Albertson’s had some great deals on meat this week. Nice sirloins for $2.99 a pound, pork blade steaks for $1.49 a pound and some chicken thigh and leg quarters for .88 cents a pound. So I loaded up on all three and grab Mom a bulk package of each for freezing. I think it going to be critical to your food budget to search the ads for those great deals and “loss leaders” to keep your food budget as low as possible this year. I have manage to keep my food budget around $125.00-$150. 00 per month and put a few bulk staples away for long term storage, even I might have to add a few more dollars to the food budget this year. California is in the news for it’s Drought emergency, but most of the states west of the Rockies are suffering from drought and here in Idaho we have a lot of farmers and ranchers that contribute to the nation’s food supply and food will get more expensive.
If you can take advantage of the lower price now and look at adding different food items that may do well even in this wonky weather. Rice prices look stable and sugar has come down a lot in the last 12 months. If you put off buying those items when the price was high it would be a good time to add them back to your shopping list. It looks like coffee prices have dropped a bit and ground coffee will still be good after a couple of years if stored in a cool, dark place.
Start thinking about growing a garden even if it is in big pots or look at foraging for some wild foods and hunting. Things like lettuce and a few herbs grow well in a window with good sun. With some of forecasts of a head of lettuce going for over $5.00 each this year. I can’t think of a better time to start a garden and learning to grow at least some of your food. A packet of seeds will set you back a couple of dollars at most and even if you only grow a few heads of lettuce at $5.00 each you will have paid for your seeds, the container they grew in and gained a lot of knowledge on growing plants for food.
Get rain barrels and if you can get them daisy chained together to collect as much water as you can if you are in a drought area! Start getting your water storage plan active and plan how you can collect more water! Not having water and depending on the government is a very bad plan, just ask the people in W. Virginia or the people that have had pipes freeze during this “Polar Vortex”. Don’t count on river and streams, if you can’t touch it or stand in front of it to protect it, it ain’t yours! The PTB’s may still try and take it from you but at least they will have to work at it.
Fuel or energy you got to have some and best that you get several types. Propane is skyrocketing price in the areas affected by the “polar vortex”. There isn’t a shortage of propane in the USA, as much as there is a local supply problem transporting propane and a lot more people are using propane to keep warm in very cold temperatures east of the Rockies. I haven’t heard about a kerosene shortage or price gouging in any news stories. Yes, propane is better on BTU s , safety, storage and ease of use but kerosene/heater is a good backup fuel for any prepper and relatively safe to store. This too shall pass and this spring/summer I bet you will see all kinds of small propane stoves, kerosene heaters and possibly generators show up and pawn shops, thrift shops and yard sales. I would not be surprised that you could buy a stove that cost $150.00 retail go for $5.00-$20.00. Heck in my local pawn shop they have a 4000 watt generator for $90.00 and those are usually about $400.00 and up in price.
It is tough right now, but stay calm and work your plan. Look at the challenges you are facing as a test of your preps and take notes. Get that savings plan and your yard sale list ready for this summer so you can take advantage of those things that are cheap so you can pay for those things that are getting more expensive!