I haven’t done a shopping post in ages and I have missed them. Writing stuff out seems to help me prioritize better and make sure I get what I truly need or want , not buy something just because it is on sale. The ability to take advantage of sales make being prepared payoff big because I seldom need to buy anything for the next week or two. This is one of the main reasons I recommend having 3-6 month supply on hand as your starting goal as you will have the ability to buy only loss-leaders and sales. This will have a huge impact on your budget by saving money right away. Six months worth of food will allow you to get through one bad harvest, I consider that the absolute minimum of stored food on hand.
Big Lot’s is having a sale that starts on the 24th of Feb. that has Sunbeam batteries on sale. 20 packs of AA, AAA and 6 packs of C batteries for $3.00. This is an average battery not a long life type. I find they are good value based on price and how long they last in storage as well as in use. Double A batteries are easy to find, but C and triple As are a bit more difficult to get on sale and for under $10.00 you will probably cover most of your battery needs for a year. This would make a great addition to your barter box as these batteries will hold a charge even in storage.
Big Lot’s is also having a sale on toilet paper and paper towels. 12 double sized rolls of TP and an 8 pack of paper towels for $4.88 per package. I like the Big Lots brand as a good compromise between strength and softness for the TP. For your storage planning I would figure at least on “double size” roll of TP per person per week. The Big Lots paper towels allow you to use a half size sheet instead of a normal size sheet you see with more paper towels. I use a lot of rags, towels and stuff so the 1/2 sheet length works for me and my minimal paper towel usage. I’m not sure how many rolls of paper towels a family would need to store but I get by on a roll per month.
I’m still working on the Bean drum even if there are no sales. I will focus on the cheaper beans and lentils which ironically tend to have the highest protein content. The beans will be the most expensive food I purchase on average for my 7 year food plan. I figure I’ll get at least another 100 pounds of beans and then wait and see if we get a few good sales to top off the drum. This for my long term goals for food storage as I already have one year or more of most food items. The 25 pound bags of beans say the have 298 servings per bag at 4 oz. of dried beans on average. A lot of food products understate servings per pound for a multitude of reasons from being seen as a good value or a diet food because of caloric count. Use your food storage and know how much it takes to make a basic meal for you and your family. Base the amount of food you store on a what you consider a good meal today, not some arbitrary marketing number on the package. If it is a long emergency you can ration if you need too and shift to 2 meals a day or even lower but I figure most of us can figure out if the disaster is short term or long term within a few weeks and can plan ahead.
Whole wheat will be the next barrel and that one will be less than $90.00 for 300 pounds including the drum. Barring a huge price spike in the next 30 days or so. While I don’t wish a blizzard on anyone these snow storms may help out the drought in the mid-west. I could care less about Monsanto, corporate farmers or even the FDA/USDA, the average homesteader and small farmer needs the water. Hopefully the snow will seep in to the ground and we don’t see flooding because of a fast melt. For me rice will be last because I stocked up a lot before I ever had the idea of the “drums”. Theoretically I have already stored well over 5.5 years worth of rice. Needless to say my approach to prepping was less than optimal or not quite as balanced as I thought. Hey, it’s okay because now that I’m thinking very long term it will get balanced and I can save some money.
If a person dedicated $100-$200 dollars per month you could easily build/store over a years worth of bulk food for 1 person for a year or for a family of four at least 3 months in less than four months. I’m talking about storing stuff for good rib sticking meals. This isn’t just a get by meal, but meals that fill both the body and spirit. I don’t have kids nor a husband but I do have family and will I watch those little rug rats starve because the parents are idiots. Will I let some great senior people starve or freeze because they believed the lies they were told? Screw that! I’ll do my best to make sure the have a little propane heater and enough fuel for 4 days. I’ll buy up more little butane heater and a few fuel cans for them out of my limited funds before I let them think the will die alone and the cold. Screw the PTBs that see these folks only as votes or useless eaters. These are people created by God given life and precious as diamonds. They are not bits of machinery nor cogs in a wheel.
I’m not in panic mode nor spending a lot more than my normal food budget on this project to get this done. I have a part of my budget dedicated just for prepping. So it’s easy to change focus and prioritize if things change. You can’t allow yourself to get tunnel vision and while goals are critical to planning once you have six month to a year of your basic needs. You have to practice being flexible to take advantage when things change and things will always change.