I was once a food storage newbie, and I still learn new things about food storage all the time.  I’d like to share with you five food storage tips that I wish I could go back and give myself about eight years ago when I was first considering looking into food storage.

This idea actually isn’t my own.  I will soon be featured on my friend Heather’s blog: Cooking with My Food Storage.  She asked me to list my five top food storage tips and to focus on those things I wish I’d know when I started my food storage.  I’ve simply decided to turn that list into a series and give the same tips here on my own site in a bit more detail.  I will be posting one a week for the next five weeks.

Today’s food storage tip is:  

Food Storage Tip #1: Food Storage Isn’t Just for Natural Disasters

When I was first married, I thought food storage was really only for natural disaster type emergencies.  I know, I know, many of you food storage gurus (which I don’t consider myself to be yet) are laughing.  But I’m serious.  I thought the only good reason to store a large supply of food in your home was in case of an earthquake or hurricane that prevented you from getting to the store.  And I used to wonder if it would really take the stores a full year to replenish their stock.  It didn’t seem it had ever taken that long before.  I couldn’t imagine what you would ever need a full year’s supply for!

To be clear, if I was to ever face a natural disaster, I would most certainly want to have food storage.  I would need it, and I want to be prepared for such a situation.  In fact, I want to be well prepared.  But that is a topic for a whole other post…which I will likely do someday.

The thing is, most of us have never been in such a situation.  And while they are occurring far more frequently, many of us may never be in such a situation.  I have never used my food storage because of a natural disaster, but I have used it, and often.

Other Serious Needs
Job Loss
I have used my food storage once for a serious need: when my husband lost his job a little over a year ago.  We had a three months’ supply of most everything we used regularly and even a 6+ months supply of many items: meat & cheese in the freezer, cereal, and crackers. We were able to nearly eliminate our food budget and live on our food storage for some time.  We could not get our kids to drink the powdered milk we had stored at the time and we had a one year old who needed milk.  So, we bought milk and a bit of fresh produce each week, spending no more than $10 or so.   I made all our bread and baked goods.  (Side note: we now drink Thrive Instant milk every weekIt is that good!).  I was so very grateful we had that food.

In addition to job loss, there are other “serious needs” for which you may need to use your food storage:

  • Economic Recession/Depression: By purchasing food storage at today’s prices, you can eat it tomorrow without being subject to the increased costs that are sure to come tomorrow. You can ride out waves of economic recession by eating the food you purchased at yesterday’s prices.  Having a supply of food would help you make adjustments to your spending more slowly.
  • Unexpected Bills:  Have you ever been hit with an unexpected bill?  Health concerns?  New transmission? Water leak in the bathroom?  Hopefully you have liquid savings that can cover these things, but if not, your food storage can allow you to cut back on your grocery spending until you are able to get your bills under control.

Everyday Emergencies
Just as important in my book are the every day “emergencies.”  These are things that happen to each of us every week. In the moment, they often really do feel like mini emergencies. They add increased stress and last minute adjustments to our lives.  Having foods storage in these situations simply makes our lives easier.  As I’ve used my food storage in these types of “emergencies,” I’ve become more and more committed to the concept of creating my own home store.  It really does go far beyond natural disasters.  Here are just a few ways in which food storage has made my life easier lately:

Sickness
I was recently sick and trying to care for my sick husband and two daughters.  I simply did not have the time or energy to go grocery shopping or cook involved meals. Luckily, I didn’t have to.  I simply created meals out of my food storage that were ready in minutes.  And because I store Thrive food, these meals were well rounded, tasty, and healthy.

A friend in need
I have a friend who is dealing with morning sickness right now and is also trying to care for her other four children.  I wanted to do something for her.  I was able to make her some freezer meals using our food storage without increasing our weekly grocery spending.  I’ve also been able to make last minute meals for others who are sick or mourning or recovering because I have all the ingredients on hand.

Missing ingredients
It has been months since I have had to run to the store in the middle of baking for a missing ingredient.  I have shortening, butter, and eggs all in powdered form.  I have most common veggies in freeze dried form.  If I’m out of the fresh ingredient, I simply use my food storage.  No more stress!

No time for dinner
All my children are under five years old, so I have yet to experience the insanity that is the world of a “soccer mom,” but I’ve been told it is nuts at dinner time.  Even without that in my life yet, dinner time can be nuts.  Four kids under four seem to have a lot of needs right around 4:30 pm.  Keeping freeze dried meats and produce in your food storage can allow you to make quick, healthy meals (that taste like fresh) in just minutes.  The freeze dried versions of these products are all pre-cooked and pre-chopped, yet they contain the same nutrients as fresh and taste just as good.  You can avoid fast food and still feed your family on the go.

Food waste
Okay, maybe this isn’t exactly a mini “emergency,” but it is a serious thing.  How much food do you waste each week?  I  mean the stuff you throw out simply because it went bad before you could get to it?  I used to waste half the celery each time I bought it just because I didn’t need it all for my recipe!  I also often threw out onions and tomato paste, blueberries, or broccoli, etc.  Now, I store all those items in my food storage, and they have an average 20 year shelf life!  No more wasted food!

So, here it is again, my first newbie food storage tip:

Food storage isn’t just for natural disasters!

It can be used for job loss, unexpected bills, economic recession, as well as other mini emergencies.  I use food storage almost every day and it makes my everyday life easier.

How about you?  Have you used your food storage in less conventional ways and been glad you had it?

I am an independent consultant for THRIVE Life (formerly Shelf Reliance); a company with a mission to empower others to become self reliant, prosperous and charitable.  You can learn more about THRIVE Life (formerly Shelf Reliance), buying their products, earning fre products, or selling their products on my THRIVE Life (formerly Shelf Reliance) website.