Finding Ways to Afford Your Long Term Food Storage

21 Jul

Affording your food storage

I know people who eat lunch out every day at work. For fast food, it will likely cost you between $6 to $8 per day or more. My husband tells me it is likely more than $8, but at Dairy Queen, I could get the $5 lunch and upgrade my Sunday to a small Blizzard for $6.

Taking your lunch for just 1 week at $6 savings (at over $8, this even allows for the cost of the food you bring to work) would be $30. $30 will purchase, from the Mormon Home Storage Center, 25lbs pinto beans, 25lbs rice or oats AND 25lbs wheat. That is 75lbs of food! Taking your lunch for 8 weeks would save you $240, almost enough to buy nearly 1 year of the basics ($287.43).

Another way to save money for food storage is to remember when you are going to purchase something you do not really need or could be substituted; think about how much that is in terms of food storage items.

For example, a $3.00 cup of coffee at Starbucks (and it is sometimes MORE than $3) is the equivalent of ½ of a 25lb bag of wheat (12.5lbs). Over 2 days, that IS a 25lb bag of wheat.

Jeff and I make a pot of coffee per day, we have a couple cups at breakfast, and Jeff takes a big cup for his drive into work. I buy coffee when it is on sale, and one 28oz ‘can’ of coffee lasts us over a month. I have yet to pay more than $9 per can on sale. Just imagine the difference. At $3 per work day x 5 days per week x 4 weeks is $60 (again, that is 50lbs of beans and 25lbs of rice and 25lbs of oats and 50lbs of wheat – now that is a lot of food just for making your own coffee at home). It adds up pretty quick and is part of the money that just seems to slip through the cracks in your budget.

Laundry soap

Laundry soap is expensive, but you can make your own very cheaply and easily. I have been making my own for years, and it is safe for HE machines. What you need is: a 5 gallon bucket with lid, Fels Naptha laundry soap, Washing Soda and Borax.

laundry soap ingred
  •  2 bars of Fels Naptha soap, grated
  • 1c Super Washing Soda
  • 1c Borax

Place about 1 gal of water in big pot and bring to boil. While it is warming, grate up 2 bars Fels Naptha soap and pour into the hot water. Stir for a few minutes to dissolve.

In the meantime, fill a 5 gal bucket about half way with warm tap water and add 1c washing soda and 1c borax. Stir slightly. When soap is melted, pour that into the 5gal bucket with the borax and soda.

Fill bucket with water as high as you are comfortable with – you will have to stir it a couple times over the next few days (I usually do it to within a few inches of the top). Place it out of the way and allow it to sit overnight. By morning, you will have nearly 5 gallons of gel. You’ll need to stir this again (I just stick my hand in it and stir it around, or if I have a grandchild around, I use slave labor). It is ready to be used. The following day, it is likely going to be gelled again, so re-stir, but after that it will stay liquid.

Use ½ c per load. Safe for HE machines.

  • The borax has 11 cups in the box and costs about $7.
  • The washing soda has 6c in the box and costs about $9.
  • Fels Naptha soap runs about $1 per bar.

Regular laundry soap costs vary, but likely between $7 and $10 a gallon. I use about one 5-gal bucket every 5-6 months. If you were to buy enough of the ingredients to make 11 – 5 gallon buckets (1 box borax, 2 boxes of washing soda, and 22 bars fels naptha), it would run you about $47 for roughly 55 gallons of laundry soap – or 85 CENTS per gallon – or $4.25 for 5-6 months for laundry soap.

 Food Storage

I found an article on line at Bulk Food Storage, Build your Foundation on the Basics. See how to build your One year supply of food . . . for $225 (now $287.43)

Every storage plan should include bulk food storage items. These basics are needed in everyone’s home storage. Long-term food storage is cheap, and healthy.

These provisions are your survival foods. At the bottom of this page, I’ll show you a simple six-step plan to enhance your bulk food storage. You’ll want to add in the extras; it will make all the difference in your emergency food supply.

Is the economic depression affecting your family? You can implement the ten money saving ideas and save lots when buying food. The price for whole grains compared to other food is very low. Your food budget will stretch a lot farther if you will buy and use these bulk foods. You can even feed your family on A Dollar a Day per person.

One Year Supply for 1 Adult – Mormon Food Storage

This list is a guideline for storing the bare minimum. The picture below shows you how much food you’ll get to eat everyday if you follow this guideline. And this is all you’ll get to eat. That is why I call it survival rations. You will stay alive, but eating probably won’t still be your favorite pastime.

You get 1 cup Wheat, 1 cup Oatmeal, 1/2 cup Rice, 1/3 cup beans, 2 Tbs Oil, 1 glass Milk (2 T powdered milk), 1/3 cup honey, and 2 tsp salt per day. Your daily menu might look something like this:

  • Breakfast: Hot oatmeal with honey & milk
  • Lunch: Tortillas and Sprouted Wheat
  • Dinner: Rice and Beans

With that said, whole grains are still the foundation of your food storage. You can use them in almost everything you cook. These are the dollar stretcher foods. I can feed my family of 12, breakfast every day for a month on one 50-pound bag of oatmeal (costs about $20). Add peaches, milk, and honey for taste, and you have a nutritious breakfast that children love. A one year supply for 1 adult should include: 400lbs of Grain, 60lbs of Legumes, 16lbs of Powdered Milk, 10 Qts of Oil, 60lbs of Sugar or Honey, and 8lbs of Salt. The shelf life on these items is included in the chart below.

