I’m so excited that baring any more ” money disasters” I can finish up the wheat barrel and get a start on the rice barrel. One of the best bulk food buying sales coming up is for “Cinco de Mayo” and beans, rice, Masa and some meats/cheeses are either on sale or will be on sale at the start of May. If you have been waiting for good price to stock up on beans and rice the next couple of weeks should be a great opportunity! Don’t forget about spices and jars of salsa/hot sauce to add some “flair” to your food storage.
Cash & Carry has a 50 pound bag of rice for $18.95 on sale till May 4th. I have budget the food budget to get 3 bags for the rice barrel. Adding that amount of rice to the barrel should give me a good idea of how much the barrel will hold. I think it should be similar to the wheat barrel of about 300 pounds total. Once all the barrels are filled and sealed shut I should have all of the bulk long term food I need for myself. Cash & Carry has a case of coffee for just over $32.00 though the cans are on the small side at 27.5 oz. Having a good supply of coffee before the prices go up again is very important not only for myself but as a barter/trade good. Stocking up on the items before the new higher prices start can save a lot of money and give you time to adapt to the “new normal”.
Albetson’s is having another good sale on meats as well as the “fiora” brand toilet paper and paper towels. The fiora brand is 12 rolls of TP or 8 rolls of paper towels for $2.99 with coupon. I prefer the 3 ply version of the TP for it’s strength and the paper towels are about average overall. I’m trying to decide if I want to dip into my cash savings and buy up more meat. London Broil is $2.99 a pound and this is a great cut not only for a meal but for making jerky as it tends to be very lean. Bacon is also on sale at the “butcher block” for $3.99 a pound. This is the bacon I like the best here locally and I noticed that even the cheap bacon/ends and pieces is starting to jump in price in the last week. Local bacon I usually buy at Paul’s jumped over $1.25 a pound in the last week and the bacon ends and pieces is up $2.50 per 3 pound package in the last month. Albertson’s has some pork chops for $1.88 per pound and about a month ago I could get them for around $1.29-$1.59 per pound. Chicken is still fairly cheap right now but I suspect it will also go up in price as people shift from beef and pork to chicken because of cost. I think/hope that we will see somewhat low meat prices through the first part of May but I think by Memorial Day weekend all bets are off on meat prices and I expect a fairly large price jump.
On the water collection system I found a website that has some very cool ideas that make rain water collection easy if not exactly as cheap as setting up a rain barrel under a gutter http://www.grownyc.org/files/osg/RWH.how.to.pdf . This sparked quite few ideas for me on collecting rain water efficeintly and moving it around as well as doing some basic filtering when gathering the rain water. While doing this research I found there is a local company that makes custom molded water barrels and cisterns. The company makes a 525 gallon and a 550 gallon tank for $394.00 with only a 48 inch diameter footprint. Now that sounds sort of expensive untill you consider the cost of your basic 50 gallon water barrel and that you would need 10 + barrels to equal this one tank. Another advantage of a larger water tank is the weight of the water itself would provide greater water pressure compared to a lot of smaller barrels. At 4 foot across these 500 + gallon water tanks would take up about the same space as an average shipping pallet. Using 50-60 gallon water barrels I can only fit 3 on a pallet or about 150-180 gallons of water. For many people it’s not just money but storage space is a big consideration on how much we can afford to prep. There is nothing wrong with starting off small and doing what you can afford. I’m a firm believer that taking the first step is often the hardest and being proactive. Don’t get complacent or be satisfied with that first step. I would have lost my my lawn if not my entire garden if that water main problem had hit me in July rather than in February.