How can I get started on food storage?
Patricia recently wrote and said:
I was visiting the Ronald McDonald House in New Mexico last weekend. The resident family who runs the house on the weekends is Mormon. I noticed in the basement they have a years supply of food stored and I did not know why, so I decided to look it up on the internet. I am interested in beginning a food storage for my husband and I. We talk about it but never know where to start or what products to buy and how to re-cycle it so it does not go bad. I have been attending The Seventh Day Adventist church for 20 years but my husband and I are not vegetarians, we do follow the dietary laws of the Seventh Day Adventists and I think we are very healthy because we do follow it.
Patricia, thanks for your question. I think having a food storage is a great goal. Also, hats off to you for your healthy eating habits. I hope some of what we share below will be helpful as you think about how to start your food storage.
We’ve already had one commenter share a response:
If I may address Patricia on ideas about food storage – try this link:
One of the best ways to get started is to just buy an extra of the foods you already enjoy. So, an extra can of corn, or an extra package of pasta. Mark each with the date you bought it, for rotation purposes, then build from there. Good luck!
Here are a few other food storage links/resources that we hope can be helpful as you think about how you want to approach your own food storage. All of these resources talk about a three-month supply (which is the typical shorter-term goal we as Mormons have when we talk about food storage), but you can apply the same kinds of principles and begin with a one- or two-week (or other shorter-term) supply. Of course, you should adapt any of these lists/spreadsheets/planning ideas with the specific foods you eat.
There isn’t one right way to do this — the biggest key to begin a food storage is just to start somewhere, anywhere. Think about some of your favorite recipes and consider what foods you could store to prepare those meals. When you go shopping, as Charlene mentioned, you could purchase an extra supply of the ingredients for your recipes. Then you can expand with more recipes. If you store what you already use, it makes it easier to rotate your foods because you already know you like what you are storing.
As you think about what to store, think about foods that are shelf-stable, like canned goods, grains, baking supplies, etc. I also like using the freezer for part of my food storage, especially for fruits and vegetables and for storing grains like brown rice that don’t keep well on the shelf.
Please don’t hesitate to ask follow-up questions, but I hope this can be some good information to get started.
Food Storage Made Easy Three-Month Supply tips — they have questions you can ask yourself as you get started, a spreadsheet to help you plan, a video, and more.
You can find another food storage planner here. (Look at the bottom of the spreadsheet for the different ‘sheets’ which include sample menus and shopping plans.)
Here’s an example of a three-month supply list (this was a website I quickly put together a few years ago when my church assignment was to help with food storage and emergency preparedness). This three-month supply website also has some simple meal ideas using the foods listed.
If you are interested in storing some non-food items, here are some thoughts on that.
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Read more about why Mormons do food storage.