I wanted to focus today's preparedness post on the three-month food supply. In previous posts I had addressed a 72-hour kit, which can be viewed here: 72 hr kit post. I also did some posts on the "Go-Bag" for that post, click here: Go-Bag Post. When I started thinking about what post I would do today, I found myself on Lds.org. I typed in preparedness and was directed to the "Emergency Preparedness" page. I decided to go along with one of the topics listed on the page, and that was "Three-Month Supply". I love what it says on that page about your three-month supply, "Build a small supply of food that is part of your normal, daily diet. One way to do this is to purchase a few extra items each week to build a one-week supply of food. Then you can gradually increase your supply until it is sufficient for three months. These items should be rotated regularly to avoid spoilage."
When I was first married and was trying to heed the counsel of putting together food storage, I was just buying all the stuff that I new had a long shelf life. They sat in my food storage and sat their some more until, they finally expired and I threw them away. They were not things that I, nor my family really ate regularly, nor was I going to open the big can to use a little bit and not have it for my food storage. I like this idea of buying what your family actually eats and rotating it, a lot better! This is actually what I do now in a sense, because it made me sick seeing all of the food wasted.
These are some of the ways I go about accomplishing this goal of food storage:
I watch for the case lot sales. I look at this as kind of the starting point. I do not go overboard, because I do not want all of my items expiring at the same time. So, I figure kind of what I think I will use in a 6 month time frame. Since, this is how often they usually run case lot sales at the grocery stores. Then that is how much I buy of that particular item. I particularly like to purchase toilet paper and paper towels at this time.
I have my pantry, that I keep a few of each items in, so they are easily accessible as I am preparing meals. Then, I have my "store"-age in my cold storage, which has the remaining items. When I have used the stuff from my pantry, then I go to my "store"-age and bring what I need to my pantry. Those items go on my grocery list, for my next shopping trip. What makes this work is, rotating! I make sure that the things that are to expire first are used up first. Everything shifts forward in my cold storage and the new items are placed in the back. Newly purchased items are not placed in the pantry, the old ones need to be used up first. It also is great, because not everything is going to expire at the same time and things are always being rotated.
I have found that it is hard to have food storage for the more perishable items. This is where canning and frozen foods come in. I have noticed that I have to be careful with frozen foods too and not go overboard, because of things getting frost bite. Again I do this by only buying what I know that I will use in a certain time frame.
Everyone seems to have what works best for them. I know some of my friends are big with couponing and watching the sales. Others use the case lots sales, some use the church's cannery, some buy pre-made storage foods and others are big users of bulk stores, such as Costco and Sams. I would love to hear what you have found works for your family's food storage needs. Please leave a comment below and share your secret!
Here are some of the different printables I have in regards to food storage:
- Youth & Leaders
- Relief Society