Prices for food always rise year-to-year; especially now with the Fed’s “quantitative easing” (QE2) going on. If you want to see what experts are predicting now, with QE2, take a look at http://inflation.us/foodpriceprojections.html . This group, the National Inflation Association, is a very credible source. To see how they reached their conclusions, click on their pdf link, in the document.The long and short of it is that your money will go much further right now than it will in a few months, especially with the harvest shortages we’ve had worldwide this year.
How much will your year’s supply cost you right now? Adding up all the essentials, a month’s worth of food for one person is $16.23. No kidding.
A year’s worth for one person is $194.76
Figure in that you’re getting your year’s supply after building your three-month supply; that knocks it down to getting nine months’worth;
$146.07 per adult.
It’s even less for children: quantities for age 3 and under= 50%, ages 4-6= 70%, ages 7-10= 90%, ages 11 and up= 100%.
Here’s the counsel we’ve been given: "We encourage members world-wide to prepare for adversity in life by having a basic supply of food and water and some money in savings.” “For longer-term needs….gradually build a supply of food that will last a long time and that you can use to stay alive” (from All is Safely Gathered In, LDS First Presidency pamphlet)
Here are quantities and current costs:
Grains, 300 lbs- if you get just wheat and oats, at the Home Storage Center they cost between $5.80 and $8.15 for 25 lbs. depending on if you get white or red wheat, quick or regular oats. If you average this out, it will cost you $6.98 per person, per month. $83.70 per year’s worth.
Milk, 16 lbs is $1.40/lb at the HSC, which is $1.87 per month, $22.40 per year.
Sugar, 60 lbs is $ .56/lb there, $2.80 per month, $33.60 per year.
Oil, 10 qts –this isn’t sold at the HSC, but the price at Macey’s last week was $2.50 for 1 ½ quarts (48 oz.) At that price, after tax, it’s $1.43 per month, $17.17 per year. It’s only $14.38 if you buy it at Sam’s Club ($6.98 + tax for 5 qts.)
Salt, 8 lbs- 4# box at Costco or Sam’s Club is a dollar; $ .16 per month, $2 per year.
Legumes, 60 lbs– the Home Storage Center sells black beans, pinto, and white, from $14.10 to $16.30 for 25 lbs. Averaging the prices, it’s $2.99 a month, $35.92 per year.
Water, 14/gal/person- You can store this for free by using 2- and 3- liter pop bottles, or juice containers (not milk jugs- they break down). Or use the 5-gallons square jugs or big blue barrels; they’ll run you about $1 per gallon of storage. If you already have the minimum water, and your long-term foods stored as well, you might consider storing even more water. One source is http://familywatertanks.com ; they’re the cheapest big-size tanks I’ve seen. They’re local for us, too.
When you’re done storing the basics, you will probably decide to add a few ‘gourmet’ items, they’re nice to have—I’m a big proponent of storing spices and chocolate!- but the basics are what is essential. Cheapest, too.
Notice that the costs were just for food, not containers to store them in. Most of my storage containers cost nothing. You CAN get buckets for free, with a little effort- most bakeries give them away; all their frostings and fillings come in those buckets. Plan on washing them at home. There are two main sizes; 5 gallon and 2 ½ gallon. I keep packages of dried fruit in the smaller buckets, also cornmeal or other things that I don’t use as much. They are a great size for a pantry, too. Some of the buckets have gaskets, some don’t. The ones that don’t seal well are still good for storing sugar.
If you want all your wheat, powdered milk, sugar, and legumes in #10 cans from the cannery, it will cost you $85.83 more to get a full year’s worth, $65 to do 9 months.
I don’t can my wheat, sugar, or beans because we go through large quantities; one batch of bread would use a whole can. Pretty silly storage for me. Besides, it’s easier for me to find space for 10 buckets than 60 #10 cans; they hold about the same amount of food.
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Do you have an odd bottle of old fruit lying around? Do you have peaches than look more ‘tan’ than ‘peach’? Don’t throw them out (unless they’ve come unsealed, or are foamy, or the juice has turned opaque!)- make something with them! Smoothies are a good use, as well as the following recipe. Eggless cakes were fairly popular in the 30’s and 40’s, when eggs were often hard to come by.
EGGLESS “OLD BOTTLED FRUIT” CAKE
1 qt. fruit, undrained and blended
2 c. sugar
1/2- 3/4 c. oil
4 c. flour
1 t. salt
1 Tbsp. baking soda (originally this was 4 tsp, see note below)
1 t. nutmeg
4 t. cinnamon
1 t. cloves
1/4- 1 c. nuts, raisins, dates, coconut (opt.)
Use fruit that has been sitting at room temperature. Sift dry ingredients and add to wet mixture. Bake in a greased and floured 9x13 glass pan at 350 F for 30-40 minutes.
At 3500 ft elevation, 4 tsp. baking soda was too much leavening, causing the center of the cake to fall. One tablespoon is better, though if you're at a lower elevation you might need the full amount. Try it and see!