21 Jan 2014
You have probably read before, store up food to last you and your family for at least three months. That doesn’t sound all that hard.. All you have to do is just sock up on beans and rice maybe a can or two of fruit and you have food storage Right? No, not so much.
Don’t be one of these people that find out the hard way that what you stocked up on isn’t enough or isn’t what you want to eat. Food storage requires a plan.
Make your Food Storage Plan. Work Your Plan
Plan is not a dirty four letter word. Think of it as your road map. You wouldn’t head from Kansas to Maine without a map and a route planned out would you? Well food storage is no different. You have to make a plan and follow it for it to work for you. Don’t stress out, it really isn’t that hard..
Short Term….Say Three Months
Make sure you have three months of food on hand for short term emergencies. This should be normal food that you and your family eat every day. After all if you don’t eat your stored food normally then when an emergency hits you will be twice as miserable eating food you are not use too. Follow the KISS principle, Keep it Simple Silly. Most people don’t eat fancy meals on a day in and day out basis…who has time for that. Simple can food, SpaghettiO’s are always a winner for kids and let’s face it mom and dad can eat it too in a pinch. Canned veggie’s and fruits, canned meats tuna, corn beef, etc. are good protein, stews and soaps are great as well.. These are just suggestions, but whatever canned food you buy just make sure it is what you would normally eat and that you and your family like it. When you go shopping, buy two more than you would normally buy each time your shop. You will be surprised how quickly you can stock up your first three months of stored food.
For your three month storage I don’t recommend relying at all on frozen or foods that require refrigeration …after all, if the power goes out for a week, you will have to consume a lot of frozen food before it starts to spoil. Remember this is emergency food. Frozen or even food that needs to be refrigerated can spoil quickly with no power.
As you are buying and using make sure you rotate your food first in first out. Here’s just a sample of the things for three month storage.
- Normal canned goods you eat on a regular basis: Corn, Peas, Tomatoes, Soups, Stews, SpaghettiO’s (oh I said that already…Yes I like them) etc.
- Pop-tarts, and other shelf stable breakfast bars, remember most people like Milk on cereal and you may not have power to keep it cool, so if you don’t like it dry, plan for other breakfast items.
- Pasta, and sauce , Mac & Cheese or other boxed pasta mixes
- Drink mixes: Lemon Aide, Tea, Gatoraide (very important), Coffee, Kool-aid
- Shelf stable pudding cups, cookies, even single serving apple sauce for a desert treat
Don’t short yourself. When an emergency hits you will eat more than normal. You are most likely working harder, maybe clearing yard debris up after a storm. Your life will be out of your routine, food is comforting so you will eat more of it. You may even have friends or family who will be over and you will need to feed them as well. Plus when you are in a stressful situation, you are more likely to burn more calories and require more food.
Long Term…situation like loss of job
If you need food longer than three months you are in a real crisis, maybe even those around you! This is where planning now may save you later or at least make things easier.
For long term storage, you need food that stores well for a long period of time.
Remember, even long term storage should consist of food that you would normally eat. There are some who think you should stock pile buckets of grains and flour. That is great if you already know how to grind and make your own food or bread from scratch from grains and flour. If you don’t do it now, you most likely won’t do it when there is a disaster.
Focus more on freeze dried foods. Such as those from The Ready Store. Remember, only buy what you like and what you would normally eat. The foods from The Ready Store are as good if not better than eating frozen fruits and vegetables especially those from Saratoga Farms. They also have freeze dried meats and meat substitutes (TVP – textured vegetable protein). Freeze dried foods last anywhere between 7 to 30 years depending on the product. Always check dates and rotate regularly just as you would your can foods.
Plus with freeze dried foods you can have a variety of food just as you would in good times. Food keeps people happy so include all the essentials:
- Powdered milk & eggs
- Vegetables & Fruits
- Rice & Beans
For those on a tight budget you can use a portion of your normal grocery bill and put it towards freeze dried foods. Plus you can eat them as a normal routine so you are use to how to prepare them, rotate them and continue to restock twice what you eat to build up the supply.
Food is a great investment, you can always eat it and if you can’t, my personal recommendation is donate it to a disaster recovery team to help those who help others in need when local disasters hit.
Remember to include the whole family when it comes to purchasing your food. Everyone should have a say as to what they want in the storage supply so everyone has food they like