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What, & How To Store Food #1

Tuesday 23rd July 2013

The majority of so-called "perfect solutions" to your food storage needs invite you to start by spending thousands of dollars per adult to buy and store awful, insufficient foods that you will probably never use - thus wasting thousands of dollars. Other suggestions are based on complex and hard to follow lists and charts you have to fill out and continually update or waste hundreds, if not thousands more dollars on fancy racks and cabinets and gizmos to help you store what you don't use in the first place.

Common sense food storage is so simple most of us just overlook it. When you are done reading this simple approach, take a few minutes to just think about it and you will see that what you have been fighting for years is nothing more than doing what you are already doing on a daily or weekly basis. For instance:

Think of three types of fruits you and/or your family eat regularly. Don't worry about how much or which one is eaten more than another. The next time you see a good deal on a case of any one of those canned fruits, buy an extra case. Don't hide it away; go ahead and use it when needed just as you normally would; but DO NOT take the cans out of the box (discussed later).

Now, think of at least two kinds of meat you eat regularly (if you eat meat). The next time you see a sale on cans of chicken or cans of beef or whatever, buy a case. Repeat the process for canned vegetables. Include starches like canned potatoes or any other canned food versions of what you normally eat. When you get a chance, buy a case. Add things like soups, canned Ravioli and such. Almost anything with its own liquid is good to store since water may be an issue. Then start over and buy a case of the next fruit on your list, then another case of some meat, vegetables, etc. Try to follow the order of what is most likely to be hardest to provide for yourself in times of emergency. If you have a little property you can easily grow some vegetables but fruits take much longer to produce. Meat might be easier to obtain, depending on your circumstances.

Don't buy all three types of vegetables before buying anything else. Each time you are able to buy a case of something, select from the next food type you want. Lets say you buy one case of something each month. In six months you will have purchased at least one case of fruit, meat, vegetables, potatoes, etc. Or change the order to what is more in line with what your family eats. The point is that you now have at least three months of food storage without even trying. You want to know what makes this work?

Don't take the cans out of the box they come in. Put the box on a shelf (or the floor) and turn the box on one long edge. Cut off the top/front corner about two inches back and two inches down; then cut a 1 1/2 inch to 2 inch wide slot most of the way down the front edge of the box. You just created your own storage unit. Put your next case purchase next to the first case but do not open that case until the first case is empty. Keep putting cases next to each other. There is no stacking, no moving, no reorganizing. Because you are buying one case of something in addition to what you normally buy, you are adding to your supply.

Sure, you will be using some of the extra when you run out of your regular purchases. But that's okay. That's what takes care of the "rotation" issue. Long before that case is empty, you will be buying another case. In less than a year you will actually have at least a three months supply of all the same foods you normally eat. Since you are eventually buying three different kinds of vegetables you will have 72 cans of vegetables (assuming a 24 can case) sitting on the shelf in their own storage container and in perfect order without any, I repeat, without any extra effort or organization on your part. Very few families open a can of vegetables every night, seven days a week, every week of the year. Sometimes you eat something else which makes up the the extra 18 meals (90 meals in a month: 90 minus 18 equals 72 which is the number of cans you have stored).

Just continue to buy an extra case of your normal foods every chance you get. Make it a goal and you will find the money. It is only a little at a time but it is what you are already eating so you really don't have to spend anything extra, you are just spending it a little sooner than normal. But look at the reward. You will have better food storage than most without the family ever thinking about eating "food storage." Nothing new, nothing strange, nothing they don't like. Everything is what they do like and are use to! And, just as important, these are all the same foods you are use to preparing; nothing new to learn.

Keep this up indefinetly and you can easily get to a two year supply because most canned foods have a shelf life of between two and three years. Always check the expiration dates when buying cases and individual cans. You eventually don't even have to buy any extra, you are just buying a case now and then to make up for what you are using. It actually becomes cheaper and easier over time. Because you are using cans from a case, you don't have to rotate your food storage or track anything. When one case empties, you just open the one next to it. It couldn't be easier or less complicated.

Case lot sales come and go at various markets and food outlets throughout the year. This can make it even easier to build your storage. Include things like various pastas and sauces that you like and normally use. Don't forget sugar, flour and salt, etc. By purchasing an extra five or ten pounds at a time, you are even building up those items. Now, sit back and think about it for a few minutes. Doesn't this make more sense than buying so called "food" that tastes awful, requires more water than you may have and costs ten times more than what you normally eat?  Next we will talk about HOW to store certain items like grains without spending any extra money on "special" containers. Food Storage #2

About the author: Jim Higgins

Jim Higgins