deals. Websites such as dealnews.com and dailysteals.com offer prices you rarely see anywhere else on a variety of items. Just remember not to buy anything you wouldn’t have otherwise bought.
- Look for free food offers and BOGO deals. Usually with free food offers, you only pay shipping and handling. In addition to getting free food, you can determine whether you want to buy more survival food from that company.
- Grow your own food. A survival garden will provide you with all the vegetables you need for very little money. And your food will be more nutritious than what you get at the store.
Another way to make your food dollars go farther is by properly storing it. Here are a few food storage basics:
Drying and canning
With a food dehydrator, you can dry a variety of food yourself. Then make sure that it is stored in airtight containers. The canning process involves sealing your cooked food while it’s hot in order to kill bacteria that might spoil it. Keep it at room temperature and away from sunlight.
Pickling, brining and salting
Pickling is the technique that uses the combination of salt and vinegar to preserve vegetables, fruits and meats. Brine is a solution consisting of cold water, salt and sugar, and it’s similar to marinating. Salting draws moisture from the meat, preventing bacterial growth.
Smoking and fermenting
The smoking method is used for meat, fish and vegetables. Burning materials such as wood provide strong heat that kills bacteria and other food microorganisms. Fermentation preserves key nutrients in food, controlling decay.
Root cellars keep food at a cool temperature with the proper amount of humidity. Don’t wash dirt off after harvesting your produce. And you’ll want to keep space between your produce on shelves. Among produce you can store in a root cellar are apples, beets, cabbage and carrots.
The best way to store survival food is freeze-drying it and packaging it in Mylar bags. Freeze-drying is a process involving the freezing of food in a vacuum chamber. The food’s moisture then evaporates from its solid state to a gaseous state.
The taste and structure of the food is preserved, but the moisture content is removed. Freeze-drying allows food to retain more nutritional value than other processes. Freeze-dried food also retains its shape and taste after it’s been reconstituted with water.
Food Bars BOGO offer
Earlier I mentioned looking for BOGO offers as a way to get the most out of your food budget. Here’s a great way to do that today.
While supplies last, you can have twice as many 4Patriots Emergency Food Bars as you pay for. These delicious, ready-to-eat “survival cookies” have a lemon-shortbread flavor our customers can’t get enough of.
Designed to last five years under proper storage conditions, they can withstand extreme temperatures and are non-thirst provoking.
So, you pay for nine Food Bars sealed in Mylar pouches, but you actually get 18 of them. And you can keep them anywhere you might get stranded. Such as your car, boat, RV or cabin.