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Why Do I Need a Home Store?

 How about a fun little exercise?  Let’s look at your grocery buying habits for a moment.  Think of your last trip to the grocery store and answer the questions below (be honest!):

  1. What percentage of the items you purchased were actually on your grocery list?
  2. What percentage of the items in your cart were processed or refined (convenience foods, sugary products, “ready-to-eat” meals)?
  3. How many times a week do you go to the grocery store?
  4. If the grocery store were to shut its doors (due to disaster, strike, etc.), how long would your existing supply of food last?  What would you be eating for the next few days…..weeks…..or worse?

Then, just for kicks, think of how often you eat out at a restaurant or pick up fast food (count the soda and candy bars too).    What is the monthly cost of those items?

 Check out some of these statistics!  The typical American method of obtaining and consuming food raises these concerns:

WASTE – The average American family throws out 880 lbs. of food a year — roughly 25% of what they purchase. The USDA estimate of an average grocery budget for an American couple with two small children is $793 a month (USDA Cost of Food report, January 2012).  If 25% is discarded, $198 dollars a month goes into the trash.   Um, did you catch that?  One hundred ninety eight dollars!!! Maybe you, like me, are saying to yourself, “Well, not in MY case…..I’m just not that wasteful”!  Pay attention to what you throw away.  You’ll be surprised (and a little sickened).  

VOLATILE FOOD PRICES– You’ve seen for yourself what’s happened to food prices in the last few years.  But just in case you’ve missed it, The UN’s FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization) published a 2011 report (see summary) concerning future food prices.  Among the predictions: food prices will continue to rise due to increased demand and decreased supply.  The reasons?

  • Continued crop failures (for various reasons)
  • An expected increase in extreme “weather shocks” 
  • A demand for biofuels (our cars consume corn too)
  • The correlation between agriculture and energy markets (those dang tractors and semis really guzzle the gas!) 

HEALTH CONCERNS –  Processed foods.  I was going to dig up some kind of official report for this one, but really…….do we need some statistician to point out the obvious?  Let me just draw your attention to the images below.

Pass the fake food, please!
Oh goodie! I love a little sweetened food dye with my toast and orange juice!

Enough Said!  If you don’t know why the above foods are a problem…….SIGH.  We’ve got a lot of work to do!

IMPULSE BUYS – Some store estimates put impulse buys at 50% of a customer’s purchases.  I didn’t take the time to find the research to back this up, but my instincts tell me it’s true.  I’ve posed this question to countless friends and family members, asking them what percentage of their purchases are bought on impulse.  Everyone laughs and then throws out various answers – all large.  I’ve had more than one person say 90%.  Regardless of the percentage, when do you EVER walk out of the grocery store with just the milk you went in to buy?  (I’ll confess, my husband can do this, so I know it’s not an impossibility, but it’s rare indeed)!  Consider the money saved if you didn’t frequent the grocery store and those nasty little “gotta have it” thoughts never entered your mind!

THRIVE™ products from Shelf Reliance are the answer!    Because of a very long shelf life (before and after opening) there is never any waste.  You’ll never throw away another unused stalk of celery or carton of moldy strawberries again!  Freeze drying eliminates the need for any preservatives, including sugar and salt.  These are whole foods, with a nutrient value similar to fresh products.    (See this article from the American Institute for Cancer Research summarizing the results of studies on the nutritional value of freeze dried foods).    As a bonus, the products are already washed, chopped, cooked (if applicable, as with the meats), making Thrive™ the ultimate healthy convenience food.  

Best of all, Shelf Reliance has the Q program, which brings the products right to your door on a monthly basis.  By incorporating Thrive foods into your everyday cooking, you can eliminate waste, cook conveniently, save time and money, and incorporate healthy whole foods into your family’s diet.  I know this is true because these are products I cook with every day.  By reallocating part of my existing grocery budget to the Q, and by using Thrive foods about 25% of the time, I am slowly accumulating the foods I need for my long-term home store, without coming up with any extra money.  In essence, I can buy the food at today’s price, even if it will be consumed a few years down the road.  It’s a literal hedge against inflation!

Several months ago, I determined that I needed to find a way to save extra money for the upcoming inevitable Christmas crunch.  I looked at our budget for the easiest place to cut back.  It was the grocery bill!  I decided to go to the grocery store as little as possible.  Though I didn’t consciously set out to do it, an entire month went by with only three purchases: chocolate chips, soy sauce, and a bag of chips for a party.  I couldn’t believe it!  My kids didn’t even know.  We ate as normally as we always have.  I had milk, butter, potatoes…..everything I needed (even sour cream!)  in the form of Thrive food in my pantry.  The feeling of freedom was indescribable. 

A friend once related something to me that she learned from a grocery store manager.  He told her that if the supply trucks were to stop rolling for any reason, the shelves would be bare in a matter of hours, not days.  We joked that maybe we would fight each other for the canned beets on the back of the bottom shelf, but the message sunk in deeply.  I knew at that moment that my family’s food security rested with ME.  A home store is NOT a basement full of petrified food storage.  It is an intelligent approach to using resources to feed your family today, while ensuring their food supply tomorrow.

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