Tips to Prepare for Food Shortages

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Do you have plans in place to deal with a food shortage? In this post I’m going to share some tips to prepare for potential food shortages.

First things first – don’t panic!

Seeing the news reports and remembering empty shelves during the pandemic can bring on some serious anxiety. We all remember what that was like so it’s natural to feel nervous. I’m hoping that I can give you some ideas and piece of mind along with some common sense action steps you can take.

photo of truck delivering goods

Start by making a list of your favorite meals. Choose meals that your whole family loves. This will be the start of understanding how many items you could possibly need in order to make it for a short time if there is a shortage.

We eat Butter Chicken once a week so I will use that as example to show you what I mean. I listed here what ingredients we need.

  • Cumin
  • Garam Masala
  • Smoked Paprika
  • Turmeric
  • Salt
  • Ginger
  • Garlic
  • Stewed Tomatoes
  • Coconut Milk
  • Butter
  • Chicken

Decide how many days worth of these supplies you’d like. Some say it’s wise to have three months worth of food but let’s just go with a month for this example. List the item and quantity needed for one meal then times that by how many meals you’d like to have in stock.

If I want to make this meal once a week and I need one can of coconut milk per meal then I’ll need four cans. Do this with each ingredient.

Apply this principle for as many recipes as you want. It really helped me get my head around how much I needed since I really had no clue!

What’s next?

bulk rice and pasta

After you have a good starting list add some common sense items that can easily be made into meals in a pinch. This is what I’m adding to my pantry.

  • Rice
  • Canned chicken
  • Canned tuna
  • Cans of tomatoes
  • Pasta (Einkorn and Gluten-free)
  • Pasta sauce
  • Apple sauce
  • Canned pumpkin (I’m baking a lot of pumpkin things right now!)
  • Flour
  • Sugar
  • Nuts
  • Dates
  • Chocolate Chips
  • Dried Fruit
  • Coffee

Do not get into panic mode and buy things you don’t even like. It’s tempting to buy a ton of soup, but if you don’t like soup, you’re wasting your money!

Where should you buy?

photo of bags of rice

I have never been a bulk food buyer. I don’t have a ton of space and I’m always afraid I will forget what I bought. Just yesterday I found a giant box of oatmeal I forgot about.

But recently I have been buying more from Costco, things like nuts, rice and canned tomatoes. I have also started buying from Azure Standard and that has been a game changer, especially if you prefer to buy organic.

I like Azure Standard for a few reasons. They have a huge variety, drop ship all over the country, there is no membership fee, lots of organic and gluten free options and it really creates a community feel because you will pick up your order within your area.

Here in NC the semi pulls into a local church parking lot, we all line up to unload the truck (if you’re able of course!) and it’s just FUN.

You’re also getting rid of the middle man since you’re buying direct. Here is a link if you’d like to check them out (click here)

ALDI is my other go to spot. They have amazing prices and also a ton of organic options if that’s what you need.

Honestly just shop wherever you normally do! I do think buying larger quantities will save money but sometimes convenience trumps everything else.

Food Independence is critical now.

I started this blog because I think taking steps towards food independence is incredibly important. It is something everyone would benefit from. I talk about it in this post.

We talked about preparing by buying non perishable but what about fresh? Many of us are heading into winter so growing food can be tricky. Take the time to zero in on local suppliers for fresh food.

Now is the time to make it a priority! Find a local supplier for eggs, milk and meat. I found my eggs and raw milk just by searching Facebook. I’m still working on finding a local meat supplier.

I did abandon local grocery stories months ago to switch to grass fed meat. I have been buying a meat subscription box from Moink and I’m super impressed. If you’re interested in checking them out click here

I like them better than Butcher Box because they’re packaging is better and I feel like I get a lot more for my money.

I don’t know if there will be supply chain issues with them but for now I feel good about feeding my family healthier meat.

In my next post I’m going to explore how to navigate supply chain issues for other goods. With the holidays coming everyone can benefit from thinking that through.

I hope these tips to prepare for food shortages helps give you peace of mind. I would love to know what idea you liked the most or if you have something to add, please leave a comment.

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