Why do you need food storage?
I personally just think food storage makes sense and I can’t imagine living without it. Having this “buffer against the storm” is a big area of safety for me; to know that no matter what may happen to us financially, I can feed my family. We have a well-stocked pantry and more than a 3 month supply of food, so I can basically make any kind of meal without having to go to the grocery store.
This is smart because it keeps me from going to the store every day. You might say this is a country skill and while I don’t live in the country right now, it still saves me money in the long run to buy in bulk.
In addition, I have a year’s supply of various grains, beans, sweeteners, and spices. Many years ago, while my husband was going to college, we lived off our food storage. It was a valuable lesson in self-reliance for our family.
What you need to store and how much do you need?
You should only store what you eat. It is a complete waste of money to buy food that your family doesn’t like, even if some “preparedness guru” says you need it. That goes for canned food and prepackaged items. I think of those food bricks that people say you should have in your 72-hour kits. While they may be 2000 calories each, no one would actually choose to eat it. Why not spend your money on what you like.
The first thing to do is make a list of 10-15 meals that your family likes and build your pantry and short term food storage around those items. Take each recipe and list the individual ingredients. Now start buying extra of those items for future meals.
How to get it?
If you can purchase food on sale or in bulk you will obviously get a better price. Check warehouse stores like Costco and Sam’s Club. I’ve also found great prices at stores like Grocery Outlet and dollar store. Remember, don’t buy it if it isn’t a family favorite.
Gardening can also play a key part in your food storage plan. People who live in apartments can still grow a surprising amount of produce in pots on the balcony.
How to Store It
I learned a valuable food storage lesson from a Master Food Preserver. It has me rethinking my whole food storage plan. It’s this concept – to think about HOW you store your food and not just WHAT you store. For example, if you live in an area where storms frequently knock out the power, then relying on your freezer as the only source of food storage could be asking for trouble.
Grandma’s adage, don’t put your eggs all in one basket, rings true even today. The Law of 3′s in food storage is this: Always have your foods stored in at least three ways.
Visit the other Food Storage Pages: Canning Techniques – Wholesale Bulk Buying – Long Term Food Storage – Other Preservation Methods – Grains – Thrive Life – Recipes – for other in-depth articles on getting your food storage plan together.