I decided to take the plunge and buy all of our 3 month supply in 2 trips. Since I shop every 2 weeks, it took me a month to get everything. I made an additional trip to Walmart for nonfood items. I did that based on how much I could fit in a shopping cart. It was a very full, heavy cart, but I made it home in my little Corolla with my friend and her groceries as well. The baby might have been there too, but I can’t remember!
The Cost of a 3 Month Supply
How much did it cost? Well, it was a bit less than I’d normally spend for 3 months of food. Looking back over my records from last year, it cost me about twice my normal monthly grocery bill to establish my 3 month supply. That’s really quite a deal, because that means you save some money while living on food storage. This is mostly due to some changes in what you’re eating. For people with more space, it’s not a big deal to keep their current standard of living, but when you only have one freezer/fridge, there’s limited space for things like meat and cheese, which are also the most expensive part of a grocery bill. That’s the reason for the difference in cost. (More on that later this week.)
Buy in One or Multiple Shopping Trips?
If you don’t have the money to get it all at once, I’d recommend figuring out how much it will cost and dividing that up over 3-6 months. I’ve also seen guidelines for buying $5 of extras every week (or $10 every 2 weeks) over the course of a year. For students, I highly recommend using part of your big tax returns to buy food storage if you can. No matter how you buy it, start rotating it immediately. The goal is to have 3 months of everything at all times. I try to keep current with mine by checking my inventory about once every month or two. If I’ve gotten behind at updating something, then I make sure to stock up on that item when I shop next.
Happy shopping! You might feel like a bear going into hibernation. I tend to feel like that anyway when I buy 2 weeks of food in one trip. 🙂