What would happen if your world changed today due to job loss, natural disaster, or sickness? Would you be prepared? In these uncertain times, now is the time to stock your pantry and build up enough food that will feed your family from three months to a year. Come into my kitchen and let’s talk about how to stock your pantry.
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Keep Track of What You Eat
Journal what you buy: Keep track of what foods you buy for an entire month. Whether you keep receipts as record, make an excel spreadsheet, or simply write it in a notebook make sure to take note of all the foods consumed.
Evaluate: As the month comes to an end you are more informed of what your family uses on a monthly basis. Now you have a snapshot of what foods you need to stock up on.
Create a Budget and Learn the Sales
Create a Bulk Foods Budget: Put aside a designated amount of money every week that is not part of your regular grocery budget. This money is only for buying bulk food purchases.
Shop the Sales: Learn when the sales happen and what the best prices are for the particular food you need.
Keep a Price Book: Track the prices of the food, what store you bought it from, and the date you bought it. Soon you will see a pattern of when certain products go on sale, which store has the best prices, and what the best price is for a particular item.
Find Places to Buy Bulk Food
Online or Local: Azure Standard, Costco, Sam’s Club, or Amazon are a few places you can buy food in bulk. My favorite is Azure Standard which is free to join and has high quality foods that are organic or non-gmo.
Buy Items with Multiple Purposes
Buy Ingredients That Stretch Your Budget: Buy items that have a multipurpose so that you can get your money’s worth. A fifty-pound bag of flour can make many meals such as muffins, breads, pancakes, cookies, or flour tortillas.
Don’t Buy Convenience Foods or Junk: Steer clear of buying large packages of processed foods that the whole family will want to eat extra of if it is in the pantry. An example at our house would be chips or crackers. I do not buy extras of these because my family (especially my autistic son) would gobble them up in no time.
Learn How to Store Food Long Term
Watch for Expiration Dates: Use what you have in storage and keep the items that will expire close at hand so you will use them first.
Use the Correct Containers: Use the correct containers to keep rodents and insects out of the food. If you are a beginner in this area and want to learn more, read How to store food long term.
Why Should You Stock Your Pantry?
Saves money: A well-stocked pantry will save you time and money. No longer will you be running to the store on a weekly (sometimes daily) basis. You will save money on gasoline, eliminate impulse purchases, and have free time for other fun activities.
Opens up Opportunities: What a blessing it is to help others in need or provide a warm meal to someone who is sick or has been a victim of a sudden life changing experience. The Bible commands us as Christians to provide hospitality (I Peter 4:9). Having a stocked pantry makes it much easier to participate in these efforts.
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