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Thursday, May 22, 2008

The Sky is Falling! Or is it....


Every time I open the newspaper I see headlines about rising food prices. The media is consumed with this subject right now. Yes, prices are rising. Yes, we need to buckle the belt a little tighter. BUT, we can do this without panic and fear driving our purchasing decisions. There was a very good, calming and positive article in today's Deseret News .

There is no need to panic right now. Yes, we do need to change not only our food purchasing behavior, but also our food consumption behavior. Yes, we do need to take steps to prepare and put away food. And yes, even though we are in the "rainy day" right now, it is not too late to get prepared.

Here are the steps I recommend to get started:

First, make a plan!
  • Sit down and make a list of your families "tried and true" menu's. We all have those recipes we make over and over. Try to come up with 15-20 menu's or recipes.
  • From these recipes, write down all the ingredients needed. It is especially helpful to divide this list into non-perishables (pantry staples) and perishables.

That was the hard part! Now you know what items you need to create the meals your family knows and loves. I believe it is crucial to store what you eat and eat what you store. This is called a usable food storage or pantry.

Each week, the staff of http://www.pinchingyourpennies.com/ goes through the local grocery store ads and creates a FREE list of the best deals at each store. If you are a couponer (and you should be!), the list combines the sales and coupon and gives you a final price. In addition, each deal is rated according to the following system:

***** 5 Star Deal: Best price, time to stock up!!

**** 4 Star Deal: Excellent price, buy several!

*** 3 Star Deal: Average deal, only buy if you are out of this item. Not a stock up price.

** 2 Star Deal: Poor deal, avoid if at all possible!

Now, grab that ingredient list and go through the PYP Grocery Lists and write down what is on sale and corresponds with your list. Stock up according to the above mentioned rating system. I recommend setting aside a portion of your budget for your stock piling purchases. When you are first starting out, you will need to purchase not only your weekly grocery needs, but also your longterm pantry items. But, don't go overboard! Start slowly and remember, there is always going to be another good deal just around the corner.





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