Build a Pantry for Pennies: 5 Frugal Shopping Strategies

by Daisy Luther, The Organic Prepper One of the most common reasons that people give for not prepping is the cost involved. People seem to have this mental image of a bedroom or basement dedicated to being filled to the rafters with cans of Chef-Boy-Ardee. They imagine someone going out and spending $5000 at a time for a year’s worth of food, or perhaps an 18-wheeler backing up into their driveway and unloading the contents with a forklift. It’s time to learn a whole new way to shop. Thrift is of the utmost importance if you want to be able to afford to build your pantry quickly. The fact is, a pantry is a work in progress, and a whole new type of personal economy. You can save a fortune on your food budget by shopping carefully and in quantity. A well-stocked food pantry is an investment: purchasing food at today’s prices is a great hedge against tomorrow’s increases. The cost of food will only be going up. Consider the drought that has ravaged California, the number one producer of fresh fruits and vegetables in the entire country. Farmers there have been forced to cut back on the amount they produce, due to water shortages. Livestock herds have been culled because they can’t grow enough to feed them. Winters are longer and more severe in other parts of the country, leading to shortened growing seasons and freak storms that destroy newly planted crops. Your pantry is your insurance against drought, pestilence, bad weather, and rising prices. Take peanut butter, as an example: A few years ago, I purchased a store-brand peanut butter for $1.88 per jar when it was on sale. The following year, that very same brand in the very same sized jar was $5.99 on sale because of a poor peanut harvest. Each jar of peanut butter on the shelves represented a savings of $4.11 – there is no other investment that gives you over a 200% return. Here’s why I keep a well-stocked pantry Before I even knew what prepping was, I had a well-stocked pantry because I learned the hard way how quickly things can change. When I was first married and had a newborn baby, I was struggling to put food on the table with our tiny grocery budget. Then, as life often has it, things got even worse when my husband got laid off. We had a few dozen bags of sale-purchased bagels in our freezer, a few jars of peanut butter in the pantry, and high hopes for the garden we had just planted. Our situation was desperate, and the new little addition to our family added to our panic. As we rationed out our bagels with peanut butter over the next few weeks, waiting for unemployment insurance to finally kick in, my husband frantically searched for a job and I became determined to never be in such a position again. (Think Scarlett O’Hara waving her dirty fist around.) “Here’s why I keep a well-stocked pantry Before I even knew what prepping was, I had a well-stocked pantry because I learned the hard way how quickly things can change. When I was first married and had a newborn baby, I was struggling to put food on the table with our tiny grocery budget. Then, as life often has it, things got even worse when my husband got laid off. We had a few dozen bags of sale-purchased bagels in our freezer, a few jars of peanut butter in the pantry, and high hopes for the garden we had just planted. Our situation was desperate, and the new little addition to our family added to our panic. As we rationed out our bagels with peanut butter over the next few weeks, waiting for unemployment insurance to finally kick in, my husband frantically searched for a job and I became determined to never be in such a position again. (Think Scarlett O’Hara waving her dirty fist around.)”> Continue Reading>>>

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