Sunday, September 13, 2009

My Two Cents: Food Insurance

My Two Cents:  
Food Storage, an investment for the future!

I've always thought of my food storage as insurance. We all pay for car insurance, home insurance, health insurance, etc. So why not starvation insurance?

OK, sounds a little drastic I know, but investing in the physical well being of our families is just as important, yes, even more important than protecting any other belonging! In Jean De La Fontaine's 17th century version of the fabled grasshopper and the ant, an idle grasshopper squanders valuable time instead of preparing for the winter and undoubted storms of life. The provident ant, however, foresees the need to prepare and stores away a little food here and there as protection for harsher times. Of course, when winter is finally upon them, the grasshopper is woefully unprepared and left begging for sustenance from the ant's abundant storage of food. So, the ant pulls a few No. 10 cans of dehydrated corn off her self-rotating shelving system and cheerfully shares with her vulnerable insect friend. Oh wait, maybe that last bit wasn't quite part of the story. The grasshopper might have had to sing for her supper, but what if the ant hadn't stored any food either? Malnourished and faint they're both tongue-slapped by a fortuitous amphibian?

Food storage is an important part of investing in your future, not just physically, but also monetarily. Eating food today at last year's prices can often provide a significantly larger return on the money you invested to buy it than even IRAs, 401ks and money market accounts. With the cost of food increasing daily, shoppers must think today about what to buy for tomorrow. But, before you run to the store and clear the shelves, first you must assess your family's needs, determine storage options and create a spending plan.

What to buy, what to buy? There's obviously the basics like sugar, flour, salt, rice and wheat, to name a few. But how would your family do if they had to do without the meals they currently enjoy? In addition to storing the basics of sustainable life you should also purchase and store what you already eat. Make a list of family-favorite meals or snacks and separate them into ingredient and quantity lists. If you eat each meal once a week for example, simply add the quantities required to prepare each meal and multiply by 13, 26 or 52 and you'll know how much you'd need to store to eat it once a week for 3 months to a year!

But, before you buy 52 cans of family-sized soup, you should ask yourself, “Where do I store all this stuff, and once I buy it how do I rotate it?” It's great that you're thinking ahead and filling your pantry, but buying more than you need or have room to store doesn't work. If you're home or apartment doesn't give way to larger storage areas, make good use of closets, cupboards and even under the bed.

Get creative! Re-purpose household objects, like using a hanging cloth shoe organizer for spice storage and hang it on your pantry door. But don't buy more than your family can use before a product expires. Everything goes bad at some point. Letting food expire in the pantry is not only wasteful it's also very costly! Finally, develop a system for rotation, (I use the “stock new on the left, pull to use from the right” method), to keep old food from hiding on the back of your shelves waiting for the right time to bulge and explode.

So, now you need to allocate the funds to start building up your supplies. Don't think you can afford to start? How can you not! The good news is it has never cost so little to buy so much! You can easily cut your grocery bills in half or more by simply watching sales and matching coupons to those sales when possible.

Stocking up when prices are low saves you money when prices rise. But what if you don't know what a good deal is when you see it? I'll tell you in a weekly newsletter where you can find the BEST GROCERY DEALS in Utah County! The cost? Zilch, Nada, Zero ? It's FREE! To sign up for these free emails and for more ideas on how to make saving money easy, visit, Utah's BEST source for savings!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Leelou Blogs, 2011. All Rights Reserved. Blog Design by Leelou Blogs