Some of you are asking how to organize yourselves to shop for food storage items. These are a few tips that have helped me and will be in my Food Storage Shopper planner, coming soon!!!
- Decide on your storage goal time frame. I recommend focusing on a 3 month supply first, even if you already have other long-term items like wheat and rice in your food storage. This is recommended by the LDS church. Stock up on non-perishable items such as canned and packaged foods your family already eats. I don't focus on freezer foods, though I still buy them with my regular perishable grocery shopping. In a long-term emergency, those items would be quickly gone. I also gather some household and toiletry items, and emergency supplies. See my Suggested Food & Home Storage Supply list for ideas.
- Next decide on a food storage budget. I have a separate one for groceries and food storage. Learning to live within a budget will prevent you from panic buying. None of us needs to do that. Shopping weekly for food storage will build up your stock nicely. My budget for the 6 of us at home is $800 with $400 for food storage/emergency supplies and $400 for other groceries/household/eating out/school & work lunches or $300 groceries/household only. That's $133.00 per month per person. Yours could be totally different, but sometimes it helps to see some numbers. Just so you know, I use to spend more just on groceries! Learned my lesson. I don't put money into a savings account for food storage. I just shop smarter, use some coupons, and plan better.
- Fill out a Monthly Food Storage Shopping Plan. This is where I write the items of food storage I want to purchase each month. I also list an estimate of how much they will cost. Of course this is just a guide because sometimes I find a great deal at a store that is not on this list. But my Monthly Food Storage Shopping Plan helps me stay within my budget.
- I find ideas of what to purchase from Inventory sheets of items already at home. I use to use a computer spreadsheet, but my hand written inventory is so much easier and convenient to take with me to the store. I see I'm low on. My Inventory sheets have my 3 month goals for each item. If I have more than I need in stock of a particular item, I don't need to purchase any more until all the other items are purchased. This prevents over-buying one item and helps me pace my purchases until I reach my goal. So, with these Case Lot Sales, I won't purchase a year supply. I will purchase what I need to reach my 3 month goals if I have the budget to do so. There is no rush. Once I reach my 3 month goals, I will focus on my 6 month goals.
- I only put 1/4th of my food storage budget onto my Grocery List by Aisles. In my case, that is $100 I can spend a week on food storage, and $75 on groceries. Remember that is for 6 and you could probably do much better. So with the Case Lot sales coming up, I do not go into debt. There will be another one in the fall. And for those of you who live out of Utah, weekly food storage purchasing really makes sense. However, if you live far from the stores, you may want to shop once. Definitely not your grandmother's way of doing food storage.
- Next I plan weekly menu's using the grocery store ads and add what I need to buy onto my Grocery List by Aisles
- Then I go shopping.
Monthly Food Storage Shopping Plan worksheet
That's my basics. Hope that helps. More of these ideas will be in my Food Storage Shopper planner coming soon.