Sunday, July 22, 2012

Food Storage - How long could you avoid the grocery store?

The topic came up at work last week and I was again reminded of how ill prepared we are for any unplanned for event.

How long could you go before needed to head to the grocery store?

Most at work said they go multiple times per week just to pick up their supplies needed for meals.

What are some of the reasons one might need to curtail their trips?

  • Weather related
  • Loss of job
  • Sickness or broken bones
  • Transportation outages either yourself or those who bring shipments to the store
  • Rioting - we have seen that this immediately stops shopping and brings looting
  • Major bills or expenses that make financial adjustments beneficial

Or, what if you are looking to save time, save money, or improve efficiency?

So again, the question: How long could YOU go?

My goal in the past was to have no less than a six month supply of necessary food in the house.  Of course this does not take into consideration the desire for fresh fruits and vegetables or bread but if necessary I had canned and frozen foods to fill in the gaps.

Beyond the crisis planning I found that the best reason to have a food storage program was to save money.  My bill was literally cut in half by shopping the sales and buying bulk of the items I frequently used.  Yes, I have posted in the past on the subject but there are basic subjects that are worth a regular reminder.  My freezer was worth almost $5,000 because of the beef that was put in every fall although the cost was less than $1,000.  Pretty good return on investment wouldn't you say?

I remember my Aunt Isabel's home.  Three freezers, a canned goods storage area in the garage, and a pantry off the kitchen.  Yes, there were some draw backs and family jokes because she often kept things that long ago should have been used or tossed but we all can improve our management skills.  I used to get frustrated with my mom because her freezer was not organized.  Being the OCD that I am I would have to pull everything out and put the meat with the meat, bread with bread, etc.  She would just shake her head but had long ago learned that I could not be relaxed until it was finished.

The best thing about developing a food storage program is that you can customize it to your own family.  There are many right ways to do it.  And, yes, a few wrong ways for one does not want their best intentions to turn into an opportunity for waste.  As you have seen in previous posts my #1 item is toilet paper: who likes to run out of that?  The one thing I have found that didn't work well for food storage was Sunny D.  I once bought a case thinking it would last for a couple of months only to find that an unmentioned named child had drank the entire case in less than a week.  Who could do that?

The food storage section gives a number of other posts on the subject of food storage and the link on the right has valuable information for those who want to grow in a systematic way. 


Practical Parsimony said...

I could last for awhile, but fresh fruits, vegetables, and milk would be sorely missed. Yes, I might run out of this or that, but malnutrition or starvation or lack of vitamins or minerals would not be the problem.

At least I have fresh eggs in the back yard.

Have you ever considered canning meat in case there is a prolonged electricity outage?

Barb. said...

I'm doing a *No Buy Food* month for July, we have plenty left and could go for months before we needed to go to any shop. Like Linda says, some thing could run out but we wouldn't go hungry.


Carol Schultz said...

Barb - would be interested in hearing how it goes...hope you post again when the month is over.
Linda, I didn't get to the meat canning stage because I am afraid of pressure cookers :). But,did have some canned meat. Corned beef my fav but it has gotten expensive.

Practical Parsimony said...

I was afraid of the pressure cooker, but a friend "taught" me while I ran from the kitchen, terrified it would explode. I use coupons to get the canned chicken breast, small cans, tuna, Hormel Roast Beef, and Treet. Corned beef is delicious, but I have not thought to buy that because I would just open it and eat it because it is good. I don't have a huge stockpile of canned meats, just a few that I use even now when I am exhausted or forgot to thaw something. I probably eat a can of tuna each week and a can of the other once every six weeks.

Maybe you can get a trusted and patient friend to come to your house and "help" you can while you You could do all the cutting of meat and stuffing of jars. That way, you would be doing the majority of the work. You could be less dependent on the freezer. I intend to do this, but it is not fear stopping me.

Carol Schultz said...

It is a good idea to have canned. There is always the possibility that the freezer could lack power. We did not have generator as a back up but it is wise to do so.

Maria Burgess said...

Part of the reason I do food storage is I don't like shopping. I go in get the stuff on my list and out I get! There are things I do have to get on a regular basis but the faster I can get in and out the better. Storing items in bulk and getting a few cases of canned items we use routinely has helped us save money too. Nice article! =)

Carol Schultz said...

I get you! I don't like the grocery store either. Once a month is my ideal.