Gas isn't the only thing getting more expensive these days. So are groceries. Grocery prices will rise 2 to 3 percent this year, with some of the largest increases among dairy and pork products, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Consumer Price Index for Food predicts. Creating a food stockpile can be a way to combat food inflation and allow consumers to plan for sudden increases in food costs. McClatchy-Tribune Newspapers
Know what your family eats
If you were only able to shop once a month, how many boxes of cereal would you need? How about butter, milk, shampoo, cleaning supplies?
To calculate, look in your pantry, freezer, refrigerator and linen closet. What products do you buy weekly vs. monthly? When was the last time you bought toilet paper or lightbulbs?
Storing your stockpile
Consider space and temperature. Garages are great, because temperature fluctuations don't affect cereal or cleaning supplies. Buy storage containers with lids that fit securely, and use a permanent marker to list what's inside. (By the way, storage containers are on sale this time of year.)
Organize your containers similar to your pantry. For example, put all baking supplies together.
If a garage isn't an option, use furniture that's already taking up space, such as a bedroom dresser that's underused. The deep drawers are perfect for storing items. Build shelves for canned goods and cleaning products.
Consider a deep freezer. Shop around and find the best size for your family. (Remember to calculate the added energy cost.) Shelves and other internal compartments make it easier to organize your frozen food, ensuring nothing gets "lost" and goes bad.