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16
Mar

I’ve done it!  I’ve hit the one-year mark on our food storage.  I actually have more than what the Food Storage Analyzer says I do, just because there are things I’m storing which aren’t in their system.  The system is designed to be edited by its users, but when you have bulk nuts, for example, the nutritional information isn’t included, so it’s hard to enter non-existent information.

I knew I was close to the end with my last two Azure Standard orders (that link isn’t to Azure Standard’s website, but to Heavenly Homemakers, where Laura explains how their co-op works).  I added 2 more gallons of honey, 10lbs of raisins (which might actually be the BEST raisins I’ve ever had), and several pounds of spices.  Today, we went to Honeyville in Chandler for a class based on the book “Dinner is in the Jar,” by Kathy Clark and after tasting lentils in chicken noodle soup (which tasted *amazing*, by the way), I decided to pick up a 25lb bag of them.  I’ve never cooked with lentils more than split peas or chana dal, but when thinking about upping the protein content of chicken noodle soup, I decided it was worth adding to the storage.  Unfortunately for me, Honeyville didn’t have a #10 can of them, only a 25lb bag.  So now we have a LOT of lentils.  :)

I still want to get some more pinto beans and white beans (Great Northerns are my favourites) before I consider myself fully “done,” but it’s nice to see the number on the analyzer’s read-out.  I’m feeling quite good about this accomplishment, and the next food-storage task will be building ready-to-cook meals with what I’ve got stored.  I purchased the book I mentioned; when it comes in, I’ll get some more oxygen-absorbers and set to work.  I’ll blog that one, so if you’re interested in having stuff that’s ready to go and things that your family will love, watch for that post.  :)

But for now, I leave you with this glorious (well, to me, at least) image.  :)

foodstorageanalyzer.com/MemberPages/Search.aspx?search=raisins

After an unexpected 2 week “break” from writing (I’m not really sure what happened, but apparently I needed that break just to get stuff straightened out here), I’m back.  It’s been a while since I’ve written about food storage specifically, and I’m getting my groove on and building it up.

At last count, using the handy-dandy Food Storage Analyzer from Emergency Essentials, I was at 162.91 days of food stored for my family.  I’ve added a bit since then, plus water, and now I’m up to 211.09 days – which makes me pretty happy.  I’ve crested the half-way mark and although there’s still a lot more to do, I’m happy with the progress I’m making.  :)

I use the Analyzer as a guide, but I don’t freak out about the nutrients, because we eat primitively and primitive-diets don’t “look good” on the nutritional labels.  It’s higher in fat and other things and since I know what I cook is whole food and nutritious, I simply don’t worry about the rest of it.  If you do pay attention to nutritional labels, the Analyzer will have excellent information for you – including the fat content, sodium content, and the overall nutrient-density of what you’re storing.  One thing I wish was included was almonds – I recently added about 20 pounds of almonds to the food storage for a new recipe that we love and I haven’t been able to include them in my tally because I don’t have the nutritional info to plug in and almonds aren’t on the list of foods in the Analyzer.  Ah well.

The water-storage question has been a severe thorn in my side since we lost water last Easter, but even more so since we moved to the desert.  I’ve read about storing 55gal drums for water, etc., but honestly – we’re in an apartment.  And we know we’re not here long-term.  I don’t want to put water in a barrel (or 2) and then have to empty it just to move in 7-9 months.  Plus, the garage is still full of boxes of things we’re not using (house-to-apartment, by the way, is a tricky adjustment.  Just sayin’.), so adding drums in to the context of navigating the garage is just not happening.

The water-issue was solved, conveniently enough, by Fry’s Food Stores, which is an affiliate of Kroger out here.  They had a special on 3L containers of water – each was $.49.  I calculated generously that we need 3 gallons per person, and for 10 days of water-needs, that’s 40-3L bottles.  So all told, it was less than $25 to store 10 days of water in the garage and because the bottles are compact and stack on each other, it doesn’t take up a lot of room.  I can’t tell you what a relief it is to have that part of my food storage done and off of my mind.

I’m not in any way done with this adventure – I still want 72 hour kits for us, in case we have to bug out for any reason, and I still have other emergency-prep things to do.  Plus there’s still the issue of the last 145 days of food to procure and store, but I’m getting there.  :)

I am also happy to let you in on this deal as well – if you try the Food Storage Analyzer from Emergency Essentials (it’s free) and review it, you can earn a $10 gift card toward purchases at EE.  Pretty cool – here are the details for your perusal:

Gift Card Giveaway

One thing I really like about living in Arizona (besides the lack of allergens to plague me) is that with the high LDS population here, it’s not ‘weird’ or ‘strange’ to practice food-storage habits.  It’s just another version of ‘normal’ here, and there are seemingly lots of opportunities to build my food storage.

Thanks to The Survival Mom (who is a local celebrity in the world of food storage here), I now know there’s a Honeyville store in the town where we reside.  Even though Honeyville’s shipping charge is very reasonable ($4.49 for any size order), I really like being able to go in a store and pick stuff out without having to pay shipping and waiting for it.

And Fry’s is the local division of the Kroger Company, which is my grocery-store of choice these days.  So far, I’ve not seen any “case sales” at Fry’s, but in typical Kroger fashion, they do a 10-for-$10 deal on staples and often have a “Buy 8 Get $4 Off” promotion running.  These two things make it easier to add to my food storage than otherwise.

A few days ago, The Survival Mom posted about a contest at Emergency Essentials.  I’m not so much in to entering contests (although if I actually WON something, it might entice me to enter more!), but the tool behind the contest intrigued me greatly.  I keep meaning to take an inventory of what’s in my food and I thought moving would be a great opportunity to do just that.  I mean, I’ve got a rough idea of what’s in my food storage, but being a checklist kind of girl, I’d like it on paper.  But the craziness of moving got to me and I haven’t taken an inventory.  My food storage is set up in 4 different places; 2 in my kitchen, one in a supposed “coat closet” (who needs coats in Arizona?!), and the canned goods in the garage on shelves.

So when I saw the Food Storage Analyzer and checked it out, I realized it was a great fit for my wannabe inventorying-self.  :)  It’s free to use and by creating a user name, my information is stored.  Just since using it, I added a bit more to my inventory and today’s calculations are that I have … (drumroll, please) 162.91 days worth of food stored.  That’s almost halfway – I’m shooting for a full year’s worth of food for the three of us.  I’m definitely getting there – and this was a huge encouragement to keep going.  :)

The Analyzer took a bit of time to list out what I had and it’s designed to give you a shopping list for Emergency Essentials (which, not coincidentally, sells food storage items), but I think it was entirely worthwhile.  I’ll continue to add to it as I add items (I think the next big procurement is a bulk order from Redmond Salt – they sell their Real Salt in 25# bags at a price which is a huge savings off of the Whole Foods price).  There’s nutritional content and analysis in the returned results, as well.  I’m not big in to those numbers – but because I already have my bouillon and other seasonings, my “sodium content” on the nutritional chart is sky high.  Of course, that doesn’t mean that we’ll eat ALL of the bouillon in the number of days allotted, but that’s the risk of letting a computer program tell you what the nutritional analysis is.  I’d prefer to focus on the “whole food, whole grain” aspect of my storage plan and use the seasonings (bouillon, salt, etc.) sparingly and as needed.

If you practice food storage, I highly recommend this Analyzer – it’s a great first step, especially if like me, other things have gotten in the way of you taking a solid inventory.  😉

Here’s a link to try it out yourself – and you can earn a $10 gift card at Emergency Essentials for trying the Analyzer and reviewing it!  :)

Gift Card Giveaway

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