Doesn’t everyone have a stash of food in their basement?
I talk about having food storage all the time like it’s something that all normal people do. I have to remind myself that the idea of having a food supply is alien to many and sounds very doomsday-zombie-apocalypse-ish. Why else would anyone have a bunch of food stored in their basement except to prepare for a Nuclear Winter? (Have you seen my favorite nuclear holocaust movie, A Blast From the Past? Now there’s a food storage!)
But there are lots of good reasons to have a food storage that have nothing to do with zombies or Mutually Assured Destruction. Let’s look at some of them:
Keep your food budget under control
This is the biggest reason I have food stored up. Food prices can be wildly unpredictable. But, if you have food storage, you can control (somewhat) how much you have to pay at the grocery store. You have probably noticed that foods routinely go on sale–either because of certain holidays or because the food is abundant (like in the late summer and fall when harvests bring prices down.) If you stock up when there’s a sale, you will never have to pay full price for the items you need the most.
Always have the food you need on hand
Have you ever had unexpected guests and had to make an emergency run to the store for food? Or have you ever had a midnight hankering for fudge brownies but all the stores are closed? If you have a full pantry you will always have the food you need for the unexpected.
Be ready for the next blizzard
What happens whenever there’s a winter storm predicted? Everyone races to the store to stock up on milk and bread. If you wait too long, you may find some bare shelves. But if you have a well-stocked pantry you won’t need to make that mad dash to the store and fight the crowds. Instead, you can get home all safe and sound before the really bad weather hits. And if the storm lasts a couple days or more? No worries. You have everything you need.
That unexpected home or auto repair
No matter how well you manage your budget, you may still be blindsided by an unexpected home or car repair. Imagine your peace of mind if you don’t have to worry about the grocery bill in order to a pay for that new roof or unplanned appliance purchase.
Loss of wages
We live in an uncertain economy. Almost any one of us could find ourselves suddenly out of a job or seeing our income drastically reduced. I have a good friend who was hit hard by the recession that began with the housing crash in 2007. Her husband was in real estate–the hardest hit segment of the economy. And they live in Nevada–the state hardest hit by the recession. They saw their income reduced by 70% for several years. But with frugal living and food storage she was able to feed her family and they weathered this storm just fine. You can read about her frugality at her website, The Prudent Homemaker.
Shortages and recalls
Every now and then there are shortages: An early freeze wipes out the orange crop in Florida or a shipping strike means food imported from South America doesn’t get delivered. You may find store shelves empty or store will limit how much of an item you can buy. Or there may be food safety recalls that leave some shelves bare. But if you always have extra in your pantry, these shortages will have no impact on your family’s diet.
The one thing you can always be certain of is that life is uncertain. It is always throwing us unexpected twists and turns. This is just a partial list of some of the things that might be a challenge. Having a pantry stocked with a three month supply of food will help cushion you from some of the mishaps of life.