For the next few Tuesday’s we will be introducing you to our new, amazing contributors. Each of them we personally selected because we feel they have talents that will benefit all of you. We are so grateful they’ve decided to join our team!
Building up a food storage supply can feel like a daunting task. What do you store? How much of it? How the heck do you use wheat? Where do you buy these items? And how do you store it all? All of these questions come to mind when you try to get started.
We are Jodi and Julie and we have been blogging about Food Storage and Emergency Preparedness over at Food Storage Made Easy for nearly 9 years! Wow that makes us feel old in the blogging world! When we started our journey we felt very overwhelmed by the entire process so we decided to split it up into ten simple baby steps which will hopefully make the task feel like less of a burden and if you do it along with us you might even find it to be a little bit fun!
Today we will give you an overview of the 10 BabySteps to give you an introduction to our plan. Feel free to take them at your own pace or sign up for our FREE BabyStep Checklists to be guided through the process one checklist at a time.
Put together Disaster Kits (including 72 hour kit food kits) for your whole family, have an Emergency Plan in place, make sure your computer is backed up, and organize your space to ensure you have a large, clean storage area.
Determine which type of shelf system you want to use and purchase one shelf to get started. You can do anything from building your own wooden shelves, buying inexpensive plastic or metal shelves from Wal-Mart, or even splurging to buy a fancy can rotation system.
Store a 2 week’s supply of water (1 gallon per person per day). You can buy 55 gallon barrels, get several 5-6 gallon jugs, or fill up empty soda/juice bottles. Just make sure it is food grade plastic, and milk jugs don’t count (they will degrade over time and start to leak).
Purchase a three month’s of foods you normally eat. You can come up with meal plans for the whole 90 days, or simply buy extras of the things you use a lot. If you plan to use these foods a lot, buy MORE than 90 days worth so you can use some but still have your three month supply on hand. Deals to Meals is an invaluable service as you build up your 3 month supply. Make your list and then stock up on whatever items are on sale that week until you have your entire supply purchased.
Educate yourself on long term food storage and determine the types of foods, recipes, etc. your family will want to eat. Use an online tool or spreadsheet to figure out the actual amounts of each food you are planning to store for a year supply of food. (You can start with 3 months and move up to 1 year eventually).
Purchase your grains and learn how to use them: wheat, corn, barley, rice, pasta, etc. You can buy these items online or at your local stores. Make sure to check Deals to Meals to see if there are sales on them. You can always re-package until bulk containers.
Purchase your legumes and learn how to use them: dried beans, bean soup mixes, lentils, soy beans, etc. Make sure to check Deals to Meals to see if there are sales on them.
Purchase items necessary for baking such as oil, sugar, powdered milk, salt, etc. Make sure to check Deals to Meals to see if there are sales on them.
Purchase or preserve fruits and vegetables to supplement your core foods. You can do this in a variety of ways from growing your own and learning to can or dehydrate, buying store-bought produce, or purchasing freeze-dried items for storage.
Purchase any comfort foods that would be pleasant to have should you be forced to live off your food storage for a long time. This could be things such as hot chocolate, pickles, jell-o, salsa, spices, etc.
Purchase non-food item necessities such as toothpaste, deodorant, female products, diapers, etc. Also, paper products such as paper plates, plastic utensils, etc. are helpful to avoid wasting precious water by washing dishes in an emergency situation.
Beyond the BabySteps:
Once you have finished these steps you can move on to more complex survival issues such as heating and cooling, powerless cooking, long term water solutions, etc.
A lot of people avoid getting STARTED because this sounds like a huge and overwhelming task. But just remember, even accomplishing up to step 3 will put you in a far better position than most of the country should an emergency arise. Get that much done immediately and then take your time to truly figure out the more difficult long term food storage concepts.
Need more help to walk you through the food storage BabySteps?
We have put together an email series of FREE BabyStep Checklists that will guide you through building your food storage program gradually and spreading out the costs throughout a one year period. When you sign up, your first to-do list will be sent to you right away to help you get started today!
– Jodi and Julie