> TEOTWAWKI Blog: TEOTWAWKI Wife: Intro to Food Storage



TEOTWAWKI Wife: Intro to Food Storage

I figured I'd dive right in and start giving out recipes, but I didn't want to pretend to be an expert or incredibly experienced with food storage, because I'm not. I do cook from scratch a lot and I am at home so I have the extra time to focus on what we're eating and preparing meals. My goal with this first post is to give you a little background about where I'm coming from with food storage, our goals as a family, and what we feel works best for our family when it comes to food storage. 

I grew up in a home that was financially limited, so our pantry was never really stocked, but my family did have buckets of rice, wheat and water out in the garage. If anything did happen and we needed to use it, I'm not sure my mom would have had any clue what to do with the buckets of wheat. From this experience I learned that buying buckets of wheat and leaving it in the garage isn't going to get you anywhere when TEOTWAWKI happens, or even if your family is in a spot where they lose an income or the sole income, what is a bucket of wheat going to do for you if you don't know how to turn it into something you would actually eat? I have since learned how to use it and what kind of wheat I prefer, but more on that later.

The husband has already shared his feelings about how we prefer having a stocked up rotation of food. We have canned goods, some dehydrated stuff and 5 gallon buckets of wheat, oats, sugar, rice, and flour that we use in our rotation. 

Our goal was to have a 6 months supply of food on hand for our family. We're not in a position to have more than that at this time-(living situation, going back to school). Last year, I weeded through our favorite meal recipes and decided which we want to have in rotation. Based on my list we slowly stocked up on a 6 months supply of those meals. It actually worked pretty well. We were away for the whole summer so now I feel like I need to take inventory of everything we have and be creative with what's left and organize. I have to admit I'm really bad at routine, and keeping organized. I like being organized and I can organize things very well...it's just keeping up on it. When it comes to doing a food rotation like this you have to be super organized, otherwise you're throwing money in the trash later in the form of cans and boxed food. 

I made a list of some things I learned from using the everyday food rotation food storage method this past year. I thought it might be helpful. I am in no way an expert, really a beginner like I know a lot of our readers are. 

1. Loading up all at once is way too expensive; this should be thought out and well budgeted. Every time you go to the store be sure to buy a few more items for your stockpile. 
2. Eating the same meals can start to drive you crazy. I think my husband could eat the same things all the time, but it drives me nuts!
3. Organization is key. If you can, have all the canned goods in a can rotation system (such as shelf reliance rotators). Canned goods can be expensive, so even just lining them up in order of expiration date is very useful. 
4. Have a pad of paper on the pantry or fridge that you mark every time you use something in the stockpile so you know you need to replace it. 
5. Be creative. Make sure you don't just buy too many ingredients for one meal that can be used for only that meal. 
6. Since I can't eat the same thing day, make sure you have alternate meals planned that can be used with some of the same ingredients you have on hand.

I really believe that every family's needs/expectations are different when it comes to food storage. Personally I think cooking with powdered eggs and drinking powdered milk is not for my family (I tried it), but I know it works just fine for other families. My advice: have a family meeting and talk about the goals you want to set for food storage. Ask these questions: 

What is feasible for our family? Can we have a garden in our backyard? Will we actually maintain said garden? Do we want to buy the easy food storage and put it in the garage and forget about it and throw it out and buy new of items that expire? Do we want to learn how to cook with food storage items (cans of powdered milk, eggs, freeze dried veggies, etc) and rotate the cans? Do we want to stock our pantry and freezer with ingredients for certain meals and rotate? Or do you want to do a little bit of everything. Or is there something else that I'm completely in the dark about that you recommend? 

If you already have a system that works well for your family, or if you have questions please share in the comments section. I'm sure myself and other readers would benefit from it.