A guest post by Gayle from Gainesville
[This is an entry in our non-fiction writing contest where you could win – First Prize a 10 Person Deluxe Family Survival Kit, Second Prize an Herb Seed Bank or Third Prize a copy of Dirt Cheap Survival Retreat. For complete rules and list of prizes see this post.]
The holiday season is fast approaching. Thanksgiving is just around the corner. Believe it or not, the holiday season is the perfect time to think about your food storage preps. After all, one thing is clear—at least here in the U.S. Holidays mean family gatherings with lots of home-cooked dinners and home-baked goodies.
It’s at this time of the year that we do the majority of our baking. Corporate America knows this, and that’s why you can expect to see baking products at rock-bottom prices this time of year. If you keep a keen eye on prices, you can pick up a lot of products at well below half price.
The holiday season also brings cooler temperatures. Things like canned soups, hot chocolate, oatmeal, and other hot cereals go on sale at the grocery stores. Keep a keen eye on weekly flyers and sales information websites. You can often get these products BOGO (buy one get one free).
You can hit the after-Halloween candy sales to pick up candy at rock bottom prices. Chocolate will keep in the freezer for six months. If properly stored (oxygen absorbers in mylar bag), hard candy will last much longer. If you have children, candy will go a long ways in alleviating food fatigue.
October signals the beginning of the sales season for baking goods. You can get flour, sugar, brown sugar, molasses, raisins, nuts, chocolate chips, pie filling, canned milk and other baking supplies at the lowest prices of the years. To take advantage of the sales, you need to know the recommended shelf life of each product you intend to stock. (Please refer to  under “Recommended Resources” for additional information on shelf life of stored foods).
The rest is easy. Simply estimate how much of a given product you will use given how long the product will remain viable on the shelf. For example, if you know that chocolate chips have a recommended shelf life of 18 months, and you find a BOGO sale, buy a year’s worth of chocolate chips. If you know that brown sugar has a shelf life of only four months, then only purchase a four-month supply of brown sugar. (Or purchase white sugar and molasses, and simply make your own brown sugar.)
In the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving, grocery stores offer turkeys as a loss leader. They actually sell turkeys below market value in order to draw customers to the store. They figure that once they get you into the store, you will purchase other (often-overpriced) items. If you have a pressure canner, you can put up dozens of quarts of turkey or turkey soup at rock-bottom prices. (See  below under “Recommended Resources.)
In the weeks leading up to Christmas, grocery stores will have hams as a loss leader. If you plan ahead, you can put up dozens of quarts of diced ham in ham broth, or ham and bean soup. Home canned diced ham can be used for many meals: ham and scalloped potato casserole, pot pie, ham and eggs. See The Wolf Pack Cookbook for more information. (See .)
There is a pattern to sales cycles. Turkeys go on sale in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving. Hams go on sale in the weeks leading up to Christmas. Such cycles are not limited to the holiday season. June, for instance, is National Dairy Month.
This means that you can expect to see products such as butter at significantly discounted prices. With this bit of information in your back pocket, you can hold off buying butter until you see a great price. When you do find a great price, buy a year’s supply. (Note: The recommended shelf life of butter in the freezer is nine months. But I have stretched that out to a year without any noticeable difference in quality or taste. Please refer to  for additional information on yearly sales cycles.)
Armed with this information, it is possible to purchase most items at or below half price. That means you can purchase a year’s supply of food for the price of a six-month supply. And it’s hard to beat that.
 http://www.thesurvivalistblog.net/wolf-pack-cookbook/ (get it before the price goes up tomorrow)
- The Prepper's Guide to Surviving the End of the World, as We Know It: Gear, Skills, and Related Know-How
- The Prepared Prepper's Cookbook: Over 170 Pages of Food Storage Tips, and Recipes From Preppers All Over America!
- Dirt-Cheap Survival Retreat: One Man's Solution
- 31 Days to Survival: A Complete Plan for Emergency Preparedness