Friday, January 9, 2009

Family Home Storage - Simply Begin

Food prices are going up and so is the cost of everything else. That is enough to restore my thoughts to "being prepared."

I am a Food Storage novice. Some of you may be sailing in that same boat. Below are some quick and easy steps to steer your coarse to preparedness island. Believe me, in the days coming forth, to those looking from the outside will seem as though they wished they were on that island. Few will be prepared.

Start slow. Take a week to do each of the steps or take more than that. This is not meant to overwhelm. It is meant to prepare us so we are not overwhelmed and in need.

Where do I begin?

1. Know Your Family/Individual Needs
A great resource for knowing how to determine your needs is this free pamphlet (available online) created by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints:
All Is Safely Gathered In

Here is another helpful tool:
Food Storage Calculator

2. Budget for Preparedness
Now that you know the amount of food you will need, it is time to prepare a budget.
$5/week is a decent and simple way to begin. Now, with the rising costs of food you may need to up that amount. But I say keep your goal simple. It is quite overwhelming to think you have so much to buy.

3. Where Can I Store It?

This is something I considered while making changes to my track home when we purchased it. The powder bathroom had the option to become a full bath if I made the office into a bedroom. Instead I opted to keep it an office (no closet, but I can always add one) and the space where they would have installed a shower in my powder bathroom is now a large closet that I use for food storage.
Do not use your garage unless you plan on stacking your food storage on 2 x 4's and installing a swamp cooler (or something similar). All of your hard-earned money will go to waste because your food may likely spoil in extreme temperatures.
If your storage is minimal, find products that would be easy to store in the area you designate. Know what your limit is. There is no point in living in a home where your food takes over all of your living space. Set limits and reach for them.

Storage Options to Consider:

  • Under the Bed
  • Re-purpose a Closet
  • Storage Room (add-on to your home or convert a bedroom)
  • Book shelves (these should be very sturdy and anchored)
  • Add an air conditioned shed/unit to your backyard
  • Attic (for non-perishables like diapers, toilet paper, etc.)
  • Convert any empty/unused Space
  • Pantry or cupbaords (if you can spare them)
Recommended Temperatures

3. Where Will I Buy?
There are many ways to purchase food storage. If you are a Latter Day Saint you have a Food Storage Specialist in your Ward. They are there to educate you and provide you with upcoming lists of items that are prepared at the LDS Cannery (now called Family Home Storage Centers). Some Relief Society Enrichment activities include food storage classes, taste testing and demonstrations. If they do not you can request such a class to begin from your Enrichment Counselor/Food Storage Specialist.
**posted 1/13/09** I failed to mention that Costco & Sam's Club now sells these Emergency Food Supplies like this one (I have also seen them for sale inside the store). The price is reasonable for what you get. And it is comforting to know I have a good start.
Buying Schedule: Write out a schedule of what you will buy. You can sit down weekly/monthly or even yearly to plan. It may take extra time but will be well worth it if you already have a plan. Remember to keep track of what you do buy and what the expiration date is. Enter it into your Food Storage Tracker*.

The best thing to do is just start! As with anything we strive for, begin with small accomplishments. A one week/one month supply is better than nothing. See you on preparedness island!

Some Helpful Resources:

*If you are interested in a free Food Storage Tracker Excel Workbook to track of your food storage progress please e-mail me, . The program is amazing and was made by an LDS stake in California. Please do not sell this program. It is intended to be a help to those serious about tracking their food storage, it is not for sale.

Please add your comments below. What tips do you have for food storage?


TaraLee said...

Great post sis!

Emily said...

thanks for posting this. Very helpful - something I needed.

Rebecca said...

Great post! Another great resource is Lots of great info and products. I would love to send you a sample of Thrive food for you to try and review on your blog. If you are interested, email me at

shayla said...

Thanks for putting this together. I am certainly not where I need to be and this has given me more motivation. I have used that calculator before and it overwhelms me. 450 pounds of wheat!?! What in the world would I do with that?

If I had $7000 just laying around, I'd buy this:

But I don't. So I'm going to work on adding a few things each week. And I'm going to email you for that tracker.

Thanks again Brianna!