Food storage can be a marvelous asset when money is short, especially if the money that is available needs to be spent on other things. When a shortfall in your budget keeps your grocery list short, a healthy food stockpile in your home rounds out the meal plan nicely. Hardships are much easier to bear knowing that food will continue to be on the table.
Sharon at Casaubon's Book has recently started an online course on beginning food storage. The article "Eating out of your pantry" details what would be stored for a three month supply for 4 people, and is a great place to start. So far, I've been purchasing an extra can or box of a few things on my grocery list as a haphazard beginning food stockpile, but Sharon gives me an idea of quantities to shoot for, additional foods I should be stockpiling and suggesting recipes for those foods.
This weekend we cleaned out half of our garage, throwing out some useless junk that's been cluttering up our lives. We used the extra room to set up some metal shelves that will be the basis for our bulk food storage. Our small stockpile is being kept in our pantry, but with this extra room we can store bulky items like buckets of grains and beans. This keeps our pantry from becoming too cluttered to use effectively.
I plan on visiting our neighborhood food coop to see what they have available and if larger quantities can be ordered. Sharon plans on posting weekly on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, so I encourage you to check it out.