Food Storage: A Crisis Savings Account

By Nonna Joann • Feb 10th, 2009 • Category: Stretch Grocery $$$

Unless your cupboard is bare, you have food storage.

zach-thompson-umbrella.jpgMost families in America can eat from the food stored in their pantries and freezers for three days to a week (depending on when the last trip to the store was made), some even more. Because food is readily available, most of us don’t think about food storage…ever.

We’re used to making daily or weekly trips to the grocery store and having everything we need available when we want it. Food shortages are unthinkable.

In 1999, many families decided to beef up their pantries for Y2K. It was thought computer chips would fail with the rollover to January 1, 2000. Computer chips hold our energy grid together and there was concern food distribution would be effected along with other services. Thankfully, Y2K turned out to be a non-event and the millennium began as any other year. Most U.S. family food storage disappeared after Y2K.

Zach is saving for a rainy day. Are you?

So why have food storage? Turns out computer chips were a new concern. Since Adam and Eve were thrown out of the Garden of Eden, it became necessary to store food. It’s only recent, that families don’t grow and prepare their food for at least a year’s storage. One group, the Mormons, still encourage their members to store a year’s food supply for their families (and neighbors in case of a disaster), but only 15 percent actually do it.

It’s 2009 and Y2K is long-forgotten; so why have food storage? Convenience is one reason. I get irritated when a favorite item isn’t available at the grocery store. Just recently, the brand of applesauce I purchase has been unavailable. To avoid this in the future, I decided to buy a case of applesauce when it’s restocked.

With the recession, many families have found their pantry was more than a convenience. A friend of mine, whose husband was laid off six months ago, told me during the past months they have been eating the food she had in her freezer and pantry. The food in her home became a savings account, which they could draw on in their financial crisis.

In recent years, we experienced natural disasters disrupting the food supply and the energy grid for various regions in the U.S. We’ve all seen what happens when a weather alert advises families to stock up for a hurricane or blizzard. In short order, grocery shelves are emptied.

Disasters include more than the weather or losing a job. Other disasters include a terrorist attack, illness, injury, divorce, and death in the family. These almost always have severe financial repercussions. When you have food storage, it’s comforting to know that your pantry won’t be empty in a couple of days.

There’s one more important reason we should be looking at storing food, today. Food storage is a hedge against inflation. Last summer, when the price of gas jumped to over four dollars, the cost of food went up, too. What will happen, when inflation hits hard and everything goes up…a lot?

Our country is experiencing tough financial times. The banking bailout and the stimulus package are massive spending plans. The government has been printing new money to finance the bailout debt. It may take six months or a year, but rapid inflation is inevitable.  Just when we will see inflation hit in a big way is still unknown. (Hopefully we won’t experience hyperinflation.) Massive money creation always destroys the purchasing power of the currency.  It hits hardest on those who are retired and others on fixed income or families who’ve lost one income. It’s worst for those who have lost their only source of income; who can’t purchase at any price.

Food bought and stored today may be a smarter investment than putting money in the bank. This is especially true when you purchase extra food items on sale. Present interest rates are in the tank. A really good interest rate is a mere 4 percent and that’s very hard to find. Most CDs are at 3 percent. When you factor in the Current Economic Indicators for February 2009 with an inflation rate of 9 percent: stored food becomes a savings account earning more interest than banks are offering. 

You’ll want to read “Don’t Be Mother Hubbard,” Click Here.

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3 comments on »

  1. Think of food storage as life insurance. The kind that can keep you alive or make you more comfortable during a crisis. If nothing comes, you will still have peace of mind. If you store smart, you buy when things are on sale and rotate through them so you can save money. Long-term storage (20 years+) can also bring peace of mind. If you have the room, why not start with a one month supply, realize your savings and then move on from there.

  2. Well now, since I just had my kitchen redone and the pantry is alive and well I feel really blessed to have stuff in all spaces. I could probably organize it even more to have more. Thanks for this cost saving tip.

  3. […] Unless your cupboard is bare, you have food storage. […]

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