Day 12 – National Preparedness Month Challenge – Long Term Food Storage, Part 2 – Inventory, Plan and Purchase
In yesterday’s challenge, we talked about why having food storage is a great buffer against life’s storms. Today we begin to talk about how you can put a Long Term Food Storage plan into motion – and it will take some forward motion on your part to make it a reality.
Remember this will not be accomplished over night! You probably do not have the time or money to get your long term food storage together today, or even this week. We can promise it will be worth the effort you take to analyze what your family eats and look for the best place (s) to make your purchases. It will save you headaches and waste in the future, because it is simply a waste to purchase split peas if your family won’t eat them.
What type of food should you store?
Grains are usually the foundation of a long term storage plan. There are so many different types of grains available to us today, wheat, rice, quinoa, chia or oats, the possibilities are endless, so take your pick. You will be able to purchase just what your family likes and take into account any family allergies. Mix and match to reach the recommended pounds per person. Browse the catalog of Bob’s Red Mill, Azure Standard or Rainy Day Foods to get ideas about what is available then look for co-ops, warehouse stores or bulk buying groups in your area to determine the best price. Don’t forget to check prices on a grain mill while you are looking around!
Legumes consisting of dried beans, peas, barley and nuts are the next item on your long term food storage list. These will last for up to 30 years if properly stored. Beans are a source of protein and can be ground and used as thickeners. Plan on purchasing beans and seeds for sprouting – if you can’t grow a garden this will be a way for your family to get fresh greens, even in winter. Sprouting is fun, easy and healthy for you, give it a try!
How much milk can you store and for how long? Fresh milk will only last about 10 days. You can freeze milk for up to a month. We keep a supply of powdered milk on hand to meet the Dairy requirement for long term food storage and we use it exclusively for cooking. Here are some recipes for powdered milk use. Do some taste testing and find a milk product that your family will actually drink. It might cost more but it will be worth it. You can still use the less expensive brand for cooking.
We store several kinds of Sugars at our house and although white sugar is getting a bad rap right now and we limit the amount we use, I still have it in my long term food storage. We also have honey (which NEVER goes bad), molasses, Splenda and agave.
Don’t forget Leavening Agents or your bread will be flat! Have on hand enough yeast, baking powder and powdered eggs for your baking needs. Salt is another necessity and very easy to get. Do you want sea salt, canning salt and salt with or without iodine?
You need to store some Fats for cooking and health. There are many debates going on right now about the “right” kind of fats to use and we won’t get into that today. You will need some kind of vegetable oil (we have olive and coconut) and shortening (yes even Crisco and lard) as part of your long term food storage plan. Most of these will not last more than 2 years, so plan on rotating.
And finally, don’t forget to plan for herbs, spices and sauces. They will help you create variety with your long term food storage. My husband could not exist without them!
Today’s Challenge: Plan, Inventory and Execute a Long Term Storage Plan
GOOD: Plan – you must determine how much you need for your family. The following are recommendations for one year of Long Term Food Storage for one adult or one child. These are only recommendations because you know if you have small children (more milk maybe?) or teenagers (more sugar or cooking fats?!)
|Adult 12 and up||Child under 12|
|Grains||400 Lbs||260 Lbs|
|Legumes||60 lbs||40 lbs|
|Dairy||30 lbs||20 lbs|
|Sugars||60 lbs||40 lbs|
|Leavening Agents||6 lbs||4 lbs|
|Salt||3 lbs||4 lbs|
|Fats||30 lbs||20 lbs|
BETTER: Inventory your current Long Term Food Storage – those items that will last more than 10 years – so you know where to go from here. Download the spreadsheet to begin.
BEST: Begin to execute your plan by budgeting and purchasing one month at a time. Every little bit helps, even if it’s only $5 per week. Include a way to rotate your Long Term Food Storage into your daily or weekly meals.