If you had to go to the grocery store right now and buy all the food you need to keep you alive for one year, do you have any idea how much that would be?
I would guess that most of my readers do not know, because I didn’t for a long time. I felt like it must cost a huge, unattainable amount. It isn’t!
The key part of this question is the word SURVIVE. This is not the amount of food one needs to be happy or thrive. Here is a breakdown of the amounts needed for one person:
Grains (wheat, rice, etc.) – 400 pounds
Beans (any kind) – 60 pounds
Fats (cooking oil, butter, etc.) – 10 quarts (2 1/2 gallons)
Salt – 8 pounds
Powdered Milk – 16 pounds
How much does this cost? Not as much as you’d think. I buy these staples through Walton Feed, Costco, my grocery store, and a few other places. Here’s a breakdown of my costs (based on my last purchases).
Grains (wheat, rice, etc.) – 400 pounds. 8 bags of Winter White Wheat, $26.50/50-lbs. = $212
OR 8 bags of White Flour, $15/50-lbs. = $120
OR 8 bags of Rice, $20/50-lbs. = $160
Beans (any kind) – 60 pounds. 4 bags of Black Beans, $15/25-lbs. = $60
Fats (cooking oil, butter, etc.) – 10 quarts (2 1/2 gallons). 2 containers of Canola Oil, $9/5 quarts = $18
Salt – 8 pounds. 2 large boxes of Iodized Salt, $1/4-lb. box = $2
Powdered Milk – 16 pounds. 9 – #10 cans of dry milk, $5.40/#10 can = $49
Total Cost for a One Year BASIC Food Supply = $250 – $341 (plus tax, if applicable)
That’s doable, isn’t it? Especially if you break it up and buy these items slowly over time. So the question becomes, not how much do I buy, but where can I buy all this stuff? That depends on the types of food you want to store. Do you want to buy food and stick it away and forget about it? Or do you want to buy stuff you use every day and use?
If you want to buy every day stuff, go to the grocery store, a warehouse club, or a discount store and stock up on what you normally eat. Buy one or two extra items each time you shop. If something’s on sale, buy as many as you can afford. Then, stock up on a different item the next time you shop.
If you want to buy your food and put it away for a “rainy day,” I have a few recommendations for you: an LDS Storehouse, Walton Feed, and Emergency Essentials. I have bought food from all three and have been very pleased with the quality and the prices.
First, the LDS church has “Home Storage Centers.” These are part of the “Bishop’s Storehouse” which is a store-like location where those in need can get food to feed their families (free of charge) when authorized by an LDS Bishop (leader of a congregation). The “Storehouse” also has a separate section where interested individuals can buy food which has been packaged for long term storage. It is very reasonably priced, because the LDS church is not trying to make a profit. They simply want to help people prepare for the unexpected.
A one-month basic supply of food is $22.10 (as of today), plus tax, if applicable. The basic supply includes the following: red winter wheat, white winter wheat, rice, oats, flour, and beans. It does not include milk, salt, or oil, but milk is available for purchase for $5.40/#10 can. Click here for a current price list. If you have a Home Storage Center near you (click here for a list of locations), I highly recommend that you give them a call and ask how you can purchase these items. They are some of the best prices I’ve found, and you do not need to be a member of the LDS church to purchase the items.
If you don’t live near a storehouse, or you prefer the convenience of having the items delivered to your home, you can purchase them online. The prices are a little bit more, because shipping is included (USA only, sorry!), but the prices are still very good.
Walton Feed, also known as Rainy Day foods, is a reputable merchant specializing in basics like wheat, beans, flour, etc., but they carry other foods packaged for long term storage. There’s a woman in my area who arranges a Walton Feed order twice a year. Since the order is so large, we get a break on the shipping. That’s where I’ve bought most of my wheat and beans.
Emergency Essentials sells a wide variety of items, and they offer “group specials” monthly. If you purchase the minimum number of the group special, your order ships for free, even if you order items which are not part of the group special. I organize group purchases for my friends and myself, because I want to take advantage of the sale, but don’t always want 6 or 12 of something.
What do you think about that?
Do you think that obtaining a year supply of basics is doable?
Where will YOU start?