by Daisy Luther: The
Psy-Ops War on Preppers
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.
The fact is,
a pantry is a work in progress. You can save a fortune on your food
budget by shopping carefully and in quantity.
food pantry is not just there in case of an epic disaster or TEOTWAWKI.
It can provide a cushion in the event of a job loss or personal
economic downturn. Not only that, but as 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 as we face global
butter, as an example: Last year I purchased a store-brand peanut
butter for $1.88 per jar when it was on sale. This year, that very
same brand in the very same sized jar is $5.99 on sale because of
a poor peanut harvest last year. Each jar of peanut butter on the
shelves is a savings of $4.11 there is no other investment
that gives you that kind of return!
I even knew what prepping was, I had a well-stocked pantry. When
I was first married and had a newborn baby, I was struggling to
put food on the table with our tiny grocery budget. At the library,
I stumbled upon a series of books by Amy Dacyczyn called “The
Tightwad Gazette“. This fantastic series gave me a
whole new perspective on grocery shopping, and is the shopping basic
philosophy I adhere to still. (And I highly recommend the books
– there are 3 or you can get one big compendium containing
all 3 titles!)
building your pantry, remember that Rome wasn’t built in a
day – and neither is your food storage!
Focus on building
your pantry strategically. What are your priorities? How many people
are in your family? What are the likely scenarios you may face in
your current location?
- The first
priority is clean, healthy organic food.
- I am prepping
for 3 people and 3 pets.
- We face
frequent power outages because of the extreme weather and a local
grid that is old – so frozen food and long cooking times
are not practical.
- I have a
fairly small income and want to have plenty of food to see me
through the coming inflation of food prices.
thoughts in mind, I select food for our household based on local
sales, the clearance rack, my garden and my access to local farms.
I also purchase organic grains in bulk quantities from some online
To get started,
write down your menus for a couple of weeks – this will help
you to establish the pantry basics that you need.
book” – this is a vital tool. Without it, you can’t
really be sure if that sale is really a sale at all. A price book
is simply a notebook that you keep with you when shopping where
you write down the price that you pay for certain items. You should
always update your price book with the lowest price for these items.
This is what allows me to see that one year ago I paid $1.88 for
peanut butter and now the lowest price I can find is $5.99, like
I mentioned above.
When you find
a staple at a good price, purchase in as much quantity as you can
afford and reasonably use before it expires. This will allow you
to begin building your stockpile. After a couple of months of shopping
in this manner, you’ll discover that you don’t actually
“grocery shop” any more – you shop to replenish
you stockpile should be foods that you regularly consume. If you
normally eat steak and potatoes, for example, but you fill your
pantry with beans and rice, when the day comes that you are relying
on that pantry you will suffer from “food fatigue” and
you will also feel deprived. Start now by adjusting the food that
you consume on a regular basis to foods that will be sustainable
in a food storage pantry.
have to mean dull, bland canned food, by the way – check out
the new book by Tess
Pennington of Ready Nutrition for some great ideas for serving
delicious meals from the pantry: The
Prepper’s Cookbook: 365 Recipes to Turn Your Emergency Food
into Nutritious, Delicious, Life-Saving Meals.
If you don’t
already know how to cook from scratch, it’s better to learn
now, before it’s a necessity. You need to learn to cook with
your standard supplies – for example, if you’ve never
cooked beans from scratch before, it is not ideal to start out by
trying to cook them over an open fire. Cooking with whole grains
is quite a bit different than cooking food that comes from a box
on the grocery store shelf.
take a moment to look at the math – and you’ll see why
shopping for a pantry beats out weekly grocery shopping every time!
my beef in bulk from a local butcher shop. They raise hormone free
meat, the cattle are grass fed and the quality is superior. Because
I purchase 1/4 of a cow each year, I’m able to get all of
my beef at $3.99 per pound.
to the grocery stores: the best price this week for stewing beef
was $4.99 per pound. The best price for ground beef was $2.99 per
pound. The best price for roast was $9.99 per pound. When you average
all of these together, I pay slightly more for ground beef and far
less for everything else – as well – the quality is
excellent and I’m avoiding the nasty chemicals and factory
farming practices that taint the grocery store meat. The average
grocery store price per pound, on sale, is $5.99
method: $3.99 per pound
shopping method: $5.99 per pound
look at grains. I just bought organic wheatberries. I paid $17.04
for 10 kg (about 22 pounds). The shipping was $21.78, bringing my
total to $38.82, delivered to my door – or $1.76 per pound.
I can’t get wheatberries at the local store. I have to drive
an hour and 15 minutes to get them, resulting in a tank of gas.
At the closest place I can find wheat berries, the cost in bulk
is $2.60 per pound. Yes, I can buy a smaller amount, but purchasing
that larger amount results in savings because of fewer trips to
the store. The LDS Church website has a calculator that recommends
300 pounds of wheat per person per year. This would be wheat for
making bread, pasta, cookies and other baked goods – all of
your wheat items. At $1.76 per pound, that is $529 per year. At
$2.60 per pound, that is $780 per year. If you are buying your wheat
already processed into bread, pasta and cereal, the price continues
method: $1.76 per pound
shopping method: $2.60 per pound
If you can
do this with all of your staples, you can see the savings that can
Some of the
things I buy in extremely large quantities are:
(although this year I have the room to grow the 3 bushels per
year I’ve been purchasing)
- Dry milk
these items with sale-purchased
veggies and fruit
market veggies and fruit
- Baking essentials
like soda, powder, etc
I also garden,
pick wild berries and crabapples from the woods and acquire some
game from local hunters.
I rely highly
on canning to preserve meat and vegetables.
organic milk and cheese fresh, although I do have a store of powdered
milk. I also get eggs and chicken from a local farmer on an as-needed
basis, since there is no real discount available on the free-range,
non-drugged chicken that we prefer.
I spend around
$20-30 per week on regular groceries and rely on my pantry for the
rest. I spend about $200 per month making large purchases for the
pantry. This averages out, on an annual basis, to a monthly grocery
bill of approximately $330 for 3 people and 3 pets.
right! $330 per month to serve a menu that is largely organic!
you have the hang of it, you can apply this same pantry principle
to nearly everything that you purchase: soap, shampoo, toilet paper,
over the counter medications – anything that you can get in
big quantities! Your pantry doesn’t stop at the kitchen. Use
your theory of preppernomics to keep your household running smoothly
on far less money!
Stock up and
prepare for that rainy day that could be just around the corner.
And if the rainy day never comes, you’ve saved time and money
while providing healthy food for your family.
from The Organic
Daisy Luther writes daily tips, strategies and prepping ideas
Organic Prepper and Girls
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