Would you have enough for your family if the grocery stores were empty?

@dragon54u (31635)
United States
February 18, 2009 1:49pm CST
I'm hearing a lot of commercial time devoted to food storage, to stockpiling food in case of high prices or shortages. The LDS religion (Mormons) tell their people to have at least a year's supply of food on hand and most of them do. I think this is a good idea and for the past few years I've always had a least a month's worth of food on hand, stored in another part of the house and rotated regularly. I buy a couple of cans extra every shopping trip so it doesn't cost a lot all at once. I also have a month's worth of drinking water stored. Are you ready for an emergency like this? Do you think it's a good idea? What would you do if the stores were empty?
2 people like this
25 responses
@uath13 (8207)
• United States
18 Feb 09
My property could probably produce enough food to keep us going for a while, even without being purposely cultivated. If the economy collapsed & I went to stead farming it definently would. We'd be scrimping a bit but we could get by, we've done with little before.
2 people like this
@dragon54u (31635)
• United States
18 Feb 09
I'm starting a garden this spring and that will help, too. I'm still deciding whether I want to go to the expense of canning but I don't know how else to store the food. Don't forget to stock up on bottled water or water purifiers, too.
@uath13 (8207)
• United States
18 Feb 09
There's a pond, stream & small lake nearby. Bottled water is for yuppies.
2 people like this
@dragon54u (31635)
• United States
18 Feb 09
LOL! There are no clean streams near me so I have to have bottled water. I heard recently that a mom had to have expensive dental work done on her child because he was given nothing but bottled water from birth and his teeth were damaged because of no fluoride. I remember drinking out of the creek as a child and that was delicious water!
@jsitko (1169)
• United States
18 Feb 09
I think it is a great idea to have extra supplies on hand. You never know what might happen when you need them I have a freezer in the basement that I keep full and a pantry with plenty of canned and boxed goods. It actually has saved me money in the long run. When they have a sale on whole pork or beef loins, I buy them and cut them up into smaller portions. I can usually get 4-6 meals per whole loin after I cut it into roasts, boneless chops or steaks. When the can goods go on sale I will purchase extra also. They way the economy has been and is right now, I have been doing this for quite sometime. It saves money at the stores and at the gas pumps.I probably have a least a months supply of food, maybe more.
2 people like this
@jsitko (1169)
• United States
18 Feb 09
Hey Dragon, I guess I forgot to mention water. I do have some on stock here because I drink so much of it. I have a few cases of individual bottles as well as a few large jugs. I am sure I need to gather up more of a supply than that though, like you said for cooking too.
• United States
19 Feb 09
I currently have a years supply of most foods and other needs. There are definately places I could have more, but we can get buy for a long time and that I hope will give us the time to figure it all out. I also have to throw in that I have had this food storage ( not the same, we rotate it ) for the last 10 years ( all of my married life ). There have been many times that we have needed it. When money got tight we ate it and payed bills instead of needing to go to the store. When I was in bed through my two pregnancies we ate a lot of it. It isnt just a huge disaster that causes a need for this. I am a Mormon, but many Mormons do not have food storage. I think that in my area only 20% of active members have any and few have a full years.
1 person likes this
• United States
19 Feb 09
Sorry, I forgot to add this. Most of my food storage comes from stocking up on the stores. If I dont feel like shopping for a few weeks I dont. When things are on a great sale I buy enough to last either as long as its shelf life or as much as we will use in a year. 98% of my storage is stuff I bought on sale so when we need it I shop from the pantry. I only shop for produce and things that are on great sales. Out monthy food budget is under $250 for a family of 4 and it is all because I can rotate.
1 person likes this
@dragon54u (31635)
• United States
19 Feb 09
Wow, you're doing great on feeding your family the low cost way! Good for you!! When I lived in Arizona I read a story about an LDS guy who was trying to keep a canning establishment going for his fellow members. You could grow your own produce and the plant would can them for you, but he couldn't get too many people to participate. I thought that was silly, if the service is there they should use it! LDS has a lot of good advice with the idea to be living independently and not being a burden on others. We should all think this way.
1 person likes this
• United States
21 Feb 09
Thanks. I do think that if more of us were independant life would be a bit better. I wish I were more self sufficent.
