How To Build A Food Stockpile On A Tight Budget

By Rich Murphy

January 10, 2024   •   Fact checked by Dumb Little Man

How To Build A Food Stockpile On A Tight Budget

With grocery prices rising, we are all looking for ways to save money during our next trip to the store. The best way to do that is to stockpile food, but collecting food can become expensive. Thankfully, there is a way to stockpile food without breaking the bank!

If you adopt the following tips, you will see your grocery bill begin to shrink every time you go shopping.

Here are the tips on how to build a food stockpile on a tight budget.

1. Set Your Budget

Set Your Budget

You must determine how much you can spend on food. Be as exact as possible; try to get it down to the closest dollar amount. You will become better at creating a budget as you make more of them.

Your budget gives you the freedom to know what you can and cannot spend money on while shopping. When you prepare your budget ahead of time, you will be less likely to spend more than you allowed.

Create a budget, or you will spend too much. Let’s move on to the best companion to a budget, a grocery list!

2. Have a List

Have a List

Make a list BEFORE going to the grocery store. A list compliments your budget because you can roughly figure the prices of everything on the list and know how close you are to going over budget.

Making a list is half the battle. The other half is sticking to the list. Why make a list if you’re not going to stick to it?

No matter how good the sales are, STICK TO THE LIST! You will have more money in your pocket when you stick to your grocery list.

3. Start Small

Start Small

To form a life-changing habit, start small. When you start small, the task doesn’t feel as daunting, and you are more likely to continue the habit.

Start small when stockpiling food on a tight budget. You can begin buying one extra item per trip to the grocery store. Add the additional item to your stockpile and watch it begin to grow.

Minor differences over time add up; don’t get in a rush about building a stockpile of food.

4. Take Your Time

Take Your Time

If you get in a hurry trying to stockpile food, you will overspend your budget. Take your time. You have a tight budget as it is, so you’re not going to be able to afford to purchase enough food to stockpile it in one go-round.

If you take your time, you will come across sales and make the most of them because you haven’t blown your grocery budget.

5. Make the Most of Sales

Make the Most of Sales

Just because a food item is on sale doesn’t mean you have to purchase it. To make the most of sales, you need to know what items you need and which ones you do not need.

Be on the lookout for ads you receive in the mail and make a note on your list of which items are on sale. Stocking up on the things on sale is one of the best ways to build your stockpile quicker than you anticipated.

Related to sale ads are coupons you might receive in the mail.

6. Coupons Are Your Friend

Coupons Are Your Friend

If you can, combine sales and coupons. Sometimes stores have rules against this, but it never hurts to ask! Many stores are going to digital coupons, so all you have to do is create an account, and they will “deposit” the coupons you want into your account.

A great resource is couponing groups on Facebook. The people in the group are often more than willing to share where the sales are and where to get the best coupons.

Couponers are notorious for stockpiling groceries and cleaning supplies on minimal budgets.

7. Go Generic

Go Generic

Typically, generic products are made in the same factories as name-brand products. Buy the generic or store brand to save money.

If you or your family says, they can taste the difference, set up a blind tasting to see. Most of the time, we trick ourselves into believing we like the name brand better when truthfully, we can’t tell the difference.

You might come across a few food items that you can tell the difference, and that’s okay; go generic when you can!

8. Make Space For Storage

Make Space For Storage

As your stockpile begins to grow, you will quickly realize you need a space to store the extra food! The amount of space you need will depend on the amount of food you want to stockpile.

You might want only to keep your pantry full, or you might want to fill your spare room. You should clear the space ahead of time to lessen your stress. You also need to make sure you’re storing food efficiently and safely. Keep storage away from animals and pests and be sure to use rodent-proof storage containers to ensure rats and mice can’t get to your stockpile.

9. Fill the Freezer(s)

Fill the Freezer(s)

Most people think of freezing vegetables and meats, but you can use your freezer space for many other foods. A freezer is one of the best spaces to stockpile food. Here are several foods worth collecting in the freezer.

Soups and stews

If you keep it in the fridge, you can probably freeze it to extend its shelf life!
How to BUST Your Budget
Every section prior has told you what you should do. The following is what NOT to do-

  • Don’t purchase junk food.
  • Don’t purchase food you don’t eat.
  • Don’t purchase food that has a short shelf life
  • Don’t buy everything on the first trip
  • Don’t buy it just because it’s on sale

Not only will you cut down on food waste, but you will also have more money to grow your stockpile larger.

10. Best Foods to Stockpile

Best Foods to Stockpile

The best foods to stockpile are foods that have a long shelf life or can be frozen. Such as,

  • Freeze-dried food
  • Canned proteins- tuna, chicken, ham, etc.
  • Dry grains- rice, beans, oats, etc
  • Supplies for baking- flour, sugar, baking soda, etc
  • Sealed foods
  • Bottled water

Just because the food item has a sell-by date doesn’t mean the food itself is bad after that date.

Get to Stockpiling!

You now have a basic understanding of how to build a food stockpile on a tight budget. Take the information you have learned and build a stockpile of food your family can enjoy!

Rich Murphy

Rich Murphy is a Contributing Writer at He has excelled at making his own survival gear and learning everything there is to know about disaster preparedness. A consummate do-it-yourselfer, Rich feels we all should be ready for anything. Whether it’s a personal or natural disaster, his goal is all about educating people how to survive.

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