If you waited until now to stockpile emergency food, you are probably struggling. The recent pandemic means Emergency food kits orders are backlogged for months.
Popular retailers like REI are out of virtually all freeze-dried meals. And supermarkets are having an impossible time of keeping shelves stocked with non-perishables like pasta, flour, canned goods, and instant meals.
This doesn’t mean you can’t stockpile food during the pandemic. You’ve just got to be strategic about it. Here are some tips to help you build up a stockpile of food even in the midst of disaster shortages.
1. Understand Why You Are Stockpiling Food
As the experts keep telling us, there is no food shortage right now. Rather, all the panic buying is causing the shelves to empty quickly. People are simply buying more than usual.
Nor is there likely to be a food shortage anytime soon. Even in countries which have almost complete shutdowns, food manufacturing employees are allowed to go to work. In fact, governments are organizing safe transportation to make sure these people can get to work!
Sure, there could be food shortages in the not-too-distant future. It’s understandable (and even smart) if you want to stockpile just in case. However, now is not the time to build up a long-term food stockpile. Wait until the craziness has died down to start!
If we aren’t going to run out of food, then why stockpile?
The answer is this: So you don’t have to leave your home. And especially so you don’t have to leave home to go to the grocery store.
Because of all the crowds and people who pass through them, grocery stores are one of the most dangerous places during the coronavirus pandemic. The longer you can go between grocery store visits, the safer you will be (and thus the safer your community will be too).
Once you realize you are stockpiling food so you don’t have to leave home, you will be able to go about shopping in a smarter way.
2. Do Not Go Grocery Shopping during the Panic
If you have enough food in your home to last a while (even if it’s just a few days), DO NOT GO GROCERY SHOPPING NOW.
At the time of writing this, people in the United States are still panic buying. If you head to the stores now, you will likely find bare shelves and crowds of people. You won’t succeed in getting the food you need and you’ll expose yourself to a lot of potentially-sick people.
Instead, hold off on going to the store as long as you can. In countries like Italy, it only took a couple weeks before the panic-buying stopped. In Serbia, the panic-buying stopped after just a few days and the shelves were back to normal.
3. Make a Food Spreadsheet
A friend of mine works at a supermarket. She tells me about all the people literally buying 30 packages of spaghetti and nothing else. Others are buying massive amounts of flour and oil but nothing else.
What the hell are you going to do with 30 bags of pasta???
Sure, you won’t starve but do you really want to eat plain pasta for the next few weeks? And how will you use flour without yeast or baking soda and baking powder? Oil is also pretty useless if you don’t have something to fry or cook with it! (continues)