A few years ago I was watching the local news and they did an interview with Shandra from Deals to Meals. The video showed her super awesome food storage. I was so impressed and excited. Here was someone who was serious about food storage and was getting it done. If you want to see Shandra's amazing food storage check it out below.
I asked to Shandra to give her top 5 food storage tip, here is what she had to say.
This weekend I was recently talking to a friend who shared with me her frustration with her preparedness efforts. She said she feels continuously overwhelmed with the task of becoming prepared, having her food storage, her 72 hours kits, and everything else that goes along with becoming more self reliant. Because these goals are overwhelming she says she finds it is easier to do nothing than to do something.
Many of us may have similar thoughts. We know this is something important to do, but yet we don’t know where and how to get started. I hope my post today will help give you some easy tips and ideas of ways you can build up your food storage and become more self reliant without a lot of effort. With a little planning and patience your family’s preparedness goals will be on their way!
Before I get started I want to dispel the myth that being prepared is a one-time, check it off your list, thing to do. Living a self reliant life style is something that takes time, practice and will become a new way of life for you. The work is never done (I am sorry to say!), but the benefits and peace that can come to you, and your family, outweighs the inconvenience of this effort.
Now..if you are new to the idea of having food storage and being prepared, let’s break it down into six simple steps.
1-GET YOUR FAMILY’S 2 WEEK SUPPLY OF WATER: If you have nothing stored thus far in your home, begin by stocking up on your 2 week supply of water. Water is one of the most important parts of your food storage. Our bodies can only live a few days without water and so having an adequate supply of water is crucial. Storing water in many forms is a great option—55 gallon drums, 5 gallon drums, emptied out pop or juice bottles, emptied out detergent containers (for cleaning), water bottles, etc. You can not have enough water, so be creative and find ways to store water all over your home or garage. Here is a download on STORING WATER 101 this link downloads a PDF.
2-BUY FOOD YOUR FAMILY WILL EAT & BUILD YOUR STORAGE AROUND COMPLETE MEALS: Make a list of the food items and meals your family eats most often. (ex- macaroni & cheese, chili, tuna (mayo), peanut butter & jam, pasta & spaghetti sauce, etc.) Start building your food storage around those items. Start by getting a three month supply of these commonly eaten foods. Remember to stock up on ALL the components of each meal you eat on a regular basis. For example, oatmeal for breakfast wouldn’t be good without brown sugar, raisins, cinnamon & milk (powdered milk) or having tuna fish in your storage without mayonnaise wouldn’t be as appetizing. Keep in mind that in a disaster, you won’t be able to run to the store to buy the “extras” for meals. You will need all items on hand to put together meals for your family. On our website we have a great download that could help you come up with some easy and healthy food storage meals you can begin to base your food storage around FOOD STORAGE RECIPES this link downloads a PDF.
3-BUILD TOWARDS YOUR FAMILY’S YEAR SUPPLY OF FOOD: Once your family has a three month supply of the food you eat on a regular basis, begin stocking up on long term food storage items. These items include the following:
300 lbs. Grains (wheat, oats, flour, pasta, rice, cereal, cornmeal, pancake and other mixes)
60 lbs. Sugar (granulated, powdered, brown, jam, syrup, etc.)
60 lbs. Legumes (black, pinto, kidney beans, pork n’ beans, lentils, refried beans, chili, etc.)
10 Quarts Oil (cooking oil, mayo, butter, shortening, salad dressing, olive oil, etc.)
8 lbs. Salt and spices
16 lbs. Milk (powdered milk, evaporated milk, etc.)
Many people are afraid of storing these items because they don’t know what to cook with these whole grains. Take the time to learn to cook from scratch. It takes practice, but with a few good recipes you will find rotating through your long term storage is a breeze (& delicious!) Our blog has several awesome recipes that help you use these food storage items: pancakes, muffins, waffles, breads, rolls, cereal, sauces, main dishes, etc. Download our ONE YEAR SUPPLY GUIDE (this link downloads a PDF) to know how much of each item to add to your storage.
4-HOW TO STORE YOUR FOOD: The main concern is keeping insects and rodents out of your food. There are a few ways to store paper packaged food items. The first is to dry pack items at the LDS Dry Pack Cannery in #10 cans. Another is to put food items in plastic containers (Rubbermaid totes, empty plastic buckets, large plastic garbage cans, etc.) Anything will work as long as it can be shut out from surrounding bugs, rodents and water. Keep food in a cool and dry place for best results.
5-TRACK AND ROTATE: Try to keep your food storage in one place in your home that is well organized and easily accessible. Tip: When you buy food to add to your storage, put the month and date you purchased it on the container with a permanent marker. This way, you will know which items to use first. Put the newer food on the back of the shelf and move the older items forward. Keep a running total of each item so that at any moment you can look at your food storage sheet and see what you are running low on. (Creating a shelving system makes storing food easier to organize and rotate. This can be done inexpensively with cheap metal shelves, store bought food storage racks, or homemade wood shelves.) *Use our FOOD STORAGE INVENTORY download off of our website to make rotating and tracking your food storage easy. This link downloads a PDF.
6-STOCK UP WHEN ITEMS ARE ON SALE! How do you know when to add items to your food storage? When items are on sale for ‘great’ prices, this is the time to stock up and build up your supply. A ‘great’ deal means an item is on sale for LESS than warehouse stores (Costco/Sam’s Club) and Walmart. When items go on sale for LESS than these stores, this is the time to buy as close to your year supply as you can afford. For example, if peanut butter goes on sale for $1 a jar, don’t just buy one—try to buy your family’s year supply (3-4 jars per person). As you do this a little each week/month, you will soon find you have your own ‘store’ in your basement and this will save you $100’s over your year’s food budget. Don’t forget those non-food items that would be needed in an emergency—toilet paper, toothpaste, toothbrushes, shampoo/conditioner, soap, laundry detergent, etc. Watch for these to go on sale and then stock up when they do!
Still overwhelmed? That is what Deals to Meals is here for! We help people all over the U.S. learn to eat healthier meals, buy what is on sale, add to their food storage and meet their family’s self reliance goals. Try our service for two weeks free and see how much TIME & MONEY you can save!