With more bad news every day regarding the supply chain and the food supply, it is no longer a luxury to have extra food on hand. With more drastic food shortages already being forecast in the near term for 2022, consider spending $100 now to stock up on food.
How Much Food Can $100 Buy Right Now?
According to economists, the real rate of inflation is now 15%. That means for every $100 you have for groceries, it buys $85 worth. Most of this the public doesn’t see because for many years food has been packaged in ever-smaller sizes, while prices remain the same. This is why it is vital to spend at least $100 now on some food staples as the economy continues to erode the value of your money. Your money will buy more today than it will next week, and so on until further notice.
Taking my own advice, this is what I spent $100 on this week:
- One dozen 64 ounce canning jars. (I had to buy these online and pay for shipping since they were sold out everywhere in my area).
- 24 cans of diced tomatoes at a dollar store.
- Three 4 lb. Bags of pinto beans.
- One 20 lb bag of long grain white rice
- 10 cans whole kernel corn
- 10 cans sliced peaches
Here’s the breakdown on cost. I rounded up to the nearest dollar and included approximate sales tax as a separate category.
Jars (12 total), including shipping – $42.00
24 cans diced tomatoes – $24.00
Pinto beans (three 4-lb. bags) – $4.00
White rice (one 20-lb. bag) – $10.00
Canned corn (10 cans) – $7
Canned peaches (10 cans) – $10.00
I decided to buy more beans and rice, because when combined, beans and rice form a complete protein and have more fiber, making them superb in nutrition. Beans and rice are also cheap and give you the most bang for your buck. I chose pinto beans because they are the most versatile of beans, and can be prepared any number of ways. They also taste great by themselves. I combine plain beans with diced tomatoes and canned corn and slow cook them. By adding different vegetables and spices to them, you can make a complete nutritious meal in one pot.
Once I get the jars, I will clean them, sterilize them along with the lids, and dry can the beans and rice. I dry can without oxygen absorbers because I hand-pump the air out of the jars using a brake bleeding vacuum pump and a wide-mouth Food Saver accessory. I will have more than what I dry can, but I will use it up in the next few weeks of normal meals. The filled jars will be placed into storage and rotated or stand ready to help my neighbors should the need arise.
How many meals can I make with this food?
According to the USDA, 1 cup of dried beans equals 3 cups of cooked beans. So a filled 64 ounce jar contains 8 cups of beans and therefore represents 8 meals of beans for two people (1 ½ cups per person) per meal.
A 2-lb. Bag of dried beans = 5 cups
A 4-lb. Bag of dried beans = 10 cups
1 cup of beans uncooked = 3 cups, cooked.
So I purchased 30 meals of beans for 2 adults (1 ½ cups of cooked beans per person).
There are approximately 2 ½ cups to every pound of rice (long grain white). So the 20 pounds I purchased equals 50 cups.
1 cup of uncooked rice equals 3 cups when cooked. So the 20 pounds of rice I bought equals 60 cups of cooked rice which equals 30 meals for 2 people (1 ½ cups of cooked rice per person).
The 24 cans of diced tomatoes can be added to 24 of these meals, along with half a can of corn for 20 of these meals.
The remaining rice can be the foundation for additional meals of other canned soups and stews I have stored. Yet the beans and rice alone represent one month of meals of beans and rice for 2 people, plus an additional month of rice for other meals for two people.
Quick Reference Guide
A one quart canning jar holds 4 cups, and a 64 ounce canning jar holds 8 cups.
2-lb. bag of beans holds 5 cups.
4-lb. Bag of beans holds 10 cups
1 cup of uncooked beans = 3 cups of cooked beans (a large serving is 1 ½ cups per person).
A 1-lb. bag of rice (long grain white) holds 2.5 cups
A 10-lb. Bag of rice (long grain white) holds 25 cups
A 20-lb. Bag of rice (long grain white) holds 50 cups.
1 cup of uncooked rice (long grain white) = 3 cups of cooked rice (a large serving is 1 ½ cups per person).
As you can see, $100 can still buy a lot of food. Before prices go higher, I urge you to add to your food storage now.
About the Author: This is a guest post by PJ Graves. PJ is a retired award-winning radio broadcaster, news reporter and writer, whose reporting has been featured on national radio networks and whose articles have been on Survivalblog, Prepper Website, Rapture Ready and various online news magazines. In addition to writing, PJ runs Golden Page Media*, a digital publishing business with free email newsletter featuring innovative ways to save money, side-gigs, prepping tips and little-known ways to change careers without going into debt or paying for training. She enjoys home church, living in Amish Country, exploring historic sites, classic films, cooking, volunteering at a local food bank, and small town living.