With earthquakes and hurricanes getting a lot of coverage recently, it’s not surprising that more and more people are preparing for disasters. Every family should have a survival kit to make it through those first few days before help arrives. Experts agree that supplies for 72 hours are a must, but a week is better. In fact, having enough food to last for a month or two is best. Preparing for long term survival can be expensive if you are looking at MREs and other emergency food supplies.
Fortunately, it doesn’t have to cost a fortune to stock your emergency supply. With coupons and sales, you can easily do this on a budget. The key is to build your stores slowly, instead of making a huge investment all at once.
Buy on Sale
Watch those flyers in the paper. When non-perishables like canned soup or granola bars come on sale, stock up. Most foods go on sale at least twice a year, so you can easily rotate your stores without spending too much.
Purchasing in bulk is often cheaper than buying individual items. It can also be a handy way to store food. When you buy a box of 24 cans of refried beans, you have enough food for two weeks for the family in one go and it can easily be stacked with other boxes.
Plant a Garden
Growing your own food is a way to have fresh produce in the event of a disaster. Even people living in urban settings can grow things in containers in a window or on a balcony. Vegetables like beans, potatoes and carrots are easy to store and will last for some time without refrigeration if you have to harvest quickly.
Nearly everyone has heard of extreme couponing and while you don’t have to go as far as the people on the TV shows do, it can be a good way to cut costs for your emergency supplies. When you can combine coupons or price match with them, you save even more money. Stock up on what you can, when you can.
One for You, One for Storage
If you are on a tight budget and can’t buy in bulk, try purchasing one extra item every time you go to the store. When you get a can of corn, buy two and put one in your food storage. It will take a while, but every can or box is one step closer to having the necessary amount of food to make it through a disaster.
DIY Food Preservation
Canning and drying your own food is a great way to build food stores without spending too much money. Buy produce on sale or grow your own and then preserve it yourself. Jams and syrups also fall under DIY food preservation.
There is no reason you have to prepare for a disaster all in one day. If you start slowly now, you’ll have plenty of food and supplies when something does happen, rather than spending a small fortune the day before a hurricane hits. Food storage is also important when you lose your job or are ill and cannot afford to buy groceries, so it is always a good idea to have a backup.