We hear all the time of how you should have an emergency kit in case of a natural disaster. You should have a weeks worth of non-perishable foods that you don’t have to cook, in case you don’t have power. You should have X gallons of water per person. This is GREAT information.
However, how many of us think about having an emergency food pantry in the event that you lose your job? Or, you take a decrease in pay such as going from a two income household to a one income household. Whichever reason that happens to occur in your life. A friend of mine suggested to me that I should consider this, as I was in the student loan industry, and my job definitely was not stable. Seeing as the government brought the Federal Student Loans back in house. So, I figured that she had a point. I really should consider this. You should have at the very least, six months of food on hand, but, you should aim for one years worth.
Whenever your local grocery store has a great sale, stock up. Buy for now, and later.
Canned Goods – I was buying canned goods, (vegetables, soup, Chef Boyardee) as low as $.25 a can. My daughter and I love to have Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup. But, neither of us finish a full can of soup. That would total less than $1.00 per person for that meal. Even if you threw in veggies. If you have coupons? Your savings are even greater.
Pasta – Every week, there is ALWAYS a great deal on pasta. Just two weeks ago I grabbed 10 boxes of pasta for $0.39 each. One of my stores has a 3 day sale that you can get extra savings and that’s when I got this deal. However, they usually run $.89 – $.99 each. These are not store brand pastas. I’ve found the brand name ones are sometimes cheaper if you get it at the right time.
Condiments and Treats - Ketchup, Mustard, Salad Dressings and Cupcakes? Yes please! You can get great deals on these as well! I stocked up on BBQ sauce this past week at .88 each. We all know from Extreme Couponing, you can get Mustard free with the right sale and coupons. Cake mix you can get very close to free as well. Why shouldn’t we treat ourselves?
All of these listed above, you can get and keep in your pantry for a year or more. As the expiration dates get closer? Start rotating them out. Use the closer dates now and put the later dates in the back of your pantry. My concern, when the friend and I were talking was, how can I afford to buy for now AND later? As shown above, you definitely can. I probably have a food pantry right now worth $1,000, and I paid less than $300.