Storing food, say a month or two’s worth, is no longer the habit of a fringe group of Doomers. Everyday moms, survivalists, and homesteaders alike are all taking better care in preparing their pantries. In this article we'll talk about 13 Tips that will increase your food storage success and help you form good habits!
2. Do your best to protect stored food from the enemies of food storage. All of these will cause your food to deteriorate more quickly: heat, humidity, pests, oxygen, light and time. Heat is the worst enemy of all, so do everything you can to store the bulk of your food in the coolest part of the house.
3. Try a few new varieties of food from companies that specialize in long term food storage, but first, buy the smallest containers possible for a taste test. With each purchase, check for flavor, fresh-looking color, and then use that food in multiple ways to see if it’s a good fit for you. Freeze dried corn is a great example, and I buy it, knowing that we can use it in chowders, stew, my Mexican rice recipe, and a whole lot more. The more versatile a food is, the more value it has.
4. Don’t stock up on foods that will disappear once the kids find them! At first, I stocked up on things like juice boxes and granola bars, only to find that they had mysteriously disappeared, leaving only the wrappers behind! My kids saw them and figured, “Hey, Mom’s finally buying the good stuff and hiding it from us!”
5. Buy what you actually like and will use and resist the temptation to stock up on something just because it’s super cheap on double coupon day! At one point I had about 15 bottles of salad dressing that we never used and 2 years later, they were all such a disgusting looking color that I threw them out.
6. Do keep your food storage area(s) free from pests. Diatomaceous Earth sprinkled around the floorboards of your pantry area is a good, non-toxic method for controlling pests. I also set out small containers of cornmeal mixed with borax as a safe way to kill off bugs. Given enough time, a really determined rodent can chew through the plastic of a 5-gallon bucket, so keep an eye out for rodent droppings.
7. Stay focused on buying food that can be used in multiple recipes rather than just-add-hot-water meals. Those quick meals are fine for short term emergencies, but you want a pantry that will contain healthy ingredients for delicious meals— more of a long-term solution.
8. Set a goal of collecting 12 new recipes that you and your family love that require only shelf-stable ingredients. If you already have a good start on a balanced food storage pantry, you’ll find that you already have many of the required ingredients stored. With fresh, new recipes, you’ll spare your family of food fatigue if you are ever completely reliant on that stored food.
9. Start rotating that stored food, if you haven’t done this already. This is simply the process of using the oldest food on the shelf and replacing it with new food. If you’re conscientious about food storage conditions, heat, especially, your food will stay fresher longer, but if you have food that is more than 5 years old, begin using and replacing it.
10. Stock up on comfort foods. If your kids love macaroni and cheese, buy macaroni in bulk and repackage it for longer shelf life or buy it from a food storage company that has already removed the oxygen and sealed it in a can. Buy cheese, butter, and milk powders, and you’ll be able to make that mac-n-cheese years from now without having to buy any fresh ingredients! Chocolate chips, jelly beans, and other candies are other comfort foods to consider.
LEARN MORE: Use a vacuum sealer, like a Food Saver, to repackage foods like nuts, chocolate, and more. Here are my video instructions:
11. Don’t get lazy when it comes to repackaging food! Rule of thumb: if a food comes in a cardboard or flimsy plastic bag, it must be repackaged.
12. Add a little something to your food storage every time you go to the store, even if it’s just a single can of store brand soup. It really does add up over time.
13. There’s more to life than food, so also include cleaning supplies (white vinegar, baking soda, and bleach) and toiletry items. These categories lend themselves very well to coupon shopping.
Sources: The Survival Mom