One of the best things you can do for the sake of your own self reliance is to build up your home food storage. Your home food storage can tide you over in the event of a financial setback, or be part of your efforts for emergency preparedness.
Unfortunately, many people think of stockpiling when they consider home food storage. As a result, they think that they need to spend a couple thousand dollars to get started. The good news is that this isn’t the case. You can start building your home food storage little by little — without a huge capital outlay.
Figure Out What You Want to Include
Your first step is to figure out what you want to include in your home food storage, as well as how much you need. For many, this means that you need to look at the space in your home. If you have a root cellar or basement, the process can be made easier. My family has a crawl space downstairs, a pantry upstairs, and a freezer in the garage. These are areas where we store our food items.
Look at the space in your home, and practically consider how much extra food you can keep. Then, make a list of what you want to include. The best home food storage plan includes foods that you will actually eat. I know that, technically, we’re supposed to store wheat. However, right now we don’t grind down wheat to use in our regular meals. If we were to suddenly start eating whole wheat, ground down, out of nowhere, it wouldn’t be pretty. Instead, we store things that we would actually eat if we had to.
Including items that you eat in the normal course of your meals is important, since a vital part of home food storage is rotating your food so that it doesn’t expire. Every so often, we have a “food storage” week, in which our meals are based on food storage items nearing expiration. If your food storage is full of things you wouldn’t eat regularly, it can cause problems and discomfort with your body, and it can lead to money wasted through food spoilage.
Make a list of the items you want in your food storage, from frozen items to canned goods, to dried fruit. Include quantities that make sense for your space, as well as that amounts that you can easily manage as part of your rotation.
Build Slowly, So You Don’t Overwhelm Your Wallet
Now that you have your list, it’s time to start building up your home food storage. You don’t want to overwhelm your budget, so buy items in an orderly manner. Look at your spending plan, and determine how much money you have each week to put toward building your food storage.
Each week, buy something on your food storage list. You can cross-reference your food storage list to sales flyers and coupons if you are really looking to save. Check off items as you get them, and that will let you to go “out of order” when you find coupons for something further down on the list. Limit yourself to buying only what you can afford each week. There’s no need to go overboard.
In some cases, you might feel as though you need to buy something more expensive. If this is the case, save up your food storage money for two or three weeks, setting it aside, and then make the larger storage purchase when you have the funds.
Another strategy to employ is to preserve your own food. Last year, I made applesauce from my apple harvest. I also routinely dry herbs from my garden so that I have my own all year. If you have a garden, much of your produce can be bottled or frozen and used in your food storage scheme. I remember helping my mother prepare corn and peas for the freezer while growing up. You can start bottling and freezing your produce with a relative small amount of money, and over time the peace of mind and savings can start to add up.
Just as you can build a solid emergency fund by starting small, it’s possible to build up your home food storage a little at a time. Be ready for emergencies, physical and financial, by having your own store of food.
So, what do you do for food storage?