"My parents sent me a big check for Christmas and . . ."
"My grandma sent me some money and . . ."
"My husband and I have been saving some money and . . ."
"We want to spend it on food storage. How do we start?"
I've heard the same story several times this week. What lucky friends I have and smart too! Food storage is a great way to spend money, as good as, if not better than, putting it in to savings. When times get bad: you lose a job, your pay gets cut or inflation rises your savings can be depleted by bill collectors but your food storage can't be. I by no means suggest you go without a healthy savings: a robust savings account is a top priority as well, but food storage is essential!
This is what I suggest:
- Figure out where you will store your storage. Will you require shelving? Do you need bins? Plan where you will keep your investment so that you don't squander it through improper storage. Invest in good quality shelving that is very strong--canned food weighs a LOT. Check out the shelving at Shelf Reliance that is strong and helps you to automatically rotate your food storage inventory. Here is the link to the Harvest shelf that I will be purchasing at my upcoming Shelf Reliance Party on January 8th.
- Slowly work on filling one shelf system at a time and start with the bare necessities. I consider bread products to be a necessity so my basics include: wheat, flour, yeast, baking soda, baking powder and salt and oil or shortening.With these I can make bread, biscuits, tortillas, cake, etc. I also make sure that I have plenty of salt and sugar for preserving things I could grow from my garden. Most of these items can be purchased in #10 cans through the LDS home storage centers. #10 cans fit very nicely on the bottom racks of the Harvest shelf which makes for easy storage and rotation. Some of these items, especially flour which I use a lot of and baking soda, powder and yeast, which don't come in #10 cans, I prefer to store in plastic food grade buckets. I usually like to get my buckets used from bakeries but they can also be purchased online. I prefer the square bottomed buckets because they are easier to stack tight.
- Next work into filling out other essential areas such as canned vegetables, fruits and meats. Watch for sales, purchase what you'll use and concentrate on filling only that one shelf system at a time. Soon you will notice that you have a lot of things! You will probably want to keep an inventory of what you have. Emergency Essentials has an online food storage analyzer that can help you with that. Check out their analyzer and it will help you determine how many months worth of food you've got stored away. It will help you analyze the nutrition value of what you have stored and will suggest foods to store to fill the voids in your Recommended Daily Allowances. A very cool tool indeed!
Hope these small steps help. Remember to put the Shelf Reliance Party on your calendar! It is January 8th at noon at my house. If you'd like a price list to pre-plan your purchases please email me.
Some of my other posts that you may find helpful: