With changing weather patterns, natural disasters, power outages and other unforeseen circumstances, it’s a smart move to think about an emergency food supply. Too often, we tend to put such an agenda on the back burner. “I ought to build a supply of food now, but …”. Life intervenes, with far more pressing issues to think about, resulting in this task never getting off the ground. Should a situation arise today, are you prepared with an emergency food supply to see your family through a week? Unfortunately, most of us would have to answer, “No.” Don’t be caught unprepared. Here we’ve got a plan you can put to work on your next shopping trip, laying in food stores, week by week, to stash away in case of an emergency. Using this plan, your food budget won’t even blink.
In order to make your plan effective, you’ll need to buy a camp stove and a few canisters of propane. Assemble a box, with your camp stove, propane canisters, flashlight and batteries, a can opener, matches, a box of votive candles and a few holders. Add a couple of pots, a frying pan and a stove top coffee maker. Set this basic emergency equipment in a designated place, along with a first aid book. Be sure that all your family members know where this essential box is stored.
Now, let’s get to stocking your emergency food supplies.
Almost every town in America has a dollar-type store or other type of grocery outlet of discounted grocery items. The majority of foods stocked in these stores come as inventory closeouts from grocery retailers who have gone out of business. Canned goods and other non-perishables make up the bulk of these store’s offerings. Some people assume that these foods must be second grade products, but this is not the case. All you need to do is check expiration dates. If they’re well into the future, you’re saving money on foods that just may save you in the end.
For example, canned vegetables that run $1.30 at the supermarket, may cost you just 50 cents at a dollar-type store. You’ll find soups, stews and other ready-made meals, such as spaghetti and meatballs, as well as rice, dried beans, condiments, fruits, veggies and pasta at terrific prices. If you spend just $10 a week stocking up on emergency food to set aside for that rainy day, within 3 months, you’ll easily have a week’s worth of food.
Store these emergency food supplies in a separate area of your pantry. Box them up and label them, ready to load in the car or bring to the kitchen in the event of an emergency condition.
Each week, buy a gallon or two of bottled water. Buy a quantity of plastic eating utensils and a big stack of paper plates. Set your spending limit at $10 a week to go towards your emergency food supplies.
This strategy should be pursued on an ongoing basis. When your emergency pantry is well stocked, begin integrating foods with the soonest expiration dates into your regular menus. Replace what you use on next week’s shopping trip.
You’ll be surprised at how much better you’ll sleep, knowing that you’re prepared for a food emergency. You just never know when you might be stranded and in need. Your emergency food rations will see you through. Pass it on!
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