I’ve written before about how to stockpile food on a budget, where the focus is on building a pantry store over a few months to keep prices low.
When difficult times happen though, and you don’t already have one, it pays to build a food stockpile quickly.
That way you know you can feed your family for at least 2 weeks, preferably 4 in a pinch.
There is no need in this day and age to build huge food stockpiles because chances are you can still get to the grocery store or have food delivered.
Stockpiling food has it’s advantages and disadvantages and needs to be considered carefully.
There is no doubt that the media can influence our behavior and when we see others panic buying it can set off the panic within us.
How To Build A Stockpile Quickly And Sensibly
Think About Your Personal Situation
Before you rush out and panic buy a ton of groceries it pays to sit down and make a plan.
If you are living from paycheck to paycheck, now is not the time to take on debt, regardless of what others are doing.
You need to do right by you and your family.
It may be that you can cut your budget in other areas to free up some extra grocery money.
Do this first before you rush to the shops.
Check What You Already Have
First things first, do a pantry inventory. You need to know what you already have in stock.
You might be pleasantly surprised to see that truth be told, you don’t need any further supplies.
List out what meals you can make from existing supplies.
Check Expiry Dates
There is no point thinking you have enough food in and then find it’s all 2 years out of date.
When you have food in your pantry it pays to rotate your supplies to ensure you do not waste any of it.
Only Buy What You Can Afford (Avoid Debt)
When you don’t have a lot of money coming in, you cannot afford to buy too much too quickly.
The last thing you want is to be creating debt for a stockpile of food that then sits in your pantry not being used.
Granted it might make sense to spend some of next months grocery budget this month.
With the proviso that next month your budget is that much less because you have already spent it.
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Advantages Of Building A Food Stockpile
- You can rest easy knowing you have enough food to last you and the family for a given amount of time (I suggest 2-4 weeks)
- You don’t need to keep visiting the stores knowing they might be out of the exact thing you need
- No need to spend further money on food, especially helpful if your income is cut
- You are in control of when you buy
- No panic buying of items you would likely never use
Disadvantages Of Building A Food Stockpile
- Building a stockpile quickly means you cannot follow the frugal rules to get the best price on all your goods
- You can end up in panic mentality and buy way too much of one thing
- You end up with a large stockpile that you cannot use
- Family get sick of eating the same few things week after week
- You end up throwing food way – not good for a frugalista!
So How To Stockpile Sensibly?
What Should You Stockpile Right Now?
Good quality, long life food is the staple of a frugal persons stockpile.
Don’t start buying processed, boxed food just because others do.
Keep your stocks to things you know you will eat and enjoy eating.
My suggestions for your basic stockpile are:
- Rice (brown is healthier than white)
- Pasta (as above)
- Flour (you can make savory items like bread, quiche as well as pastries)
- Lentils (red, yellow, green or brown)
- Dried beans
- Canned beans
- Canned protein (tuna, salmon, chicken, beef)
- Canned tomatoes
- Canned vegetables
- Peanut butter (great protein)
- Baking essentials (yeast, baking soda & baking powder)
- Cooking oil (can act as butter replacement in baking)
- Salt & pepper
- Toilet roll
- Washing powder
- Washing up liquid
Don’t Panic Buy
When panic sets in your sensible, frugal head can go out of the window.
If you need to walk away from a product because the price is too high then do it. Replace it with something else.
There is always an alternative.
If push comes to shove you could even do without toilet roll.
Might not be something you have ever done but toilet roll has only been around since 1857. Before that people used paper or cloths.
The point is, you can still use cloth if you had to. Check this article out for how to do so hygienically.
Don’t panic yourself into buying 20 cans of something you rarely eat.
We eat a lot of tinned tomatoes so it wouldn’t matter if I had 20 of them.
But 20 cans of sweetcorn, when I always buy frozen? Not clever (it tastes totally different and we prefer frozen by far).
Or 20 cans of tuna when we use maybe one a month.
Execute Your Plan
The best way to reduce your panic is to make a plan and execute it.
Once you have your emergency stockpile you can rest easy.
You do not need to keep buying.
Go back to normal, or indeed start using it and stay away from the shops, your choice.