Stockpiling Food for a Year

During the inflationary 1970s, the author devised her own system of stockpiling food that enabled her to have a year's supply of dry staples on hand.

| July/August 1980


You don't have to be a squirrel to reap benefits from stockpiling food.


As a child of the soil for 55 years—and the wife of a land-tiller for 37 of those years—I've had plenty of time to learn the dirt farmer's particular brand of conservation economics. Long-range plans are fundamental to a rural way of thinking and living, and back-to-the-landers who lack the vision and determination necessary to put such plans into practice soon return to their cities and towns ... where paychecks come once a week or a month instead of with the yearly harvest. On the other hand, folks who make long-range plans work can count on getting safely through most government-created—or natural—disasters.

The inflation fighting and conservation techniques that I'll describe will deal specifically with stockpiling food for the family food supply ... but the philosophy behind my methods can be applied to the way we handle all our earth's resources.

Year-to-Year Shopping

To begin at the beginning, I'd like to describe the time (and money) saving techniques I use when shopping:

Before considering bulk purchases, I read the local newspaper (which can be a first-rate tool for fighting inflation) to compare the prices at the area's supermarkets, keeping a special eye out for seasonal and house-brand sales. Then when the cost of a particular item is right, I buy as large a quantity of the bargain goods as my money and storage space will allow.

If inflation continues (as it surely will), stocking my shelves with adequate supplies of staple necessities will provide me with a great form of one-upmanship against the rising-price demon.

When soaring food costs attacked everyone's budget in 1973-'74, for example, I had already purchased supplies (varying from one to three years' worth, as determined by each item's perishability) of salad oil, shortening, syrups, honey, coffee, tea, milk powder, dried beans and lentils, and sugar for cooking and canning. I'd also bought stockpiles of canned foods that I can't satisfactorily process at home, such as evaporated milk, tuna, salmon, pineapple, whole and cream-style corn, and pork and beans.

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