Food Storage as a Buffer to Inflation

Have you ever walked through the grocery store and said to yourself, “Wow, that was half the price only a couple of years ago.” Or, “Man, prices just seem to keep going up and up!” You aren’t wrong. According to the USDA Economic Research Service, the percent of cost increase in food between 2006-2012 was greater than all overall price increases and was equal to transportation increase and second only to medical care increases.

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Taken from USDA Economic Research Service website 3/28/2016
Since 2006 the percent increase in food costs had more than doubled by 2008, there was a small decline and then another jump in 2011. While prices seem fairly steady right now, it is still far greater than 1% increase in the last year. Now, I don’t know about you, but my bank account only gives me .0025% APR on my balance. If I am lucky, that can amount to as much as 1 penny every few months (when the increase from previous months finally adds up to something they can account for).

Keeping these numbers in mind, it is not hard to reason that maintaining an adequate food storage is a buffer investment. My family is eating food that would cost us twice as much or more to purchase now. Take sugar for example.When Michael and I first started storing bulk foods – flour, sugar, wheat, etc., sugar cost under 30 center per pound. The last time we bought sugar it cost us about 30 cents per pound at our local Winco. On our last trip to Winco, the same bulk sugar cost about 54 cents per pound. I just looked and they have a new online purchase option which gives you a little bit of a discount; online the cost is 50 cents per pound.

In 2 years the cost of sugar had a 66% increase! Since we had bulk sugar storage, we were able to avoid the cost of the increase for a long time. A similar pattern holds true for all foods including canned, and fresh foods. We have since increased our sugar and other bulk, canned, and freeze dried food storage. We also purchase bulk quantities of meat, fruits and vegetables when on sale and can it for long term food storage.

Bulk food storage is an investment, as it allows us to wait for sales, or shop around for the best possible prices on our food. I am never caught in the middle of making something and forced to go to the store to buy at whatever price they are charging at the moment.

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