One of the things I tried to do a few years ago was to create a true pantry of food. Have a few months "extra" in storage ready and edible in the event of a some type of shortage, be it financial or other. I tried, and i followed the weekly shopping list that can be found running around the internets, but I failed. We did eat most of the food, but I still fell into the trap of buying food I won't eat and not stockpiling water.
I still think overall it is a good idea. We know we have a three month reprieve before Jeff stops working, we can stock up on many of our daily items, including dry and canned goods now, so when he is not working we can be more frugal. Also, planning in advance allows us (and you) to buy when things are on sale. I remember in the states my Mom would do this, every year (or was it six months?) the local thriftway would have a canned goods sale. we could go in and buy cases of canned fruit, tuna, veggies and the like and eat off the stock pile for months.
The LDS church does a good job of promoting self-sufficiency and each family is encouraged to have at least 3 months of food in the pantry. The church has great resources for those who are members, but if you are not many of these women have started blogs that talk about how and when to stock up. You can also find lists (like the below) from around the Internet (but I think they all started with the Mormon Church). I however found the list a bit daunting. A bit too much, a bit too extreme, but a good idea on when to find food.
Yesterday I just found a blog/website by two young women and they have started to store up their own 3 month supply. On the site is a free down loadable spreadsheet that you plan your meals for the next month (OK, this does take some work) and input the raw ingredients and the spreadsheet calculates how much you need to buy to get a three month supply. I started playing with it and it is pretty cool. Most importantly because it is about BUYING WHAT YOU EAT and EATING WHAT YOU BUY. Stock piling food that you don't eat isn't very frugal nor does it make sense. You might survive but your going to hate every minute of it.
So here is the website Food Storage Made Easy. And you can find the downloadable Spreadsheet here.
And here is the very long list intended to start January 1. I may actually try to follow the shopping list a bit when I stocking up and will let you know how it goes.
FOOD STORAGE BUYING GUIDE PER WEEK (52 Week Plan)
Week 1: NUTS Drug stores have Christmas sales. 2 lbs per person. Dry roasted ones store the best. Freeze bagged ones.
Week 2: CLEANING SUPPLIES Detergent 156 loads per person, Bleach 1 gal per person, Cleanser.
Week 3: MEDICINE CHEST Feminine Products, Pepto Bismal, Vicks, Cough Drops, Cough Syrup, Tylenol, Calamine Lotion, Kaopectate, Ipecac, Sunscreen Dispose of all outdated medications.
Week 4: FIRST AID SUPPLIES Band-Aids, Antibiotic Ointment, Ace Bandages, Steri-strips, etc.
Week 5: PERSONAL PRODUCTS Soap, Deodorant, toilet paper at least one roll per week. Shampoo, lotion, hand soap, 15 per person etc.
Week 6: PEANUT BUTTER 10 lbs per person (stores for a year or more)
Week 7: SOLID SHORTENING less expensive than oil. 12 lbs per person. Be sure and rotate. Will last several years.
Week 8: JUICES Avoid watered products. Get 100% juice. (lemon, orange, pineapple etc.)
Week 9: PERSONAL GROOMING Toothpaste, floss (important) razors, shaving cream. Consider your family needs. (you can always brush with baking soda)
Week 10: MIXES Cakes, pancakes, muffins, Bisquick etc. Bisquick stores best in the freezer or it gets bugs. You need an annual total of 300 lbs of grain products per person.
Week 11: SPICES AND HERBS Think of what you use most often. Salt (NOT Plain you need the iodized kind) pepper, cinnamon, bay leaves. Look for bargains .
Week 12: RICE Secure 10, 15, 20 lbs. White stores best but is not as nutritious. I find brown gets bugs. Counts towards grain total.
Week 13: FIRST AID Gauze patches, swabs, cotton balls, first aid tape etc. Old fashioned Kotex is good for wounds. Sanitary napkins with adhesive do not store well.
Week 14: PASTA 5 lbs. Get other kinds besides spaghetti. I have found that spaghetti does not store well. Counts towards grain total.
Week 15: DRY MILK 40 oz. will make 5 gallons . Get what you family needs. 100 lbs per person per year. Stores well.
Week 16: SEWING KIT Thread, pins, needles, buttons (cut off of old clothes) snaps, zippers, tape measure, scissors. Consider your family's needs.
