Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Long-Term Food Storage: $5/Week Budget

How Do You Eat an Elephant?

You eat an elephant one bite at a time! lol

This is also how you obtain a year's supply of food and basic "bite," or one item at a time.

Photo courtesy of

If you're like me, then you probably have the urge to get your stockpile bought all at once.

Whatever your stockpiling preference, remember to do just a little at a time. There's no sense in going into debt or cleaning out your savings account in order to every single item on your list.

For me, I find it easiest to use a list to help me with my long-term food storage purchases. I work off that list, buying a little here, a little there.

For several years, I used a combined Food Storage and 72-Hour Kit weekly purchase list. This list is broken up into months. I would print the list, cut out each month's purchases, and tape them to my calendar. As I made my shopping lists during the month, I would check my list on the calendar, write down a few items, buy them, and cross them off the purchase list once they were bought.

There are lots of food storage and 72-hour kit lists out there. There isn't any one "right" list that's perfect for everyone. The list you will use will depend upon your own needs.

A good example is if you don't have a lot of cash, then you obviously would not be able to make a lot of high dollar purchases all at once. If that's the case for you, then you'll want to use a list that will help you build a kitty. In other words, you plan to spend the same amount each week. Some weeks you may spend a little less; some weeks maybe a little more. Any leftover change is kept in a kitty that will be used for the weeks that you spend more. In the end, it all averages out.

This list below is for basic ingredients that should be enough to sustain 2 people for 1 year and will cost you, on average, $5 per week. For every 2 people in your family, add $5 more and double or triple the amount of the item you are buying for that week.

  • Week 1: 6 lbs salt
  • Week 2: 5 cans cream of chicken soup
  • Week 3: 20 lbs of sugar
  • Week 4: 8 cans tomato soup
  • Week 5: 50 lbs wheat
  • Week 6: 6 lbs macaroni
  • Week 7: 20 lbs sugar
  • Week 8: 8 cans tuna
  • Week 9: 6 lbs yeast
  • Week 10: 50 lbs wheat
  • Week 11: 8 cans tomato soup
  • Week 12: 20 lbs sugar
  • Week 13: 10 lbs powdered milk
  • Week 14: 7 boxes macaroni and cheese
  • Week 15: 50 lbs wheat
  • Week 16: 5 cans cream of chicken soup
  • Week 17: 1 bottle 500 multi-vitamins
  • Week 18: 10 lbs powdered milk
  • Week 19: 5 cans cream of mushroom soup
  • Week 20: 50 lbs wheat
  • Week 21: 8 cans tomato soup
  • Week 22: 20 lbs sugar
  • Week 23: 8 cans tuna
  • Week 24: 6 lbs shortening
  • Week 25: 50 lbs wheat
  • Week 26: 5 lbs honey
  • Week 27: 10 lbs powdered milk
  • Week 28: 20 lbs sugar
  • Week 29: 5 lbs peanut butter
  • Week 30: 50 lbs wheat
  • Week 31: 7 boxes macaroni and cheese
  • Week 32: 10 lbs powdered milk
  • Week 33: 1 bottle 500 ct aspirin or acetaminophen
  • Week 34: 5 cans cream of chicken soup
  • Week 35: 50 lbs wheat
  • Week 36: 7 boxes macaroni and cheese
  • Week 37: 6 lbs salt
  • Week 38: 20 lbs sugar
  • Week 39: 8 cans tomato soup
  • Week 40: 50 lbs wheat
  • Week 41: 5 cans cream of chicken soup
  • Week 42: 20 lbs sugar
  • Week 43: 1 bottle 500 ct multi-vitamins
  • Week 44: 8 cans tuna
  • Week 45: 50 lbs wheat
  • Week 46: 6 lbs macaroni
  • Week 47: 20 lbs sugar
  • Week 48: 5 cans cream of mushroom soup
  • Week 49: 5 lbs honey
  • Week 50: 20 lbs sugar
  • Week 51: 8 cans tomato soup
  • Week 52: 50 lbs wheat

You will end up with:

  • 500 lbs of wheat
  • 180 lbs of sugar
  • 40 lbs of powdered milk
  • 12 lbs of salt
  • 10 lbs of honey
  • 5 lbs of peanut butter
  • 45 cans of tomato soup
  • 15 cans of cream of mushroom soup
  • 15 cans of cream of chicken soup
  • 24 cans of tuna
  • 21 boxes of macaroni and cheese
  • 500 ct aspiri or acetaminophen
  • 1000 multi-vitamins
  • 6 lbs of yeast
  • 6 lbs of shortening
  • 12 lbs of macaroni

Now obviously, 500lbs of wheat is a lot of wheat! Not to mention that you would need to have the means to grind the wheat, and know how to use it. Plus, if your body is not used to eating wheat, you'd need to start using it now to get used to it in the event that you had to use a year's supply of food and that's all you had.

The best option is to:

Store what you use and use what you store!

So if you don't like wheat, you're allergic to wheat, or whatever the reason, you'll need to find a good substitute, such as rice or oat flour. These flours may cost you more, but you can store less and stock up more on something else, like boxed macaroniand cheese (and who doesn't like that?).

Coming up next, Food Storage...Where Do I Put It?

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