Having an extra supply of food on hand is important in case of an emergency. But it can also save you money and extend the life of your grocery budget. Making sure you have a stockpile of food can ensure you always have something to eat no matter what is happening or in case you can’t make it to the grocery store.
How to Stockpile Food
Step 1: Where to Store Food
If you are going to store extra food, then you need a place to store it. Ideally, you want to store the extra food somewhere in your kitchen. Most likely, you will be eating the food there and you are less likely to forget about the food if you see it often.
But don’t fret if there is no extra space in your kitchen. There are other options for putting your food storage. It is important to note that you should not use an unfinished attic or basement for storing your food since it could be ruined easier by water or critters.
Places To Store Your Stockpile:
Cupboard – Do you have an extra cupboard? Or part of one?
Shelf – Maybe you only have a shelf. You would be surprised at how much you can fit on a shelf.
2. Storage Bin
If you have an extra storage bin, you can store your stockpile inside of the bin. If your stockpile outgrows the storage bin, you might have to invest in more. But, depending on the storage bin you use, it might be safe to put it in the basement or attic. Just be sure that you don’t forget about it.
3. Main Living Area
Maybe you have an area of a closet that isn’t being used. Or maybe you have free shelves on a bookshelf. Or maybe you have part of a dresser.
You might need to get creative, but chances are you have somewhere to store your stockpile. It’s also possible you might need to store it in multiple places.
Step 2: Figure Out Food Needs/Choose Food to Store
Remember this is food that you and your family will be eating on a regular basis. So, no time for experimentation here. You will be stocking favorite foods in order for them to be eaten. What are your family’s needs? Are there food allergies to be accounted for?
Make sure the food you buy accommodates those food allergies. In my house, I accommodate a gluten-free diet, so the food I add to my stockpile reflects that. I have gluten-free macaroni and cheese as well as gluten-free soups.
What are the foods your family loves or the items that get used the most? If you aren’t sure, take a month and record exactly what you use and how much.
Time-consuming? Yes. But it will provide you with knowledge of what gets eaten and how much. So, when you start buying your stockpile, you’ll know what to buy and how much. You will have a tangible list to take with you to the store.
Step 3: Shopping For Your Stockpile
There are different ways to go about doing this.
You could buy everything all at once, but this not realistic for most everyone.
You could buy 2-3 items in addition to your weekly groceries. You could schedule a trip around the weekly grocery sales to pick up some items. How many items you buy of course is totally dependent on the sale and what your family will eat.
Do not fall into the trap of buying something on sale because it is on sale. (We are probably all guilty of it. I know I am. Particularly of buying something specifically for my stockpile that was on sale that I didn’t need. It happens. I’m human. Thankfully, I’ll actually be able to use the item and the money won’t go to waste. Yes, this was recent.) Don’t do this. It only wastes money. Okay, soapbox over.
Step 4: Organize Stockpile
If you don’t have some kind of organizational method for your stockpile, you won’t know what you have, how much you have, or when your food is expiring. Plus, you might not end up eating it. Do something that makes sense to you and encourages you to keep eating your stockpile and to know when to replenish it.
Step 5: Eat Stockpile
Okay, so this might seem fairly obvious and you might be shaking your head at me right now. And yet, it can be easy to forget about your stockpile once it is well-stocked because it is well-stocked. And the fear of food scarcity can creep in.
But a stockpile helps you save money by reducing the trips made to the grocery store or at least reducing the amount of food bought once your stockpile is stocked.
A food stockpile can be used every day to save you money at the grocery store by providing food that you then don’t need to buy. It can also be used in times of natural disasters or in emergency situations.
Do you have a stockpile? Will you start a stockpile? What kind of food will you put in your stockpile?