How to Stockpile Food: 5 Easy Steps

How to Stockpile Food in 5 Easy Steps

We began stockpiling food a few years ago for several reasons.  We live out a little ways out in the boonies, so trips to the store are time-consuming and gas-guzzling.  Also, regular food prices are beyond our budget, particularly as the paycheck either decreases or is delayed.  Having food on hand is wonderful during lean times, especially knowing how little it cost us and, when it comes to local produce, how much more healthy it is!  And, one more, and it is a biggie:  should we ever have an emergency and cannot get out, or should store shelves be emptied in a public panic, we will be set at our house for some time.

Just how do we stockpile foods?  Here are five tips to get you started:

1.  Make your own price list.

Make a price list featuring the lowest prices you have seen in your area for items you typically buy.  In this list, include coupons you know are often available, plus the usual rock-bottom sale price.  Research other price lists, such as this customizable one from MoneySavingMom, to get an idea of just how low prices could go (noting that your region will affect some prices.)

2.  Shop at rock-bottom prices.

Check sale papers and coupon match-ups and be ready to swing by the store when the rock-bottom prices hit.  Also be ready to buy as much as possible at that super low price.  If your store sets limits on the number you can purchase of an item, have another family member check-out, with both of you at the item’s limit, or stop by the store another day you are in the area.  Shopping this way doesn’t fit the budget?  Consider having a “sale” category in your budget, reserved just for times like this.

3.  Shop beyond the grocery store.

Local orchards or farms may sell foods in bulk at a discount- it never hurts to inquire.  Pick-your-own farms can be fun family time, and the end result is a bulk supply of the very freshest fruits.  Or block off time on your calendar, pick up produce “seconds”, and take them straight home to make jam or otherwise prepare and freeze or can.   If you notice friends and family that do not pick everything from their garden or fruit trees, ask if you can help and take some home!  For meat, store-bought beef is out of our budget, so, with my parents, we bought an organic, grass-fed cow that was vacuum-sealed at $2.75 a pound- steaks and all- and it lasted two years in a deep freezer.

4.  Prepare your home.

Clean out the cabinets and freezer to make way for plenty of food.  You may also need to clean out an additional closet or portion of one.  Additionally, seek out cooler storage areas for items such as potatoes, onions, pumpkins, and such.  It may be necessary to free up part of the freezer to freeze rice and flour for 24 hours to prevent bugs.

5.  Cook it up.

Sometimes the best method is to cook a large batch of the stockpile.  Throw as much chicken, beef, or beans as you can fit in the slow cooker:  home-cooked meals are so much easier when you have these simple, cooked ingredients at the ready in your freezer.  Once the food is done and removed (and if you can stand the smell overnight), keep the juices going by adding water and seasoning to make broth- to also freeze, of course!  Consider doubling recipes to have extra meals, frozen for another day.  I find that cooking this way makes the stockpile a little less overwhelming.

How do you stockpile foods?  Please do share your tips in the comments!

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8 Replies to “How to Stockpile Food: 5 Easy Steps”

  1. thank you trying to do the freezer method to help out with my budget thanks for sharing visiting from thrifty thursday

  2. Great advice! I’ve never really tried stockpiling food – I just buy nonperishable items like toilet paper, etc. in bulk whenever they’re on sale.

    1. Sam’s Club POM toilet paper is $19.62 for 450 sheets x 40 rolls = 18,000 total sheets- although it is thin!

  3. Stockpiling food is a great idea. I have recently been trying to put together tips on stockpiling to save us more money in the winter due to the high gas and electric bills.

    1. If you can, may I suggest putting the savings from stockpiling into insulation if you own your home. We added insulation to our attic in November. That night we noticed an eery quiet as the heat stayed off- and our gas usage has dropped dramatically.

  4. Thank you for these useful tips! We can all use these ideas as the cost of living sky-rockets. I preserve extra fruit and vegetables by making jams, pickles, etc and they are available throughout the winter months. Have also taken to buying meat in bulk and freezing it.

  5. […] Kitchen on a Low-end Budget} 7. Retired by 40 {Find Money in a Too Tight Budget} 8. My Mothermode {How to Stockpile Food: 5 Easy Steps} 9. Meemaw’s Cottage {My 4 Favorite Shopping Tips to Get Organized & Cut Costs} 10. […]

  6. I’ve been looking to stockpile in preparation for the arrival of my first child, and these are great ideas! Thank you!

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