I am totally not the type of person who would have a food storage.
I grew up with having a food storage,
but it always seemed like a waste of money and food to me.
Plus it's totally against everything I believe...
to have boxes and bags of unopened food in my home.
I guess parenthood changes people.
As a parent I began to plan more,
just do whatever I can do to give my kids the best life ever,
even in a crisis situation.
That includes having a food storage just in case.
I had no idea where to start,
what to buy,
or how I was going to use my food storage.
To help those who are a lot like me,
I have created a food storage for dummies.
Can I just make a side note and mention that when I say dummies,
I mean people who have never done it before and don't know where to start.
Don't get offended.
BUY WHAT YOU WILL EAT
Growing up I had thought of food storage as nasty stuff that I would only eat if there where no other options and I had to eat or I would die.
And maybe even then,
I still wouldn't eat it.
I thought of metal tins full of instant potatoes (which aren't all bad),
dry milk (dry heave),
and lots of canned fruits and veggies.
I would probably eat the fruits and veggies,
but everything else was definitely not my first choice.
It's important to me that my kids,
or my husband,
would eat what I have in my food storage.
Someday we may have a bump in the road that will force us to use food storage,
and food and eating should be a pleasant experience.
In my opinion at least.
I have this thing for food.
So let's talk examples.
Ramen is always something my family has on hand.
It's super cheap and everyone will eat it.
Pasta is another thing that I always have in my food storage.
We primarily keep Alfredo sauce and tomato sauce on the shelf to top our pasta.
I make sure to stock up on the canned fruits and veggies that my family will eat.
Rice is another amazing food storage item.
Dry beans also are great addition to food storage!
My children LOVE black beans...
SET A MONTHLY BUDGET FOR FOOD STORAGE
I kind of hate budget's.
They just feel so restrictive!
But I can see how they are beneficial.
You can put aside any amount that you want.
$5 a month towards food storage can even go a long way!
Just remember, that you will not grow an amazing food storage overnight.
It takes time,
just like all good things.
I spend anywhere from $10-$20 a month in food storage.
It's as simple as eliminating eating out for 1 night,
and, presto, you have food storage.
Case lot sales are another amazing way to start and build your food storage!
You can get a lot of food, for a great price!
PLAN YOUR MEALS
Grocery shopping is not cheap.
In order to make sure you are not over spending on food,
and in turn having the money for food storage,
plan your weekly meals and buy only what you need for those meals.
I use to throw away a lot of food...
I have a bad habit of shopping hungry.
Anyway, by taking 20-30 minutes to plan a detailed menu for the week (Pinterest is AMAZING),
and sticking to it (hard part),
I have been able to save a lot of money!
This means more money to put towards food storage!
You can also meal plan your food storage and keep a list close to your food storage so you know what meals you can make from what you have in food storage.
GET A MEMBERSHIP
In order to save money and to buy more of what we really eat,
we joined Sam's Club.
We find that when it comes to meat,
especially chicken and hamburger,
Our money goes a lot further.
We have also been able to stock up on canned soups,
snacks for the kids...
even though they're not a necessity,
I food storage snacks for sure,
and other bulk items.
We are huge Sam's Club lovers!!!
Plus they always have the best grapes!
INVEST IN A FREEZER
Once we got a Sam's Club membership,
we realized that our side by side freezer wasn't even going to be close to the space we would need to store everything.
We kept an eye out for freezers on sale,
knowing that we would most likely have to buy used,
because they are crazy expensive!
We ended up finding a 5 cubic foot chest freezer that works great,
it is just old.
We only paid $50 for it because we found it at a garage sale,
but it's perfect for our little family.
We keep most of our frozen meat in there.
We are meat lovers and meat can take up a lot of space.
ROTATE, ROTATE, ROTATE
You definitely don't want to forget about what you have in storage,
and more importantly you don't want it to go out of date.
Make sure you rotate through your food storage to keep things fresh.
You may end up with an unplanned meal or two in a week,
but it's worth it to keep it fresh.
Make sure you are also going through your freezer to rotate.
I am not good at this and have often found some amazing surprises in my freezer when cleaning it out.
Let's be honest,
It would be the worst thing ever if during the Zombie Apocalypse,
you went to eat out of your food storage and it was all bad!
Come up with a schedule that can help you remember when to rotate.
Pick a birthday or a special event that you can remember when you last rotated your food.
Or better yet,
Just put it in your phone on your calendar and let technology do the reminding for you!
This one is my favorite!
I love to organize!
I think that organizing the canned food especially is really important.
Before I go shopping,
I like to know what I already have in order to avoid overstocking a certain item.
If everything is organized it's so much easier to know what you have and how much you have.
Keep in mind that you do not have to invest in shelving for food storage.
We bought our shelves from the people who lived in the apartment before us because they were not going to have room in their new place.
But food storage can go anywhere!
Even under the bed!
Don't use lack of storage space as a reason not to have food storage.
It's not a good enough reason.
EXTEND PAST FOOD
This is something that I am currently working on.
I have begun to stock up on items like diapers,
but only when they are on sale.
These are things that would be great in an emergency if you couldn't leave your house for a few days,
but not as necessary as food would be.
Let's be honest...
You can never have too much toilet paper,
especially if there's a pregnant woman nearby,
or a 3 year old daughter who can't get enough toilet paper.
I am no food storage expert,
but these are the tips that really helped me get started
and to have confidence to have food storage!