Over the past several weeks I have been updating my food storage price comparison list which compares Utah prices in Sam's Club, Costco, Wal-Mart, the LDS Home Storage, and a few Utah food storage companies. In September, I will add the Utah grocery store case lot sales at Macey's, Dick's, Smith's (September 4th), and Harmon's (September 2nd) for a complete comparison. It takes quite awhile to gather and input prices, so I've been slowly working on updating the list.
It always surprises me how prices fluctuate even within a 30 day period at Sam's Club and Costco. I've seen items go up several dollars which is kind of scary, but then they come down a bit. Wal-Mart shelf stable foods tend to stay about the same from year-to-year. Imagine that. The LDS Home Storage Center price list was last updated in May, but stays stable most of the year. Food storage companies like Shelf Reliance tend to go up in price, whereas Emergency Essentials food is mostly stable.
I've also watched container sizes shrink over time. Most people don't notice those little details, but packaged food items are getting smaller. I suppose it's the only way companies can keep food prices from skyrocketing.
It's been interesting to study food prices. I have looked at USDA reports on produce and other foods. Reports that most people will never read in their lifetime. And I would not expect you to. However, I do think it pays to compare prices.
Suffice it to say that I am grateful I can buy most of my long-term foods from the LDS Home Storage Center. I gather some of our bulk foods from Costco or Sam's Club while I shop, but I get the majority of the small canned foods from the case lot sales every 6 months. Or I just watch for deals at my local grocery store.
It can be overwhelming when we have so many places to shop for food storage, but I just remind myself: "My goal is to save money for my family by buying foods we normally eat and storing some extra in my cupboards. I don't have to change our lifestyle to do it. Just need to stick to the basics."
Please don't get hyper-focused on natural disasters. We see things happening around us and all we can think of is natural disasters, but there are many types of financial disasters. The most common one you will probably face is when you or your spouse loses a job and you don't have food in the cupboard to get you through those transitional months. May we each do our homework and pray for guidance from our Heavenly Father as we care for our families. He is always there to help us.
When the Utah case lot sales come this fall, I will add store prices to my list and share my comparison with you. And I hope those of you on tight budgets will seriously look the list over and figure out what is best for your family.
I thought you would enjoy this 11 minute 1950's "Home Management: Buying Food" video that was once used in home economics classes. You may just chuckle. Funny how tips for saving money in 1950 still apply today. Enjoy the oysters!