Archive for March 6th, 2011

Newbie Food Storage on the Cheap

admin March 6th, 2011

Events being what they are, I’m getting a lot of email about the very basics of food storage, and I thought it was a good time to start revisiting this topic.  And lo and behold, the wonderful Kathy Harrison covered how not to waste your money  before I got there - and there’s lots more good advice at her site:

1. Know how you are going to store whatever you buy. Get the buckets before you get the 50 pound sack of wheat. Have the storage space before you buy the case lot.
2. Watch your unit price. The old adage of bigger being cheaper is no longer always true. Marketers are pulling out all the stops to get you to spend more money. Packages are smaller, pricing is all over the map, specials are not always the bargain they appear and coupons are a waste of money if they make you buy something you don’t want.
3. Don’t store what you can’t eat. Gluten intolerant people should not store wheat.
4. Don’t store what you won’t eat. I know you think that you’ll eat the canned string beans during the apocalypse but why not store something you actually like. I gave my canned green beans to the food pantry where someone who likes them can use them. I now only store those canned things I really like and use. I have lots of canned pineapple and mandarin oranges and very few canned vegetables except for corn and peas as my family will eat those in soups and chowders. I dry or home can or freeze the veges my family likes.
5. Make a price book. You don’t know a good buy unless you know the best price. It’s just too hard to keep track of the prices in all the places we can purchase food without a price book. I keep the prices for staples like peanut butter, concentrated juices and rice in my little book. When a true deal is out there I know it.
6. Eat the food. You may eat the 20-year-old can of salmon if you find yourself living the live from Earth Abides but otherwise, I don’t think so. Make salmon cakes a few times a month now. They’re easy and tasty and they’ll be familiar if you have to make them more often.

There’s a lot of information about food storage on this site (check the “categories” section) and of course, I wrote a book about food storage and food preservation (which are really two sides of the same coin in a lot of ways).

A few posts to look at if you are at the beginning stages of saying “hey, maybe it isn’t such a bad idea to have some food around.”

1. Some real life stories that readers have sent me about how food storage changed their lives and helped them through some tough time.  This is a good reminder that zombies don’t have to be roaming the streets to make a food reserve useful.

2. Food Storage Baby Steps: Do these things before you shop!

3. The Menu Project: It really helps to have a plan for how you will integrate your food storage into your daily life.

4. A few of my favorite food storage recipes.

5. The $5 a week super-simple beginner method: This was a post by a friend of mine, A Nonny Mouse, and it helps people who are true, absolute beginners with no money just get a measure of security.

I do hope this helps someone - this is important stuff!  Maybe I’ll restart my Friday Food Storage Quickies as well!