Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Food Storage- Building up your 3 month supply

Click here for past entries on this subject.

Before I get started on building a three month supply of food, I just need to get something out there right now about food storage. Do not, I repeat, do not, buy a years supply of food from some company. There are several reasons for this the main being the prices are often insane (think thousands of dollars for one person). You should never go into debt to get food storage. Secondly, a lot of those companies do not know what your tastes and needs are. It is better for you to build it up yourself and it be usable then to go for the convenience of buying it in one swoop. That being said there is nothing wrong with buying an item here or there from these companies. Ok now that I have that out of the way, on to building a three month supply.

How can I build a three month supply of food?
The simple answer is a little at a time. My suggestion is two do one or both of the following.1) Whenever something you eat regularly is on sale buy extra of that item.  2) Set aside a portion of your food money each week to buying items for food storage. I feel like the best solution is a combination. For example if you set aside $5-$10 of your weekly food budget you can buy a few of the items that are on sale with it and use the remaining amount of money to buy things that seldom go on sale.

What kind of foods should I have in my three month supply?
That's easy! The kinds you eat. LOL. Ok, but seriously pretty much anything that is shelf stable is a good idea for a three month supply. Pastas, sauces, canned fruits and vegetables, canned meats and fish, crackers, nuts, beans, rice, flour, yeast, sugar, dried fruits, jerky, canned soups, mac and cheese, etc., etc. Basically anything that doesn't need to be refrigerated or frozen. It also excludes bread and fresh fruit and veggies (as these things normally would spoil in a three month period). As you work on living a provident life, you'll also gain some skills such as canning and gardening that will help with food storage.

So I'm not supposed to touch these foods? 
Actually the opposite is true. To have truly effective food storage you need to be rotating through and using it.

But if I use it then I won't have it...
The key is rotation. You should create a system to replace what you use. You can replace them as they go on sale again or with money set aside for that purpose.

How will I know if I have enough food?
The best method is to create some menus. Create a menu for one day, then one week, then one month. This will help you to most accurately figure out your family's needs. And once you create these menus put them with your food storage.

What questions do you have about building a three month supply? Please ask so I can help you build your food storage, and you'll get to see your questions answered in future installments.

That's it for today, join me next week as we work on storing water.
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