Preparing for a crisis doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. There are lots of things that you can do which will save money and at the same time give you an excellent base that will make it easier to build up your food stock over time. Whether your primary concern is an emergency, natural disaster, pandemic, or any other kind of crisis – having a stockpile of food ready to eat is a good idea. There are many different ways you could go about this, but here we look at some simple tips for building up your own personal food stock as frugally as possible.
Be smart with your shopping
This may sound obvious, but it’s important to know exactly what you’re looking for when you go shopping. Prepare by building a list of foods that meet all the key criteria for your food supply. For example, those items that are nutritious, tasty, meet any specific health requirements for your family, are easy to store and last a long time. Ensure you make choices that minimise food waste, and for ambient (long shelf life) foods, is can be a good idea to buy in bulk when you spot a good deal or promotion.
Grow your own
As we’ve discussed, one of the best things you can do to build up your food stockpile as cheaply as possible is to grow your own food. You could choose to grow your favourite vegetables, or those that provide the most nutrition. Ideas for potential foods to grow yourself include courgettes, tomatoes, potatoes, carrots, rhubarb, apples, plums, broccoli, cabbage and sprouts. Herbs are also good for growing indoors, and are used in lots of different dishes. You could also go for mushrooms, which don’t take long to grow.
Store what’s in season
Make a note of when certain vegetables are in season – this is usually when they are at their cheapest, so take advantage and buy lots of them. Freeze them or preserve them by dehydrating them, or create jams, sauces or other preserves and add them to your stockpile. If you’re on a budget, then canned goods can be cheaper than fresh produce, however always check the shelf-life on the can, as more acidic foods don’t last as long as you’d think, even when canned.
Rotate your stock and use up what you have
It’s important to rotate your food stockpile to make sure that it lasts as long as possible and that you don’t experience food spoilage. It doesn’t do you any good to have a massive amount of food in your house if it’s gone bad and can’t be used when you really need it in an emergency. Make sure that you keep track of what you have, and eat or discard anything that is close to or has passed its use-by date. You can use a spreadsheet or a note-keeping app to keep track of what you have, and when you need to use it by. This is particularly important for things like canned goods, which you need to rotate, and for things like pasta and rice. Once you’ve cooked them, you can store them in jars or plastic containers and keep them for a long time.
Buy specialised foods that last longer
Pre-prepared freeze dried meals are ideal for forming the backbone of prepper food supplies. They have been specially developed to meet all of the key criteria:
- Lightweight and compact – making them easy to store and carry
- Packaging is robust and waterproof – perfect for an expedition
- Nutritious and tasty – all the nutrition and energy your body will need
- Easy to prepare – just add water and wait a few minutes and your meal is ready
- Extreme long life – freeze dried meals can last up to 30 years without any decline in the taste or nutritional value of the food.
Building your food stockpile doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Follow these simple tips and you’ll be well on your way to a stocked-up supply that’s full of nutritious food. Make sure you’re smart with your shopping, taking advantage of longer life food that’s on promotion. Grow your own food, and store what’s in season. Rotate your stock and use up what you have, and if possible buy specialised foods (from retailers like Food Bunker) that can last for many years.