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Tips for Food Storage on a Tight Budget

Many times people want to prepare with food storage but, like most of us, are going through some economic hard times. There are a number of things you can do to continue your food storage goals even when you’re on a tight budget or just starting.

We’ve shared some tips below and we’d love to hear from you! What recommendations do you have?

Gather little bits of money
A lot of people think they have to purchase all of their food storage at the same time. While some people might have the means to do that, many need to make smaller purchases.

Save up you extra pennies. Save the few extra bucks you have after buying groceries each week and it adds up. After a month you’ll probably even have some money to buy a #10 can of food. Save those few dollars for a few months and you could buy a six-can ReadyPack.

food storage on a tight budgetBulk deals
Buying in bulk is a great way to get ahead of your food storage goals. With our ReadyPacks, you can save $10 - $30 just by buying in bulk instead of each can individually. With larger long term kits like the 3-, 6- or 12-month kits, you can save 13 - 20 % buy buying in bulk instead of separately.

The Ready Store conveniently displays the bulk savings price next to each product. Whenever you see this gray badge next to the product it means that you can receive bulk savings. We also list the money you’ll save below the price.

Make a list
Yes, I know this sounds tedious but it helps. Know what food storage items you have and which ones you lack. This will help you know which items you should be saving for.

Keep an eye out for sales
You can save money by getting on the mailing lists for food storage supply companies. Stores will have sales periodically. Check out our weekly sales and daily deal tabs to see if there is anything that you’ve been keeping an eye on.

Split the cost with friends
A great idea is to place orders with friends. Find something that you can split, like a 6-month food storage supply, and then split the cost. That way you can save on shipping costs and get savings on bulk food!

Package your own food
A lot of people will  purchase large quantities of basic staple foods like grains and legumes in buckets. You can take these items and seal them with Mylar bags and oxygen absorbers to keep them safe.

Be consistent
The most important thing is to be consistent with your food storage goals. You’ll be surprised at how quickly small things can add up. Be consistent and add to your food storage when you can!

What advice do you have?
Comment below and share your advice! How can you keep preparing on a tight budget?

19 thoughts on “Tips for Food Storage on a Tight Budget”

  • Susan

    1. Trade with friends and neighbors
    2. Host a canning party
    3. Grow your own veggies from seeds; even if you live in a condo you can easily grow container vegetables.
    4. Trade sweat for food (i.e., I'll mow your grass for a bag of flour)
    5. Use those coupons

    I can't wait to hear everyone else's suggestions.

  • I would include going to the LDS canneries. They always have basic staples for low costs but you have to work to create them.
    Once you start opening up your budget a bit more, then I'd say to start purchasing more freeze dried foods.
    Get the basic staples underneath your belt and then start growing your storage with better tasting foods (fruits, vegetables, desserts and meals)

  • Bob G

    Why not use a vacuum cleaner to remove air from the mylar bags ala the under-bed storage bags before inserting the oxygen absorber packets? Using the vacuum suction tube, various dimensions of tubing could be used to reduce the opening of tubing going into the mylar bag to about the size of a pencil. When you reach that point with the hot iron, start slowly pulling the vacuum tube out and follow it up to the top of the bag and seal the space it previously occupied using the iron. Another tool to use for sealing the bags would be a hair straightener iron, which, I think, does a better job. Plus, there's no 2X4 to manage.

    Now, a question of my own: I saw a video recently where the air in the bucket was replaced with nitrogen. What are the benefits of doing this, and is it safe? Any answer would be greatly appreciated.


    • The Ready Store

      Hey Bob G,
      In the past, food storage manufacturers would pump (or sometimes just spray) nitrogen into their food in order to dispel or push out the oxygen. Most manufacturers don't use this process anymore because oxygen absorbers are much more efficient. It is safe and won't harm you but it's also sort of redundant if you're using oxygen absorbers.
      JoAnn has a good point. The reason it keeps your food from spoiling is because it pushes out the oxygen, which is the element that spoils your food.

      So in the end, it's a fine practice, but personally, I don't see the benefits of using it beyond an oxygen absorber.

  • JoAnn Hopes

    Bob, Nitrogen is useful because it doesn't react with anything. It won't make your food spoil or your apples turn brown. It is safe because about 80% of the air we breathe is nitrogen. Thanks for your tip. Going to pass that on to my husband.

  • mrs julie a neary
    mrs julie a neary May 14, 2012 at 10:07 am

    i would love to know where that pic was taken

    nitrogen is i think thought of as cold
    but i dont know how and if it reacts with food
    but sealing a bag of food and putting nitrogen around it
    would refrigerate it i think

    a bit like putting it in a cool box polystyrene style when frozen

    i am unsure if it is flamable tho
    beware the stray match
    it could mean a terrible waste

  • Bailey

    I have a food budget of $268 (that is what I get in food assistance) and I managed to start a small stockpile we have a few people and quite a few pets... I look every where for coupons because people just chuck the great coupons on the side so far I have gotten about $100 worth of free stuff thanks to coupons...

  • jimmy d

    just a thought buy extra salt for barter if there is an extended time after the emergency

  • Joanne r

    eggs when they are 99cents at walgreens and Kwiktrip. have them poached boiled or fried for breakfast. then have them scrambled for supper or eggs benedict or florentine.eat a light snack for dinner next day egg salad for lunch. eat many of these super cheap meals and you have money for food storage!

  • Ruby

    I have made bean soup mixes, adding bay leaf and any spices I wanted, adding onion flakes and bullion cubes and sealed them in my machine using the clear, plastic bags for that purpose. It takes all the air out. How long do you think these will last? So far I've kept some up to a year.

  • Sarah

    Mrs. Neary, I think you are thinking of liquid Nitrogen, which is very cold. Gaseous nitrogen is not cold and will not ignite.

  • Kessy

    When my husband and I were on government housing, I would always add 1 shelf stable item to our grocery cart. It was all I could afford at the time. I would tuck it away in our food storage area. Over time, it grew and when I moved I had a 3 month supply (and only took about 18 months!).

  • margie

    Where can I buy O2 absorbers? Does the Ready Store have them? I haven't seen them in your ads.

  • Denise Souligney
    Denise Souligney May 13, 2014 at 3:18 am

    I agree with Margie...where can we find O2 absorbers. If you don't offer them you should.

  • James

    Denise and Margie...Amazon sells them. They are very inexpensive.

  • Sara

    Why not use dry ice? It is concentrated CO2 and you can buy three pounds of it for five dollars. The thing that is important to mention is the importance of sealing 100% and if the oxygen isn't out of it (that greedy little hydrogen thief) it will create a bulge to push out the rest of the oxygen, point is-- its a process.

  • Kathryn

    Thank you - very informative!

  • Jon

    One inexpensive food that readily available is Pork & Beans. It is good hot or cold and everyone seems to like it! Just date the cans so you can rotate your stock, Food drives love them too!

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