So you have made up your mind to start food storage…. Start Emergency prep and now you realize just how much it will cost… Then you wonder, how on earth do you afford to even get started…. Living pay check to paycheck having to get a little less of the normal grocery list when you want to change something up… So what do you do?

First of all I challenge you to think about how  you spend your money. I live paycheck to paycheck and I know that most people do. But I have also managed in approximately 5 months to put aside about 3 thousand dollars on my food storage.

Write down for a solid week everything that you spend money on, every penny. What your bills are, if you spend a dollar on a vending machine. All of it.

You will be amazed at how much money you spend on things that aren’t really necessary.  For me its the vending machines at work. I have a huge weakness for diet soda. So once, sometimes twice a day I will spend $1.25 to get a soda. I could save a wicked amount of money just buying the soda in 36 can cases for like 10 bucks.

Try not to go to the drive thru when its been a long day, go home and make something easy. (Think about spending a few hours every Sunday and making a few extra meals, either casseroles or maybe make some tamale or  burrito filling or at least cook up some extra protein (chicken breast, roast beef, brown hamburger, precook dry beans) If you atleast cook the meat/beans in advance you will make it so much easier and faster to prepare dinner later in the week when you find that you might be tempted to stop and buy something simple.

Oh! and buy your kids water bottles. My kids preassure me to go to drive thrus MOSTLY because they are thirsty, so I bought them all water bottles, they carry them everywhere and I have snacks in the car that arent affected by heat for 6-8 weeks at a time.

Drive thru costs me somewhere between 30-50 dollars. We have 5 kids. It gets spendy.

I am by no means saying that you need to stop going out to eat. Just plan and budget for it.  D and I have started having dinner out after his radio shows on Thursdays and we go out about once a month to something else, may it be shooting or fun with friends. Going out isn’t a specific amount of money but it ranges in the budget, its planning for it that matters, especially when we spent about  $400 dollars a month.

Stop spending money for a week. I challenge you to think twice about what you are planning on spending. Pay your bills, buy your gas, go to the doctor or buy medicine if you need it, but don’t impulse buy, don’t run to the store for things that you don’t need. Think about your needs and plan them into it.

There are things aside from that that you can do to save money… and I am not talking about being frugal, just planning. (I’ll talk about being frugal some other time, right now its more about making plans)

So save your change, don’t spend it randomly, for the most part you wont notice that your missing it. Save it and spend that on your food storage. Buy appliances for food storage one at a time. Research and become comfortable with its applications before moving forward to the next one.

Another money saving idea is gifting. I give away jam. I think that is what I am going to do for Christmas, I want to start buying jars and gingham ribbon now and give all of my good friends jams and fruits for christmas (I know I am a jew and I don’t really care about Christmas, but I actually don’t have jewish friends  and I think its more about family and gifts rather than religion, I give my children gifts for christmas.  It’s fun. I like giving my friends gifts and you know, if you ask for the jars back,  you spend almost nothing on 8 oz jars.

I saw another website in my research who had the great idea of saving money by gifting emergency preparedness pamphlets that had been homemade, which MIGHT be a cool idea, IF your friend had shown interest, but for the most part my friends just think I am a little insane and kind of make fun of my for being kooky and a “hoarder” but since I am not easily offended I just think it is a little funny.

Giving someone instructions or a pamphlet on a plan would be the same as someone giving me a business card thats good for one free orthedontic consultation because they think that my teeth are crooked…. I would be like WTF where the heck is my real present. Its offensive.

One other idea that isnt really about being frugal but being able to put money aside for foodstorage is just buying an extra coupla cans of food or a pound or two of beans everytime you go to the store. I do this all the time, I actually never go to the store (even for a gallon of milk or a dozen eggs) without buying a coupla cans of soup or veggies or something or beans, cous cous or a few bags of extra wide egg noodles… (and so on) just an extra 2-3 bucks. Its always something that is on sale.

The thing about buying stuff on sale is that you save money when you DO buy it, but its not about giving up thinkgs you like. It means that if you buy a case of canned corn when its on sale, you wont have to randomly buy 2 or 3 cans at a time when you do need it, it will already be in your stores.

The reason that I think buying stuff on sale is SO amazing is that once my storage is fully stoked with more than a year of food, I will only be in replenish mode and wont ever have to buy anything except for fresh foods (fresh veggies, fruit (in season) and cairy and such and other things that are on sale.

you can do it.

If you have any questions or would like additional tips, let me know. :)

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