You will not be able to depend on the government for help when things go south. The only one you can depend on is your self.
Starting a food storage when money is super tight can be a little daunting to say the least.
First off don't get discouraged when you see some one who has been working on food storage for years, believe me they started with nothing and had to work at it to get where they are. It takes lots of little baby steps. It also takes determination and the willingness to make a few sacrifices. Remember this will not happen over night it takes time.
1 Figure out a budget you can go here to see ways to save money that maybe you hadn't thought of. Every penny, every dime, you save is a little more you can put towards your food storage.
2 Learn to cook from scratch. I can not stress enough how important this is, you save a ton of money, it's way more healthy, and it cuts down what you need in your food storage. ( you don't need boxed dinners ect. You can make your own)
3 Learn skills. If you can sew just a little you can mend or make some of your clothes ( esp. children's clothes). Make your own soap ect. The more skills you have the less money you need to spend on these things, the more money for your storage.
4 Do not cater to picky eaters. I have a rule in my house I cook for my Husband if the kids do not like it they go hungry, or learn to eat it. ( I know harsh) It doesn't really take that long for them to come around to eating what I am cooking. Like they say picky eaters are made not born. In my daycare I can tell which kids have to eat what is given them at home and the ones that look at something and say they don't like it and don't have to eat it. The ones that have to eat what is given them will eat what ever I give them. The ones that don't are very hard to feed. Having to learn to eat these foods during a crisis situation is going to be a whole lot harder on them then learning to eat them now.
5 Grow as much as you can. If space is tight there are a lot of ideas on the internet for small space gardening. If water is an issue use drip systems, container gardening , collect your rain water, use water that you save in the house from waiting on hot water, there are lots of ways to save water so you have water for your garden.
(I will be doing a post soon on water , water storage and saving on water.)
6 Buy on sale and in season. When something comes on sale buy as much as you possible can. Even if it isn't on your list for that week put what ever was on the list in the pace of what you just bought. Buy in season it general is much cheaper when in season. Don't forget after holiday and end of season sales.
7 Yard sales,auctions and second hand stores always be on the look out for things you need. Just be careful not to over pay and don't get things you really don't need. Have a list with you of things you are looking for .
8 Think outside the box. You just found a whole stack of sheets at the second hand store for next to nothing. Do you look at them I think well I have enough , these are the wrong size. Or do you think what could I use these for. Make curtains, dresses for your daughter, shirts for your son,cut in do dish rags, backing for a quilt, cut into cloth paper towels, so many things you can do with that stack of sheets if you are always thinking outside the box.
9 Barter, If some one has an excess of fruit or vegetables or anything that you can use for that matter, try to trade them for something you have or trade for work.
10 Know your prices. When I first started food storage I made a list of all the things buy then I went to the two stores that I shop at . We have 3 stores in our town one is Safeway which for what buy is way to expensive and they always have a limit on the sales. That leaves City Market and Wal-mart. I went to Wal-mart with my list and wrote down the price of everything I buy. I now had a base for prices when something came on sale at city Market I could compare prices if the sale was cheaper I would go and buy as much as I could afford. City Market is real good at ordering cases if you want a couple cases of something. Be sure to check your unit price also sometimes the larger isn't always the cheaper.
11 On my Food Storage Challenge I have two Items the first is the most important it is for two people so if you have 4 people in your house you will need to double that. This will get you your basic basics so if money is real tight this is what to get. The second is extras that would be nice to have so if you have a little extra money try to get some of these. I also have skills to learn every month and things to get or make if you can.
12 When storing water you do not need to go and buy all bottled water. Use containers you have around the house, ask friends and family for their soda bottles, Gatorade bottles, juice bottles, even bleach bottles,(when I was a kid and my Dad always had a bleach bottle filled with drinking water.) fill them with tap water. I don't recommend milk jugs but if they are all you have then use them just be sure to wash them very well and watch them for leaking.
13 Put away as much extra money as you can even if it is only a couple dollars. This has two purposes one you are building a little nest egg and second you have a few extra dollars if something comes on sale you may be able to get a little more.
14 Can and dehydrate as much as you can if you don't have a dehydrator look on the internet on ways to make your own or do it the old fashion way in the sun.
15 Food storage when money is tight is a struggle I know. But if you are determined you can do it. Even if it is picking up a pound of beans here and a bag of rice there. Something is better then nothing.
If you have any other ideas please feel free to share.