Saturday, June 26, 2010

Your Pantry Is Your Piggybank

I'm a saver.

Although the magic of compound interest seems a little less thrilling with rates as low as they've been for awhile, I have always found it satisfying to see money grow in my bank account.

There are a lot of things to save for. There's the emergency fund, which should probably be enough to cover 3-6 months of expenses in case of, well, an emergency. The emergency fund is generally considered the first big savings effort you should make. Then there are long term goals to save for, those things that seem SO far away they may or may not be real, like retirement or your kids' education. Even though these events seem fuzzy, you're supposed to start planning for them now so you'll be ready when they come. Of course there are short term goals that come up along the way, like a fun vacation or a special birthday gift.

Did you know food storage is the exact same way?

It's important to start building an emergency storage of 3-6 months worth of the foods your family likes to eat. I feel pretty comfortable about this part of the plan, since we could live off of our pasta/sauce stores alone for a very long time! We could eat quite well if we could only purchase a small amount of dairy and produce items.

It is also wise to store more long-term food items like wheat and rice. While the scenario of living off of these staples is less sure than some long-term savings goals, it is best to plan now to be prepared just in case. This is one area where I have trouble. If I don't know how to cook with it in my everyday cooking, it's hard to get enthusiastic about storing it. I'm looking forward to renewing my efforts on this one is the fall!

And what about fun short term goals? You can always start planning ahead for birthdays, road trips, and pot lucks by purchasing items for your pantry that are on sale now so you won't have to pay full price for them later.

So while you may not be putting pennies in a piggy bank, you are saving up for your future when you shop smart and fill your pantry!

What keeps you motivated to shop smart and stock up your pantry?

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