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THRIVE Food Storage: Build Your Emergency Pantry on a Budget!

>25 September 2012
 
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If you haven’t already begun putting some extra food aside for leaner times… I beg you to consider the value in doing so.

I know some of you already know how fragile the system is. But for those of you who need a wake-up call, consider the following.

Contrary to popular assumption- We Are Not Guaranteed Access To Food.

Our ability to tap the local food supply can be effected by so many things. Increasingly devastating natural disasters, dependence upon a vulnerable electric grid, rising gas prices and shortages, trucks making deliveries to stores, national emergencies- each one of these things can negatively effect how readily available food is to us. But because most of us have never had to go without, it can be difficult to realize that we are not guaranteed the ability to run to the store whenever we need something to eat.

“Japan is a country where you can go to the grocery store and buy milk whenever you want. But right now there’s no food in the grocery stores, there’s no milk, there’s no bread, there’s no eggs. When you’re in that kind of situation, people are tired and freaked out.”

Source: Empty store shelves after Japan’s disaster

Once a disaster strikes, and unprepared people realize the dire situation they are in, the first thing they will do is rush to the stores to buy whatever supplies they can get their hands on. Shelves are emptied within hours, and people fight for what little remains.

I don’t know about you, but I’d rather avoid that scene altogether.

Economic hardships can also make it difficult to afford food when you need it. I think the possibility (or the unfortunate reality) of job loss is on everybody’s minds right now. Not many of us are safe from the effects of this recession, and not many are promised an income.

I ask those of you who are still going about life as usual- What are you wasting money on now that would better be put toward building a Home Store?

Do you have enough food set aside to get your family through at least a few months of hardship?

If you suddenly couldn’t buy food for a while, would you rather stand in line for your food stamp rations with the other 46 million Americans who depend upon them, or would you prefer to set some food back right now, just in case you won’t have the means to buy it in the future?

Not only that, but with the Federal Reserve’s recent announcement of a third round of Quantitative Easing, many investors fear inflation is quickly approaching.

For those of you who have had your head buried in the sand, the Federal Reserve (which isn’t actually a part of the government, but is a privately owned business), is currently printing as much money as they want, and buying up US Treasury notes, Mortgage-backed securities, and bank debt, in a so-called effort to help stimulate the economy. However, this printing of excess currency does not come without repercussions. As with anything, the more of something there is, the less it’s worth. Supply and demand.

Increasing the money supply tends to depreciate a country’s exchange rates versus other currencies… it directly harms creditors and holders of the currency (that’s us!) as the real value of their holdings decrease.

Quantitative easing may cause higher inflation than desired if the amount of easing required is overestimated, and too much money is created.

An increase in money supply has an inflationary effect… Inflationary risks are mitigated if the system’s economy outgrows the pace of the increase of the money supply from the easing. If production in an economy increases because of the increased money supply, the value of a unit of currency may also increase, even though there is more currency available.  This can only happen if member banks actually lend the excess money out instead of hoarding the extra cash (Have you tried getting a loan lately? Good luck! Banks simply aren’t lending, which works against the effectiveness of QE).

Wikipedia- Quantitative Easing (emphasis added)

Essentially, if our economy does not improve we will be facing inflation. Our money is losing its value, and the price of goods is only going to rise. What a bag of flour might cost you today will most certainly be much more in a few years from now.

Why not invest your money where it will never lose value- in food!

 

Okay, okay! I see the wisdom in having food set aside for emergencies. But where do I begin? I have no idea how much food we need, and what kinds of things I should buy! Help!

It’s easy to become overwhelmed when beginning your food storage. You want to make sure you have enough of the things you need, and you want to make sure you have a balanced assortment. But how do you calculate all of this?

Relax. This is where I calm all your food storage anxieties.

Here is the easiest way to build food storage. It’s called the Planner.

Shelf Reliance has made building your home store effortless with the “Q Planner”!

The Planner will help you create the perfect, custom Home Store for your family. Simply tell it a little about your food storage goals (how many people you plan on feeding, and how long you want the food to last), then set your monthly budget to what you can afford! From there, the “Q” will send you monthly shipments of the things you need. The Planner takes all of the guess work out of food storage.

What’s the “Q”?

The “Q” has best been described as like Netflix for food. After signing up, every month you’ll receive a shipment of your favorite foods sent straight to your door. You can fill your Q cart with whatever you’d like to have in your shipment for the month, or the Planner can put suggested items into your Q for you, based on what you’ve told it about your family’s food storage needs. You will always have full control over what items you receive, and you set the monthly budget to an amount you are comfortable with.

The only requirement is that you commit to the first three months at the budget you’ve determined. Afterwards, you can adjust your budget if you wish to, or cancel your membership with nothing more to pay.

