Stockpiling food – it sounds like a thing from America TV shows like Extreme Couponing.
You see people with garages and cupboards stacked up to the ceiling with bulk bought products and coupons glitches.
The groceries stored could easily see some of these families through for years, but it’s not really true stockpiling.
Having a stockpile of food is more about being intentional about the groceries you decide to keep for an emergency.
Why should you stockpile food?
Having a small stockpile of food is quite a good idea.
If there is some kind of emergency, then you have a back up of supplies to see you through.
It could be any emergency; like there could be a freak snowstorm and you can’t get out of the house.
There are also times when the weather has affected the growth of UK veg. Heatwaves have caused there to food shortages on some vegetables, which has increased prices, in the past.
An emergency supply of food can act as a back up if you’re a bit skint and can’t do a full food shop. Maybe you’ve had a cut in benefit payments, or you’ve lost your job, or there’s a massive bill, and it’s hit your usual budget.
While most people will have a few days worth of food in the freezer (when was the last time you actually checked what was in there?!), if you need food for a few more days it won’t last well.
Is it any different for Brexit?
No one really has the foggiest what’s going on at the moment.
There has been a lot of scaremongering and food is starting to be a big issue.
In advance of a no-deal Brexit deal, Tesco, M&S and Premier Foods have started to stockpile foods.
Morrisons has also started to stock up on “cupboard fillers” but won’t say which products they’re starting to stockpile.
Britain imports around half of the fresh food we consume, and if there are issues after Brexit, then we’ve got a backup supply in stores of tinned food.
So, supermarkets are stockpiling as there may not be enough fresh food. On top of that, (some) people are also starting to stockpile (they are known as preppers).
There could be an issue that if there’s mass stockpiling, the supermarkets won’t be able to keep up with demand and will have a shortage of food anyway.
Or, there will be no delays to supply lines, and everything will carry on as usual.
We’ll just need to wait and see.
Panic is setting in, and some companies are cashing in!
It’s certainly not a cheap option (although it is on sale at the moment!), but you can get a “Brexit Box” already made up to help with stockpiling.
For around £300 (!!) you can get 60 servings of main meals, 48 portions of meats, plus a water filter and fire starter.
The description from the site says:
“This brexit box is a great start to help you overcome Brexit worries of no food in the shops. It contains a variety of the ‘Fuel Your Preparation’ freeze dried food range of delicious meals and a water filter to kick start yor [yes, this is their typo!!] Brexit stockpiling. A type of food insurance with a lifespan of up to 25 years – this really is the best you can get when being prepared for Brexit.
It’s an expensive option, and it’s much easier (and cheaper) to start getting some emergency food together yourself.
What foods should I stockpile?
You don’t want to be adding all foods to your stockpile as it would be a waste.
Foods with a short shelf like (think use by dates) won’t last too long so will be no good for an emergency supply.
You need to think about packet, tinned and frozen foods. Plus, consider non-food items like toilet roll, cleaning products and toiletries.
Getting a stockpile isn’t about buying your average weekly food shop then duplicating it by 2 or 5 or 10, or however many, weeks.
That wouldn’t get you food suitable to keep as a stockpile as a lot of it would go off.
Best foods to stockpile
What you need are staple store cupboard foods with a long shelf life. Plus you want to have a mix of carbohydrates, protein, and fruits and veg.
- Canned meat
- Canned fish
- Canned veg
- Canned fruits
- Dried fruits
- Powdered milk
- Baking goods to make bread
- Coffee and tea
- Herbs and spices
You may also want to make sure you’ve got a trusty can opener as it’d be rubbish having all those cans and no way to open them!!
On top of foods, it’s also useful to have an extra supply of toothpaste, soap, toilet roll and washing detergent.
How do you work out what to stockpile?
You’ll need to work out how much of each item you’d need to buy. It’d be different depending on how many people there are in your home and how long you want your stockpile to last.
Most people are not used to cooking or making foods solely from dried foods, so it’s also worth researching some recipes in advance, so you know what to make. This research will help determine how big your stockpile needs to be.
A good place to start is by preparing a two-week meal plan, then just multiply the shopping list by how many weeks you’d need.
Don’t try to buy it all in one go! That’d be very expensive! You could just add a few items to your usual food shop and, over time, your stockpile will start to add up nicely.
This will give you a chance to get the best offers and bargains.
Should you stockpile for Brexit?
Well, I suppose that’s up to you.
I wouldn’t necessarily look to panic or believe everything you read in the news.
Some media outlets write what they do to sensationalise stories, making you want to click through and read what they’ve written (it’s how they make money). Just take what’s in the media with a pinch of salt.
However, sales can’t lie, and there has been a clear increase in people buying things like painkillers and toilet roll.
We are not going to be stockpiling for Brexit…well, not specifically.
However, we do already have a store of staples foods in our cupboard to fall back on – so I suppose we already do stockpile some foods and toiletries.
We were super-skint a few years back and never want to run out of food again.
We make sure to keep stocked up on basic foods that we can make an easy meal if we run out of fresh foods, for whatever may happen.
Naomi knows the burden of living on very little and became debt free by learning from past mistakes and following her own money saving tips and tricks.