It is important to have some extra food stored away for a “rainy day”. You would be surprised how helpful a well stocked pantry or storage area can be. Of course, it is best to have supply of food and other items on hand in case of some sort of natural disaster. However, the reality is that there will be days when you are too sick or your kids are too sick to go out to the store for some chicken noodle soup and jello. Having a supply on hand can really save the day.
How do you build up your food storage reserves? The answer is a little bit at a time. It will take about 6 months to stock up doing it this way, but it is worth it. Not only will your pocketbook thank you, but the task will be a little less overwhelming.
The best way to begin building up your food storage reserves is simply to purchase extra supplies as they go on sale. For example, you might purchase 2 more cans of tomato sauce than you actually need. Keep what you need in your pantry, and put the rest into your storage area.
I have found it is best to separate the food, especially when you have kids. This is because I have found that if I buy more food, my kids will eat more food. I know from talking to other moms that have a food storage plan that this happens to them too. Therefore, I have found it necessary to lay down some ground rules. My children know that whatever is in the kitchen pantry is “fair game” for eating! Whatever is in the storage area is off limits unless they ask first.
I have also gotten in the habit of stocking the pantry when we get any “extra” cash. For example, part of the tax return goes to stocking the pantry each year.
A small note: having a food storage area does not mean it is ok to hoard food or to get upset if you need to use your food storage items. This is the purpose of having some extra food in storage–to use it when you need to use it. My great-grandmother lived through the Depression and struggled to feed her 5 children and disabled husband. After the Depression was over and their financial situation leveled out, she started to purchase large quantities of pasta “just in case”. When she passed away in the early 1980‘s, the family was shocked to discover that the basement was full of pasta. It appeared that she had bought pasta for over 40 years and never ever used any of it! Of course, most of the food had gone bad by that time and it had to be thrown out. The mental images of my grandmother and mother throwing away damaged food is something that has always stayed with me, even to this day. Because of that, I make a habit of donating to the food bank regularly from my food supply. I also check the supply regularly and use food before it gets moldy or spoiled.
Do you have extra food stored for your family? If not, you might want to consider creating a food storage plan and taking steps to purchase extra food at the store or the bulk food store. The sooner you start, the sooner you will have a full pantry.