@xParanoiax (6998)
• United States
19 Feb 09
My family could last a few months on our pantry's supply. I'm hoping to up it to a year's worth with our effort to farm, this year on a little more than an acre. We have a handful of dried goods, a couple extra bags of flour, and a couple shelves worth of canned goods. We try for it to be mostly stuff that we wouldn't mind eating, but my Mom and he friends exchange and give eachother canned goods, so some of the time we'd have to be happy with whatever we'd have on hand. We try to buy extra cans whenever we can, but we often can't. We are lacking on drinking water, though there's a well connected to a natural spring right up the road, so we're not in as bad of a situation as we would be if we couldn't afford electricity and therefore our own well wouldn't work. We only drink water from the well connected to the spring, so we do have a fewboxes of two litre bottles of it. And we have some canned soda and tea, but that'd only last a few weeks, especially as we might need it for cooking. (We'd have to forgo much washing of ourselves, in this kind of situations, and try to only wash what's absolutely necessary of cooking utensils and dishes). So on the water situation, we'd last a few weeks and have to hope w'd have means to go get more water (which costs us nothing but maybe energy or gas, depending if we walk those miles with a wagon or take the car). It's a very good idea. Never mind the shortages idea, but on the rising costs of things...simply notbeing able to purchase anything is the same whether the prices are high or if there's nothing to buy period.
1 person likes this
@dragon54u (31635)
• United States
19 Feb 09
It sounds as if you're doing pretty well on being independent! When Kroger has their bottled water at $.99 for 6 individual bottles in a pack, buy a few. I don't know where your city is, is it close to London? I'm in Springfield! Water is really important. It might get to the point where we'll need our food storage but I hope not. It's good you're prepared. Do you have toilet paper and stuff in your storage? I have a crank-powered radio, too.
• United States
19 Feb 09
Rural Ohio, no Krogers around these parts I'm afraid. I'll just have to work on storing some more of our spring water...it's free that way, =) I have kinetic flashlights, and a solar flashlight (which is something I won for my alternative news blog), and my Mom recenty got an emergency radio which can work on either radio, cell phone charger, or hand crank...but it seems to be defective. I'm not sure if I'll be able to tinker with it to make it work, either. I also have a flint (so that I can cook without power and without lighters or matches), a compass, a few hunting and swiss army knives, and a flask. I also have a small woven blanket with one of those "Space NASA blankets", some granola, a water bottle, and an extra set of clothes in a bag for a situation where I have to pick up and go instead of just trying to manage til a crisis is past. We have some toiletries put away, but not as much as we should since toilet paper prices have been rising here. My family's definitely got some room for improvement and we're not as independent as we'd like. But it's much better than nothing =)
• United States
19 Feb 09
***battery, heh.
@p1kef1sh (45640)
18 Feb 09
I think that having a little in store is quite a good idea. But if everyone does it to excess you end up with panic buying and empty shelves sooner and unnecessarily. The US seems to panic more than the rest of the world about food shortages. I don't understand why that should be. You have so much land that could be cultivated - although successive governments attitudes to small farmers has been less than encouraging - and as you say, you can always start to grow your own. Once you have your stockpile you then need to defend it. Then we have internecine warfare. The breakdown of society and anarchy. Personally I would introduce rationing at the first sight of shortages as we had here a few years ago when the oil truck drivers went on strike and goods couldn't be distributed. It was a curiously pleasant time. We experienced hardship for just long enough to "pull together" and before we descended into self-preservation at all cost.
1 person likes this
@dragon54u (31635)
• United States
18 Feb 09
This country pays farmers NOT to grow things! More and more people are planting gardens because they are sick of pesticides and diseases on the produce we buy and that's a good thing. I don't plan to have a year's supply but I feel comfortable with a couple months' worth of food just in case I have no money or the supply chain is disrupted.
@dragon54u (31635)
• United States
19 Feb 09
It's criminal, isn't it? People are starving and yet we pay farmers to leave their land fallow. Greed is the scourge of humanity.
@GreenMoo (11842)
3 Mar 09
I'm not sure we'd last a month, but I've got a fair amount of dried and tinned food stored away. I'd feel happier if our garden was already productive. We've moved so I'm having to start afresh with a veggie garden this year.
1 person likes this
@dragon54u (31635)
• United States
3 Mar 09
Do you can your produce? I'm thinking about doing that but I'm not sure I could. I'm wondering just how difficult it is.
1 person likes this
@GreenMoo (11842)
4 Mar 09
I don't use a pressure canner, as they seem to be very difficult to get hold of outside of the US and Canada, but I do preserve allot by bottling using a hot water method.
