How to Start Building a Food Storage Supply on a Budget

Cassandra Smet
by Cassandra Smet

Today we are talking about building a food storage supply. You often see videos about people feeding their families for $300 a month, and they will bring you to a fully stocked pantry.

Or they have a freezer that is completely stocked. Then they'll bring you along for the $20 they spend a week by pulling everything they have from their food storage.

So today, we're going to discuss how to build a food storage and get a stocked pantry so you can cook for less each week.

Stocking a pantry

Keep your bulk storage separate

My first tip is to keep your bulk storage separate from things you will be working through. I do this for a couple of reasons. One, my long-term storage stays long-term, especially when I buy things that are a little bit more fun. 

Stock up when things are on sale

The first way to build storage is to stock up slowly when things are on sale. I will buy two things and put one in my working pantry and one on the long-term storage shelf. This is the one for now, one for later method. This will probably be one of the easier and cheaper ways to build a storage. 

This also is long term. You're not going to have a full freezer in one week or month by just shopping sales, but you can slowly put things in the freezer that are a reasonable price at the time, and then you'll have them later on when prices aren't so great. 

Building a food storage supply

Buy in bulk

We buy our meat in bulk. We have a six cubic foot chest freezer. I have chicken thighs here, but what's mostly in here is two-pound packages of ground beef. We bought 350 pounds of ground beef.

Buying meat in bulk is the best way to do it. It's much cheaper to buy ground beef than to buy half a cow or a whole cow. Make a relationship with a farmer. 

Meat is probably the most expensive thing in the store right now. I would not be able to stick to my $500-a-month budget for my family of five, soon to be six if I did not have all this meat in my freezer. We also have a small three cubic-foot freezer. This is where we hold all of our game. 

We also have whatever we have left from the bulk pig we bought. You can either buy half a pig or a whole pig. When we do the bulk meat buys, we're set for meat for the rest of the year. That helps us stay within our grocery budget every single month.

Hunt and fish

We get all of our roasts and tenderloins from game animals that my husband and our kids hunt for us. 

My husband also started fishing this year, so he's been getting most of our fish. All of that's going to save us huge meat-wise this year. 

Garden and preserve vegetables 

We have gallon bags of frozen bell peppers and green beans. All I have to do is buy the store-bought things that I don't grow, or that I didn't source locally. I have corn cobs I sourced locally that I blanched and froze this year.

That saves me a lot of money from the grocery store, preserving and growing some of our stuff through the summer and fall. 

Canning your food

Canning your food

My long-term food storage is in my basement, where I have a lot of canned goods. I do a lot of canning. I have a lot of spaghetti sauce and pizza sauce that we did this year. I also have apple sauce, relish, and pickles. I've got chili seasonings, salsas, hot sauces, dandelion jam, and a chili base. 

I'm not going to have to buy any pickles this year. I made a year'syear's worth of pickles, spaghetti sauce, and pizza sauce. I'm not going to have to buy that. 

Focus on one section at a time 

When I started making my food storage, I made a huge list of everything that I thought my family would need or want to have on a shelf for when we needed it or wanted it.

These came down to practical items like spaghetti sauce and noodles and rice, all the way down to fun things like pudding mixes and chocolate chips and different baking items so that we could make whatever we wanted as long as we had what we needed to make it on a shelf. 

I broke those down into freezer, pantry, canned goods, and noodles. Then every time I went to the grocery store, I picked one or two things off the list. Slowly but surely, I was able to add things to the shelf. Now it is stocked. 

I have sugars and flours. I like to keep those stocked, so I like to have 30 pounds of each down here at all times because we make a lot of our food from scratch. I always have eggs because we have laying hens. That'sThat's another way that we save money through our laying hens. 

Sticking to basic staple ingredients is what saves us money. That doesn'tdoesn't mean that I don't buy store-bought goods. I will pick up things when I see them on clearance. Something really easy, because sometimes you want something quick and easy. 

This is realistically and very honestly how I built my storage shelf. Make sure you're buying on sale, bulking up when you can, where you can get a little at a time because this did not happen at once. This is almost three years of storing food.

Building a food storage supply

Those are all my easy, quick tips to ensure that you're building a food storage a little at a time. Be patient with yourself, and know that eventually, you will get there.

Have you started building a food storage supply? Share what you've been stocking up on in the comments below.

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