In a day when many people are struggling financially, I find myself more emotional as I write this post. However, the principle of keeping a budget is very important as we strive to be wise stewards of that which we have been given. I want to start with my testimony that even though hardships will come, if we are obedient and diligent and remain focused we will be blessed. I have knowledge of this.
Most families do not have enough money to buy a year’s supply of food all at once. That is not required of you. Follow this wise counsel: “With careful planning, you can, over time, establish a home storage supply and a financial reserve.” The First Presidency, All Is Safely Gathered In: Family Home Storage, Feb. 2007.
I prefer to buy over time so I avoid wasting money on items I find out later do not work well for our family; my buy-as-you-go, learn-as-you-go approach. I don’t promote buying a year supply, all at once, to anyone. I could not live on someone else’s idea of what my family will eat.
Every family is unique, but all families will move forward with their food and home storage plan if they create a budget. It does not matter how large your budget is. Don’t compare your financial situation to anyone else. Remember that I have a family of 6 at home, and 3 others including my son, daughter, and son-in-law that come for dinner once a month. Here are my ideas:
1. Divide your original monthly Grocery Budget into two budgets. I didn’t have a magical pot of gold hiding somewhere, so this is where I came up with my money. If you do have some extra funds, then of course add that each month. But I know with the state of our economy, many are trying to find a way to still get their food storage on a limited budget. I used two categories: Groceries and Food Storage, and the following percentages. Your percentages may be totally different at first.
Food Storage 25%
By regularly using a weekly menu, shopping the loss leader sales in stores, and using a few coupons I decreased the total amount of last year’s monthly grocery budget by about $400, and have increased our food storage at the same time! I have prayed for guidance and wisdom and we’ve been blessed with a miracle. After learning to use what we store, last month we did this:
Food Storage 49%
2. Decide what you want to include in your monthly budget. If your budget is limited, you may only want to include food in your budget, and not some of the items I listed below. That’s perfectly fine. But I feel greater peace having some additional items for emergencies. My goal is to store enough paper goods, toiletries, cleaning & laundry supplies, and freezer foods for 3-months, and most everything else for 1 year. Do what works best for your family, and don’t go into debt. Here is what I included in each budget:
Eating out (just me and my 4 year-old)
Food Storage Budget:Canned food and long-term foods (Soups, canned meals, fruits, vegetables, wheat, rice, beans, flour, etc.)
Packaged food (Cake mixes, boxed potatoes, pudding, breakfast cereal, etc.)
Bottled food (Fats, oils, condiments, sauces, etc.)
Beverages (Water, bottled juice, drink mixes, etc.)
Snacks that store well (I keep a 3-month supply)
Toiletries (3-month supply)
Cleaning & Laundry (3-month supply)
Paper & plastic goods (3-month supply)
Emergency supplies (72 Hour kits, car kits, first aid supplies, etc.)
3. Keep good records. Write the amount of Groceries or Food Storage you spend on the top of all of your grocery receipts. (See picture above). If you do this weekly, you won’t get confused. Total your receipts each month to see how you did. I keep all of my receipts because they also help me update my Inventory sheets.
Please share any ideas you may have for others about Food Storage Budgets.
“12 And she said, As the Lord thy God liveth, I have not a cake, but an handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse: and, behold, I am gathering two sticks, that I may go in and dress it for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die.
13 And Elijah said unto her, Fear not; go and do as thou hast said: but make me thereof a little cake first, and bring it unto me, and after make for thee and for thy son.
14 For thus saith the Lord God of Israel, The barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day that the Lord sendeth rain upon the earth.
15 And she awent and did according to the saying of Elijah: and she, and he, and her house, did eat many days.
16 And the barrel of meal wasted not, neither did the cruse of oil fail, according to the word of the Lord, which he spake by Elijah.” (1 Kings 17:12-16)