Good morning everyone!
While I am somewhat glad that our inept politicians came to an agreement yesterday to fund the government, for another three months, I see it as the respite before another huge fight in a couple months that will plunge us all into concern and anxiety again as we wait for them to get their stuff together. We can only kick the can down the road so many times before we hit a brick wall, and we are fast heading in that direction.
All that being said, I decided that we need to do a quick series on Food Storage—how to build it, how to start it, and what to do with it.
I have a very dear friend who has started canning, and has an impressive display of jars that she has lined her pantry with………but no idea how to put it all together. I actually hear that occasionally, and so plan on addressing that issue with a few ideas at the end of this series, but also *shhhhh* have another book that I am working on right now that totally deals with that issue…….recipes, ideas, suggestions, etc. 🙂
So hang on, we are about to talk about where in the world do you get started?
How do you determine how much food is needed per person
for a certain time?
What are the best things to start with?
And that is enough for today. 🙂
The first question that I get asked is:
Â How do I know where to start?
Â I am going to give you some suggestions, and then direct you to some sites that totally made a huge impact on us when we started this journey around 5 years ago. In 2008 when the economy tanked for the first time, the Handy Hubby and I were already well on our way to being stocked up. We had been praying about it for around 6-8 months, and really felt the impression of the Lord that we were supposed to start taking steps to be less reliant on the grocery store and more reliant on doing things ourselves. We made a few mistakes along the way, and that is what tomorrow’s post is going to be convering, but today lets talk about how to get off on the right foot.
The questions you need to answer are pretty simple.
1.Â How many people are in your family, or will you be caring for?
2.Â How long do you want to be able to feed your family without “having” to use a grocery store if you had to?
And before anyone gets into end of the world scenarios and blasts me,Â I would like to remind everyone that we have seen plenty of natural disasters the last couple years that have kept people from help/food/water/heat for weeks at a time.Â The things we depend on to provide for us are quite fragile too. It just makes sense to be more reliant on yourself and less on someone else showing up to save the day. Or your kids from hunger. Whatever.
Once you determine the answers to those questions, then I would like to direct you to what many of us who do this call a “food calculator”. It tells you how much food you will need per person for a period of time. Most give you amounts for a year, and you need to break it down from there. I encourage most people to start out small, because that is where their budget is, and shoot for two weeks extra, one month, or, if you can swing it, three months per person.
Here is the link for the best food calculator that I could find:
I have used this one in the past and loved it..
this one is put out by the Latter Day Saints church (Mormon), and if you are unfamiliar with their religion, they practice having a large amount of food storage on hand for their families. We actually owe a lot of the information that we have learned over the last few years to them, even though we are not Mormons ourselves. Growing up near Utah, a good portion of my friends were from Mormon families, and I saw first hand how well they prepare for disaster or coming hard times, and it just made sense to me.
So anyhow, that calculator gives you numbers for a single year of food storage, and then if you scroll down, gives you amounts that are broken down into categories. I would encourage you to look through it, then break it down into smaller amounts. When we started we used the same calculator, then figured out how to break it down into three month blocks, wrote that down, and then hung it on the fridge. Each time we would go grocery shopping, we would take one or two things off the list and add it. It took us three months to build a three month storage, but once it was lining the pantry shelves, we felt a lot more confident we could feed our kids if the Handy Hubby lost his job or whatever.
The next question people ask me is:
Â what do you start with first?
And that is pretty easy.
Start with what is the cheapest to get something in the house, and then start adding on. Flours, grains, and starches all have very long storage lives, and can keep you fed and alive during a disaster. Water would be right up there too. Carbs are what the body uses for energy and for feeding the brain, so having those around is pretty darn crucial. We started with buying wheat grains, popcorn, and rice. Each one of those has a long storage life, and can be used in multiple ways. Wheat can be soaked and sprouted for microgreens, ground for flour, soaked and pressure cooked for cereal, etc. Popcorn can be ground for corn flour, or popped for a solid snack or filling meal if necessary. Rice can be ground, or cooked, and many many cultures use it as their staple to keep them alive. All of the above can keep for up to 30 years in storage when properly kept stable, in a cool environment without being exposed to moisture.
So after grains, or right along with them, we tackled canned or dried beans to have protein on hand (I did not know how to can meat at that time, and did not want to go through losing another freezer full of meat that Â made us devastated and hungry for a while), and also some canned fruit and veggies.
*psst….excellent article alert above ^^^^ *
The final question that I am going to address today is:
Where am I supposed to put all of this?
People store them in different ways.
We go the bucket route because we have lots of space.People with less space invest in a Food Saver, and break it into packets, then store in a bin in a closet or under the bed. I have learned that the less space you have, the more creative you have to get, and that means that you fill up under your bed, in the closet, make a closet in a bedroom into a pantry for food storage, etc etc etc.
It is, again, not about excuses, but about what you determine to do.
Tomorrow we will be talking about some of the most common food storage/food pantry buying mistakes that people make and how to avoid them.
For some more great information, I would encourage you to visit my friend Krystall’s site, which deals completely with food storage and has a million recipes on how to use, and store it:
See ya right back here tomorrow, y’all.
Blessings to you and yours,Â