A food storage expert I know that lives in Utah sent me an e-mail last week about a sale on some food storage items. It was one of those sales where you had to be there in person to take advantage of the prices, and it looked like a great sale. Not long after the sale e-mail, another e-mail was sent, reproduced in part here, with permission from the author:
"It is always wise to be cautious and thorough when you purchase anything, but especially something you will some day need to rely on totally. Here are some pointers for special sales shopping.
Check for dates and don't buy if there is no date on a can of dairy products in particular. If there is no date it could be possible that older product has been re- packaged for a special price sale. Ask questions and get the storage/use time in writing. Save your receipts.
Shake cans of freeze dried foods to determine how many inches of food is probably in there. Check for amounts by weight and by servings on EVERY brand you buy. Sometimes some companies do "special" packaging for sales and the ounces will be correct on the label but the can will only have a couple of inches of product in it. We have all seen the amounts in some store brands shrink over the past few months while the packaging stays the same size. Knowing the number of servings will help you decide if the price is a good one.
As you know I just try to get the best info possible and don't guarantee anything. It is up to you to determine for yourself what you purchase. I hope these pointers help. "
Thank you, food storage expert from Utah! I thought these were some really good things to think about no matter what kind of storage you are doing--especially since my children seem to eat more and more all the time, and I want to make sure that I have enough to feed them. :) It sometimes surprises me how quickly I go through normal and routine supplies, and I would be really unhappy (read: distressed and distraught) to find that what I had thought would last longer had already disappeared, especially if I was totally dependent on what I had stored. I know that sometimes even when I read how many servings there are in such-and-so product, when I look at the size of what they consider to be a serving it doesn't always add up to what I would consider to be a serving size--it always seems that I like my servings a little larger. In any case, it can't hurt to ask, how much is it, really?