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When we started our food storage, we weren’t really sure why we were doing it, other than to be obedient to what we felt God was telling us to do.  There have been rumours of runaway inflation (where the cost of items doubles every 1-2 weeks), of a double-dip recession, and of other economic catastrophes.

Lately, with the cost of gas increasing (I paid $3.50 per gallon this morning, up from $3.39 on Sunday evening – yikes!), grocery prices have been stealthing upward.  Regular stores like Kroger (Fry’s, out here) used to run “Buy 10 get $5 off”-promotions and now they’ve lowered it to “Buy 10 get $3 off.”  Prices are increasing at Costco, but prices there tend to flux a bit, so I’ve not thought too much of that.  Let’s face it – as it costs more to get the items from a distribution center to the stores, the increased cost of that fuel is tacked on.  The troubling thing to my mind is that the trend of increasing grocery prices has always had a six-month lag behind the actual hike of fuel prices, and this bucks that trend.

My case in point today is Trader Joe’s.  I love TJ’s for food that is largely unpolluted, simple, and inexpensive.  I can get a pound of frozen mixed (organic) vegetables there for $1.69, and we scarf down the veggies when I serve them at dinner. Bananas have always been $.19 per, and the cost of dry goods has been stable for at least the past 4-5 years (as long as I’ve been frequenting the retailer).

Until today.  While the bananas and mixed veggies haven’t increased in price, absolutely everything. else. in. my. cart. has. Ugh.  Up $.10 on my pizza sauce, up $.30 on cocoa powder.  Up a whopping $.50 on the blue corn chips we like….  It made me particularly grateful that I’m only there for incidentals (what food storage experts call “the three-month supply”) every other week or so.

It will be interesting to see how this trend goes – if, once the unrest in the middle east ends, prices will begin a downward movement or not.  It will also be interesting to see how the media picks up on this (or doesn’t – sometimes they just ignore this stuff when it doesn’t play in to what they want to report).

We’re okay at the moment, in spite of increasing prices.  But it makes both of us really grateful that we have this store of food to “fall back on.”

I was over at The Survival Mom‘s blog the other day, reading and realizing why the impetus to finish my food storage is so strong within me.  There was a report on FoxNews with Shepard Smith about food shortages and how the weakening dollar is affecting our purchasing power.

It’s not that I haven’t been serious about completing my food storage, just that life sort of got in the way.  We gave a lot to different charitable causes over the holidays and I don’t regret that one bit, but the extra cash went to gift-giving and donating more than stocking my pantry.  Such is life – and I value generosity to a point where I would rather have a limited food storage than skip the giving.  It’s just who I am.  :)

So today began the Sprint to the End (of building the food storage.  I’m not someone walking around in a sandwich board proclaiming “The End Is Near!”).  We are buying things in case prices do skyrocket like this video suggests and in case things get lean here.  So having a stash of chicken feet, pre-washed and ready for stocks, rice, vegetables, beans, etc., is helping to finish up our food storage.  If meat gets expensive, I want to be able to create soups and stocks to take the place of actual meat and to flavour rice, beans, and vegetables so we don’t end up with appetite fatigue.  We’ll continue adding for the next several months and hopefully be done by March/April.  :)

foodstorageanalyzer.com/MemberPages/Search.aspx?search=cheeseI’m now within 100 days of being done, after adding in today’s procurements.  I’m choosing not to live in fear or to hit the panic button, but I know I will breathe a large sigh of relief when this is all done.  It will be easier, I think, to replenish what we eat a little at a time and know that we’ve purchased what we can for food insurance for our family, in case things do get stupid-high, price-wise.

If you’ve not considered building even a three-month supply for your family, I strongly suggest you give it some thought and see if it’s a good practice for you.  Preparedness doesn’t mean you’ve got your night-vision goggles on and are building a bomb shelter (necessarily – LOL), but it does mean that you’re thinking ahead to what your family needs and doing what you can to prepare with the resources you have at your disposal.  :)

I’ll keep posting and when I’m all done, you’ll hear several gigantic sighs of relief from my quadrant down here in the southwest.  :)

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