A while ago, I wrote about my dilemma regarding preparedness; namely, whether or not I should stock a pantry and plan for the future. I argued with myself as to whether this was me trusting me, or me trusting God and decided that since it appeared to be God’s leading, I would go ahead and pursue it.
It’s taken me several months to get to this place, but I’m now actively planning and stocking my food storage. And since this is something we’re doing as a family and is a relatively decently-sized part of our family life right now, I decided to make this a category here. So when I write about food storage, preparedness, or use food-storage foods in recipes, I’ll include this category.
I’ve been researching food storage for quite a few months and I’ve been both horrified and amused by what I’ve found, in addition to discovering some really good resources. Of course, those who are LDS (Mormon) practice food storage as part of a financial and spiritual discipline, so there are many sites which are within that framework. And then there are the sites which encompass a “hunker-down-the-world-is-coming-to-an-end”-mentality; many of those sites lose credibility in my mind because of their lack of unique information (many sites have copied & pasted from another; that’s called plagiarism, folks!) and the inability to run spell-check. Really? If you want me to take you seriously, take a few moments to run spell-check before you publish your post. I don’t even think you’ve got to have excellent graphics, the latest code, or java embedded in your site – just run spell-check or have someone else proof your work. </rant>
Regardless, some of the sites I’ve found very helpful include:
1. Food Storage Made Easy – Jodi & Julie have great tools to plan out your food storage, including a handy-dandy Excel file that helps you track your purchases, the dates your items went in to storage, and how to rotate your stock.
2. The Food Storage Shopper – Andrea has some good strategies for starting small (working on a three-month supply) and using coupons, which as you know, is a favourite technique of mine to save money.
3. Everyday Food Storage‘s Crystal has taken the mystery out of dried beans for me – and shown me how to use my electric pressure cooker and be confident that I’m not making my family excessively gaseous. 😉
I’ll talk more about food storage, what I’m doing, and how I’m using it in future posts, but these three sites are fantastic to help get you started, especially if this is a new concept or somewhat intimidating. I will fully admit to being intimidated when I began pondering the subject.
So I’ve really come to a place where I’m comfortable with food storage, stocking my pantry, and making bulk purchases. I have a list of things we want (that aren’t already there in quantity) in our food storage, and I’m starting to keep a list of what’s in the pantry, when it was procured, and the freezer contents as well. Mark & I sat down over dinner on Sunday evening and thought through our goals and things that we use regularly in my quest to feed my family well and healthily. This is long-term planning for us and since we’re not made of money, these items will be procured in small batches with the cash we have on hand.
But as we discussed it, we realized – neither of us know what the future holds. Just last week, three (more) employees at Mark’s office were laid off – their jobs went to India. Mark’s position isn’t terribly secure, but none of us are terribly secure in any of our jobs right now, no matter what we do or where we live. It could be that our food storage will be used to feed our families in a time of crisis, or it could be that runaway inflation is headed our way, when the cost of things we use daily will double every few weeks. Either way, it would be a true hardship for us, and the potential of having a solid plan of food storage makes it a little more bearable.
Do I believe God provides? Absolutely. It seems a little silly for me to look at a stash of dried black beans and remember that truth, but yet that’s exactly what this has done for me. And so our journey in to building a food storage continues, mylar bags, oxygen absorbers, and all..