Here are some tips to make food storage affordable, especially in hard economic times:
1. Make home food storage a regular budget item.
2. Use your income tax return.
3. Use bonuses or money received as gifts.
4. Have a home storage Christmas.
5. Grow a garden and can or store the extra produce.
6. Use bulk purchases for regular monthly groceries and use the money saved for home storage.
7. Use interest from a savings or checking account.
8. Stock up when stores have items on sale.
9. Have a garage sale and use the proceeds towards food storage.
10. Cut recreational expenses and use that savings towards food storage.
Basic Principles of Food Storage
1. Store what your family will eat and learn to eat what will store well. Be sure to consider special diet needs.
2. Store foods from all six of the recommended food storage groups to ensure a balanced diet.
3. Check for expiration dates to determine the freshness and quality of the food items you purchase. Buy the freshest for the longest shelf life.
4. Make adjustments for food quantities based on the age and activity levels of individuals in your family.
5. Basic storage foods should be low in moisture (10 percent or less). These foods will retain their quality and nutritional value longer and will be more pest resistant when stored properly.
6. Incorporate stored food items into your regular meals to avoid waste. Replace them as they are used to ensure a constant fresh supply of food. Doing so will also help avoid the incorporation of costly or hard to find food items in your stored food plan.
7. Label each food container with the date of purchase so that the oldest items can be used first.
8. Food should be stored cool, dry, dark and airtight. Avoid storing in hot attics and garages. Keep food above concrete floors and away from heat and light sources. Containers should be as airtight as possible.
9. Inventory your food supply regularly. Check for items that need to be used, replaced, or added to your supply. Check for insect and rodent infestations and damaged containers.
Common Food Storage Mistakes
The average person needs to drink approximately a gallon of water each day. This is water for drinking purposes only. Many people also store a gallon of water to help fulfill their daily hygiene needs. It is important to remember that you will also need sufficient amounts of water to cook or prepare your food. Avoid this common food storage mistake by taking a few simple precautions.
Your predominant method of food storage will determine how much extra water you will need to store. If you are relying on canned food items as your main type of food storage, your additional water requirements will be much lower. If you are dependent upon dry bulk items, such as grains or beans, or dehydrated food items your need for additional water storage will be much greater.
The easiest way to supplement your water storage is by stocking different types of liquids to conserve your water supply for use in cooking. Canned sodas, bottled drinking water, bottled juices, and “other” types of canned or bottled beverages will help conserve drinking water for use in cooking. You can also store cans of soups and broths to supplement your dry food storage items. This will also give you a greater variety in your choice of liquids for cooking and something besides “plain” water for drinking. This will also help to retain some normalcy in your life during an emergency or crisis.
A little more difficult way is by simply storing an extra gallon of water per day for preparing meals. An extra gallon of water will allow you a sufficient amount to prepare several meals. This will require extra storage containers and space.
Properly storing adequate supplies of other beverages or additional water will help you avoid insufficient amounts of water for cooking during an emergency or crisis. It is also important to remember that during a crisis or emergency that sufficient water may not be available and that even if the water is on, many times it may not be suitable for drinking or cooking and will probably need to be filtered and purified before use. Keep a water filter and a means to purify your water on hand in your emergency supplies.