Thursday, November 20, 2008

Food Storage Tips-Part 1

I am going to try and do a Food Storage series once a week for the next couple of weeks on my blog. Now, I am not even close to being able to be considered a food storage expert, I don't even come near to it. But, I want to learn more about it and try to build up my food storage as much as I can with the limited space that I have in my little house. Because of this, I thought I would share with everyone else what I am learning on the way.

So, first off I just want to start small with this. I heard a great tip a couple of months ago about starting off small with a 3 month or even 1 month supply and I wanted to share it with you and explain how I am going through the process of it.

Here is how the plan works...

1. Sit down with your family or spouse and pick out your 10 most common meals that you eat at your house, these are your "comfort foods!" If you were going through struggling time like the loss of a job or natural disaster where you couldn't get everything you needed right when you needed it you would tend to panic (at least I would)! But, if you had some of your "comfort foods" to help you through this time for say a month or two you wouldn't notice the struggling times as much in the beginning. This would buy you a little time. So sit down with your family and pick 10 meals your family eats on a regular basis!

2. Gather up your Recipes for each of these 10 meals and write a detailed list of everything you need in order to make each of those meals. List everything!

3. Now multiply each ingredient on your list by 9. This will give you enough ingredients to make 90(9*10) or three months worth of meals. In other words, if you need one can of corn for a certain meal, multiply it by 9 and you obviously will get 9 cans of corn. Do this with EVERYTHING on your list!

4. When you have multiplied everything by 9 this will equal the amount of food you will need to build up a 3 months supply of your "comfort foods." Now keep a hold of that list for the future!

5. Now you just need to go and buy all of the supplies! To some of you this may be easy, you can just whip out your little debit card and not have to even think twice about whether or not you can afford this right now. But...if you are like me, you have VERY limited money to be spending on anything extra. So I would suggest starting very small. I am going to try and do a 1 month supply of food first and then repeat the process two more times. In other words, I'm going to multiply each of my ingredients in my list of "comfort foods" by 3. That way I have 30 days worth of meals. When I have reached that goal I will simply repeat the process again until I have a 3 month supply of "comfort food" for me and my family.

I think this is such a simple and realistic way to start off with your food storage. From here you can rotate your food and it is easy because it is food you are actually already use to using. Some of your ingredients may be difficult to store for a longer period like your fresh produce ingredients. Because of this you are going to want to look for substitutes with some of your items. If you are needing milk in a recipe you might want to buy some Non-fat Dry Milk to store instead. Non-fat Dry milk really is not that bad when used in baking. Also, frozen foods have almost as much nutrients as fresh and you can freeze almost anything. You can also replace things with canned items or use dried spices and herbs instead of fresh.

Just remember to START SMALL! You don't have to build up your food storage in one day, and you should NEVER go into debt to build up your storage! If you can't even do a one month supply right now, pick a few meals to work on and each time you go to the grocery store grab an extra can or two of something. Slowly work on building up your supply.

Come back next week to continue on with this series and learn with me what you are suppose to store, how much, how to cook with it, where to go for resources, and anything else I can think of along the way!

Also, has anyone built up their food storage this way or have any other suggestions on how to go about doing this? I would love to hear about them!


Michael and Tiffany said...

That is such a great idea about picking the top ten meals-

Leesie said...

Great idea! Thanks :o) I hope to try it out soon. I am going to try and do some slow cooker recipes and this is an ideal way of preparing ahead for them.

Nicole said...

Just keep it rotated. I know some that do a whole year's supply in this way- and whereas cannery items can last more than 30 years in good storage conditions, comercially bought foods do not last as long. This does work great with a three month supply, though (as long as you ROTATE!)