This Article is About
emergency preparedness
december 21 2012
stress level
food storage
survivalists
healthy meals
taking stock
power outages
pantry
Emergency Preparedness - How To Increase Your Food Storage On A Budget
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Emergency Preparedness    -    How to Increase Your Food Storage on A Budget

2012 is here! Are you ready? The fear of what December 21, 2012 will bring is creating a lot of discussion about emergency preparedness. Being prepared means different things to different people. For some, it is having an escape plan - a place to go to in case your home is no longer inhabitable. For others, it means having everything you need at home to survive a week, a month, or a year. And for true survivalists (otherwise known as preppers), it means both.

I believe it is important to have a minimum of a 3 month supply of food and water in your home in order to be prepared for any emergency. But in today's economy, how can you afford to increase your food storage?

WHY I BECAME INTERESTED IN FOOD STORAGE

I started learning about emergency preparedness when preparing for a blizzard a few years ago. I knew I needed to purchase the "storm essentials" - milk, eggs, bread - but I was also interested in preparing for other things like power outages.

A bad storm could create a situation where we would be without power for days. No water, no refrigeration, no stove, oven or microwave, and possibly no heat. Power outages for an extended period of time can cause a lot of headaches. Did I have the items I would need to get through a week in these conditions?

TAKING STOCK OF MY PANTRY

I started to analyze the food I kept in the house. Could I provide healthy meals for my family without electricity?

I needed to store items that were electricity free, meaning I could prepare the meals without a stove, oven, or microwave. I needed items with a shelf life of at least a year and they needed to be foods that my family ate regularly.

In an emergency, the last thing you want to do is increase the stress level by providing food to your family that they have never tried before (and may not like).

BUILDING MY FOOD STORAGE

I had some idea of what type of food I needed to have on hand. I knew I wanted to keep a 3 month supply of food and water, just in case. So, how do I afford to build my food storage with this much food without taking out a small loan?

I built up my emergency food supply slowly. I started by changing the way I shopped for groceries and began to only buy the items that were on sale that week (with the exception of some fresh fruits, vegetables, and milk).

By switching to generic brands of some items (like baking supplies), increasing my use of coupons (for items already on sale), and only buying food on sale, I was able to use the money I saved to buy extra items of my ideal emergency foods and still stay within my food budget.

If you consistently manage your food budget and add an extra 5-10 items per week to your food storage, you will quickly have a 1 month supply of emergency food stored away for any situation. Continue on this path for a few months and you will have your 3 month supply of food saved up without altering your food budget. It can be done!


Street Talk

It pays to be ready!

Reply
  about 4 years ago

Better prepared than to be caught unprepared...nicea article AJ...

Reply
  about 4 years ago
  

Thanks, Tim.

Reply
  about 4 years ago

Great ideas! Nice article.

Reply
  about 5 years ago
  

Thanks Lacey!

Reply
  about 5 years ago

What an excellent article and wonderful suggestions - I had recently started thinking along those lines when our congregation was asked to provide emergency info and to prepare for emergencies. You just reminded me and gave me a good way to get going on it!

Reply
  about 5 years ago
  

Glad I could help, Lisa. I feel it really is important to have something put aside "for a rainy day". You never know when emergencies will strike and what you might need.

Reply
  about 5 years ago
Meredith  

Good advice, dried beans, rice (preferably brown), canned tuna and Yes to the olive oil. When we had Hurricane Ike here in Houston in 2008, canned tuna and olive oil is all that kept me going for a week.

Reply
  about 5 years ago
  

I also keep pasta, sauce, canned fruits and vegetables, nuts, peanut butter, crackers, and many other things on hand. The biggest challenge is rotating the food so you don't have expired food in your food storage. Thanks, Meredith, for sharing your story and tips!

Reply
  about 5 years ago
Meredith  

Thanks for reminding me about the pasta and sauce. That would've been a nice change from all the tuna. And, yes I do keep peanut butter, crackers, bread, etc. I also get several 1 gallon jugs of water to keep on hand,

  
  about 5 years ago
Joan S  

I do hope that 12-21-2012 will be just another day. Caning all those fruits and vegetables will be a blessing in case of any emergency, such as a hurricane or blizzard. I keep a stock of dried and canned beans on hand just in case. The last hurricane, we lost everything in the freezer, and some things in the refrigerator. If you have cans or jars of tomatoes, a few onions stored away somewhere, and some olive oil, some pasta, some water, and a source of heat, that's a good start to getting through any emergency. Thanks AJ. You have great advice.

Reply
  about 5 years ago
  

I'm with you, Joan. I do think 12-21-12 will come and go without any "end of the world" scenario. However, I also expect grocery store runs that start a week before 12-21-12. I'm hoping they don't start sooner than that. Great ideas for stocking your food store for emergencies, thanks for sharing them!

Reply
  about 5 years ago

Good topic! Well written and potentially life saving in an emergency. Even in a minor one, there's lots of stress. Knowing you've got healthy food and water ready sure would reduce stress in a bad situation.

Reply
  about 5 years ago
  

Thanks, Cynthia. In a weather emergency, for example, there is so much to do to prepare the house, it's nice to know you don't also have to run to the store to buy food and water and the added stress of having the stores be bare and what to do now. Being prepared is the best thing we all can do for our families.

Reply
  about 5 years ago

Very true! The shelves are either bare by the time you get there or in a battle zone to get into other people's shopping carts:-)

  
  about 5 years ago

Such a great niche AJ

Reply
  about 5 years ago
  

Thanks, Shawn.

Reply
  about 5 years ago

Great and practical topic AJ! Well done.

Reply
  about 5 years ago
  

Thanks, Patty.

Reply
  about 5 years ago

storageskills.blogspot. com- Wendi has a great tutorial for canning chicken and meats!

Reply
  about 5 years ago
  

Thanks, Doris.

Reply
  about 5 years ago
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