Thursday, September 25, 2008

Food Friday

As a member of my Church, I have learned my entire life to be prepared. To live frugally, save, make do, and think ahead. One of the recommendations I have always known is to have a one-year supply of food on hand. Many in the Church call it food storage. My in-laws prefer the term food "supply", since storage indicates that you get it, throw it in the basement and never think of it again (which happens a lot). Food supply indicates that you use it, rotate it, and don't waste it. The current recommendations are that you have on hand a 3 day supply of water, a 3 month supply of all food you would eat, and a 1 year supply of essentials.

There are a million reasons to accept this counsel. It is wise to be prepared. I have heard many, many stories of people who have needed and used their food supply at different times. Growing up, my father lost his job for a time, and with my mother not working and 5 children, they have told me many times how grateful they were to have their supply of food to use when finances were exceptionally tight.

It finally occured to me not long ago, that it is up to ME to make sure we have our own food supply. I am the Home Manager, the purchaser of groceries, planner of meals, etc. If we don't have it, and there comes a time when we need it, I will have no one to blame but myself. So I have made sputters and starts over the past couple months, but now it is time to get serious. So I am starting a weekly "Food Friday" feature where I catalog what I have done each week to achieve my goals. It may be a storage tip, a freezer recipe, or a motivation to get re-charged, but I am going to try to make some sort of progress each week.

Here is what I want to eventually achieve:
  • 3 day supply of water (1 gal/person/day) = 15 gal
  • 30 freezer meals
  • 3 month supply of non-perishables
  • 1 year supply of basic necessities

Here is what I have:

Pathetic, I know. But at least we have peanut butter. And oil. I mean, what else do you need? Some black cherry citrus fresca? Got it!

So this week I did two things. While I was at Costco, I bought 3 (25 lb) bags of flour. I want to start making more bread items from scratch, so we use the flour and don't have to buy as much. I am not good at making sandwich bread, but I am pretty good at rolls, pizza dough, tortillas (well, Kydon does those), and sweets. I also bought 2 frozen lasagnas to add to my freezer meals, and I made an appointment to go to our canning center in October to can some flour, powdered milk and sugar.

That is progress! And now I am posting here. I encourage anyone who is interested to join with me! We can help and give each other ideas and motivation. I am pretty much starting from scratch, and plan to go pretty slow, so no one should feel behind!


Mandy-Joe-Chase-James said...

I recently got the same bug--and just this week decided that I shouldn't put off getting some kind of supply together--so I canned a few tomatoes, and dryed some apples--we had stake conference a few weeks ago and someone said a good way to start is just while you are out shopping get a few extra of some the things you are buying--and slowly but surely you will gain a food "storage" that you know you will use and like. So good luck on your adventure--if I have any other ideas I will be sure to pass them on.

Colleen said...

I would also like to keep adding to my food supply. I build it up, and then we eat it! My committment is to get some water storage -- the storage I bought last year is gone, so next paycheck I am buying water.

TheVillamorFamily said...

Too funny...I just(10 minutes ago) emailed 3 friends from my branch to do the exact same thing! So I will definately do this with you. A few years ago I wrote down everything we ate for one idea was I could then put together a list of meals and groceries that could be multiplied by 3, 6, or 12 to see how much we would need for a period of time. Like Colleen said...the problem is we eat it up!!

I like the idea of 3 month supply though but sometimes I feel like Heavenly Father is saying "now I told you this for so aren't doing it so here is the same counsel a little simplier" but I am thankful for the little nudge!

my goal for next month is rotate out my 72 hour kits. My sister and I decided to use conference weekends as our time to rotate out the food and clothes. I think I will add water storage as well. We need to empty out our big water barrell and fill it back up again.

sorry for the long comment!

Adam and Lisa said...

I have been shopping the BOGO free sales at Publix to stock up on things like spaghetti sauce and canned veggies. And I have been doing like others said - buying 2-3 extras when I am at the store. Then when I open one, I put it on my grocery list to buy another. What I did was go through and make a list of food basics that we need (flour, sugar, baking soda, etc) and then I pick something every shopping trip to buy extras of. It has worked pretty well, in that I now have a lot of "basics". Now I am trying to get our 72 hour kits ready and we are thinking of rotating the stuff every conference weekend. I also need to do water storage - get a couple of those jugs from Home Depot. Oh, and cash. That is something else we are working on having on hand. So much to do, it can see overwhelming!!

Astarte said...

I need to do this, too. I've thought about it before, but always mu next thought is a head-in-the-sand thing, like 'oh, seriously, that's a little overboard', but it's not. There's no excuse for us to not be prepared, and you're right, as house managers it's up to us to do it. I, for one, do not ever want to have to look into my children's thirsty eyes and explain why I was too cheap or lazy to get them some water in preparation for some disaster.

Melinda & Matt said...

Great minds must think alike--or procrastinating ones :) Matt and I had already started listing what we still need for 72 hr kits and are planning on putting everything together during conference. Then today I bought 2 5lb containers of oil and 2 25lb bags of flour at Sams!

My biggest problem is organizing what I have so I know what I need...I guess it is time to organize the basement!

Cecilee said...

Ok. I totally started laughing at what you already have.... It's just funny because I think its similar to a lot of us. In fact, I have the peanut butter, jelly and crackers in my 72-hour kit. But that's about it.

Anyway, I'm so glad you are posting this and I love the idea to do it once a week. I will be checking to see what you do and maybe I'll post my ideas as well. I think you are right about doing a little each week and staying focused. Thanks for the encouragement!!

Elaine said...

Shanna, sean is the emerg. prep guy in our ward, and he shared a quote with the H.P. quorum a couple of weeks ago that said somethign along the lines of the mother/wife in the home will be the one to get storage in place, of course with the support of her husband. If you want the quote, I'll find it for you! My shoulders just got a little heavier...:) but it must be possible, right?

Shanna said...

I have decided to shelve the 72 hour kits. They are no longer officially 'recommended'. I still think they are a good idea, but I want to focus on the other things for now.

Elaine, maybe that quote is saying 'we've given up trying to get the men to do it. If it does get done, the wife will be the one to do it'? ha, ha. :) I actually don't mind being the one to take it on. I can pretty easily incorporate it into things I am already doing- meal prep, grocery shopping, basement organizing, etc. I just needed to finally realize that it was under my responsibilities- I no longer had a mom in my house to do it for me!

The Clanton Gang said...

I'm with ya! If we don't do it, who will?