*One of the benefits of ordering through the “Q” instead of just buying a few things online every month is that Q members pay much less than retail customers. Everything you order through your Q will be at the absolute lowest price possible. PLUS- Q Club Members are eligible to receive monthly Q-pons for even deeper deals on select products!

 

thrive food storage

 The Q is the perfect way to build your food storage on a budget!!

 

This is fantastic! So, how do I get started??

First, if you aren’t already on my Shelf Reliance customer list, send me an email letting me know you’d like to sign up! (newlifeonahomestead@gmail.com) I’ll send you a password to use to log in to your account to get started.

Next, follow these directions to get your Q activated:

Here’s how to get set up…

1. Log in to your Shelf Reliance account, then click on the tab “The Q” located at the upper right hand of the page.

2. Down at the bottom of the next page you’ll see two options:

the easiest way to build food storage

the easiest way to build food storage

 

How Much Do I Need In My Home Store- It’s hard to picture what a year’s worth of food for a family looks like, isn’t it?! Exactly how many cans of everything do I need, and how can I make sure to build a well-balanced home store? If these are questions you are asking yourself, if you have no idea where to even begin, then the Q Planner will be your best friend.

  • After clicking on the blue button, the Planner will ask you a few questions to determine your food storage needs. First, it will ask you how long you would like your food storage to last you. Are you trying to build up 3 months worth of food? 6 months? A year’s supply? Tell the Planner what your goal is. (I would highly recommend at least 6 months worth of food storage. Personally, my family’s goal is at least a year’s supply.)
  • Next it will ask you how many people you would like to plan on providing for, and their names, genders and ages. If you don’t want to divulge personal information, just fib. This is for your own use anyways, so it really doesn’t matter. All that really matters is that you tell the Planner how many people you need to plan for, and how many calories you’ll all need.

If you aren’t sure what to put in the Daily Diet “Calories” section, consider the following: A typical adult male needs an average diet of around 2500 calories. An average woman should consume around 2000 calories daily. Children’s caloric needs are based on their ages, genders, and activity level. It may be helpful to refer to THIS LIST to get a better idea of exactly how many calories each member of your family needs.

  • The next thing you will be asked is if you would like to include any Add-Ons.

The first box to check is for “Additional Cooking Basics”. These include things such as baking powder, baking soda, bouillon, butter powder, salt, sugar, etc. Here are my thoughts on this option… some things I would definitely recommend, and some I would not. So hear me out, and then decide whether or not you would like to “check” include cooking basics in your Q. Keep in mind, you can always manually add any of these items to your shipment if you decide there are things in this category which you would like to order. Checking this box only means that the Planner will automatically include items from the Basics category into your Q.

Sugar, baking soda, and salt can be bought in bulk for way cheaper elsewhere. (Sugar and salt can be stored in a sealed, plastic bucket almost indefinitely with no oxygen absorbers needed.) Unless you just like the convenience of having these items in THRIVE cans, shipped to your door with little effort on your part, then I would suggest you buy baking soda, sugar and salt somewhere else, like Sams or Costco.

I love the THRIVE bouillons. They come in chicken and beef flavor. They’re delicious, and contain no MSG. Bouillon is one of those things that you have got to have in your food storage. It can make practically anything taste amazing… even plain ol’ white rice! Having bouillon in your storage is a great way to keep food fatigue at bay.

I also love the THRIVE baking powder because it is aluminum free. And it has a 30 year shelf life.

The butter powder has received mixed reviews. It’s great for creating a spread for toast, etc, but doesn’t always work well in recipes. Personally, I’ll probably include a couple of #10 cans of the butter powder in our food storage, but I won’t invest too much in it. The same goes for the shortening powder.

The next box you have the option of selecting is “Drink Mixes”. If you are interested in having fruit drinks to flavor your water, include these in your plan. Our family loves these drinks!! And unlike the mixes you buy at the grocery store, these powders are actually made from REAL fruit!

The third option to choose is “Ready to Eat Meals”. And then you get to decide what percentage of your plan you want to allocate to this category, which (I don’t know why) was a little intimidating to me, in all honesty. How do I know how much of my plan should be ready to eat meals?? I had no idea. Now that I’ve been doing this for a little while, I figure 10%-20% is good starting point, though this is totally changeable at any point. The higher percentage you check, the more Ready to Eat Meals will be in your Q each month. You can leave them there, or take them out if you wish.

THRIVE Express meals are great to have on hand, not just for food storage, but also for those nights when it’s dinnertime and you have no idea what to make. These just-add-water entrees are delicious, full of good stuff, and take as little as 10 minutes to heat and serve. And they’re a real money saver when you’re tempted to eat out as well!! I buy these by the case to get the best deal possible.

