A couple of days ago while talking to my niece about food storage she told me what one of her friends had told her about a Stake Fireside she had gone to. The topic was on preparedness and food storage. The time came to start the meeting which was well attended. There was one intended speaker and after the prayer, song and person conducting outlined the layout of the meeting the speaker walked to the pulpit as he was scheduled to. He said “by the raise of hands who here has a 72 hour kit” to which quite few raised their hands. He then said “how many here also have a 3 month supply of food” many of those hands went down. He continued “by the raise of hands who also has a 6 month supply of food?” Many more of those hands went down. Lastly he said “by the show of hands who here has a 72 hour kit and 1 year supply of food and water?” At this point only “a few” hands remained raised from the entire congregation.
He then said “if you won’t listen to the apostles and the prophet, why would you listen to me?” and promptly sat down. The fireside was over.
That is lowering the Boom on food storage! It’s hard to imagine a more effective lesson on food storage than that. One sentence, a simple question that hit every person there like a 50# bag of refried beans with a 30+ year shelf life.
If I were to count every time we’ve been counseled to get our food storage I would probably be in the bazillions or gazillions by now. We’ve heard it a before, and for years and years, but really, let’s get real about this right now! Imagine just for a second what you would do if RIGHT NOW a natural disaster hit and the supply chains were cut off. Let say in 5 minutes you would be left with no running water, no power, no gas, no way to get to the store for warm clothes, sleeping bags, heaters, gas, or a generator (which the stores would be looted anyways) and you’re left with only what you have at your home right now.
If right now you’re thinking about how long the bag of Cheetos in the pantry could sustain you nutritionally and if it’s possible to quench your thirst with Ketchup… you’re in trouble. Let’s say the disaster is actually a string of disasters and the entire state or even half the country is involved. In that case, help would be extremely slow IF it ever came at all. We’re counseled to get a year worth of food storage… sounds a little ominous no?
If that situation were the case, how much more important to you would food and water storage be than it is to you right now? How valid then would the common excuses of “I can’t afford it”, “I don’t know how” or “I don’t have room” be than they are now? Would you have done things differently? I would hope sustaining your life and the lives of your families would be on top of the list. In some cases families have to make sacrifices to prepare properly. That might mean sacrifices on expenditures, cars, vacations, and more. Sure, it sounds like a total downer, but in the end it comes down to what means more to you? Would you rather chew on the muffler of your brand new car you splurged on… or some delicious 12 year old macaroni noodles with powdered cheese? Sure that’s a horrible comparison but have you tasted muffler?
Lately, I’ve been feeling the need to prepare more and build more onto what I already have. I’ve been thinking about it nonstop all day long for weeks now and basically obsessing over it. I may be slow, but even I know when I’ve being prompted. It’s on my mind so much, I figured I’d even write a blog post on it, and share some ideas. I’m not saying my method is the best, or that there’s only one way to prepare, but this is just what I think may be a good idea or place to start. After all, the only wrong way to prepare is not to prepare at all.
I started with the easy stuff that takes no brains to do: Pre-prepared freeze dried meals. The pros are there is a variety, they pack light, they fit everywhere, they taste more like real food, they come in stackable reusable bins, they can last 30 years, and they require only water to cook. The cons are that it tends to be much more expensive, however the more you buy the cheaper they become.
I started by looking at multiple different companies including Lindon Farms, the Wise Company, Food Legacy, Mountain House, Dailey Bread, and Shelf Reliance. (Since then Numanna has become a very good option too)
I found which one I thought was the best value and highest food quality and decided on a family package. I then called about 10 distributors of the brand I chose (various stores and websites) and simply told them I was comparing prices and would be purchasing from the cheapest source with the most perks. I was amazed at the discounts, free food, free shipping, other supplies and other freebies I was able to get just by asking… I ended up getting more food for a ton cheaper than I originally planned!
Then, I got my bulk stuff. If you needed even more proof that our Church is awesome, go to the Church cannery. The food is ridiculously cheap, and it’s not just for members of the Church. Even on a budget, a very small budget in fact you can start stocking up. There is no excuse not to start. It’s dirt cheap. Here is a link to their pricelist and where you can find your nearest location.
You can buy in bulk to take home to can or put in buckets, you can use their canner for free at their location, or you can buy it canned already at cost for them to do the labor for you. Yeah, you read that right, you can buy pre-canned stuff that they have done for you at cost without added labor. That’s like the neighbor kid mowing your lawn every week for the cost of gas. It’s Crazy simple and they have multiple people there to help you.
I bought only the items in bulk in the giant bags, and only the items with 30 year shelf life. Think about it, buying food with a 30 year shelf life means you never have to rotate it, EVER, for 30 years. There really is no excuse… food storage is as easy as you make it.
So, now with my bulk food I wanted a way to organize it better as well as keep it fresh, waterproof and easily accessible so I opted to put them in buckets instead of leaving them in the bags that would be wasted and ruined in the case of a flood, or a small tear. I also like buckets more than #10 cans because they are way more convenient and easy to move around. Trust me, after moving a family member with nothing but #10 cans, there is a much more efficient way to store food! Rather than the regular bucket lids however, I opted for Gamma lids which are way easier to work with, they are water tight, air tight, don’t require a bucket tool to open, and won’t break your hand in 12 places every time you try to open them, plus, they are available in 7 colors which helps in color coding things.
So, I organized the food into colors, so even just looking at the buckets I would know what the contents were even if they weren’t labeled which they also are. This will help in separating and evaluating inventory quickly. Lastly, with gamma lids, it’s easier to reuse the bucket for another purpose when your delicious 18 year old potato flakes are gone. Mmmm… just thinking about that makes my mouth water.
That’s just where we started. You can start wherever and however you want… just start! As of now it’s not too late. I can’t think of a worse feeling than waking up one day and realizing it IS too late.