Sunday, November 02, 2008
Food Storage - Where do I start?
Food Storage - Where do I start?
Food Storage has always been a common topic among East Valley women and not only at the local LDS churches. The Y2K scare served as preparation for a post 9/11 world where the Red Cross and the Office of Homeland Security are now preaching preparedness on television commercials.
There are many websites and message boards devoted to food storage and how to prepare for emergencies. One look at any food storage chart is enough to set a budget minded person's head spinning. It's best to just take a deep breath and remember that Rome wasn't built in a day. If you purchase things over time it really won't be the daunting (and expensive) task that it seems.
Have a plan -
Find a food storage plan list on the Internet and edit it to suit the needs of your family. Keep in mind that the best thing you can do is store what you eat and eat what you store.
Set your budget-
Not everyone can afford to pay thousands of dollars for the ready-made food storage kits available at places like Walton Feed and Be Prepared.com. Believe it or not, if you are organized you can end up with a comprehensive food storage supply for only a small weekly cash investment.
One of the more popular strategies for building food storage is the ten dollar per week method. This is a great place to start but I honestly don't think anyone could live off these items for long. How many times a week can you endure tuna casserole? Still, this is a great base for your plan.
Need a bit more variety in your meals?
Luckily for us, Valley residents enjoy the benefit of having a great food storage purveyor on nearly every corner. Yes, that's right - it's Walgreen's!
The Walgreen's supplement in your Sunday newspaper has a wealth of items that no food storage supply should be without. Last week’s sale included several three for a dollar items; Jiffy Mixes, snack size Pringles, canned pineapple and sardines. Canned mushrooms were a bargain at two for a dollar. Always check the date on canned goods and don't get anything that expires in less than 2 years.
Our personal favorite is the one-pound, cooked, boneless, canned hams. They need no refrigeration until you open them and one ham is perfect for two people. We use them for sandwiches (both hot and cold), with cheese and broccoli as a baked potato topping, or diced and mixed into mac and cheese. The possibilities are endless.
The various dollar stores around the East Valley are another great source of non perishable items but you need to check your labels carefully! Stick to good that are from the U.S.A. Watch exparation dates and don't purchase anything dented.
Invest in a few "back to basics" cookbook or cookbook specifically written with food storage in mind. My favorite is Cookin' with Home Storage, available at Amazon. You can find many articles and recipes on the web, but be sure and print them and get them into a folder or binder. You might need them when there is no electricity and internet access is not available. Be sure to include recipes that can be made over an open fire, in a dutch oven, or on a BBQ grill in case of a power failure. Think about alternative cooking vessels as well. Non stick teflon pans and glass casserole dishes will not work in a camp fire or BBQ grill. Invest in some cast iron pans and a cast iron dutch oven. You can get these at most camping supply stores and some military surplus stores like Larada's.
With instability of the economy, rising food costs, and the ever present possibility of another terrorist attack, the important thing is to start building a food storage plan now. You don't need to buy everything in one week but you do need to have a plan and stick to it.