June 2009 I posted about how food storage can help reduce a grocery budget. This post contains a specific example, using breakfast foods.
- These are actual numbers/prices from local grocery stores. My numbers for name-brand cold cereal are actual prices, but may be a little high for typical consumption. Of course, the results will vary depending on which brand, which store, what portion size, sale prices, coupons, etc.
- However, it is generally true that buying any food in bulk quantities (meaning in bags, boxes, cartons, or a large amount of one food at the same time) is more economical (cheaper!) than buying it in small, pre-packaged amounts.
- If there are foods that you eat regularly, consider buying them from a warehouse, a whole foods store, or the church home storage center in bulk quantities rather than in small packages. It will probably save money.
- You can do this comparison yourself with any food, using a calculator to determine the actual cost per portion.
Here's an actual example comparing cold cereal and oatmeal:
Name-brand cold cereal is $.83 per serving.
Store-brand cold cereal is $.41 per serving.
A pre-flavored oatmeal packet is $.33 per serving.
Oatmeal from a 25-pound bag is $.08 per serving!
Multiply the amounts to calculate for a family
7 servings of name-brand cold cereal is $5.81
7 servings of store-brand cold cereal is $2.87
7 servings of pre-flavored oatmeal packets is $2.31
7 servings of oatmeal from a 25-pound bag is $.56
Multiply to calculate if this family ate this meal four times in one week
Name-brand cold cereal: $23.24
Store-brand cold cereal: $11.48
Pre-flavored oatmeal packets: $9.24
Oatmeal from a 25-pound bag: $2.24
Multiply this by 52 weeks for 1 year
Name-brand cold cereal: $1,208.48
Store-brand cold cereal: $596.96
Pre-flavored oatmeal packets: 480.48
Oatmeal from a 25-pound bag: $116.48
For food storage, it is recommended that you store the foods you usually eat, and that you eat what you have stored, keeping it rotated and current.
However, if you include some basic foods (that are easily purchased in bulk quantities) as part of your ordinary diet, they are much easier to store. A 25-pound bag of oatmeal doesn't take up nearly as much space in a storage room as 25 boxes of cold cereal! Using basic foods once a week or even once or twice a month can make a difference in a grocery budget and can be a good foundation for food storage.