We’ve all noticed the empty shelves at the grocery store and the rapidly rising prices – of everything. This may be disconcerting if you have not been keeping a stocked pantry.

We have become accustomed to running to the store every week; sometimes more frequently if we run out of something or want a quick dinner of a rotisserie chicken and a bag of salad. However, we’ve been counseled to store food so that when hard times / food shortages / illness / natural disasters happen, we will still be able to feed our families.

Isn’t that hording? No! This is not like in the pandemic when some people cleared the shelves of toilet paper, requiring the grocery stores to put a limit on how much you could purchase. You are not going to leave this food on your shelf ’til the end of time. You are just eating what you purchased a few months ago rather than what you picked up today.

How much food storage should you keep? Ideally, a year supply of food. That, though, can be really overwhelming – and expensive – especially if you are just starting out. So, if you can, build a storage of two weeks, then a month, then three months, and so on. Before you know it, you will have a reasonable supply of food to get you through many of the miseries and afflictions that come along.

Would you like an easy way to start gathering your food storage? Something that will not break the budget?

Here is one suggestion: Set a goal to buy 5 cans of food for storage each week. One week it can be a variety of corn, tuna, pinto beans, soup, fruit cocktail. The next week it could be potatoes, chicken, green beans, peaches, yams, or maybe baked beans, peas, tomatoes, pears, beef stew.

Continue purchasing a variety of five cans of food each week. In a year, you’ll have 260 cans of food. The food stored will keep your tummy full and will be diverse enough to provide you with necessary nutrients.

Canned foods are still relatively affordable. Five cans a week are rarely going to break the budget. Five cans when you have no money for food, however, will be golden. But, if you really can’t do five cans, do three. Just do something and do it consistently.

Something’s on sale one week? Hallelujah, buy five cans of that one thing that week. You don’t want to pass up a chance to save money! Remember, the price can’t go up on the food that’s already on your shelf.

Not a meat eater? No problem. Don’t pick up the canned meat. In fact, that falls right into one of the “rules” of food storage – store what you eat. In other words, don’t buy canned beets if you don’t eat beets.

As you start building your food storage this way, eventually you will identify other items that would pair nicely with your canned food. That’s when you are ready to start buying pasta, condiments like mayonnaise and ketchup, or maybe baking items like flour, sugar, baking powder, etc. Don’t worry about that until you are ready to take that step though.

This is just a place to start. It’s easy. It’s inexpensive. It’s do-able.

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