After my appearance on the Glenn Beck show, I was inundated with emails, many of them asking, “Exactly what do I need to do to store food?” I pride myself on answering every email, but there are a few of these still unanswered. Why? Because food storage isn’t an exact science, nor is it a “one size fits all” project.
It reminds me of when I first began homeschooling. I was overwhelmed by all the curriculum choices, education styles, scheduling options, and homeschool activities. I wanted someone to come along and say, “Do this first. Do this second, etc.,” but no one did. Finally, I realized why. No two families homeschool the same way. No set of curriculum, daily schedule, extracurricular activities, and teaching styles will fit any two families in the same way. I had to find my own way, and eventually, I did.
Find your own way through the food storage maze
Yesterday I was talking with a family friend who has just launched into the world of food storage. He said, “Lisa, just tell me what to do. This is such a big undertaking.”
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I said, “Tell me what you’ve done so far.”
“We went to COSTCO and stocked up on a few cases of SPAM and soup. We’ve been buying extras of what we already eat. I thought about foods we could make if we didn’t have any power, and we’ve bought things like peanut butter and cans of tuna. My wife stocked up on baking supplies so we could make our own bread if we needed to.”
My response? “You’re doing this exactly right!!!”
The best slogan for beginners? K.I.S.S.
I hope you haven’t been waiting for a magic genie to come along and tell you, step by step, how to stock up on food. Just jump right in. Follow these steps that my friend sort of stumbled onto.
- Buy more of what you already eat. You know what that is. I don’t.
- Look for bargains. Use coupons and combine them with store sales.
- Zero in on canned foods because of their long shelf lives, but buy only those foods you would actually eat.
- Think about foods you could eat if you were without power. Buy extras of those foods.
- Baking supplies are generally inexpensive. Buy enough ingredients for making bread. Find a good, basic bread recipe and a calculator. Decide how many loaves of bread you might need to make per week if fresh, store-bought bread wasn’t available. Begin stocking up on those ingredients in the quantities you’ve calculated.
The bottom line here? Keep it Simple when you Start. It’s the starting that’s most important.
Is that all there is to it?
No, but this is a good place to begin. As you begin filling your pantry (or closets or bathroom cupboards!), you’ll begin noticing gaps that need to be filled. Maybe you’ve been stocking up on baking supplies but not enough produce, or perhaps you don’t have any dairy products stored. You’ll also realize the need to use up foods with older expiration dates (called ‘rotating your food’). As you read the advice on this blog and other websites, you’ll be amazed at how quickly you learn food storage principles. It’s encouraging to watch those rows of cans grow, and the day will soon come when you realize, “We have enough food here to last us at least two months!”
Watch for regularly scheduled webinars for more in-depth training, but don’t sideline your plans to begin storing food because you don’t know exactly how to start. Start where you are now, based on what you and your family eat. Just start!
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