Without enough food, all other preparations you do are worthless. In a SHTF (grid-down) scenario if you are out of food, there may not be any way to obtain more. This article represents my own research on how to get a year’s supply of food on a budget. By the end of this article, you will see how I can feed a family of four for under $2,000 for an entire year.
First off, let me tell you why my focus is on inexpensive instead of nutrition or other criteria. The short answer is I don’t have a ton of extra money laying around, and when I do have some extra money to spend I prefer to get something that could last as long as possible. Lastly, and this is probably the most important reason to me, the more I research I do the more convinced I am that something really bad could happen at any time. I hope I am wrong, but if I’m not I need to be prepared, and I need to be prepared quickly. The only way to prepare quickly, without having a lot of money, is to focus on the basics first while keeping the costs as low as possible.
Therefore, the phases of my food storage plan are the following:
The most important principles for phase one food storage is to have a long shelf life (20+ years). I personally don’t have the time, energy, or inclination to focus on keeping an elaborate food rotation schedule. If you do, good job on being awesome. I want food that I could buy and let sit for 20+ years without having to worry about it or rotate but that I can still know is there for me if needed.
Once I have a year’s supply of food and the peace of mind that comes with knowing that my family could survive for a year, then I will start to work on the second and third phases of my food storage plan. Those phases could very well include canned and freeze-dried foods with shorter expiration dates that need to be rotated.
I decided that I needed to start moving quickly towards having a year supply of food, so I went to Google and searched for “food storage”. I found all sorts of sites, and most of them offered food storage packages. These appealed to me at first because they are easy, but I quickly realized that in order to get a pre-planned package for a year for four people (the size of my family) I would probably have to spend at least $4,000 and probably closer to $6,000-10,000. Yikes!
One warning about these food storage packages is that they like to sell you on servings instead of calories.