5 Ways to Prepare for Food Shortages on a Budget
If I had a million dollars sitting in my checking account, I know I could store enough food for my family to last decades. I don't, which is why we work through our budget. Here are some tips we use.
When even the Biden regime and leaders of financial institutions across the globe are telling us there will be massive food shortages, believe them. It's not common for me to give that advice since politicians and banking leaders are in the business of lying, but this particular narrative seems to be as real as it gets. We're already seeing food shortages hitting here in the United States, and inflation is making it harder and harder to stock up.
Generally, I despise "fearmongers" because there is always an ulterior motive to their doomsday predictions, but I'm finding I've been forced to earnestly deliver truths lately that do not bode well for any of us. Food is becoming more scarce and prices are going up, which is why I am ringing the alarm bells and telling people to get prepared immediately.
Many of us are struggling just to keep food on the table today, so getting prepared for the future can be very challenging. Here are five ways we prepare our own family that can be cost-effective, helping us stay within budget. We use a dehydrator to store food we accumulate, but you can also use freeze-driers, canning, or other preservation methods. I'm not going to go into detail about any of those today. This article and podcast are all about ways to save money procuring food in this rapidly devolving economy.
Let's get the caveat on this one out of the way up front. Gardening can be very expensive in the beginning. It all depends on your living situation. Some people have the space already available on their land or in their backyards. Perhaps they have the necessary soil and weather conditions to get a garden going easily. All they need are seeds, and those can be very inexpensive even if you go with my recommended organic-heirloom seeds.
For some of us, we have to get growbags, special soil, fertilizer, or even grow lights, all of which can be expensive. But if you have the space, time, and enough money to invest in ongoing food security, nothing beats gardening. Homesteading is so appealing because of the prospects of not being beholden to the system and gardening is an extremely important part of that lifestyle. To anyone who has the means of starting or expanding your garden, now would be a good time.
Supporting your local community is always a good thing. I'm not a fan of having to use mega-corporations for supplies. Don't get me wrong. I'm not inherently opposed to big corporate giants; I'm a capitalist, after all. But many if not most corporations have gone "woke" in recent years and I don't like supporting those who directly oppose my worldview.
But buying food from farmers' markets is about more than just supporting local businesses. It can be far less expensive than grocery stores, especially if you're buying in bulk. The quality is hit-or-miss sometimes, depending on the farmers at the market. It takes a good eye for food to help you pick out the best produce and avoid getting anything you can't really use.
No, I'm not suggesting having your food delivered as a way to save money. It's not cheap and unless you have physical or transportation challenges, services like Instacart are luxuries. With that said, price-shopping on Instacart or other services can be very rewarding because you can compare prices between different stores very easily.
You can also find sales that you can take advantage of, sales that are often not advertised in the junk mail ads they send out. We look for items we need on the homepage of Instacart, then we open up each individual store to see who has the best deals. This can be a time-consuming process if you need to buy a lot of food at once, but it can save you money and alert you to the big price breaks that may come in handy if you're stocking up.
Amazon - Walmart - Costco - Plus Don't Forget to Check the Sources
As dismayed as I get anytime I buy from the big corporate suppliers, I get more dismayed when I overpay for items I need. The big online stores often sell products for cheaper than at local stores, but here's an important note. Do NOT assume that is always the case. There are so many items that are cheaper at your local stores. Amazon, Walmart, Target, Costco, and others rely on the belief that they sell everything at lower prices. This is true sometimes, but they also overprice many items.
Another quick tip is to check sources. For example, I used to buy Bob's Red Mill (which I no longer buy because of changes at the company recently) from Amazon. Before making a larger purchase of flour, I checked their website. The bulk bag was priced much cheaper than at Amazon, but the shipping made it more expensive overall. Then, I discovered that if I bought 5-pound bags, I would get free shipping. Buying ten 5-pound bags tallied higher than buying a 50-pound bag, but the free shipping for buying the smaller bags at higher quantities actually made it cheaper than the bulk bag AND cheaper than Amazon.
Freeze Dried Food Shopping
Freeze-dried food is not cheap. For those who still need to secure two-years' worth of food, I don't recommend going to freeze dried because it's cheaper to get regular food for short- and mid-term storage than the freeze-dried long-term storage food.
Those who are ready for long-term storage should look into freeze-dried because it can last 25 years or more. Getting it all in bulk buys of buckets is the most cost-effective way, but be warned. The problem with buying big packages is that you may not like everything that's included. It's important to know exactly what's in each package. They may promise 300 breakfast meals, but if you don't like or cannot eat some of the products included then do you really get 300? No.
I have tested literally dozens (could be hundreds for all I know) of products from long-term storage food companies. I've selected a few that I like based on multiple criteria, the two most important of which are price and quality. Nobody wants to be stuck in the apocalypse with food they dread.
We have selected three companies as sponsors based solely on what I would buy for my family. It's funny because the company that pays by far the highest commissions had what I believe to be the worst overall food. That's probably why they pay so much, but I had to pass. I won't take on a sponsor that I don't use myself, which is why we only selected these three so far. I've turned down at least eight other sponsorship offers because I would never buy their foods for my family.
There are three reasons we picked multiple companies instead of just sticking with one. First and foremost, I wanted a range of prices available. Nutrient Survival might be the best quality, but they're also by far the most expensive. A 90-day kit sells regularly for $1890. Meanwhile, My Patriot Supply is above-average quality but is far less expensive. Their three-month kit is under $900.
The second reason I picked three is because the food shortages are already affecting availability. One of the long-term storage suppliers that I actually like is not shipping anything else until 2023!
The third reason is because we need variety of flavors and dishes. As I often say, it's not good to go into a societal collapse situation with nothing but rice, beans, and a couple of other flavors to rotate. I'm a big fan of not only surviving, but thriving. It's good to have variety for the emotional wellbeing of you and your family, not to mention the diversity of nutrients this brings.
With all that said, here are the three long-term food storage sponsors we recommend:
My Patriot Supply: Above-average quality at below-average prices
Valley Food Storage: Higher quality, higher prices
Nutrient Survival: Premium long-term food
Like I said in the beginning, I loathe fearmongering. I hate being doom and gloom in my warnings, but I believe they are valid. With that said, I am also always hopeful. God's plan is all that matters, and we cannot know if he plans to pull this nation back from the brink of collapse or not. I hope He does, but I'm preparing for if He doesn't.
No matter what, Bible-believing Christians know how the story ends. There will be hard times, but the faithful have eternity before us. Whatever hardships we have in this life will be wiped away in the next.