February 5, 2011

Rising Food Prices revisited

There is a lot of talk about rising food prices, both in the news, and in blogs.  This is one of the many reasons that I believe in food storage.
I have noticed that prices fluctuate up and down, with a gradual rise.  So, stock up when the price is low.  For example, when I find refried beans for $.59 per can, I buy 12 or more.  That way I never have to buy refried beans when they're $1 per can!  (I used to always wait for them to be $.50 per can, but I haven't seen that price for at least 2 years.  And, yes, I should probably learn to make refried beans so that I can avoid this purchase all together.)
Want more?  Check out this 2008 Wall Street Journal article.
Now, how do I afford this?  I budget $50 per month as my "emergency preparedness fund."  This money goes toward my bulk food purchases (i.e. 25 pound bags of wheat, oats, etc.), items on sale (chicken, refried beans, toilet paper, etc.) that I can't afford in my regular food budget, and emergency preparedness items (wind-up flashlights, items for 120 hour kit, etc.).  If I don't spend any of it one month, then I'll have $100 the next month.  When I first started using this category in my budget, I found that I spent significantly less in the regular shopping category of my budget.  It really all just evened out.
I mentioned the sale at Maceys last week.  You may be interested to know what someone crazy like me ended up purchasing.  I bought:
50 lb bag Morning Moos' milk alternative
2 cans powdered eggs
45 lb. bucket white wheat
50 lb. bag all-purpose flour
7 3 lb bags pasta

The milk was $60, so yes I went over budget.  But I had money left over from December, and I'll have less to use in February (bad idea to use next month's money).  But I have the peace of knowing that my family has plenty of milk to drink (although it's not real milk).
By the way, all of the bulk food items are going in buckets with gamma seal lids.  These are air tight.  The flour will last a long, long time, and the milk should last at least a year or two.

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