@flowerchilde (12547)
• United States
24 Feb 09
I agree that most of us are not ready for a natural disaster, or even a three day ice storm, let alone the collapse of the market and supply system.. [Also, according to Bible prophecy (though everyone misses it) there will be 45 days of not being able to buy and sell with the last ten being mortally critical.. Three and half (Hebrew) years after they tear down the wailing wall where the Jewish folks pray daily, is when this will occur..]
1 person likes this
@dragon54u (31635)
• United States
24 Feb 09
That's pretty specific! Those prophecies are usually very vague and don't specify any time periods. I live my life with a backup plan for everything, I feel as if I owe that to my family so I won't be a burden to them or to my neighbors. Not being able to buy or sell anything would be horrid, think of all the people who won't have their medicine and all the people unprepared who will go hungry.
1 person likes this
• United States
25 Feb 09
...it's the whole antichrist prophecies as you may know (which usually books, etc, to my mind, have a bit wrong!) I'm actually getting to a point where I think the whole 666 chip thingy will involve some sort of behavior modification.. it's with the 666 that one will be able to buy and sell, but at what price.. (According to the prophecies, none of this can occur however until there is a world governing/government. The verses for the 'schedule' if you or anyone is interested is Daniel 12, verses 11 and 12.) later!
@mommaj (22894)
• United States
19 Feb 09
In this day and age you should have enough time to prepare for a crisis unless the wars cause nuclear destruction and you wouldn't have to worry about it anyway. I think a month's supply is smart.
1 person likes this
@dragon54u (31635)
• United States
19 Feb 09
I prefer two months but one month is a very good idea! There are many situations where you would need it, I figure a nuclear war comes along and not many people will be around to use the stores! I was thinking more of natural and economic disasters, although I do keep iodine tablets formulated to resist radiation poisoning. I started thinking recently about losing my income and what I could do to survive and pay my bills until I stabilized. I think I've got it covered and the extra food is part of the plan.
@mommaj (22894)
• United States
19 Feb 09
Sounds like you're prepared. I certainly hope you never have to use it.
@TheCatLady (4695)
• Israel
19 Feb 09
I have enough to last a few weeks to a month. I don't eat processed or canned foods much. I buy a few cans of tomatoes for convenience and stuffed grape leaves and canned fruit for emergencies, but that's about it. Mostly its rice grains beans and pasta. I also have dried fruits and nuts. They last a long time and are yummy. When I was in the States I had a neighbor who got free government surplus food and she didn't use it all. She put it in the foyer of our building and I always took it when I saw it. I had a years supply of cornmeal, oatmeal and other grains when I left the country. I gave it to my parents. They were happy to get it as it's good free food.
1 person likes this
@dragon54u (31635)
• United States
19 Feb 09
That's strange that your neighbor wouldn't have use for the food but it was very good of her to pass it on instead of throwing it away! Don't forget to have a source of water in case you have to use that food you have stored. It's good to know that you're ready for an emergency.
• Israel
19 Feb 09
Maybe she didn't like or couldn't use everything in the package. It's not like she got to pick and choose. They give out the same box with whatever in it. I used it. It was good food.
• United States
19 Feb 09
We've been trying to slowly get things set up so that we do have at least 2 weeks stored up. It's a bit difficult in an apartment setting to find the room, but we're creating. We also have been working on our first aid kits as well.
1 person likes this
@dragon54u (31635)
• United States
19 Feb 09
Good for you! I have tuna, of course, but also take advantage of sales on other canned meats. Dried fruit and beef jerky are good, too. Don't forget to take advantage of sales on bottled water, too, you never know when you will be without.
• United States
19 Feb 09
Yeah, my husband and I were just talking about buying some more special water storage containers like he used in the military. We want a few things from the military surplus stores, but some cost a great deal lol. Slow but sure,right.
• United States
19 Feb 09
We have quite a bit of food at my house. I'm not sure how much food we actually have on hand, but we do have probably a month or more of food stored at my house. Whenever there is a sale on boxed food stuffs or anything that we normally use, we buy a few boxes of that food stuff and keep it on hand. We have a lot of pasta type noodles and those things can last quite awhile.
