Monday, April 21, 2014

Be Prepared: An Introduction to Food Storage

Be Prepared: An Introduction to Food Storage

In the age of the 24 hour supermarket, food storage may seem like a crazy concept. But economic forces are converging in such a way that skyrocketing food prices no longer seem like a impossibility, more and more they appear to be an impending certainty. While we could be wrong about inflation, there’s no harm in being prepared. Don’t be the person holding up a sign looking for help, be the person with a life raft. Look at the information on food storage and decide what’s best for you and your family.
 Reasons to Rely Upon Food Storage:
  • Natural Disaster
  • Terrorism 
  • Economic Depression
  • Drought
  • Crop Failure
  • Personal Tragedy
  • Civil Unrest
  • Unemployment
Hope this will get you started. Let me know your progress and we’ll keep you going in the right direction.
Depending on your budget for food storage you can either start with one at a time or a few of each.
First thing we are going to do is start with simple grocery store items. Once you have a two week supply we can add in some other items. Don’t worry about a menu, when we are done you will have your own grocery store!

  • Pasta sauces
  • Canned Tomatoes
  • Soups
  • Canned and dried beans
  • Pasta
  • Rice
  • Instant potatoes & canned potatoes
  • Canned fruit
  • Canned veggies
  • Dry milk
  • Oil
  • Mac and cheese
  • Peanut butter, jelly, honey
  • Flour
  • Corn meal
  • Sugar
  • Canned meats, Tuna, chicken, beef…
  • Oatmeal, cream of wheat…
  • Try to buy things that only need water to prepare, especially now.
 Quantity of Food Items
Just use good judgment; remember soon your food storage area will be your home store.

Sample: 2 to 4 people
4- Pasta servings
10- Fruit and Veggie cans
 5- Pounds of Rice and beans
15 –Cans of soup
12- Box’s of Mac & cheese
  4- Jars of peanut butter
15- Cans of meat

Double up for 6 to 8, Remember  this is a start, by the time you finish this two weeks you will have a real grip on Food storage, the two weeks will break the ice for you , and get you off and running.

WATER is Essential!
  • Easy way to store is by using cleaned out 2 liter soda bottles; you can easily clean out with hot water a drop of soap & rinse thoroughly. This type of plastic is safe for storage.  Store in a cool dark place when possible.
  • One gallon jugs are easy to start with and to store. You can put them under a bed in a closet, the attic, garage, shed so forth and so on. You can stack them easily buy putting a piece of shelving material on them and going about 3 high, depending on if small children are in the house. You can buy water as low as 69 cents a jug at Wal-Mart. Gallon jugs are also easy to handle. ( my favorite for getting started)
  • Water bricks are stack-able and store easily.
  • Portable water filter is always a good idea.
  • It is recommend to have minimum a 2 liter soda bottle / per person / per day for consumption and washing.
  • If a situation where water is an issue be sure to have stash of paper plates, napkins, plastic ware and moist wipes stored. Conserve your water supply; it will be your life line.
Depending on your finances this could take a few days or a few months. The important thing is that you start now. Pick a place in your home and when you shop purchase a few of these items for your storage. You’ll see it come together pretty fast and if you start like this you won’t feel the bite on your checkbook. Picking up a few extra Items every time you are out will be easy on you and your finances.

If your budget is as big as you would like, let me know and we will do a six month starter closet.

Please ask questions, I don’t know any details about you so I’m giving you the easy start. This is how I started. Don’t wait, start now. We tend to always think that can’t happen to me and then it does and the worst part is we could have been more prepared…

If you choose you can buy as healthy as possible, but remember these will be items used mostly in emergency situations, so any meal is better than no meal.

Once you have put up about a two week supply you can add some freeze dried products and specialty items this will give you more Variety and nutrition. Enjoy putting these things together, don’t over think it just start buying and adding to you Storage area.

We have both stored and have used them in combination with each other and make great meal.

Let’s stay focused on the food until you hit that two week mark, the rest will come soon!

  •  No refrigeration, (Get Stocking a Food Storage Closet.
  • Water Source
  • Something to Cook on: BBQ, or a Camp Stove. Etc.
  • Heat source: Fire place, wood stove, extra Blankets, or layered clothing.
  • Batteries, Flash lights, Radio, Candles, Matches.
  • First Aid Kit
  • Closed stores
  • No Utilities
  • Protection
Consider a weekend with no utilities and using only what you have in your home now, then after some prepping time try it again. It’s a great eye opener! And will teach you allot…

Build around 4 categories of food

  • Grocery store goods:  Cans and Boxes. (Often inexpensive, but little to no nutritional value.)
  • Freeze dried foods:  lightweight and don’t take up much room, High nutrition value priced out per serving, its budget friendly. Freeze dried & dehydrated fruits and vegetables will be the backbone of your food storage and last up to 20-30 years.
  • Bulk dry food: Beans, Rice and dried pasta, flour, cornmeal, dried milk, etc. 
  • Pay attention to shelf life. Take a look at packaging. Can soup doesn’t need water and can store this for a few years.  Plastic bags and cardboard boxes – 1 yr max
STORAGE: 6 main enemies to storing food
  • Temperature:  Ideal is 40 degrees - 72 degrees.  (For every 18 degrees above 72, food will lose its’ nutritional value by half)
  • Humidity: Store food off the floor and away from outside walls
  • Pests: Keep food in air-tight containers clean up food particles on the shelves or floor
  • Oxygen: Use oxygen absorbers, rotate food, vacuum packing food to reduce oxidation
  • Light: Keep your pantry area dark.  If food is in clear containers, keep them in labeled boxes with lids.
  • Storage: Look for places where can you De-clutter. Try closets & under beds. More room for storage can be a Challenge, but think about the possible alternative. I recommend pieces of furniture that can double as storage. (i.e. Bench that opens up with a storage component – especially good for small homes)  
Non-food items, purposefully 1-2 weeks supply (again a minimum)
  • Decent first aid kit
  • Prescription Meds
  • Items like toilet paper can be bulky but it can be stored in garage, attic, shed, etc.
  • Soap, shampoo, tooth paste, contact solution, etc. (Keeps easily and organized in buckets)
  • Give serious consideration to how your family will cope when power is down. Water, food, protection, communication, Kids entertainment Etc…
  • Pet care
  • Consider a small Generator
This is basic; you can personalize your list and add more or less. Just remember it’s better to be safe than sorry.
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