Our church has always counseled us to be self-reliant. And one of the ways they encourage us to do so, is by having 3 months to a year's worth of food store up. This is nice to have when there is an unexpected decrease in income such as a lay-off or illness. This also makes it possible to not be completely dependent on the grocery stores. When a natural disaster hits, your local Walmart shelves can be swept clean within hours. Stores don't stock things like they use to and it may take days maybe even weeks before they are restocked during a disaster. We've all heard the news in the last couple of years, times are tough right now. So when something, like any of these scenarios, happens it is good to be prepared. I've heard it said that it's better to have money invested in a year's worth of food than to have that money in the bank. For instance, what if that same natural disaster makes it impossible to get to the bank and get your money out. How would you feed your family during that time? There is a certain peace of mind that comes during these tumultuous times when you know all is prepared and stored safely away.
So how do you go about gathering a year's supply of food? I know this can sound overwhelming but if you start slowly, like buying a few extra cans or boxes of the foods your family normally eats and check out some of the links I have listed, you'll be off to a good start. And you'll feel more at ease the next time, say, your car brakes down and needs repairs.
Once you've gotten the idea of what food storage is, I have some tips to help you get started...
1. Sit down and make a 2 week menu (including all ingredients) of the meals your family is use to eating. This is no time to get creative and try out new dishes. If your family is under extreme stress there is nothing like comfort food to make everyone feel safe and secure. So write a menu of the foods you're use to cooking and you know your family likes. Double this menu. Families usually eat the same thing twice during a month. Make sure you've included breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. This should give you an idea of what kinds of foods to stock up on.
2. Buying in bulk can be good as long as you can eat all of the food before it goes bad.
3. Once you start bringing your food home, make sure you mark and rotate your food. The idea is to eat the food you already have and rotate in new food as you use it. To do this you'll need to get a permanent marker and mark (on the items)the date you bought the items you bring home from the store. This system helps you see immediately which items are new and which are older. The reason for doing this is to try and cut down on waste. We've all found food in our cabinets that we are not sure if it's still good or not. Wasted food means wasted money.
4.An excellent way to get your food storage up is by growing a garden. You can then put up your harvest by canning, freezing, and/or drying it.
5. We've also been counseled not to go into debt to get our food storage. Just do it a little at a time, bit by bit. And you will be blessed for your efforts.
Our church also recommends that we have a 72 hr kit for every one in the family, in case we have to leave our homes quickly and suddenly. This allows us to be able to get our kits and walk out the door within a moment's notice and have everything we need to survive for 3 days. Here is a couple links for disaster preparedness.
I am making this entry not to alarm or scare anyone. I just wanted to bear testimony that if we do all in our power to be prepared, we will feel at peace even if the world around us is in discord.