1 person likes this
@dragon54u (31635)
• United States
19 Feb 09
Don't be like me and forget that you might want to cook your food if there is no power! Cold food got really old when my power went out last fall so I bought some sterno on sale and a small folding platform to hold a pot over it. You are wise to have extra food on hand but don't forget to lay in some bottled water! You never know when you might have loss of pressure or your supply is compromised. Good work!
• United States
19 Feb 09
Oh don't worry about that, we have plenty of water too. We probably have about 10 -15 gallons of water stored in case we lose power or in case our well dries up. We also have some camping stoves that only require gas to cook with.
@mariposaman (2967)
• Canada
19 Feb 09
That is strange I started such a discussion and question on another board that I am on. They tend to be good shoppers though and try saving money. They tend to stock up when there is a sale. Most of them would last at least a month, probably two, which is just about what I would last in a food crisis. Unfortunately I no longer live in the country so have no woodstove nor a way of doing without electricity. If the power went off in the winter I would be in trouble. I had considered getting a generator so I could keep the freezer going for at least a few days. I have a barbeque on the back patio that I could cook with until the propane runs out. Eventually I would have my supplies run out though in a matter of weeks. I also have a wind up radio and a couple of flashlights that work. Other than that I have no formal emergency plan.
@dragon54u (31635)
• United States
19 Feb 09
Generators are great if you can afford one, especially in the winter! If you can last a month I think that's pretty good. I love my wind up radio, it came in handy when I lost power for 4 days last fall. Don't forget to have drinking water on hand!
• Canada
19 Feb 09
4 days without power is an emergency for people in the wintertime with no heat. As far as water, if the power is off for a few hours, I will fill the bathtub up with water, it is almost a reflex reaction. While the water in the water tower is pumped with electricity, there is usually a reserve. I do not recall ever running out of water even when we lost power several years ago for several days.
@1hopefulman (34746)
• Canada
19 Feb 09
I guess that might work fo some emergencies but not all emergencies. What if we have to evacuate from an area because of fire or flood quickly. How much can we take with us? Of course it's always good to prepare for some emergencies, though as to food I don't have too much stored. I usually shop every few days.
1 person likes this
@dragon54u (31635)
• United States
19 Feb 09
I have a "Go Bag", a knapsack that is filled with a day's worth of bottled water, 3 days of food, first aid supplies, a change of clothing and extra socks, blanket, compass, waterproof matches, a knife, tinder, fishing line and hooks, everything I would need to survive outdoors for a long while. So I'm all set whatever happens. I've had such bags all my life and never needed them but if I do, they are there.
@1hopefulman (34746)
• Canada
20 Feb 09
You seem to well-equipped! I was just thinking, do you have all your important documents in one place that you are able to grab them quickly if you have to leave your home in a hurry?
@Aussies2007 (5339)
• Australia
19 Feb 09
I think it would be more practical to ask yourself... Why would the stores be empty? You can have food shortage due to a strike or a natural disaster. But in both cases... those would be short lived as your government would swing into action to get food back on the shelves. Food shortage only happens during war time... when your country is under attack or occupied by the enemy. And this is very unlikely to happen to the USA. Having one month supply is not a bad idea. But one month is not that long... when I consider that I do my shopping only once every two weeks. Which means I buy two weeks supply.
1 person likes this
@dragon54u (31635)
• United States
19 Feb 09
My government is not going to be there in a natural disaster. That's how I operate. During Hurricane Katrina they didn't get to the people for days and there was no food or water in large supply. Recently the people in Kentucky, not far from me, had an ice storm and some just got their power back--3 weeks without power or heat in the freezing cold! The government was not there for days. We can't depend on our government and I feel more secure when I know I don't have to. The way things are going here in the states and the way we are barreling into socialism, I'd rather be independent and able to take care of myself for a few months at least.
• Australia
19 Feb 09
This might have been the case under George Bush. But socialism is all about looking after the people first.
@anne25penn (3310)
• Philippines
18 Feb 09
I've done more than stocking canned goods in my pantry. I've actually started a small vegetable garden. One good thing about living in the Philippines is that we are not too dependent on supermarkets. We have markets where we can buy fresh vegetables and stuff. Even when there was a rice shortage last year, I was not that affected because my household does not consume that much rice. Now, if the store shelves were empty....I don't know. I don't want to contemplate on the extremes. But for now, I hope my vegetable garden will be sufficient for some veggies that I don't have to buy.
1 person likes this
@dragon54u (31635)
• United States
18 Feb 09
I'll be growing a garden this year, too, but it's too cold right now. I have a couple of months before I can do that. It'll be so nice to have my own produce! Be sure to set aside some bottled water when you can, too.
