Home Food Storage
Anyone else out there doing SERIOUS home food storage? Please share your frugal ideas on the subject. I can always use more real life experiences and good resources.
I've been storing beyond a well-stocked pantry for several years now and I'm sure the value of the food has earned more "interest" than if it would have been in the bank, considering how much food has increased. Once I got serious, it took 18-months to accomplish on a $200/month food budget, to set aside enough food for at least 1-year.
Three levels of food storage:
#1 - 72-hour Emergency Foods - foods that don't require heating or refrigerating from all the food groups. Portable.
#2 - Pantry Foods - Items I need for preparing food each day. Amounts for 6-12 months.
#3 - Long-term Emergency Foods - Mostly in #10 cans for long storage times. Powdered, freeze-dried, dehydrated and vacuum-sealed foods, as well as dry goods (grains/beans/seeds). At least enough for one year, and many of the "Seven Survival Foods" (grains, legumes, sprouting seeds, sweetener, salt, oil, and powdered milk) I have more than one year in storage.
There are many methods to accomplish this task, many good books written on the subject, lots of on-line information, but the important thing is to give it some consideration and see if it's right for you. The old story of the "Grasshopper and the Ant" comes to mind.
If you've thought about this, but didn't exactly know where to start, perhaps you'll get some ideas.
Now that the food storage is established I am fine-tuning things. One thing I'll be doing beginning January is reducing the amount I spend on food. In 2009 it was $200/month. In 2010 I reduced it to $150/month, and for 2011 it will be $100/month (fingers crossed as I become a food bargain specialists to the max...;-) - for two adults.
-Food is only purchased at rock-bottom prices, so I generally get more for my money than folks who shop for what they need or want.
-Make all baked goods and "convenience" foods. I store wheat and variety of grains/seeds/beans and mill my own flour for even more savings. With ideas such as "Gifts In A Jar" type recipes, I can make my own "convenience" mixes.
-Storage is restricted to real food - basic food, not a lot of convenience foods.
-I store food with nutrition in mind. Empty calories never fed anyone.
I hope there is some good discussion in this thread.