Why is it Important?
There are many answers to this question, and they may vary from person to person. Food storage is important to ME because I want my family to be prepared for the future. Natural disasters, family emergencies, and loss of job are all reasons why food storage is important for you to have.
When I was 14 years old, my dad lost his job. He did not have a job for 11 months. There were 8 kids at home, and my mom did not work other than a side job here or there.
How did we survive?
Off our food storage. I NEVER knew that we were living off our food storage at that time till I was 25 years old! We always had food on our table, and the days went by like they always did. My parents made sure to have a large supply with a variety of food at all times. We had cows for fresh milk and beef in our freezer, we also had chickens for fresh eggs. As a teenager, life went on, without me ever realizing the stress my parents were under.
This was because they were prepared. Having regular, common everyday meals on the table made life seem normal.
I want this for my family.
I want life to go on when we don’t have the money we need for food.
That is why WE chose to build a food storage supply.
Side Note: Before starting on your food storage, it’s important to have a 3 day supply for short emergencies. These are also known as 72-Hour Kits or Bug Out Bags.
How much should I have?
Enough to feed your family. Food storage is a work in progress. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints originally asked everyone to get a full years worth of food for their family. Now, they focus more on a 3 month supply, water, and an emergency finance fund. My answer, start small then work up to a year. A year, or even 3 months can sound daunting to some. Personally, I started gathering food for a 4 month supply and then continued to a year after I had a system in place. I know many people who start with a one week supply, then work towards one month, two months and so forth. Do what works BEST for your family and your situation.
What should I get?
Here is a quick video to help you get an idea, and continue reading for more ideas!
Things your family will eat. Here is a post on 7 tips for picking food storage meals, or 4 steps to guarantee your family will LOVE food storage. You can also search the web, and all over Pinterest for many food storage recipes, charts, and other items on what exactly you should get for your family. Make sure you use recipes you are family with so your family will LOVE food storage. Here is a 1 Year Food Storage Challenge with recipes and shopping lists to give you ideas. I also sale food storage meal plans and shopping lists. Or you can find a book that guides you through the process on amazon HERE.
The most HONEST answer, is get what your family will eat.
Some great items are foods that store for long periods of time such as: Rice, Wheat, Beans, Oats, ect. Personally, I think those are great items, but only because I use them and cook with them weekly.
Canned food items are great as you make sure you rotate them and check the expiration dates. Pre-packed food items such as mac and cheese work too, although they don’t last as long. Freeze dried and dehydrated food all work well in your food storage too. You can also try canning your own meals and canning meats as well. Incorporating food that stores well for years with food that you use monthly is a great blend for your food storage. This allows you to use what you store, rotate frequently, and be sure your family will eat the stored food if the need comes.
Some people like to add comfort food to their supply, such as cookies and candy bars. If you are looking for a wheat grinder, here and here are some reviews on the ones I love using, OR read about my other favorite Food Storage Appliances.
How do I start?
I believe the BEST way to start is with a plan. Some people might not agree with me because it takes more time, but I feel like there is less money wasted this way, and you can accomplish your goal faster.
- Find 4 dinner recipes your family enjoys and write down the ingredients.
- Multiple each ingredient x 4 and keep this list with you when you go grocery shopping
- Each shopping trip, try to buy a couple items off your list to store in your pantry. I recommend dating the month/year you bought each item (so you can always pick the oldest item to use first)
- After buying all the items on your list, you should have a 16 day supply of meals, roughly about 2 weeks of food for your family
This method is easy to change and adjust to YOUR family. Include breakfast recipes. Find 7 recipes and multiply by 4 for a 1 month supply. Once you start growing more than a 4 month supply you might want to look into powdered milk, or start to freeze more fresh items. When you grow past a 3 month supply you’ll want to check out dehydrated or freeze dried fruits, vegetables, and meats to include in your supply.
Be sure to use what you have
Once you have started gathering your food storage, it is important to rotate the shorter shelf life food items. Canned food, boxed items, and frozen are things you will want to use, then buy on your next shopping trip to replenish. Read more here about how to USE your food storage and the importance of WHY you need to use it.
Want the easy way out?
Some great recipes to try out your food storage are Corn Bread, Cracked Wheat Cereal, Homemade Bread, or you can even try out some Banana Nut Muffins! Incorporating your food storage into every day meals is easier than you realize. Here is a list of 100+ Food storage recipes to get you thinking.
Looking for an easier route to becoming prepared in your food storage?
Check out my book on Amazon “A Practical Guide for Food Storage”