I admit I’m a latecomer to the whole food storage scene. It wasn’t too long ago that the only thing I could say I stocked up on was boxes of brownie mix. Never a bad idea, but hardly comprehensive!
After some research and a few missteps, my current food storage plan is built around three categories of food.
1. Grocery store goods. This category is the easiest to acquire, the food is often very inexpensive, and it’s all familiar stuff. During stressful times, I think we’ll all appreciate a nice big bowl of Kraft Macaroni & Cheese. The downside of this food category is that it isn’t meant for long-term storage, so keep an eye on expiration dates.
2. Freeze dried foods. These are lightweight, and don’t take up much room. You could pack 6 months worth in the back of a pick-up truck. In fact, I’ve stored ours’ near our back door in case we ever have to evacuate. With a relatively small amount of water, bingo, you have a meal. Freeze dried food is more expensive up front, but when you price it out per serving, it’s actually pretty budget friendly. One caveat. Pay attention to serving size. If you have big eaters, you may find yourself zipping through a #10 can of turkey tetrazzini over a weekend. Two companies I’ve purchased from are Ready Made Resources and Freeze Dry Guy. My friend, Suzanne, owns All-in-One Preparedness, and is especially helpful. Be sure to shop around for the best prices.
3. Bulk dry food. This category includes rice, beans, dehydrated fruits and vegetables, cornmeal, wheat, dried milk and a whole lot more. These foods are meant to last a very, very long time, up to 20 or 30 years in many cases. This food must be stored correctly, but ultimately, it will be the backbone of your food storage. To get started, download Walton Feed’s catalog, and use it to check off what your family currently eats. That will give you an idea of where to start with this category of food. My own family prefers rice and beans over potatoes, so my food storage reflects that. Again, check around for prices, including local resources.
I prefer this balanced approach over stocking up on just one category of food. The combination provides us with comforting, familiar foods, ultra quick meals if all we have available is water, and food I can rely on to be there years from now. I don’t think there’s any bad way to begin your food storage, except procrastinating until “tomorrow.”
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