Week 17: READY DINNERS Ravioli, Pasta, Oriental, Boxed, Canned, Frozen. Buy what your family will eat.
Week 18: FLOUR 50 lbs per person (put in freezer or it will get bugs) Be sure and rotate. Counts towards grain requirement.
Week 19: SOUP Dry or canned soup, don't forget crackers.
Week 20: JELLO Jello gelatin and Pudding Mixes
Week 21: GARDEN SEEDS Radishes are great in an emergency. They grow fast, full of vitamins and minerals, and full of water. Buy locally if you haven't ordered yet. Here is an address of seed company that will send you there catalog free if you send a self addressed envelope with a couple of stamps. Territorial Seeds P.O. Box 157 Cottage Grove Ore. 97424 They have the kind of seed you can store. or http://www.johnnyseeds.com
Week 22: SAFETY WEEK A length of cord or twine. Light rope. Flashlight and batteries, (dated)
Week 23: CHEESE Whole 5 lbs, or grate and freeze for casseroles or soup.
Week 24: PAPER PRODUCTS Paper towels, Aluminum foil, garbage bags, freezer bags, etc.
Week 25: CONDIMENTS Mustard, catsup, mayo, relish, Worcestershire.
Week 26: BEDDING Watch for White Sales. Buy a new thermo blanket.
Week 27: JAMS AND JELLIES Sure-Jell, Certo, Parafin, etc. Or buy the jams and jellies. Be sure you have supply of canning jars. Not large mouth, and lids and seals.
Week 28: WATER Fill those water jugs. Use plain Clorox not fresh scent.
Week 29: CANNED MILK Look in Dec. 1989 Ensign for ideas for use. 100 lbs per person.
Week 30: CANNED GOODS Be sure and rotate. We like sardines (small ones). They are rich in protein and cheap.
Week 31: SCHOOL SUPPLIES Back to School Sales. Paper , pencils, journals, envelopes, postage stamps, etc. (Great Stocking Stuffers)
Week 32: STAPLES Baking powder, soda, corn starch, Baking Soda, 2 lbs per person of each item except soda. Buy 3 lbs per person.
Week 33: TOMATOES Juice, whole, sauce, paste, Salsa. Buy or make it. Counts as part of vegetables.
Week 34: CANNED FRUIT 80 quarts per person. Buy or can it yourself.
Week 35: SUGAR 100 lbs per person. Buy an extra 25 lbs.
Week 36: VEGETABLES 150 lbs per person per year. Can or freeze from garden or purchased fresh, or buy canned.
Week 37: BEANS Dry bean, peas, legumes, 100 lbs per person.
Week 38: SWEETNERS Honey, Karo, Molasses, etc. Counts towards sugars.
Week 39: CANNED MEATS Tuna (be sure and rotate) Spam, dried beef , go for 10 cans.
Week 40: IODIZED SALT 10 or more canisters. It seasons & preserves. In a pinch it can be used as a toothpaste or de-icer. Get canning salt for canning.
Week 41: VINEGAR l (or more) gallons. It is a great cleaner too. For cleaning you need white.
Week 42: CANNED SOUP Buy soup when it is on sale. Soup counts towards vegetables.
Week 43: APPLES Do something with all those apples. Pie, applesauce, juice, canned apples with sugar are good.
Week 44: HARD CANDY On sale after Halloween. Leftovers will make a good addition to your 72 hour emergency kits.
Week 45: VITAMINS 365 vitamins per person. Get extra C and calcium with Vitamin D
Week 46: TREATS FOR BAKING Cocoa, coconut (gets old) nuts ( store in fridge gets rancid) chocolate chips.
Week 47: GRAINS Rolled Oats, Corn Meal (In fridge) Cream of wheat. (Rotate this, does not store.) Counts as grain. There is an oats you can buy at health food store that does store. I think it is scotch oats. Check and see.
Week 48: SUGARS Brown and white, powdered. 100 lbs per person total
Week 49: OILS Vegetable and olive oils. Get a good quality. 12 lbs per person.
Week 50: CANDLES AND MATCHES Put in a sturdy box (preferably fireproof) and in a cool place you can locate in dark.
Week 51: POPCORN Go for big twelve pound bags. Counts toward grains.
Week 52 : Merry Christmas You have given yourself a great gift security.