Hi everyone! I’m Katie, an Independent Consultant for Shelf Reliance – a food storage and emergency preparedness company. Pam asked me to talk a little bit about food storage since many people don’t know where to start. Her recent post about her bug out bags and grab-and-go kit is a great jumping off point for talking about preparedness and food storage.
Simply put, food storage is putting away food to eat at a later time or in a time of need. I like to think of it as not living one trip to the grocery store at a time. (I find that gets really old, myself.) A general recommended is that everyone have a three month supply of food and water, as well as some financial savings, in case of emergency. And there’s no better time to start like the present!
I hear from a lot of folks that they don’t know where to begin with their own food storage, or how much food to store. There are lots of different recommendations about the amount of food per person per year out there, and they usually look something like this:
Looking at this chart, I would have no idea where to begin either! Thankfully, Shelf Reliance has made it easy by creating the Thrive Calculator. You tell the calculator how much food storage you want to have and a little about your family, and it makes a calculation of how much food storage you need to meet your goal.
For example, I chose 3 months of food storage (to start) and put Mountain Man’s name along with mine, our genders, our ages, and daily calorie requirements into the calculator, and it created a custom plan for us. It’s really that simple.
I approach and use my food storage in a few different ways.
I use Thrive (freeze dried food) mylar pouches along with backpacking meals in my 72-hour and grab-and-go kits because they’re lightweight and convenient to carry in a backpack or plastic bin.
I mentioned the recommendation that everyone have a three month supply of food and water at hand in case of adversity. This adversity could be because of a job loss, loss of income, inclement weather, loss of electricity, or an illness in your family or friends.
I am building my three month inventory a little at a time using Shelf Reliance’s Q program – a monthly shipment of food from my family’s customized plan based on a set monthly budget. I love the flexibility of the Q and how I can change shipments based on what I need in my home any given month. In addition to freeze dried food, I purchase a few extra grocery items when they’re on sale to stock up on the things we use regularly.
Although many people collect their food storage and only intend to use it in an emergency, I use my food storage regularly for two reasons:
• While freeze dried foods have an unopened shelf life of five to 30 years, some of the other foods I store don’t have as long of a shelf life. By using my food storage products regularly, it rotates the food to ensure its freshness.
• Since food storage has become part of my family’s normal routine and I’m used to cooking with it, I would be ready if something were to happen and be one less thing to worry about in the event of an emergency. I call this my “Home Store” since I can “shop” from my pantry.
I include other staples in our food storage/home store as well:
• Assorted King Arthur Flours
• Assorted pastas, soba noodles, and ramen noodles
• Jars of pasta sauce
• Homemade canned goods
• Store bought canned goods
• Marinades, sauces, oils
• Peanut butter
• Bulk bin items (nuts, trail mix)
• Tuna fish
• Protein bars
Not just for emergencies – convenience
One of the best things about having a Home Store is that I never run out of milk, eggs, vegetables, or anything that used to require a quick trip to the grocery store. And because I only rehydrate as much food as I need, nothing spoils or goes to waste, and I save money because I’m not throwing unused food away.
• There is no “right” path to food storage, however, a varied food storage is far better than items you don’t eat often or cook with regularly.
• Start small, a week or month at a time – because being a little prepared is better than not being prepared at all.
• And most importantly, store what you eat and eat what you store.
For more information about the Thrive line from Shelf Reliance and other emergency preparedness products, please visit my Shelf Reliance website.
Hi everybody, it’s me again. Please visit Katie’s website now, while you’re thinking about it, and start planning your food storage.