I'll admit that I haven't personally checked out all of the different food storage brands (I think I'll go more in depth and see throughout this year) but I know that I love getting mine from the LDS (Mormon) cannery.
Their store link is here and you can even find a location near you here. There are locations around the US and Canada and they ship for free in the US (the online prices are somewhat higher than if you go to a cannery location because the shipping costs are figured in).
The Starter Kit they offer as described on the website: The starter kit contains recipes, instructional pamphlets, visual aids for teaching family home storage principles, and one can each of flour, red wheat, white wheat, rice, pinto beans, and oats. A case contains 28 lbs. of product. Food items cannot be shipped to addresses outside the United States.
I got a starter kit back in 2003 when I went to college, just in case. We're working our way through eating some of that now (things like sugar and wheat can last over 30 years!) and back then they didn't have the recipes and what not, I think that's great! The starter kit is $31 if ordered online.
As for cost, I just ran to the store for groceries and did a comparison. I also called my local LDS cannery (I'm blessed to have one less than a 10 minute drive away) and got their prices. Since the online cans cost more-the price of shipping is included in the purchase- if you live close, it's worth picking it up yourself!
|LDS Cans if bought by the case online||LDS Cans if purchased locally||Winco's best price|
|Starter Kit||$31/total||$24.95/total||Not carried by Winco|
|Wheat||.84/lb||Didn't ask||Not carried by Winco|
Looking at the prices, technically Winco wins (except for buying the wheat since they don't carry it) BUT-as I did my price checking here are some concerns I had: I priced out the deals at Winco based on the larger bags they had. What are you going to do with a 25 lb bag of flour? I don't think it's resealable, it's not packaged with an air absorber to keep it fresh, it's awkward for storage, it's not water proof, it's not rodent proof. Will you use it fast enough to warrant opening a huge bag? You'll want to use it eventually, cycling through it even if there's no emergency. The LDS cans are convenient that they come with the recipes and info, stack, don't have water/rodent/air problems, come with lids for when they're opened, and can be shipped for free (how easy!) You don't have to be a member of the church to order.
I do want to say, for the record, that no one is paying me as for advertisement on this post. I am LDS (Mormon)-feel free to ask me questions anytime. I am also a regular Winco shopper :) If you're lucky enough to have a local cannery location then you can also buy these by the can instead of by the case. And for the record, they have more variety of items than those I listed, and their dehydrated apple chips are DIVINE! Let me know if you have any recipes from food storage or other recommendations. Those that can their own food are awesome, I just started dabbling in that myself this year (though it is intimidating!) Anyway, more about that another time-make a goal, maybe just $10 a month if that's all you can afford. Get started on some food storage!