If you think you can’t afford to build an affordable long term food storage solution for yourself and your family, think again. Whether you’re on a fixed income, on assistance or are just getting by, it’s still possible for you to build up long-term food storage gradually, and you can start with just $5 a week. Yes, that’s right — $5 per person per week can get you a week’s worth of healthy, energizing food that will keep each person in your family going should a crisis situation arise.
How is this possible? Believe it or not, the key to keeping your food purchasing costs low can be as close as your local Dollar Store. This video explains how anyone can use the Dollar Store as a resource for stretching food purchasing power to the max:
Believe it or not, most Dollar Stores have plenty of the things preppers need to build up a viable long-term food supply. Some of the best items you can pick up for efficient storage and nutrition include:
The video above illustrates a Dollar Store purchase of two bags of rice, one bag of dry beans, a bag of uncooked pasta and a container of oatmeal, all for that awesome Dollar Store pricing of $1 per item. These items combined are enough basic food to last one person for a week, and the total cost of the purchase is only $5.
An Impressive Start for Less Than $75
With this system, you’ll be able to build and store an initial three-month’s food supply for under $75 – less than a dollar a day. If you discipline yourself to make a similar $5 purchase once per week, in three month’s time, you’ll have an excellent start on your food supply.
This Dollar Store scenario shows that just about anyone on any budget can start prepping. It’s a pretty empowering idea, although not the best approach for longer-term amounts of food beyond three months. When your budget allows, other effective long-term food storage steps include:
Bulk buying can help you save a tremendous amount of money. That cheap 50 pound bag of rice at a local ethnic supermarket or warehouse store can be broken into smaller portions and secured in airtight, insect-proof containers for a longer protected shelf life. You can also buy large #10 cans of foods which can then be canned into more manageable sizes. Consider negotiating your bulk purchases at the store; talk with the management and see if they’ll give you an ever deeper discount on a large-scale purchase. Your bulk buys should be stored in 5 gallon buckets or Mylar bags with the oxygen removed in order to have an extended shelf life.
If you’re into canning your own food, the Mormon Church has an excellent network of canneries for use all around the country. While some of the locations have become more like “canning museums” where you can see old-style canning equipment, others are fully-functional and will allow you to come in and use the facilities. Mormon canneries offer food staples at extremely reasonable prices. When you leave the cannery, your food is ready for long term storage — plus you get to learn how to can like a pro in the process. Note: Consider donating a few hours of your time as a trade for the use of the facility. (If you’re going to can more than just a few #10 cans, let them know.)
Dehydrating food is another great way to extend your dollar and save storage space. Dehydrating can extend the shelf-life of food from days to years. Dehydrated food also compacts down considerably for efficient storage. Start with small batches and use vacuum bags for storage; work up to using Mylar bags, oxygen absorbers and 5 gallon buckets with gamma seal lids. There’s almost no limit to what can be dehydrated — fruits, meats, veggies, seafood and even your leftovers from dinner. Just make sure your long-term storage foods are dehydrated until they are crisp — no moisture.
You could also consider making a double-portion of dinner a couple of times a week, dehydrate the excess and store it in Mylar bags. By doing so, you can literally put away two extra meals per week for just a few dollars and minimal effort. Doing so consistently (50 weeks a year) will add a full three months worth of delicious food to your pantry. Dehydrated meals also make it very easy to provide dinner for the family when you don’t feel like cooking — just re-hydrate one of your favorites.
Now that you know you can build long term food storage for just $5 a week you have no excuses. Get out there and start stocking your food storage!
Do you have any money saving tips for building long term food storage? Share them in the comments below.