Have you noticed how odd the world FEELS lately?
Seems like we can't get back to "normal" (whatever that is, or was). Maybe I’m alone in my sentiments, but I’m still building up my food storage nonetheless, and you should too!
Over the past few years, I've successfully created a well-stocked pantry that could last me a while. Building a food storage doesn’t consume too much time, so don't worry! Let me help you build your food storage by providing some simple beginner tips. I've learned these over the past few years building my own food storage.
Before discussing HOW to build a food storage, let’s discuss WHY.
Why should you have a food storage?
Why not? There's little or no downside to having extra food on hand. You never know what situation you'll encounter. Maybe the government goes berserk and confines people to their homes for extended periods—get prepared. Maybe hurricanes frequent your region so grocery stores are barren before you can get there—be prepared. Job loss is another emergency a food storage can help with. All these scenarios are unpredictable, so be ready.
A while back, I was talking to a friend, who asked:
“Why should I build a food storage when I live by a grocery store?”
My brain slammed to a halt, like I just experienced a head on collision! This was AFTER the 2020 grocery store riots, during which we witnessed how delicate the supply chain is and how grocery stores become pandemonium centers, so I couldn’t help but wonder what led them to THAT conclusion.
How the heck can you rely on an unreliable system that failed in the past?
No thanks! I'm not going out to risk my life for a can of beans when the world's overlords decide to unleash havoc again—I’ll be at home cooking up some comfort food, sitting by my fire enjoying a book.
“Failing to prepare is preparing to fail”
Now that we know WHY to have a food storage, let’s discuss HOW to build one from scratch!
Tip #1 Open your cupboards and buy what you see!
Don't panic buy, especially foods you don’t like. Chances are when SHTF, you still won’t like that food, so don’t torture yourself—buy what you enjoy! Open your cupboards; whatever you see, buy more of that! Most likely, you stock what you enjoy. If you see things you don’t enjoy or that sat there a long time, use those items soon. Free up space to store what you enjoy!
Tip #2 Shop the sales
I love shopping sales, and you should too! Save time and money by bulking up on sale foods you enjoy. Whenever Walmart has sales on beans, I purchase a large quantity. This lets me bulk up all at once. Get the ads from local stores, see when the sales are, and track the prices between stores. You might be surprised to discover that your favorite grocery store is the most expensive! Do what comforts you, but sales are the best time to shop.
Tip #3 Create a middle layer of food storage
Your middle layer food storage replenishes your pantry and cupboards. This layer generally resides in totes or closets around the house and not directly in your kitchen since kitchen space is at a premium. My middle layer consists of pantry staples, canned goods, and other items that overflow from my top layer, aka the pantry. For example, whenever I run out of flour in the kitchen, I head down to my middle layer totes to retrieve a bag of flour. I make a note to replenish my middle layer goods the next time I shop.
Tip #4 Get creative with space
Your kitchen is not the only place to store food. Closets and under beds and furniture are great places to keep food storage items. In my previous house, I didn’t have a large pantry or a food storage room like my farmhouse has, so I stored food in totes around the house. I maximized the space I had by using the Mari Kondo Method of de-cluttering.
If you store food in food storage buckets, stack them and cover them with decorative sheets to use as nightstands or end tables.
Tip #5 Build up a long-term food storage layer
After you establish a top layer and middle layer of food storage, establish long term food storage. This layer contains goods that last 10-30 years. I get my bulk, long term items from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Bishop Storehouses. These goods come in #10 cans and last 25-30 years. I've purchased dried noodles, beans, oats, flour, and sugar. The prices are fair and these items are incredibly easy to store. Your long term food storage can also include pre-packaged survival food buckets or homemade Mylar bag goods. Start thinking long term about what you want to eat in the future! Food prices continue rising, so why not prepare for what's coming?
Start building your food storage NOW! By preparing, you also save money because of inflation. Who knows what will happen, but make sure you are ready for it when it does!