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How to Afford Food Storage

Food Storage and Emergency Preparedness

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When planning a food storage we often ask ourselves, "Where do I get the money for food storage?" But maybe a better question to ask would be, "Can I afford not to have a food storage?" What would you do if there was an emergency? What if you couldn't acquire food for several weeks, a few months, maybe even a year? How long would your food supply, for you and your family, last?

When we have a greater perspective of the importance of food storage it makes it easier to find the money we need. Being frugal and wise with our money are important steps in being able to afford a food storage.

Food Storage Money Tips

Here are some great tips and ideas to help us budget our finances and households as we build up our family's food storage.

Bishop Vaughn J. Featherstone gave seven suggestions on how to build up your food storage, three of them are:
  • "When you desire new clothes, don’t buy them. Repair and mend and make your present wardrobe last a few months longer. Use that money for the food basics."
  • "Cut the amount of money you spend on recreation by 50 percent. Do fun things that do not require money outlay but make more lasting impressions on your children."
  • "Watch advertised specials in the grocery stores and pick up extra supplies of those items that are of exceptional value" ("Food Storage," Ensign, May 1976, 116).
Frugal Food Storage

Here are some other ideas from "Frugal Food Storage" (scroll down to the section titled "Frugal Food Storage").
  • "Each week we bring home our groceries, go through each bag, and ask, 'Can we do without this item this week?' If we can, we set it aside as a food storage item."
  • "Set aside a small amount of money each week to buy staples such as pasta, baking ingredients, and paper products. You may be surprised at how quickly you can build up a supply of these staples for only a few dollars a week."
  • "Set goals for your food storage supply. Work toward a one-month supply, then a three-month supply, and so on. Be realistic" (Colleen Hansen, Ensign, Jan. 1993, 73–74).
Five Principles of Economic Constancy

To help us plan for a food storage we should follow the five principles of economic constancy, which are:
  1. Pay an honest tithe
  2. Live frugally
  3. Distinguish needs and wants
  4. Budget wisely, and
  5. Be honest
    ("Lesson 8: Managing Family Finances," Marriage and Family Relations Participant’s Study Guide, 28).
Building up your food storage is a process that takes time, but if you break it up into manageable goals you can do it!

Once we have a sizable food storage we sometimes ask ourselves if we should share our food storage with others during an emergency. Find out what Latter-day Saint Church leaders have taught about sharing during times of need.

Poll: How much food storage do you have?

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