With recent natural disasters all over the world, the topic of stockpiling or storing food has probably come up in conversations. I know that I am trying to be more aware of being self sufficient if an event were to arise, and we needed to rely on our own resources. After reading accounts of individuals not receiving food or clean water for days in Haiti, or going to the grocery store during the snow storms in Washington DC only to find bottle water and many essentials cleaned out from the shelves; I am trying to be more aware of fulfilling the needs of my family if we found ourselves in such a crisis.
But where do you start? It is very overwhelming, and many people lack the storage space or resources to begin.
While trying to prepare my little food storage room [pictured above] over the past little bit, I have found the best place to start is to buy a little here and there.
Here are a few tips that helped me build a small supply of food:
- Buy what you will eat – Buy ingredients of meals you prepare a lot and have them on hand. That way you can rotate through your storage, and you will not waste any food to expiration dates. Plus, it saves a lot of those last minute runs to the grocery store.
- Shop sales – Many stores have great case lot sales where you can get canned fruits, vegetables, or beans for 50 cents a can. Buy a little extra when you see it on sale, and it will save a lot of money in the long run.
- Coupon – Couponing is a great way to start building up a supply of food. Many items can be purchase for less than half the retail price.
- Water – You need at least one gallon of water per person per day. Bottled water is great to have stored in case your drinking water is contaminated. You can also store water in used plastic soda bottles as long as they are properly cleaned.
- Gardening – if you have a little land, or porch, you can grow a garden. Fresh fruits and vegetables from your own garden taste the best, and cost very little.
- Canned foods – canned foods are a great item to have on hand, and most have a two year shelf life! Also, start canning your own foods. They taste so much better than store bought! See my previous post about canning peaches here.
- Storing items – store items in a cool dry place, and off the ground [yes, I know some of my stuff is on the ground. I just organized it and didn’t put my other shelf back] Also, if you are worried about weevils [very yucky little bugs] you can put your flour in tin cans.
So, hopefully this will help you get a start. I know I still have a long way to go.
Other great links/resources:
Everyday Food Storage