Where do you begin??
First...you need a way to organize your food--wood shelves, metal shelving, rolling storage units, etc. My husband built these shelves-aren't they cute?? I organize my food storage room into categories. I try to keep all like items together-Legumes together, fruits, vegetables, oils etc. It makes it easy to glance and see what I have and keep an accurate inventory. Remember, grains aren't just wheat, grains includes pasta, rice, cornmeal, cereal, oats, flour, cornstarch, etc.
How do you store your grains? It is more expensive to can all of your grains in #10 cans, so I put them in plastic Rubbermaid totes. I go through my food so quickly, I have never had to worry about weavil or food going bad. The plastic tubs also keep your food dry and away from rodents. It works for me and is an inexpensive way to store your food :) You may think 48 bottles of BBQ sauce is excessive? I don't--I know I will use it in the next couple of years, so why not stock up when it goes on sale for .60 (or .05 each with a coupon)--fabulous! Remember, if you don't get funny looks from fellow grocery shoppers, you are shopping the wrong way :) Buy as much of each item on sale--even if people think you're crazy for having 69 bottles of ketchup (okay, so maybe I am a little!), you will save SO much money in the long run!
Since we all know we live in earthquake territory, my brilliant husband came up with the idea to put PVC pipe into the sides of the shelves to keep bottles and food from shaking off the shelves.
Is anyone thristy? The church recommends AT LEAST 14 gallons of drinking water per person for a two week supply. I have our drinking water in the form of water bottles because they are convenient and easy to rotate through. The water in the drums are for washing, cleaning and cooking. I don't think it is possible to have enough water!
Visit our website under the Free Downloads tab and see the recommendations on storing water. One thing that is important is to not have your water bottles or drum directly on cement. We have a piece of plywood under and on the side of our water drums.
Okay..so you have heard me talk about storing your flour, oats, sugar and wheat in large Rubbermaid garbage cans. A friend who was moving gave us these wierd looking large drums that we keep our "bulk" food storage items in. I'm sure you can't find these wierd looking blue containers anywhere--I know you're jealous of them-haha!--so, large plastic garbage cans should do the trick.
FLOUR: APPROX. 75 LBS. PER PERSON
These large drums holds close to my families year supply of wheat, sugar, oats and flour. I only buy these items once a year (because I buy a year supply when it is on sale for "red/great" prices. I label the individual bags with the date I purchased them (ex. 4/08) to help me make sure I use the oldest bags first. I then take out the old bags, put the new bags in the bottom and then put the oldest bags back on top. If you are only buying them once or twice a year, it's pretty slick! These drums keep your food dry and rodent free--it's lovely (and VERY cost effective).
OATS: 20 LBS. PER PERSON
WHEAT: 100 LBS. PER PERSON
SUGAR: 65 LBS. PER PERSON
Besides the long term storage, it is important to have food in your freezer. Having a 1-3 month supply of meat, butter, cheeses, vegetables, bread, tortillas, seafood, etc. make meal planning MUCH easier. When meat goes on sale for "red/great" prices, stock your freezers and save HUNDREDS of dollars! Many of you are probably saying you don't have room in your garage/home for a freezer. Just do what my sister did and use it as an end table :)
You don't need to have a large deep freeze (although I LOVE mine), you can get a smaller 11 cubic feet freezer for around $250. You will save that much in just a couple months.
Wow! How's that for my first post? I promise they won't always be that long--however, by now you all know I can get a little winded when I'm talking about something I am passionate about :0)
So...what works for you?? Share your thoughts, ideas, tips, etc. and hopefully we can all get excited about being prepared. It is a great feeling! Don't get discouraged if you don't have your year supply. The important thing is that you are working towards a goal. Anything will be FAR BETTER than nothing in an emergency or if food prices continue to skyrocket and the economy takes a turn for the worst. I love the quote from President Hinckley, I think it is so encouraging, he said, "We can begin ever so modestly. We can begin with a one week's food supply and gradually build it to a month, and then to three months. . . . I fear that so many feel that a long-term food supply is so far beyond their reach that they make no effort at all.
"Begin in a small way, . . . and gradually build toward a reasonable objective.
Inspired preparation rests on the foundation of faith in Jesus Christ, obedience, and a provident lifestyle. Members should not go to extremes, but they should begin."
Congratulations on "beginning"!
Visit our website for more tips on food storage: www.dealstomeals.com
Feel free to pass on this blog or our website to friends and family that are interested in food storage :)