• Philippines
18 Feb 09
That is one product that I swear, I will freak out when it runs out! I have to have drinking water delivered three times a week since my mom and I consume a lot of water.
1 person likes this
@SangsTurks (1447)
• India
24 Feb 09
i think it isa really good idea to stock food items. I do store groceries but just so that it surfices for another month. i really dont know what to do if the supplies are over and you are not getting anything anywhere. The thought of it is suffocating.
1 person likes this
@dragon54u (31635)
• United States
24 Feb 09
I think a month is a lot better than nothing! If you were to fall ill or there were shortages, there would be enough to tide you over till things righted themselves. You are a wise wife and mother!
@mariposaman (2967)
• Canada
19 Feb 09
This is post #2 as I have a comment to add. Most of my supplies I like to stock up on when they are on sale. For example I got some canned beans on sale and bought a dozen or so as they were almost half price. I am presently waiting for a dollar sale at one of the stores that will be starting tomorrow that will be selling canned soup for a dollar that normally sells for up to two dollars. It takes a bit of planning but I try to eat healthy and not eat the sugary and fatty junk foods. My system of food and toiletries like shampoo, etc , other than stocking up on staples is with a few exceptions is a one in hand system. Most people wait until they run out to get a new jar or bottle of stuff. I always have one in the cupboard, and when the one I am using is finished and I grab the one in the cupboard, then I rebuy or look for sales. By the time I use the second jar I have replaced it in the cupboard so always have a spare. That way I am not running to the store in a panic having run out of shampoo or mayonnaise, etc. As commented earlier I am good for a couple of months unless the power goes off as right now I have small freezer full of food. I like to stockpile in the winter time so I do not have to rush out in the middle of a snow storm to get essentials. I have some milk frozen and some skim milk powder.
1 person likes this
@dragon54u (31635)
• United States
19 Feb 09
That's a very good plan. I do the same thing, especially when soap and other personal items are on sale. I don't have a freezer other than the one on my fridge.
• Philippines
19 Feb 09
I think i would not be panic buying since we are just two here and still waiting to have a baby of our own. Most of the time, people panic when prices of commodities rise up. It will be an advantage of course if you have an ample amount of stock at home. I myself would like to save money, so it is much better to buy an extra so that just in case prices would go up again, you have your stock and you will need to refill it by the time it finished up. Most of the stocks i buy were laundry soap, laundry powder, shampoo, fabric conditioner and some canned goods. But since i am here with my hubby, i don't do the same thing like i used to do back in my country.
1 person likes this
@dragon54u (31635)
• United States
19 Feb 09
Those personal items are good to stock up on but you really should have a few days worth of canned goods, at least, and some bottled water. I don't panic buy, that is silly and it can be socially destructive, too. I just buy an extra can or two when things are on sale. It's cheap to store food that way.
• United States
19 Feb 09
I think I would, but I don't have kids. I buy Tasty Bite meals that don't need heating and store for 18 months. I always have lots of grains and beans, so if there was a heat source I would be okay. I think it is a good idea, because you never know. All our earthquakes here are usually minor, but you never know when a serious one is going to hit or a tornado or flood in many places.
1 person likes this
@dragon54u (31635)
• United States
19 Feb 09
Yes, you never know what emergencies are going to happen and it's best to be prepared. You can't rely on the government or anyone else to help you! Independence is the best way to live.
@Opal26 (17690)
• United States
19 Feb 09
Hi dragon54u! I try to always keep extra food in the house just in case of an emergency! My boyfriend is always making fun of me for doing this! He just doesn't understand why I buy extra and feel the need to have extra food on hand. But, I do feel that it is important. But, you can only be so prepared! If we were to lose gas and electricity we would really be in trouble because we would have not way to cook so I really need to stock up some things that don't need cooking too!
1 person likes this
@dragon54u (31635)
• United States
19 Feb 09
I bought some cans of Sterno fuel last fall when it was on sale for $.25 a can! Then I got a small fold up platform to put it under. We lost power for 4 days and cold food got old fast! Your BF will stop making fun of you if something does happen that you need the extra items. With the economy tanking like it is, you may have to use some of that food. Remember to lay in some bottles water, too. You never know when the water supply will be compromised. It's always good to be prepared and only foolish people don't plan for disasters or times of need.