When you first use the food storage calculator (http://www.readyoutdoors.shelfreliance.com/planner/thrive/setup/
) to determine how much you need to keep your family fed, it can be a bit of a sticker shock when you see the total. I felt the same way when I first set up my year supply for 3 adults, I was overwhelmed and thought – there is no way I can afford this. But, I went ahead and decided to spend $50 a month to start and see if I could at least make a little dent in my food storage plans.
After the first two months of shipments, I started using the Thrive Instant Milk and was thrilled by how much I was saving on milk (my son drinks about a gallon every 2 days – he uses them for his protein shakes). The savings convinced me to start using more of the Thrive to cook with and replace some of the canned & fresh items I was buying.
When you begin to do the math, you find that using Thrive is usually cheaper than buying from the grocery store. For instance, a #10 can of Thrive Instant Milk runs just under $16.00 (party price) and a gallon of milk is $3.00+ at Publix. If you get the Greenwise brand, like I did, it’s $5 a gallon. I can get 9 gallons of milk out of one #10 can of Thrive Instant Milk. It tastes just like regular milk from the store and stays fresh longer. It would be $45 for milk at Publix for the same amount as a $16 #10 can of Instant Milk I get from Shelf Reliance. If you buy the regular milk @ about $3.00 a gallon, you are still saving about $11-12 on 9 gallons of milk.
The same goes for green beans – one #10 can of green beans is $14.29 at the party price. There are 12.75 cups of green beans in the can. Tonight I saw a can of green beans ON SALE for $1.39 at Publix. That’s $17.72 in canned goods vs $14.29 for the same # of servings – and it also lasts 20+ years longer than canned goods. Of course, if you coupon a lot or shop at discount stores, you can spend less than at Publix, but they still have the 1 – 2 years expiration dates. I have cans I bought in 2010 & 2011 that I thought – “2013 is SO far way”… well, it’s almost 2013 and I have a couple hundred dollars of canned goods that will expire over the course of the next year.After about 4 months, I began to see some real savings in my grocery bill because I wasn’t having to buy as much. I adjusted my monthly Q (http://readyoutdoors.shelfreliance.com/productqueue
) to start adding in some pantry cans (about 1/3 the size of the #10 cans), so that I wasn’t opening #10 cans and was able to leave those for my food storage. After about 7 months of receiving my monthly delivery, I was able to increase my monthly shipment amount to $150 because of what I was saving on my regular grocery bill.The biggest benefit to using the Food Calculator, even if you don’t buy the Thrive products, is that it gives you a road map for what you really need to feed your family over the course of 3 – 24 months (your choice of length of time). You can print the list, and then use the information to buy canned goods at the grocery store, but remember, they will expire in 12 – 24 months.
Before I buy any of the Thrive products that I am using right now (within the next couple of months), I do the math first. If I can get it cheaper at the grocery store, I don’t buy the Thrive unless I know the store bought food might expire before I can use it all. However, for my long term storage, things I know are going to sit on my shelf or spoil quickly, I don’t even bother with grocery store items anymore – I don’t want to have to worry about expiration dates.
I do have some canned goods on my shelves but I make sure those get rotated out before they expire. For instance, I have about a dozen cans of carrots that will expire in December, so each of my family members will get a couple of cans to take home @ family dinner next week.
Just don’t think you have to do it all at once – a little bit of something is better than nothing at all and before you know it, you’ll start to see your supply shelves fill up. It took almost 3 years but I now have a year supply for 3 adults and I cook with Thrive nearly everyday. We use the Thrive eggs, milk, butter, and vegetables regularly. I use the fruit to make my own jams too.
The bottom line is, don’t get discouraged by the numbers. Buy what you can, when you can – even if it’s only $5.00 a week. You’ll be happy a year from now that you started. 🙂
Shelf Reliance – Food Storage, Emergency Kits, Food Storage Racks
Shelf Reliance: The most trusted name in emergency preparedness offers food storage, emergency kits and food storage racks. We also offer water storage solutions and shelving products for commercial use.