Saturday, October 31, 2009

Home Food Storage

A handful of years ago I started becoming interested in stockpiling food. Well, not going overboard, rather taking advantage of sales and stocking up on certain items that would last a long time such as canned tuna, canned tomatoes, canned veggies, pastas, rice, beans, sugar, baking soda/powder etc,...

I read a book by Ellie Kay called Shop, Save and Share which was about being a good steward with your money, and stocking up on pantry items, and being able to share with others out of that surplus. If I'm not mistaken (I've read a lot from different sources on this subject) there was also info on rotating your stock and planning to use items in your menu planning before the best by dates.

Our family had been no stranger to hard times hitting, and as we were determined to keep me home for the children and staying a one-income family, this was of great interest to me and helped me have a better system for what I already practiced. There was a time I was able to bag up a few bags of groceries for a neighbor having a difficult period.

Other sources that helped me out in a jam is an article by Dee Ann Guzman titled, Meals for Hard Times. I especially appreciated this woman's gentle and spiritual comforting throughout her article. This is one I have printed, put into page protector and slipped into my binder.

Have you heard of the Hillbilly Housewife? She has a few resources that were of great interest to me when our budget was very tight for our large family. While these ideas may not be ideal I believe she did a great job of providing emergency and low cost ideas when stretching to feed a family under un-ideal circumstances. Her site provides a $45 emergency menu and a $70 low cost menu which both feed a family of 4-6.

Because of having had several difficult economic experiences, and growing up similarly as a child, the idea of preparation became very relevant to me, especially watching the world around us get more unstable. Of course, we are not in fear, as Heavenly Father certainly watches over his children, but may not part of that possibly be teaching to prepare ahead? I think so. Whether it ever comes in need or not, I would rather have and not need, than to be in want and not have it.

I have purchased a number of superpails from Emergency Essentials about a year ago. Take a peek and see how many options there are, which are specifically packaged for long-term storage, complete with oxygen absorber to keep the food fresh. They have everything from legumes and grains, to reconstituting butter, cheese sauce and tomato sauce! These can be very pricey, it was definitely a tax refund decision for our family, as was our homeschool curriculum! :D

I even found a great cookbook about cooking from long term storage, and here is an article on just that with a number of recipes to get an idea of what it is like. Very neat stuff!!

Now of course, the recommendation is to have a year's supply of food and water. This would come in handy in the case of an emergency, but let's face it if the world goes completely nuts it will only do so much. Again, I would rather have and be able to share than to be in want and have not. So, while things are going well for us, this is what I work on for our family.

My grandmother bought me a hand crank grain mill this year. Yes, it would be a lot of work, and many hands would be required (I remember reading about that in Little House with the coffee grinder and the wheat..WHEW!!!) but should we be without electricity we could still use our supply.

A simple Coleman camping stove was picked up at a flea market by us last year to have on hand as well. After all having all this food, but no electricity to light our stove would put a damper on the whole plan!

One last resource, I have found the advice on Provident Living very wise and helpful when going about starting and maintaining home food storage. I have used it quite a bit, and there are even calculators so you can estimate what amounts you should store for your particular family size.

I am still working on my long-term and shorter term home food storage. Little by little, just like the busy ants.

Pro 30:25 The ants are a people not strong, Yet they prepare their food in the summer;

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