Food Storage prices 2009














The chart shows how much it costs for a one-year supply for 1 adult. Adjust it to your individual needs. For example: rice and oats are a lot easier on a child’s digestive system compared to wheat. Store more of these grains for the children.

NOTE: You don’t want to start using wheat when that is all you have to eat. It will be hard on your system. Slowly add it to your diet, my family has been eating wheat for years and we don’t have any problems with a whole-wheat diet. Even my babies eat wheat and do great.

Cost of One Year Supply for 1 Adult

This chart was created in 2009. Because the price of food fluctuates, prices might be different than the ones represented in the chart.

*Not all olive oil lasts this long. Research the shelf life of the oil before buying it.

*Note by Michele by purchasing your food NOW, at the Mormon Food Storage Warehouse, you are able to purchase the wheat, rice, beans and sugar for the amounts listed – and actually a tiny bit under. Also, I found an apiary in Eagle, near Boise that has raw honey for $2.75 lb. So, current figures are for the above, Rice – 100lbs $36, Wheat – 200lbs $75, Oats – 100lbs $40, Pinto beans – 75lbs $42, Milk – 4 #10 cans, 16.4lbs $58.43, Sugar – 75lbs $36, honey at Eagle apiary – 60lbs $165. Our grand total at today’s prices is (for the basics 2nd column total) $287.43, and with the honey $452.53, but that is leaving out vegetable oils and salt.

Wow, look at that. For $224.94 $287.43 you can get a year’s supply of bulk food storage. if you go with the cheaper sugar and vegetable oil. If you go with the Olive Oil and Honey, it will cost you $410.76 $452.53. Getting your bulk food storage is a great place to start, and it’s cheap!

I found everything on the chart except for the oil, salt, and honey at the LDS Bishop’s Storehouse – bulk food storage at great prices. All are welcome. The shelf life of the food is also listed on their order form. Check it out. Bulk food has a very long shelf life – about 30 years.

A Note About Honey: When you are buying honey, make sure you can trust your source to give you pure honey. Cheap honey is actually corn syrup. You get what you pay for. Local Honey is actually the best option to buy if you have the opportunity because the bees are using the same plants and flowers that you encounter every day. It helps you with your allergies.

Bulk Food Storage Expanded – . . . A Six Step Plan

Add some variety to your bulk food storage.

STEP 1: IF I HAVE Wheat, Powdered Milk, Oil, Salt, Honey or Sugar, Water

I CAN MAKE Popped Wheat , Steamed Wheat, Sprouted Wheat, Cooked Cracked Wheat, Tortillas

STEP 2 IF I ADD Yeast, Baking Powder, Powdered Eggs, Baking Soda

I CAN MAKE THESE ADDITIONS: Custards, Puddings, Pancakes, Cookies, Waffles, Muffins, English Muffins, German Pancakes, Crepes, Egg Noodles, Pasta, Breads, Biscuits, Crackers, Mayonnaise. A lot more options huh? Keep reading.

STEP 3: IF I ADD Powdered Butter, Tomatoes, Powdered Cheese

I CAN MAKE THESE ADDITIONS: Meatless Dinners, Meatless Casseroles, Cream Sauces. These really add flavor.

STEP 4: IF I ADD Unflavored Gelatin, Canned Milk, Canned Fruits

I CAN MAKE THESE ADDITIONS: Jello Salads, Whipped Cream Desserts, Baby Formula, fruit dishes. Mmm, now we have desserts.

STEP 5: IF I ADD Soup Base, Rice, Legumes (Beans), Beef Broth, Chicken Broth, Alfalfa Seeds, Sesame Seeds

I CAN MAKE THESE ADDITIONS: Hearty Dinner Soups, Chili, Rice Puddings, Refried Beans, Rice Dishes, Fresh Sprouts, This would really expand your dinner menu in an emergency.

STEP 6: IF I ADD Canned Meats, Dried Potatoes

I CAN MAKE THESE ADDITIONS: Dinners, Casseroles, Sandwiches. This may not sound like a lot but a meaty flavor can make all the difference.

STEP 7: EXTRAS: Oats, Raisin, Nuts, Peanut Butter, Granola, Juices, Corn Starch, Soup Mixes, Spices & Flavoring (spices are NOT optional – Michele), Lemon Powder or Juice, White Flour, Shortening or Margarine, Cream of Tartar, Junket Rennet Tablet, Molasses, Karo Syrup, etc. These are small things that you could do without but really add variety to your diet.

What do you cook with? Add it to your food storage.


By Michele Cooper


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