Food Hoarding for Amateurs
Food hoarding isn't just for survivalists. That involves expensive dehydrated survival foods and storage, and is beyond the scope of this article. I'm talking about building up a supply of regular foods you can buy at the grocery store, as a means to save a ton of cash on groceries, and to be prepared in […]
Food hoarding isn't just for survivalists. That involves expensive dehydrated survival foods and storage, and is beyond the scope of this article. I'm talking about building up a supply of regular foods you can buy at the grocery store, as a means to save a ton of cash on groceries, and to be prepared in case of an emergency such as a winter storm or prolonged unemployment. There is also the benefit that you will be able to help your friends and neighbors who didn't stock up if there really is ever an emergency, like an earthquake or prolonged power outage. How much food should I store? It's best to aim for three to six months' worth of food for your hoard. This way, you will have a decent supply of food in case of emergency, plus you won't have to worry about long-term storage concerns. Beyond that, it's mostly a matter of how many people are in your family that you need to take into account, and how much room you have for storage. A single person living in a studio apartment is going to have different concerns and options than a family of eight living in huge six bedroom farmhouse. Where do I stash my hoard? First, decide how much room you have to spare for food storage. If you're lucky, you have a large pantry with plenty of shelving and a large freezer. But many of us don't and have to be a bit more creative. Maybe you'll have to convert a hall closet, plus a space in your garage. Maybe you have a spare bedroom you can use for this purpose. Whatever you decide to do, you will have to plan out your storage space before you can figure out how much of a food supply you will be able to manage. Getting started with food hoarding. I'm going to assume you buy groceries on a weekly or bi-weekly basis like most Americans. This is fine. Keep doing this. Buy your regular groceries. You can start adding food to your hoard bit by bit. Every week when you go shopping, see what kind of super-spectacular deals you can find. Look through Costco for 25 pound bags of rice for 8 bucks. Look for deeply discounted canned goods, and buy as much as your weekly grocery budget will allow. Take advantage a super sale on whole chickens at 39 cents a pound. Every week, or when you shop, look for the best savings on foods you can find, and buy in bulk. Use coupons when it's worthwhile. This way, you will slowly build up your hoard at the lowest possible prices. Managing inventory. Start keeping an inventory as soon as you begin stocking up. You can keep a clipboard with inventory sheets somewhere in your storage space. Categorize your foods. Mark down food types, dates, and package sizes on your inventory sheets AS YOU ADD THEM to your storage. Make it a habit to do this as you put your groceries away. As your supply grow, it will be impossible to remember what you have, and what is where. Cross off items on your list as they are used. The date should be written on everything. Individual cans, boxes, packages in your freezer. Anything that doesn't have a label of it's own (packages of meat in your freezer for example) needs to be clearly labeled. Even with everything dated, you should still use rotation. New stuff goes in the back, older stuff is pulled to the front. Your thirteen year old isn't going to check dates when you ask her to get a can of corn from the pantry; she's going to grab the first one she sees. Once your hoard is complete, you can take it easy on shopping. You can save a ton of money now that you have the leeway to purchase only when there's a real bargain. Your weekly shopping trips can consist of the best produce bargains (you can buy in bulk and freeze the surplus), necessities like milk, and one or two bulk purchases to keep your inventory full.  

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