The fourth box to check is “Select Freeze Dried Foods”, and then you tell it what percentage of the time you want to have freeze dried (vs dehydrated) added to your Q.  Many people prefer the taste of freeze dried foods compared to dehydrated foods. However, dehydrated foods tend to be cheaper than freeze dried. If you’d rather have the cheapest option available, select “0 percent of the time”. If you’d rather have the most flavorful option every time, select to have the freeze dried version “100% of the time”. If you’re somewhere in the middle, select a percentage you’re comfortable with. Again, it’s completely changeable in the future.

And the last option is whether or not you would like to kick your Q off with a Smart Start Pack. The Smart Start Pack provides foods from every category, including drinks, desserts, and THRIVE Express meals, a recipe booklet, menu planners, cooking tips and more. Check out THIS FLYER for more details. The Smart Start Pack comes in three monthly kits, at $150 each.

  • Now you’re ready to click “View My Plan”.
  • On the next page, you are given the option to order your food a little at a time with the Buy Monthly choice, or to make a one-time purchase of everything you would need to satisfy your food storage goal in one fell swoop, with the Buy Now option. From this page you can also review all of the items the Planner has suggested for your Q. If you see anything you don’t like, or perhaps you have a food allergy or other dietary requirement to consider, you are free to make any changes you wish.
  • From there simply follow the prompts to tell the Planner how much you would like to budget for your monthly shipment, and the date which you would prefer your card/account to be charged. This will be the date your shipment is scheduled to be sent out as well. If you set your budget for $100/mo or more, you will automatically be eligible for a free Platinum Q Club Membership (a $79.99 value)! With this membership you will receive occasional gifts, access to exclusive products, monthly Q-pons for deeply discounted products, recipes, rewards points which you can use toward free products, and occasional shipping discounts.
  • The Q will pull items from the list the Planner has put together of suggested products, and will add them to your shipment in an amount that meets your budget. If you are pleased with the items in your cart, click on “Begin Shipments”.
  • On the next page you will have the option to select a Q Club Membership. Again, if your Q budget is over $100, you automatically get a Platinum Membership!
  • Following this is where you will enter your billing, shipping, shipping date (when you want your first shipment to begin) and payment info. Follow the steps to confirm everything, and then sit back and wait for your first shipment to arrive! Doesn’t it feel good to be investing in food insurance?!

I Know What I Want Let’s Shop!- This option is for those who already have a good idea of what products they need to add to their home store. From here you can click through the categories freely, and add items to your heart’s delight! Set your budget and shipment dates, and the Q will pull from the items you’ve added to your Q cart each month.

the easy way to build food storage

Getting The Most Out Of Your “Q”

 

As a Q Customer, you will always pay the lowest available price on everything you order through your Q. But there are a couple of things you can do to get even more bang for your buck!

1.  Be sure to check out the monthly sale items before your Q shipment goes out. If there is a sale item that your family would enjoy, be sure to add it to your Q!! Think of it as coupon shopping online. You can always remove other items from your cart to make room for the sales products while staying within your budget, but definitely buy it while the deal is hot.

2.   Purchase in bulk. Instead of buying a couple of cans of something every few months, add a case to your Q instead! If you like broccoli, buy a case of it one month instead of buying a #10 can of broccoli every few months. By buying in bulk, you’ll pay less per item and really stretch your Q dollars farther!

3.  Consider buying things such as grains, rice, sugar, salt and beans in bulk from a local buying club or co-op, instead of through the “Q”. Unless you just love the THRIVE cans and convenience, you can save a lot of money by buying these items elsewhere.

So what do you think? Are you ready to get started with THRIVE food storage? If you have any questions, I’ll be glad to help!

 

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4 Comments »

  • Elisabeth said:

    So, I am on their website looking around and I created a Q just to see what kinds of foods they offer. They automatically assign a large quantity of grains, but we buy our bulk grains from another supplier, so I tried zeroing out the quantity. It won’t zero out though. It lowers the quantity but that is all. I don’t see a way to remove it from the list either. Am I missing something, or to participate in the Q am I required to buy their grains?

  • Kendra at New Life On A Homestead (author) said:

    Hi Elisabeth,

    No, you don’t have to buy the grains :) I’m gonna send you an email to walk you through how to delete what you don’t want. Thanks!

  • Elisabeth said:

    Perfect! Thank you!

  • Kendra at New Life On A Homestead (author) said:

    Elisabeth,

    I sent you a private message, but I thought I’d post the info here for everyone else to see :)

    When you click on the tab that says The Q, at the upper right hand of the home page, it should bring up your THRIVE Q Summary. On the left hand side of the page you will see a button that says “My Q Products”. Click there, and then on Grains, and you will be able to add/remove any products you wish.

    Hope that helps!

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