Who has noticed a consistent increase in the cost of food each year? The most recent numbers continue to reflect an upward trend in prices. In this year alone, the United States Department of Agriculture predicts that food prices will increase between 1.0 to 2.0 percent. While many see this as a normal inflation rate, it’s becoming more difficult for families to carry on their normal way of living.
Global events create volatility for food prices and our dollar is not as strong as it was in recent years (when food prices were lowered). The following list shows how the price of foods reacted to events taking place worldwide. (Source)
Food Freedom Starts in the Backyard
For years, I have placed emphasis on finding ways to be more sustainable. Rather than being a consumer, I started taking steps to become a producer and save money in the long run. I made a personal goal to start growing my own food pantry.
If you are just beginning your food pantry, ideally, you want to store long lasting shelf stable foods that your family normally consumes, as well as find foods that serve multiple purposes. Having tools on hand to dehydrate and preserve extend the shelf life exponentially. Here are 25 foods to use as a starting point. Many of the foods listed in the previous link can be grown in a garden or on your property. By taking steps to grow your own food, you can naturally begin to restock grains, fruits and vegetables, spices, canned meals, and even plant-based oils for your pantry.
I found research that supported my claim: A well-maintained food garden yields 1/2 pound of produce per square foot per growing season, according to the National Gardening Association. So a 600-square-foot garden, the American average on which households spend $70 per year, could churn out 300 pounds of fresh produce worth about $600 annually, the association estimates.
Not only did I begin growing food for my pantry but also foods that had the highest price fluctuations, such as beef, eggs, and fresh produce.
- I started raising chickens for eggs. We raise sex-link chickens that we have found to be prolific layers of extra large brown eggs. As well, they have a very kind and pleasant disposition.
- I added rabbits for emergency meat sources. We have a few New Zealand/California Meat rabbits that, if in a pinch, we can breed for emergency meat sources. They have not been bred yet and are currently helping me add nutrient-rich manure to the compost piles and garden. But I feel relieved knowing we have them and can use them if needed.
- I planted some mini-dwarf fruit trees. I chose mini-dwarf fruit trees because they begin producing fruit faster than larger fruit trees. To date, we have 10 different fruit trees around the property and I plan on adding some nut producing trees soon. Most of the fruit from these trees can be dehydrated or made into tasty jams, jellies, and fillings for pies. An added bonus is the blossoms attract needed pollinators such as bees and hummingbirds for the garden and any extra fruit we get can be offered to livestock or to attract wild game animals for food.
- I started looking for locally sourced beef and raw milk. This has been the biggest challenge for me. I bought a share of a cow for fresh milk and everything was working out great and then the cow ate poisonous weeds and died – no more milk shares and no more delicious raw milk. I also found a local rancher who sold me half a cow he was about to butcher. I was so excited to have a freezer full of tender meat, but the meat was tough and almost gamey. Therefore, the family was not excited about eating beef, so I turned most of it into sausage and they loved it. So, I’m still on the lookout for finding a great deal in this area.
Taking these steps will save me over a thousand dollars each year on food!
Prep of the Week: FREE SEEDS to Help You Increase Your Personal Food Supply
Are you ready to take steps to break free from a dependency-driven system? Here’s your chance!
Our prep of the week is FREE SEEDS from Ready Gardens.
For the rest of the month of March, Ready Gardens is offering over 1,000 of premium organic heirloom survival seeds free (you pay for shipping).
This Survival Seed Starter Pack contains five jumbo seed packets of key nutrient-rich seeds that will provide essential food in an emergency. The best part is once your produce is ready to harvest you can start saving some of the seeds for even larger harvests in the future.
All seeds are pesticide-free and contain absolutely no GMO’s!
Here’s are the seeds you’ll find in your Starter Kit:
- Pinto Beans (Approximately 80 Seeds)
- Bloomsdale Spinach (Approximately 150 Seeds)
- French Breakfast Radish (Approximately 150)
- Hard Red Spring Wheat (Approximately 350 seeds)
- Hulless Oats (Approximately 350 seeds)
(Sorry, no substitutes)
While these seeds will help your family start the journey towards food freedom, we encourage you to consider upgrading to the Vegetable Garden In A Can for year-round gardening. Containing over 5,000 seeds (including the five ‘Survival Seeds’ mentioned above) – enough to feed a family of eight for over one year – this kit can be used for spring, summer, fall and winter gardens and contains 25 different seed varieties.
Now is the time to take steps to produce your own food and beat food inflation. And all of you know that fresh, kissed-by-the-sun produce from the garden tastes better than anything sold at the grocery store.