52 Week Savings Plan: Bonus March prepping bargains to keep your savings on track

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PicMonkey Collage 52 weeks 2.4If you are on the 52 Week Savings Plan, then you are likely looking for super savings on just about everything you buy!

The month of March brings with it opportunities to save on all kinds of items that will help you become more prepared for everyday disasters and worst case scenarios. Here’s a summary along with some helpful links.

(Be sure to print out this chart to track your savings!)

1.  Frozen foods

When you find these at rock bottom prices, especially if you have accompanying coupons, then buy, buy, buy! March is National Frozen Food Month, and you’ll find coupons in the newspaper as well as in the special Sunday coupon fliers.

Why frozen food? Well, you can stock your freezer with frozen veggies and fruits, in particular, but take that a step further and dehydrate those foods for a much longer shelf life. After all, when the power goes out, just how much meat and frozen foods can you eat in a 48 hour time span?

Dehydrating frozen veggies and fruits is the absolute easiest way to preserve food. Spread the frozen food on a dehydrator tray and push the ‘start’ button. That’s it. The foods have already been washed and chopped for you, so you save on all that prep time. For larger pieces of food, broccoli, for example, cut the large pieces in half before dehydrating.

Store your dried food in canning jars along with an oxygen absorber or vacuum pack the jars using something like a Food Saver. Store the jars in a dark, cool place for the longest possible shelf life.

2.  Winter coats and cold-weather gear

Stores want to get rid of this, you want to buy it at super-low prices for next year. It’s a win-win for everyone! Shop online as well as in local brick-and-mortar stores, and be sure to store your winter purchases somewhere where the clothing will be safe from insects.

Also look for items like snow shovels, hand/foot warmers, and ice scrapers.

3.  Craft supplies

March is National Craft Month, so look for coupons to stores like Michael’s, JoAnne, and Hobby Lobby. You may find products to organize your emergency supplies, plain t-shirts (buy the kids brightly colored ones so they’ll be easy to find in a crowd), yarn and other supplies for crochet and knit, sharpies, supplies to keep kids busy during power outages, and super glue.

4.  St. Patrick’s Day treats

If you love corned beef, cabbage, and potatoes, then this is your month! All these foods can be canned, and both cabbage and potatoes are easily dehydrated.

To can corned beef, you’ll need a pressure canner. Although this gigantic pot looks intimidating, canning expert Diane Devereaux says that canning meat and chicken is the easiest thing to can. Here are two recipes to get you started:

5.  Spring cleaning supplies

Again, watch for coupons and store sales, but for some reason, product manufacturers think that all of us will be spending our beautiful spring days indoors, busily scrubbing and cleaning…stuff.

image by Pink Sherbet PhotographyThat’s not my idea of fun, but you will likely find very good prices on all sorts of cleaning supplies for stocking up. Some to use now and some to set aside as part of your preparedness efforts.

6.  Junk food

March brings with it March Madness and with it, discounts on all sorts of junk food for sports fans. The only effective way to lengthen the shelf life of junk food is to repackage it, either in canning jars using a food vacuum sealer or in jars/mylar pouches with oxygen absorbers.

If your family typically eats junk food and you can find it at super low prices, you might as well stock up, keep it under lock and key, and then use it up over a period of a few months time. As long as it’s stored in a cool, dark location that is free from pests, the food should last at least 6 months.

7.  Easter ham

Follow these instructions for canning ham, so you’ll have it all year long. Go ahead and freeze some as well, but be sure to cut it into meal-size chunks before freezing.

If you can, hold off on buying Easter candy until after Easter. That’s when you’ll be able to scoop up bags of pastel colored M&Ms and boxes of Peeps. Why stock up on candy? They’re comfort foods for a lot of people and can be vacuum sealed for a nice long shelf life.

8.  Produce in season

Continue to think canning and dehydrating while watching for best prices on these foods:

Keep saving your coins and dollars and stay on track with your 52 Week Savings Plan!

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I'm the original Survival Mom, and have been helping moms worry less and enjoy their homes and families more for 9 years.

12 thoughts on “52 Week Savings Plan: Bonus March prepping bargains to keep your savings on track”

  1. Leslie Goodsell

    I would really like to know how to can sausage patties. My great grandma had jars of sausage patties and lard. At least thats what it looked like. All we had to do was open a jar and eat the patties. Smear the lard on a biscuit slap a pattie in the middle and eat on the run. Can you help me recreate this wonderful delight that is cheap on the pocket book but good for food storage..

  2. Love canned meat, cut with a folk. You may can any meat, chicken, deer meat, anything. Directions should be online. We pressure cooked our canned meat.

  3. Yes…..anything pretty much can be canned….even hot dogs, rope sausage, sausage links, bacon…butter…you name it….it’s one of the best things to do for your food storage! do your research…but I love Jackie Clay…at Backwoods Home magazine…she is the canning Queen if there ever was one…..I trust her completely.

  4. My daughter LOVES Spam, do you know of a way I could can that at home and have it taste the same, but be healthier for her?

    1. If you want something healthier, you’ll have to create your own “spam” with ground ham and your own mixture of seasonings. Experiment with a mixture that provides the flavor she likes, then pack the ground meat into jars, and can using a pressure canner. You could also buy the low fat, low sodium version of Spam.

  5. Three of the best prepper investments I’ve made are:
    1) my Food Saver and the lid attachments; wide and regular
    2) canning supplies; including a pressure canner
    3) a dehydrator!

    Being able to dehydrate frozen and fresh produce is simple; getting it on sale is an added bonus! Vacuum sealing them in Mason jars is even easier. I found Ace Hardware carries 64 oz (half gallon) Mason jars on their website w/ free shipping to their store. Just this weekend, I dehydrated 9 pounds of fresh strawberries and fit them in (1) 64 oz. jar.

    When it comes to canning, the Ball Blue Book is my “go to” reference. Everything you need to know about water and pressure canning along with awesome recipes.

  6. The beautiful part about corned beef is the cryovac shelf life. It’s months! Every March I buy at least 6 of them, freeze a couple and just chuck the rest in the back of the spare fridge without further ado. Then we have it ,or just hash, once a month or so. This year I might can some. Anybody ever done that? How’s the quality?

  7. Also, about healthier Spam… I just buy the real deal but its not food. It’s seasoning. There’s enough salt , fat, smoke, sugar and generalized porky-yummy in just one slice to flavor an entire soup, stew or casserole. It’s almost an extract and if the company were smart they’d market the single-slice packets that way.

  8. Thx for your wisdom. We’re looking at vacuum sealers and dehydrators. Do you have suggestions on brands and models?

    How long do you think canned food will last if I am storing it for emergency food?

    Appreciate your thoughts.

    Donna

  9. Leslie Goodshell:
    If you want to find the recipe of how it was done for the sausage patties and lard, may I suggest you find the small canning books they used during WWII. During that time when food was scarce, an Victory gardens were a must along with home meat preservation. You might find what you are looking for in those books, and there is a book available on how to process lard for your own usage.
    I have personally replaced the ones I lost via eb*y and other book outlets, you have to search for those gems along with the very old cookbooks during the 1930’s to 50’s. Good luck with your search.

    Someone wanted to know about dehydrators and vacuum seal machines. I have the Excalibur with a timer, and the food saver vacuum seal machine with the jar lid sealers. My next item is the All American Pressure Canner, when I have enough $1’s saved.

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