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Why Food Storage?

People dive into the world of long-term food storage for many reasons. Some people are worried the world as we know it could end soon, and some people do it just to have the peace of mind to know that they have extra food put away in case of an emergency such as a natural disaster or unexpected financial crisis.

I admit, my husband and I have been watching Doomsday Preppers. At first I thought, "Oh, they are crazy!" Then I got really interested in it. It is one of those shows that's hard not to watch, no matter what you think about it! (My husband recently told me he didn't want to watch it anymore, it was making him paranoid, ha ha!)

Search for information about food storage online, and you will find many web sites devoted to the subject. Some of these people are indeed "Doomsday Preppers", and you will also find a lot of information about food storage from members of the LDS church. Whatever a person's reason for storing food long term, it is apparent that this subject, in recent years, has become a very hot topic.

food storage

Most people would agree that you should have money set aside in case of an emergency, but not many people think about also setting aside food for times of need. This need became readily apparent to our family several years ago when my husband and I both were faced with a drastic income decrease at the same time. We are both self employed. While we have experienced up's and down's in our businesses in the past 8 years we have worked for ourselves, we had never both been faced with this situation at the same time. We struggled with our finances for two years until we were able to replace our lost income with new sources of income.

Looking back, I realize that if we had put extra food aside to help see us through the hard times, our lives would have been much easier.

The more I study food storage, the more I realize that having this mentality is really a way of life. I'm not saying it's for everybody, but I do think that it is important for everyone to think about the future and prepare their families for unexpected circumstances. And God forbid there were a natural disaster or worst case scenario, our economy did actually collapse. I would want to be prepared for that, wouldn't you!?

There are many different aspects of food storage, all of which I will be exploring in the coming months. One way I have chosen to store food is by canning and preserving. I LOVE canning. In the past year I have made several trips out to farms and orchards in our area to get great deals on seasonal produce. While I realize that not everyone has the time to can, canning provides your family with HEALTHY food, and it is less expensive than buying prepared foods at the store.

A lot of people buy dehydrated foods that have a shelf life of up to 30 years. That is something I will be exploring more in the future (this option is a little more costly), but for the present time I am working on getting a 3 month supply of food built up, then a 6 month supply, etc. And you don't have to limit your food storage to just food, either. Toilet paper, batteries, laundry soap...anything you use on a regular basis you should stock up on.

I also have found that as I have been "stocking up" that I have been looking for bargains so that I can find these items on sale (which means I am also reducing my grocery budget). You don't have to build up your storage all at one time. If you find a good sale on peanut butter, buy three containers instead of one. After you have used the first container, buy a couple more containers instead of using the first ones you purchased. In time you will see your supply start to add up. Just buy a couple extra things a week and it will add up.

Make a list of things you use all the time, like sugar, flour, rice, beans, etc., and buy them in 15 or 25 pound bags. You can buy 5 gallon food grade storage containers at any home improvement store to store your food in. Not only will you find these items MUCH cheaper in large quantities, you will also have a head start on your food storage.

This is only the beginning. I still have a long way to go, but I have started. Tomorrow I am headed to a farm to buy 25 pounds of freshly cut asparagus to can, and I'm not going to lie, I'm pretty excited about it. If I could I would grow all my own food. I will have a garden this year and grow tomatoes, cucumbers for making homemade dill pickles, and lots of lettuce and carrots. I will leave the fruit growing to the farmers and go visit the orchards later this summer. I can't do it all, but I will do what I can to help make sure my family is provided for, no matter what the future holds.

Copyright 2013, Creative Homemaking, LLC. This article may not be reprinted.

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Rachel Paxton
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