Wow! What a crazy last few weeks this has been. I’m sure all of you are like me and trying to just take one day at a time and doing our best to keep our families healthy and safe. Just when we thought life was pretty bizarre already, we woke up to a 5.7 earthquake here in Utah. I’m pretty sure God has a message in all of these disasters and disease, and I’m doing my best to figure out what that is for my family.

For many people, I think they are using this pandemic and earthquake as a wake up call for their preparedness needs. Over the past 11 years I have gone through an ebb and flow of working on my families preparedness. When I recorded my Food Storage 101 YouTube Video, I was at the top of my game. My storage room was beautiful, organized and WELL stocked!

There were other years where finances were a little tight and we had to eat out of our storage and didn’t have the means to build it up as quickly. No matter where you are in your preparedness efforts, here are 5 simple tips to help you ride out this COVID-19 and economic hardships better than most.

1-HAVE FAITH: Whether or not we believe in the same God, belong to the same church, or have the same beliefs, we can find peace in knowing that God is in charge. Rely on His grace, His love and His ability to help protect your family and give you the guidance you need. Follow those promptings to know how best to help your family. Pray about where to start. I have done this many times over and been amazed at how the spirit has guided me to know exactly what to do for my family to help keep us prepared for what’s to come. A favorite scripture of mine is found in Doctrine & Covenants 38:30 “If ye are prepared, ye shall not fear” Being prepared has brought a peace during these hard times than I can’t even explain.

2-START WITH THE BASICS: Whether you are just beginning to stock up and be prepared, remember to start with those basic ingredients that will sustain life. Items like your 2 week supply of water, hard wheat, powdered milk (in case we can’t get regular milk any longer), vitamins, dried beans (for protein) and they will last 30+ years, sugar, etc. Focus on just these basics to help you start to stock up. Once you have these, you can start to build up your pantry. If these items are hard to find in your area, be patient and stock up when you see them on the shelves next. They will be back, just watch and be ready when they do.

3-FOCUS ON YOUR PANTRY & 3 MONTH SUPPLY: Most of us would not be comfortable only living on hard wheat, powdered milk, etc. So, this step is to begin bulking up your food storage with items you know your family eats and will rotate through on a monthly basis. If you like spaghetti, stock up on pasta and pasta sauce when it goes on sale. If you eat a lot of PB&J sandwiches, stock up on peanut butter, jam and bread ingredients as they go on sale. As you do this a little each week (watching the weekly grocery deals on Deals to Meals), you will be surprised how quickly your supply will grow.

Even though some grocery stores are not posting ‘regular’ ads, it’s still a great time to watch the weekly deals and stock up when you can find them in stock. It’s more important than ever to stock up and start learning to save BIG money on groceries!

4-ROTATE & USE UP WHAT YOU STORE: I laugh every time I get a comment on my YouTube video that says “I bet this lady had to throw half of everything she stored away because she couldn’t use before it went bad” I laugh because that is SO far from the truth. Not only do I rarely throw anything away, but my family uses everything we store and then some! It is a constant job to be replenishing my food storage on a weekly/monthly basis in order to keep up with my families needs. We are a family of 7 and like to host lots of parties, or maybe we could have things stay on the shelves longer 😉 However, it’s important to know what you have in your storage and learn to use it.

USE THIS AWESOME INVENTORY SHEET TO KEEP TRACK OF WHAT YOU HAVE ON HAND.

For example, if you have a lot of wheat stored, during this pandemic, it’s the PERFECT time to learn how to use it in your cooking. You can make bread, use half wheat flour in all of your baking, put it in the crock pot and cook it for breakfast cereal, etc. The sky is the limit! Take these slower months to finally take inventory of what you have stored, what you need to replenish and to learn how to use what you’re storing. I promise, give it a try and you’ll be surprised how FUN it can be! Visit our website or this blog for hundreds of amazing food storage recipes your entire family will love.

5-DON’T GIVE UP! Be patient with yourself and don’t give up. There will be times you have more time to put towards your preparedness efforts and others when you feel overwhelmed and you can’t manage it. That’s okay! Give yourself a break and realize if you are doing a little at a time, you will be blessed. No matter your income, we can all add 1 or 2 small things into our food storage each week. Remember to stay focused on stocking up on those ‘red’ grocery deals from our website. These are the ones that will save you the most money and help you save money in the future.

Feel great about your efforts!! When the rest of the world and nation are dealing with empty shelves, understocked grocery stores and being forced to spend WAY too much on groceries, you will be set! You can sit back, relax and not have to worry about providing for your family when hardships come.

For those who have not taken advantage of a membership to Deals to Meals, it’s not too late! We are extending our 2020 Membership for $20.20 for all those ready to re-dedicate themselves to this effort. Email us at Todd@dealstomeals.com and we will let yo know how to get this 25% off discount.

Thanks friends. Stay healthy and safe and may God bless you.