Inflation may have ticked downward ever so slightly in July, but it hasn’t reduced the effects of inflation on the budgets of millions of American households. Prices have been rising for over a year, and there’s no indication that they’re going to stop rising in the future.
Things could still get much worse before they get better, which is why it’s vitally important to start stocking up now, if you haven’t already. Here are 12 things to stock up on to protect yourself against future price increases.
1. Canned Foods
Canned foods have long shelf lives and have been not only easily available but also easy to use. If you have the space for them, start stocking up on cans of staples like tomatoes, beans, and fruit today. And if you don’t have the space for extra cans, start making space for them by buying shelving or pantry containers.
2. Dry Goods
Canned goods are one side of the equation, but dry goods are the other. Beans, rice, and pasta are food staples that should make up part of everyone’s food stores.
Meat looks like it’s only going to continue going up in price. Prices of beef and pork, in particular, look like they’re going to remain high. Storing enough meat is going to be a challenge for many households, which is why buying an upright or chest freezer can be a good idea.
And if you have the ability, develop a relationship with local farmers, ordering quarter, half, or whole animals. If meat at the supermarket becomes scarce, these types of relationships could end up being your primary way to get animal protein.
4. Frozen Goods
If you have extra room in your freezers, think about stocking up on frozen fruits and vegetables. They can stay good for a long time, and provide much needed variety and diversity to your diet.
Wheat flour is obviously what most people are going to stock up on. But for those who require gluten-free diets, think about stocking up on alternatives like rice flour, masa harina, and almond flour. You can also think about storing grains themselves and buying a grain mill to mill your own flour. That can give you extra diversity and versatility.
6. Baking Supplies
The purpose of stocking up on flour is to be able to produce your own baked goods. Whether bread, cake, tortillas, etc., don’t expect to be able to rely on store-bought baked products when prices go up. Besides, it’s always cheaper to make your own baked goods. So make sure you have plenty of yeast, baking powder, baking soda, etc. so that your flour doesn’t go to waste.
Potatoes are another primary source of starch, and one that has risen in price recently. We’re all hoping this year’s harvest will be a good one. But if it isn’t, and if the outlook for next year isn’t great, you’re going to want to stock up. Fresh potatoes will only last so long in storage, so think about also stocking up on frozen potato products such as hash browns and fries.
Spices can be the difference between a tasty meal and one that’s not even palatable. They can be stored for years with minimal loss of flavor, and they’ll likely never be cheaper than they are now.
If you’re an avid gardener, start stocking up on seeds today. You can almost guarantee that demand is going to be much higher next year as more and more people decide to grow their own food to help cut down on food costs. And develop a plan to start saving seeds from the plants you already grow.
10. Paper Products
We don’t think much of paper products like toilet paper, tissues, paper plates, and napkins, but not having them can be very unpleasant. Start stocking up now before prices continue climbing.
11. Car Parts
If you work on your own car, you’ll want to start stocking up on parts. Continued disruption to global supply chains means you won’t necessarily have the parts you need when you want them. Keeping a few oil filters, air filters, motor oil, brake pads, and other frequently replaced parts on hand can make the difference between an easy repair and a car that’s out of commission.
The chip shortage should have made it clear to everyone just how much we rely on technology, and how difficult it is to get the products we take for granted when their supply chains are disrupted. Right now we’re coming to a point where some industries are seeing gluts of chips due to production having been ramped up to meet demand. These gluts and price cuts won’t last forever, so this could be a time to stock up before supply once again becomes spotty.