Sunday, November 15, 2009

Stock Up Your Pantry - Be Prepared!

It is always a good idea to keep at least a few weeks worth of food for your family in your pantry (if you don't have a pantry, any cool, dark place will do - your garage or basement is the perfect spot as long as the items wont get wet, or even a spare corner in your closet!).  The best choices for storing are freeze-dried food, dry beans and rice, and making your own preserves and your own "canned" food using glass jars - Lehman's CLICK HERE has a wealth of tools for beginner and advanced canners!  If you don't have the time to make your own preserves and aren't quite ready to take on storing the dried food, canned food from the store is the next best thing (although new studies have shown that the liner in most canned food contains BPA and probably the longer it stays in the can, the more time it has to leech into your food, so be aware of that).  So, with the canned food, you will want to cycle through it faster than the other options. Replace the items you eat with each shopping trip, but never go below a few weeks worth of food still at home at any one time.
The goal is to slowly work your way up to more and more food stored so that eventually, you have a year's worth of food for your family so that you are ready for anything.  You don't have to buy the food and stockpile it away - you can be eating it and replacing it as you go, so you never have any food that is too old and you don't feel like any food is going to waste.  We also bought these cool packs of freeze-dried food from costco, Thrive brand, that have a 20-year shelf life and they are compactly packaged in sealed containers.  They arrived on our doorstep and I kept them in the box they came in and put them on a shelf in our garage - easy!
Don't forget to add some snacks and spices too!  You don't want to get burned out on boring beans and rice!  Dried fruit, cocoa powder, candy with a long shelf life, jerky, etc. are great additions so that you don't get bored of your food in an emergency which could get you negative about the situation - you must stay positive!
 There are some coupons available right now to stock up on canned food and you can print out a few before your print limit has been reached... but if you have multiple computers, it will allow to to print your limit from each computer.

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