Photo Credit: FreeImages.com/Luis Solis, Tijmen Van Dobbenburgh, and Ove TøpferFood storage is can be really simple. But sometimes… even when something is simple, you can still make some easy mistakes. I have done it, and you have probably done it too. Here are the three most common food storage mistakes and how you can solve the problem and not fall into their traps.
Top three Food Storage Mistakes
1. Using your food storage WRONG or NOT using it at all.
This one can be tricky, and I know I have sent mixed signals about this before too. I want to be clear with this.
- You don’t know how to cook and eat your basic grains (the wheat, rice, beans, oats, ect.). Learning how to cook with your food storage will help your body and family adjust to it. And it’s healthy for you too!
- Rotate out your basic items. If you have canned food, bottled, or boxed items these need to be rotated and used. I’m not going to give you specific dates because I don’t technically agree with expiration dates. The easiest way to do this, is to start cooking with them. If you are consistently cooking with your oil, canned veggies, baking powder, ect, then you’ll be using them prior to going bad. That being said, if a can is leaking or buldging, or something looks or smells off, don’t eat it.
- You are cooking with your FREEZE DRIED food storage. DON’T DO THIS! I don’t know how many times I can say this, but this is just not cost efficient OR needed. If they store for 20 years, you don’t need to be cooking with this on a daily basis. I don’t care what others say, it is more expensive to cook with it. So, you may use it every now and then, but not on a monthly basis.
2. No PLAN for using your food storage
Ok, this is a tricky one for me to explain, even though I feel it is the one of the BIGGEST food storage mistakes everyone does.
You’ve got 50lbs of wheat, 10 pounds of honey, and some freeze-dried meats, fruits and veggies. That’s great! Now what? How are you going to use those? What meals are you using your wheat and meat for? How are you going to use your veggies? Do you have enough for 3 meals a day for your whole family? (You can read how to know you have enough food for your family here.)
Stocking up on food is great, but not planning what it will be used for is another problem. It’s important to have a list or book where you know exactly how many meals and for what meals you will be using your honey or veggies. When it comes down to needing your supply it will allow you to:
- know what meals you can make with it
- know exactly how many meals you can make with it
- be organized for breakfast/lunch/dinner/treats
- know if you have extras to share
An example is having ingredients for 7 different breakfasts, lunches and dinners for 52 meals. Here is a good example of one of my 4 month supplies (I have 3 to total a year supply of food). You can also take a look at my Food Storage Meal Plans to see if any interest you.
3. Not storing water
We have all done this. I mean, we have water stored, but not enough for a 1 week supply. I started with gathering our year supply of food, THEN planned to work on water. Well, thats where I stopped and wanted to take a break and never got back to it.
You can’t survive without water, but you can survive without food.
Storing a 2 week to a month supply of water should have been the FIRST thing on the list. Then, progressed to food. If you are storing freeze dried items, storing extra water is a MUST.
Be sure to have plenty of water for drinking, washing, cooking and cleaning. I understand it can be difficult to store a years supply of water (I’m speaking for myself here), so just do what you can. I recommend storing a 2 week to month supply for cooking, drinking, washing and cleaning. Then, having filters to help you filter enough water for a year. (So plan on about 2 gallons of water per person a day).
We live in Nebraska, and it rains pretty frequently. But, if we lived back in Arizona, I would probably be storing closer to a months supply of water since it can be more difficult to come by in a drought.
Comment from readers:
While storing water is important, water filtration is critical. Nobody can store enough water for the rest of their lives, but knowing how to filter water and having the materials to do so will be a matter of life and death after an event. I’m lucky that I live near a river, so I don’t have to store as much as some folks, but I still store more than 2 weeks of water since during some events it may not be safe to be outside for that long. And remember, if you’re storing a lot of FD food then you’ll need extra water to rehydrate your meals!
What food storage mistakes have you made? Comment below.
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