Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Preparedness - SHTF – We'll Be Ready For Anything!

A few months ago I stumbled into a new obsession. Long Term Food Storage. I found it purely by accident when trying to figure out how to cook beans and how best to store them after I did so. Basically food storage is just that... you store extras of the things you use most as well as things that will store for years and years. Now I realize that this is not a “new” thing. People have been storing food forever. They stocked up during the harvest time to be prepared for the winter. For the most part people have stopped doing this because you can go to the store and buy whatever you want, whenever you want. It's nice that we don't have to worry about where our food comes from, but I also think it's very naive. In these economic times I don't think we can be to careful. Why not stock up on essentials with today’s price to use tomorrow?

My favorite website is foodstoragemadeeasy.net. I even got their ebook and have begun following some of their recipes and ideas for storing stuff. My current stock is fairly basic and not to huge. But, it's a start. Check out my pantry! With the amount of dry / canned goods I've bought I needed to completely clean out my pantry and make room. I'm even going to unearth space in my laundry room for non-food items and long term storage items.

I found these on clearance at Freddies.  They were around $1.50 each.  I wish they had more.

Here is a list of some of our current supplies:
50 lbs of Hard white wheat
20 lbs of White rice
10 lbs of Oats
4 lbs of Instant Dry Milk
3 lbs Salt
26 Cans of Soup
30 Cans Of Beans
20 lbs of Various dry beans
About 50 cans veggies, cream of soups, tuna, etc.
10 bags/boxes of Whole wheat pastas

There are other things too, but not enough of any one thing to mention. I'm going to add in some hygiene things this month as well as some meds and vitamins. I would love a suture kit and a dentist kit with those stick on cavity filler things. We are also looking for some water barrels. You won't live long without water! There are many on Craigslist right now, we just have to go get some. Other things I'm stocking up on is clothing for the kids in bigger sizes, (I bought the baby some things 50% off at Goodwill the other day is size 4T) paper products, food storage recipes, etc.

Making The Best Of My Food Storage: To make the best of all the basic goods listed above (and others that I have yet to buy) I am planning to rotate my foods. Basically you actually use your stored goods and replenish regularly. This way I'm using what I store and the family is used to eating it! Supposedly it'll lower our grocery bill and help us to eat much more healthy.

Can Rotating System... I made these with the instructions here.  I'll be making more of these!

 Little antidote: The past year I have been fighting to move our families eating into a new direction. All whole grains, fresh / frozen veggies, etc. No Pre-Prepard / Boxed Food! We have been doing really well. I think the only meal we eat out of a box anymore is Mac&Cheese. Anyways... Months ago I was grocery shopping and I ran into a friend of mine. (she calls me “Betty Crocker”) My cart was ½ filled with veggies and the rest was whole ingredients for our dinners for the next month. (I was about to do my once a month cooking). Her cart was filled with boxed everything. Now I know that she cooks healthy things and her family is very healthy. She just cooks from a box. But, it made me realize how far I've / we've come in the past year. Remembering this story makes me hope that by next year I'll look into a pantry & laundry room and see a very prepared and even healthier way of cooking.

New Equipment: Having raw ingredients like wheat makes you need new equipment. We are on currently on the prowel for a grain mill. You need a way to grind the wheat into flour! We are currently looking at the Country Living Grain Mill and the Champion Juicer with Grain attachment. They are very very different from each other, but the Juicer one is electric which is nice. I also want to get a pressure canner and learn all about canning and preserving. This next spring/summer I want to can all our fruits for next winter. (my kids hate fruit from a can) I've also learned that you can pressure can meats! It makes sense that you can do that I guess I just never really thought about it before.

Talking to the kids about why mommy has just bought 50 lbs of wheat & dry beans: My oldest is very perceptive. She took notice of the extra food stores coming into the house as well as all the chatter between hubby and I about storing food, water, and other basic supplies. We told both of the kids that it was just smart planning to have extras around for many reasons. Including power outages, big storms, natural disasters, job loss, etc. (I didn't want to go into things like food shortages and major food price increases) A few days later she “confirmed” what we had told her by asking me “So all this stuff is just in case the world ends? Like in that movie 2012?” LOL! I love that girl. I giggled and told her it was more just in case of small things like storms that knocked out power, snow, etc. This was the night of the 10th. Yeah... the next morning the kids found me glued to the TV watching about the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. I think this really helped her understand why it's important.

So Much Information:  There is so much to know about food storage.  Where / how to store it, how to use it regularly, when to buy, what to buy, what not to buy, etc.  Check out the internet if you want to get started yourself.  There is sooo much info out there. Of course you can ask me questions here.  I'll answer the best I can, but I'm still learning myself.

1 comment:

Diana B. @ Grocery Cents said...

I am so glad you are doing food storage! That is awesome. I have a food storage blog that I thought I would share with you. Check it out and let me know what you think.

Ps. Your felt food is darling and that is how I found your site. So cute!