Painless Year’s Supply
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“Painless Year’s Supply,” Ensign, Apr. 1984, 73

Painless Year’s Supply

Seven years ago our family started gathering a year’s supply of food by simply spending an extra $3.00 each time we shopped for groceries. Today our food storage area looks like the shelves of a supermarket. It has variety, and it contains the things our family often likes to eat. I look at it in amazement—because we pulled it together during the most impoverished years of our marriage.

In the beginning, we decided firmly that no matter how poor we felt, each time we shopped for groceries we would buy twice as much sugar as we needed. Since our family went through ten pounds of sugar a month, I would buy ten pounds of sugar twice a month and store one bag. I stayed with that commitment.

Then I began to calculate how much our family used of other food commodities and started buying double of those items too. I also started buying double of nonfood items: hand soap, dishwashing soap, bleach, paper goods, and toothpaste. I was adding these extras to my shopping cart and never going over my food budget.

As 1976 drew to a close, we decided to make that Christmas a food-storage Christmas. We were so poor we couldn’t afford more than six or seven dollars per child for presents anyway, so we thought, how perfect to give each of us a 50-pound sack of wheat for Christmas! That would help fill our wheat supply. (The recommended amount of wheat and other grains is 300 to 360 pounds per person.)

Surprisingly, the children went along with the idea cheerfully. With this Christmas project they became part of the goal and saw the urgency of the situation. We did have nice Christmas presents that year, I should add—thanks to grandparents.

The following February my girlfriend called and said a local store was running a great special on tuna. “Would you like to split a case with me?” she asked. Would I! The price was the lowest I’d seen in a year, and I jumped at the chance. This would complete our year’s supply of tuna.

In what now seems a very short time, we were able to build up our year’s supply of food and commodities. How grateful I am that, when we thought we could least afford it, we started our food storage program—on only $3.00! Brandy McCuen, West Jordan, Utah