You Can Stockpile Food – Even on a Budget

Do you have a few million dollars burning a hole in your pocket? If so, you might want to invest in a luxurious underground bunker. 

You and your family could reside in comfort for a number of years. And escape whatever tragedy has befallen the Earth.

You’ll have comfortable beds and furniture. Plus years’ worth of non-perishable food. And nearly very form of entertainment imaginable.

The few folks who can afford something like this are probably not prepping on a tight budget. But some of us have to. And we can’t use the excuse that we live paycheck to paycheck.

This is too important. And the way things are going in the world, we need to be prepared. Fortunately, there’s a way to prepare for an uncertain future. Even on a budget.

Look for long shelf lives

Today I want to discuss the importance of stockpiling healthy, nutritious food for an emergency. It doesn’t cost an arm and a leg to do this. There are some simple and inexpensive things we can do now to get ready for a crisis.

Following an emergency, it’s likely the electrical grid will not be functioning properly. If at all. So you want to make sure a vast majority of your food items are non-perishable.

In addition, we don’t know how long an emergency will last. So it’s best to have as much food stockpiled as possible. And make sure most of it has a long shelf life. In the meantime, for items that don’t, rotate them out periodically so they don’t go bad. 

If you’re not already in budget mode, try to get there. That means always thinking about how you can spend less and save more. Among the philosophies that must become part of your daily life regarding food are the following:

  • Never pay full price for anything. Always look for bargains. Watch for flash sales. These one-day events offer great savings, but you have to act quickly.
  • Buy items in bulk at places such as Sam’s Club or Costco. Or when they’re on sale in regular stores. 
  • Cut and use coupons.
  • Find and use in-store-only offers. 
  • Grow your own food and preserve it. There are tremendous savings in growing fruits and vegetables. And storing some of them for the colder months of the year.
  • Watch for the best deals on websites such as Amazon. They could have exactly what you’re looking for, at a price much less than what you’d spend at a local store.

Tips and tricks

One of the first places you want to look at to save money is your weekly grocery bill. If you’re not paying attention, it can really add up. The average couple spends up to $500 or more a month on groceries. Let’s look at a few simple ways to save.

Make a list. Grocers know how to position products so shoppers will purchase them. If you have a list, you know just what you need (and what you don’t).

And of course, if you avoid shopping when you’re hungry, it’s that much easier to resist tempting displays.

Also, choose foods that your family will eat. Variety is important, both physically and psychologically. You could buy some of the healthiest food in the store, but if your family won’t eat it, you’ve thrown your money away.

Shop at Aldi. This no-frills chain offers a smaller variety of products. Usually one store brand of each item. If there is an Aldi in your area, you can easily save money on your grocery bill. Prices are often even better than at Walmart.

Aldi stores now offer imported foods, fancy cheeses and lots of fresh (even organic) produce. Take a quarter to rent a cart, and you’ll also save a few pennies by taking your own grocery bags.

Buy store brands. Buying store brands alone can take a huge chunk out of your grocery costs. Sometimes there will be a brand name item or two that you can’t do without. But more often you won’t notice the difference. Except when it’s time to check out.

Buy in bulk. I’m not talking here about warehouse stores, which have membership fees. And usually a minimum price tag of $10 per item. Even in a regular grocery store, you don’t want to buy large amounts of just anything on sale.

It’s about buying more of things you already use often when there’s a significant sale. If it means you shop less often, this can add up to even more savings.

Another item to purchase in bulk is produce. Onions, potatoes, apples and lemons are almost always cheaper when you buy the bag. Just make sure you actually use them so they don’t go to waste.

Buying beans and grains in bulk can also stretch your dollars while providing hearty, healthy meals. 


Use digital coupons. Many stores offer digital coupons not available in the weekly newspaper. To acquire these savings, you’ll likely need to set up an account and check off the coupons you wish to use each time you shop.


Doing this ahead of time as you scan the weekly circular can help you write your shopping list around items with the biggest savings.

Stick to the store perimeter. Center aisles have many expensive, processed foods full of salt, sugar and other additives. The outside ring of the store is where you’ll find more foods such as produce, meat and dairy.

You’ll still need to visit the center aisles for a few things. But focusing on the perimeter will give you more bang for your buck. Try leaving your cart at the end of the aisle, and just dash in for the item you need.

Freeze meals. If you’re buying in bulk, you’ll want to make sure things don’t go to waste. You can freeze many items including bread, milk and chopped vegetables, as well as whole meals. Just remember your power could go out in a crisis.

There are cookbooks with recipes for freezing meals in bulk. When you make a meal, cook enough for two meals so you can serve one and freeze the other. It requires almost no extra work, but will save you time and money.

Use fewer ingredients. Sometimes the simplest food tastes best. But you wouldn’t always know it looking at some of the complicated recipes out there.

Sites such as Allrecipes ( are great for finding different options for your favorite recipes. And usually the top reviews will include tips on how to make them even easier.

We’ve all learned that preparedness is crucial. Regardless of how tight our budgets are. By following some of the suggestions above, we can all afford to be prepared for whatever life throws at us.


  • Ray - March 23, 2022

    I just want to mention that one does not “rent” carts at Aldi. The quarter is used to unlock a cart from where they are stored. When you return the cart you will get your quarter back. So, it’s a “deposit” to encourage folks to return the cart to storage instead of leaving it in the parking lot. Some kind folks will give you their cart as they leave the store. Other times you might find a cart in the parking lot and can retrieve the quarter if you return it to storage.

  • Anne Brown - March 23, 2022

    When Covid hit, we bought a small freezer. I have had a Food Saver for at LEAST 12 years. I bought meat like crazy, split into portions we would eat for a meal, and then sealed in my Food Saver. 2 years later, there is NO freezer burn on ANYTHING! Homemade Tomato sauce, stuffed pepper mix, broth from Thanksgiving turkeys, among other things that will help start meals.
    Also, if you know a storm is coming, freeze bottles of water and that will keep fridge and freezer colder, longer.
    Tractor Supply offers MANY great books about canning, preserving, etc.
    Surplus of eggs? Break and beat 2 at a time and they can be frozen. (I’d use the food saver over any Tupperware type container or storage bags.)
    Just my $0.03 worth

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