Thursday, February 18, 2010

Shopping From Your Food Storage

This is not my house. I promise you it is not my food storage supply. BUT, it is definitely an inspiration to me! If only I had the means to stock up like this!!!!!

Even if you don't have a garage or large walk-in pantry that will fit shelves & oodles of food like these pictures show, you can still stock up a couple month's worth of food. You don't have to go out and buy 50lbs of wheat and 50 lbs of sugar to get by or help you out in the event of a short-term emergency, like job loss, or a tight financial week on the homefront.

The wheat & sugar bulk stockpiling is designed for long-term storage, or to at least sustain life. It's not necessary for short-term food storage. It's much easier to stockpile a couple month's worth of food that we know we're going to eat. Save the "sustain life" food for your long-term storage.

So what should be in your short-term food storage? Store what you eat! Yes, you can store the items that you are used to eating and cooking on a regular basis. The next time you go shopping, plan your menu in advance, and plan to buy twice as much of the nonperishable items when you add them to your grocery list.

For instance, plan your menu for just one week and write down the groceries that you will need for exactly one week.

Let's say, after planning your menu, you write down that you need 3 cans of corn, 3 cans of cream of mushroom soup, 1 box of cereal, etc. And all that you wrote down is enough for one week. Good. Now double the amount and write it on your grocery list.

Your second set of purchases won't go into the back corner of a dark closet (that's where you'll store the 50lb buckets of wheat & sugar! lol). Instead, plan on eating these items, the second set of your purchases, next in line. So when you use up the 3 cans of corn, 3 cans of cream of mushroom soup, and 1 box of cereal, you automatically have a fresh supply ready for you to eat, and you don't have to make a quick trip to the grocery store because you ran out of food!

Instead, you can shop from your own store! You planned a week's worth of meals, but instead you brought home two weeks' worth from the store. If something were to "come up" (i.e. unexpected medical bills, job loss, a family going through a tough time & you want to make a meal for them) you already have extra stored up.

Buying double of any freezables may be beneficial, too, just keep in mind that if you lose power for long-term (36 hours or more) then you may lose what you bought.

As buying extra becomes familiar to you, plan ahead even further by planning two week's or even a months' worth of meals. This will really help you build up your short-term stockpile. If you've planned a month's worth of meals, and doubled the amount of groceries to buy on your list, then you bring home two months' worth of meals! See? Now you've got your short-term stockpile! (it only needs to be 2 or 3 months' of food)

Continue rotating through your stockpile (note this doesn't mean stop buying food altogether; shop from your stockpile, but still purchase items as they are marked down or on sale, to keep up the supply). A permanent marker is a very helpful tool for going through your stockpile. You can use the marker to write the expiration dates in a very conspicuous spot on the can, box, or container. When you do bring home groceries, put the items with the farthest expiration date in the back of the shelf; those with the soonest expiration date go in the front so they get used up first.

The Shelf Reliance System. I'm drooling just looking at it. It will be mine...oh yes, it will be mine!

You can use this same system--doubling your purchases--for nonfood items such as soap, toilet paper, or items that you can use in your Dental First Aid Kit. :) And you don't have to double up every week. Try every month, or every quarter. Use the system that works best for you.


  1. One of these days, I really want one of those Shelf Reliance systems, too!!

  2. Yes, such pretty pantries! I just wanted to share that this last month, I've dropped our grocery bill quite a bit, by cooking from scratch, and at the same time have been grabbing several of items we use a lot. The cupboard we use for the pantry is now brimming with breakfast cereal, tomato sauce, etc. as is our freezer. Now, everything I"m using is from an excellent sale price. This REALLY works. (Family of 5, with three teens, down from about 250 week, to about 150 a week, incl. TP and dogfood.)

  3. Woohoo, Kerry!!!! Great job! And I'm sure your family appreciates all the home-cooked meals, too. :)


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