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Storing Food for Emergencies

clipart picture of pasta

After water, food ranks next on the list of items to store in your home in case of an emergency. Food is a lot easier to store than water, and you have a lot of options as to what type of food to store. Every family is different, and the type of food stored will vary. The most important part of storing food is to store what you eat, and then rotate it so it won't go bad.

HERE ARE SOME TIPS FOR FRUGAL EMERGENCY FOOD STORAGE

At a bare minimum, always have one backup of everything that you normally eat. For example, with spices you may only want to have one extra bottle. However, for items like corn or green beans, have one or two extra cases.  Be sure and store spices, as that is what makes our food palatable.

Be sure that you know how to use your stored food. It doesn't help to have 100 pounds of wheat, if you don't have a wheat grinder, and know how to bake bread, or have a way to bake it.

Another thing about wheat- if you are going to use it be sure you gradually get your system use to it or you will have severe digestive problems. Most people add white flour to whole wheat recipes.

picture of hand wheat grinder and bread machineLess expensive hand grinders should be your first purchase for grinding wheat. Expensive electric grinders will not work during a disaster.

You can find a hand grinder online for under $100.00. It doesn't take long to grind up a cup of wheat, and put it with white flour and practice making bread.

To the left is a picture of my hand grinder, which I keep in my kitchen.  I use it to grind small amounts of groats (oat grain) and grains like barley and rye. 

You can also see my bread machine in the picture to the left.  Bread machines are wonderful.  It only takes 5 minutes to put together the ingredients to make a fresh loaf of bread.  Bread machines make it easy to rotate and use your food storage.

Just be sure you also know how to make bread by hand, as when the electricity goes out, the bread machine will not work.  You also need to know how to use a Dutch Oven if you want to bake bread. <See Cooking Methods at the bottom of this page>

Emergencies and the Need for Food Storage

- Food becomes scarce in almost every natural disaster.

- Strikes can limit access to food. The transportation system required to distribute food is fragile, and any disruption can clear the retail store shelves of food.

- Illness can keep you from being able to get out and buy food.

- Job and income loss can make it difficult to afford food.  Many a family has gotten through tough times by using their food storage.

- Hysteria can lead to food shortages. Many of us are old enough to remember when Johnny Carson made a joke about the stores being short on toilet paper. As a result of that joke, the stores did empty out of toilet paper.

HERE IS SOME INFORMATION ON STORING DIFFERENT TYPES OF FOOD

Canned Goods

Canned food is great for storage because it also contains water. You can store it in closets, or under the bed. As a general rule, it will last at least 5 years.

Dehydrated Food

dehyrated food on shelves in kitchenDehydrated food will last over a decade. It is good for long term storage. Just be sure and have a few recipes to make with it, so that you will use it and it won't go bad. 

When I buy it I always buy 2 cans.  I open one of them so I can cook with it and store it in my kitchen.  I put the other can in my food storage closet. 

You can also see my electric wheat grinder in the picture to the left which I use for grinding wheat under normal circumstances.

If you store dehydrated food you will need to store extra water to use it. You don't need to buy expensive dehydrated or freeze dried food. Many of the foods you buy in the grocery store are already dehydrated, such as spaghetti and macaroni. Also, there are a lot of dehydrated quick meal packages available.

You can survive a month without food, but it will not be pleasant. Everyone should have at least a 2 week supply of food in their homes for their families.

Here are a couple links to articles and recipes using food storage:

Storing and Using Canned Meat
Using Dehydrated Food
Vegetarian Chili Using Dehydrated Food
 

Freezer Food

Freezer food is fragile. If the power goes out for more than a few days, you will lose all of it. That is almost a certainty with any natural disaster. However, freezer food helps during times of unemployment or when the food supply is interrupted.

Often ice is delivered to areas hit by natural disasters. Be sure and have a large ice cooler for that purpose. When disaster hits, know how to get to the nearest Walmart.  With their extensive warehouses, they are usually the first store to open.

 
 

Frugal Pantry and Canned Food Recipes

woman with cookbook

Many of the foods that we purchase in the grocery store, such as rice and noodles,  are already dried and last for years.

Combine these foods with canned meat, vegetables and fruits, and you can accumulate a frugal, emergency supply of food. 

Here are some recipes to help.  FRUGAL RECIPES

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

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