Here’s the big picture on how to Begin Food Storage:
Before you buy that first can, consider some of these tips to help keep you on track. Here are the basic foundations pieces to begin food storage. Whether you are trying to pack the pantry for 2 weeks or a full year, these are soe tips that may help you out.
1 – Figure Out Why – Let’s face it, you will face challenges as you tackle such a huge endeavor. Defining a reason to do it will help overcome excuses. Here are a few ideas to develop your own ‘Why’… Are you trying to provide better for your family? Is it because your church leaders told you to? Is it because you live in an area that has natural disasters (In other words, you live on Earth). Do you want to begin food storage because you live in an area with political uncertainty? Or, is it because the price of oil is going down, yet the price of food is going up and that is just a plain fat indicator of inflation? (just a thought)
2 – Define The Space – If you don’t have a place to put it, you won’t buy it. Think about where in the world are you going to store food? The pantry in the kitchen? Under the bed? That one kid room that was left when that one kid left home? Read our blog on How to Store Food in Small Spaces. We store ours in our basement. Most groceries we buy go straight downstairs.
3 – Who Is On Board – If you live with people, they need to play along. We began buying food storage on a tight budget. Decided that every gift for one year would have to do with Food Storage. After 1 year, we’d established a habit. The kids received 72 hour kits for their birthdays, I got a wheat grinder for Valentines. At times, you will be your own worst enemy. Surround yourself with people who will help you stay on track, remind you of your why, and keep moving forward.
4 – What Do You Need to Buy – Track what you eat, then buy extra of those items. Food storage should be your customized grocery store. There are a few basic categories that you need to store in order to have a well balanced diet. To begin food storage buy these categories of foods Grains, Dairy, Legumes, Salt, Sugar, Fruits and Veggies. Plant a garden for fruits and veggies. If you’re limited on space, co-op your garden. You plant tomatoes in your containers, have a friend plant peas, and other plant zucchini. A lot of veggies can work great in pots and containers.
5 – How Are You Going To Pay For This – Unfortunately, there is no ‘one size fits all’ suggestion for budgeting. However, as you build up food storage, you will be able to pass on some full price items, and buy them when they are on sale. If you get a tax refund use it to fill the shelves. Pick an item from each of the above categories and filled up. With each paycheck, put $10-$50 in a mason jar to use at Case Lot sales, or when screaming deals came up. And don’t forget to watch classified ads. People buy in bulk but can’t keep it all, so they sell off their extra passing along their discount. Classifieds are a great place to find someone who has great food storage but may be moving overseas, or to a smaller space and they are willing to let go of their cans at a great price. Also, canning items yourself, or volunteering at a cannery is an incredible way to save money.
6 – Be Consistent!!! – Shelves are not built up overnight. Building a years food storage takes time. Whittle away at this, find something each week, or each month that you can do to keep moving forward. If Food Storage is on your mind, you’re going to find ways to make it happen.
If you can see the big picture it’s easier to act on the details. Don’t miss the forest for the trees, or should we say, the cans for the shelves? Either way, look at the big picture while you focus on the details and you will pack your pantry.