The real intent of this blog is to inspire and help you begin a food storage system for you and your family. I will continue to add frugal helps along the way like the homemade laundry detergent but I feel extremely impressed to emphasize the need for everyone to store some basic food items.
In an earlier post I mentioned that my church teaches it’s members to store food. Why? Because it is simply good, common sense.
Too many in our world today expect the government or other agencies to provide all they need. This is a very wrong concept that will cause you much heartache. It is not a biblical principle at all. It is our responsibility to take care of ourselves and our families . . .
We ALL have to eat. Any number of things can crop up to cut into our food supply. Here I will attempt to list but a few:
Unemployment – when our income is cut or even lost, through unemployment or being unemployable due to health reasons, we still need to eat. If you have some food stored, you can stretch your income to cover other necessities . . .
Unavailability of food – this happened last week in all of North Alabama following the tornadoes. . . stores couldn’t get food and they couldn’t keep what they had. Many were unable to get to the store because so many roads were closed. They couldn’t purchase gas because gas pumps don’t work without electricity. Unless they had cash, they couldn’t buy anything because without electricity neither credit nor debit cards work. There are many other scenarios including a trucker’s strike, a quarantine and other reasons that you may not be able to go elsewhere to purchase food.
Another reason that food may be unavailable is the very real possibility of food shortages. I am talking about worldwide food shortages due to a variety of reasons including lost crops due to drought or other natural disasters, the high cost of fuel both to those who produce the food and those who deliver it, and the use of food (grain) to produce ethanol rather than food. These also contribute greatly to the rapid rise in food prices.
Not only are food shortages expected but also the prices continue to rise at alarming rates. Many are predicted to rise up to 50% by June of this year! What will happen during the second half of 2011 is anybody’s guess.
A few basic rules apply in storing food.
1 – Store what you and your family will eat. There is no point in storing food that you dislike.
2 – Store basic foods with a long shelf life first.
3 – Begin by calculating how much of a particular item you use during a week and then begin to build toward creating a 3 MONTH supply.
4 – Rotate your foods so that you are using the oldest items first
5 - Make sure they are sealed properly to prevent moisture and infestation.
6 – Take advantage of sales and ‘Buy one – get one free’ promotions
7 – Do NOT go into debt to build your food supply
8 – Sit down and figure out a plan to reach your goal
9 – Include other basic commodities that you use on a regular basis: soap, toilet paper, etc.
10 – Do not panic but rather work systematically to build your supply
11 – Look for ways to fit this into your financial budget
12 – Store enough fresh water for two weeks
In the future each of these will be expanded on in detail including WHERE to store it.
· Please begin right away (unless you already know) how much of basic foods you need.
Some good basic foods to begin with include:
Whole grains such as rice (brown rice though more nutritious does not store well for long times), oatmeal, popcorn, cornmeal, wheat and/or wheat flour, etc.
Dried beans and legumes (If you have beans that have become too old and hard to cook, DO NOT discard them- there are still ways that you can make them palatable and usable.)
Peanuts and peanut butter
Crackers, cereals, vanilla wafers, animal crackers, granola, etc.
Oils and fats (these are very necessary)
Milk, nonfat dry, evaporated and other forms
Meats/Protein including tuna, chicken, salmon and others
Sweeteners including sugar, honey, jams, jellies, etc.
Canned/frozen/dehydrated fruits and vegetables
Juice mixes, cocoa, etc.
This is just a basic list to get your started. Later we will add items such as condiments, spices, seasonings, etc.
My challenge to anyone reading this today is: if you don’t already see the wisdom in this plan, then pray about it and ask for guidance because it is important not only for you, but for others who may need you to donate it to them. Many in Alabama this past week have taken from their food storage and shared with so many who literally lost EVERYTHING. We have been able over the years to help other family members going through a lean time or total strangers in need by having a good supply of foods on hand.
It is my sincerest wish that everyone store enough food to take care of themselves and have a bit to share when needed.