The Basics Of Food Storage Part 3: The Golden Rule

The Golden Rule:

Store what you will eat and rotate it regularly.

What good is it to have food on hand if it isn’t something you will eat? An emergency is no time to find out that you can’t stomach lentils and that’s what you have stored away. Look at the foods you like and eat on a regular basis and start with those. The types of foods we have put away in our emergency pantry are the same foods we eat on a regular basis. Anything that isn’t something we eat regularly, like the three day supply of freeze dried emergency foods we keep on hand, we taste test first. Most of them were OK but a few flavors out there were downright nasty. Neighborhood cats would disappear before I ate those so we don’t stock those flavors.

When our regular pantry gets low I pull from the emergency pantry and then replace it next time I go shopping or if still have a minimum level on hand I wait until it is on sale. Rotation is key. Just like a computer, your food storage should be first in first out.

Mostly…

Sometime I find that the same food item bought from the same grocery store has a “best by” date months earlier than items bought weeks or months before. So always check the dates and use those with the closest dates first. I find those little dates to be very difficult to read and not always in an easily seen portion of the packaging. To make it easier, I use a grease pencil or Sharpie marker and write the date in the item in a place that will be easily visible and given that my eyes are over 50 years old and have a little extra trouble seeing things these days I make sure to write those dates are large and easily read.

Some items like sugar, honey and salt don’t have expiration dates. I still rotate them anyway.

Keep a written inventory of what you have on hand and what you want to have on hand. I have a spreadsheet that I created that has columns for what I have on hand, what I want to have on hand and another for how many I need to buy to keep those number balanced. I also set up conditional formatting so I can see at a glance what is red (need to buy now), yellow (can wait for a sale) or green (we have enough on hand). Some people I know just keep it all on a yellow legal pad. It doesn’t matter how you keep track of it just make sure you do.

It would be a very unpleasant surprise to find all that food you had stored away was spoiled or that you were missing critical supplies.

Now you may be asking yourself…

How do I get started?

Which will be part 4 of this series.

God bless.

When Things Go Boom!

Since the Boston Marathon bombing, the US has been pretty lucky (I would say blessed) when it comes to terror related bombings. For the most part, the bombs built by the most recent spate of terrorists have malfunctioned in some way or another limiting the amount of damage they have done or preventing them from going off at all. That may not always be the case…

Last year I posted a link to an article by Greg Ellifritz on lessons learned from the the bombing in Bangkok (link).

More recently the Thoughtfully Prepping blog posted an interesting set of observations about bombs, the effects of bombs and what to do if you are near a bomb attack in a post titled “A bomb goes boom!

This might be a good time to check both of them out.

God bless.

What Did You Prep This Week?

Wow, yet another good week!

We finished a few things up in the garden this week. We had to rearrange the planters we are using because the rain from the garage roof was destroying the sweet potatoes and washing the soil out of the planter. Eventually I plan on using this space gut I need to install rain gutters. When I do I would like to route the water into a large barrel so it can be used to water the garden. I also had to top off the soil in the sweet potato planters partially because some was washed out and partially because it needed more to begin with.

Wonderful Wife got paid tfile_000his week so we bought some ammo; 9mm practice rounds, 5.56 practice rounds, as well as 12 gauge 00 buck and small game loads. I may be wrong, but I plan to keep buying ammo until this election is over…

As always on payday we set some money aside; saving for a rainy day.

One of the best things to happen this week is that I was able to get Wonderful Wife to start exercising with me. Due to some medical conditions she deal with we are taking it slow and easy. We started walking, just a half mile or so, in the evenings after work. As long as we can be consistent with the walking I think that will help a lot of what she suffers from. I have been consistent with my exercise program as well. I have been slowly adding repetitions to my routine but this week I upped the number of reps I do by a good bit. I’m no gym rat and won’t even pretend I am in any sort of shape yet (other than round) but it is progress.

Just a few weeks ago I felt my walk with God was all but nonexistent. What a change! The devotional Wonderful Wife and I are doing together has been an amazing blessing. I have been praying and reading the Bible everyday. I am learning a ton in the Wednesday night Bible study. I have always loved teaching (that is actually what I wanted to do when I grew up for a long time) and I mentioned to Wonderful Wife that maybe one day I could teach a Bible study. later that day our Sunday school teacher asked for volunteers to cover for him while he is travelling next week…I guess God answered that question pretty quickly! After a little stressing and praying, yes, I will be teaching next week.

That’s it for me. That’s what I prepped this week. How about you? What did you prep this week?

God Bless!

Inspiration

I call to God, and the Lord saves me.

-Psalm 55:16

No matter how broken we are, no matter how bad our situation the lord and creator of the universe can deliver us. Turn to Him. Call out to Him. Trust in Him. Accept His gift of salvation and eternal life…

With the forgiveness of our sins and life everlasting, the troubles we face on Earth take on a new perspective…

God bless.

The Basics Of Food Storage Part 2: How Much?

How Much Food Should I Have On Hand?

Well, that depends. What are you preparing for?

The US government (ready.gov) suggests we have a minimum of three days supply of food and water on hand for typical disasters. the German government appears to be revising their recommendations and suggesting a minimum of ten days of food and water on hand. From what i understand it the Mormon Church recommends having a 12 month supply of food on hand. Some folks out there are trying to store up multiple years worth of food.

To determine which of these levels are right for you, you first you need to determine what your goals are for storing food. The amount you store will vary depending on whether you are preparing for a hurricane, a financial collapse or the Zombie Apocalypse.

While I say that, my approach was slightly different.

Hurricanes are, by far, the biggest concern here on the Gulf Coast so that is my primary scenario I prepare for and based on that I plan to have a minimum of fourteen days of supplies on hand.  Most of that is a combination of canned and frozen foods. The frozen foods would be the first to be used even though I do have a generator and enough fuel to keep the frozen foods safe for that period of time. The remainder is canned and dried foods and would be used after that. We also have a very small supply, maybe three days, of freeze dried meals packed in a duffel should we need to evacuate the house. Based on a request from Wonderful Wife we are currently building our our supplies to be able to feed our extended family for 30 days.

So that’s that, decide what you are planning for and how much food you will need for such an event.

Next up?

The Golden Rule