Planning for one year of food storage is a great way to prepare for emergencies that may arise in an unstable economy. Creating a supply is important for many reasons. The prepared collection can be helpful in case of hard times. It is difficult to predict the loss of a job, a severe illness or extreme weather conditions. Having a well-thought-out and planned supply of foods can help ease the stress created by these unpredictable situations.
When beginning to undertake food storage, start with small steps. First, make a plan. Consider the need of the individual or family that the supply is for. Think about any special dietary restrictions or requirements of those who will depend on this supply. This would include infants, elderly members of a family and those with allergies or other medical needs.
Next, start with a short-term plan. Consider the foods that are frequently eaten by the household. Start with adding foods that are already on the grocery shopping list. Next time in the store, add an extra jar of peanut butter or another can of soup or vegetables to the cart. Pick these items up when they are on sale. Purchase items that can be easily rotated through one’s pantry, and quickly one will have a few months’ supplies of food on hand. Check the expiration dates on foods bought at the grocery store and rotate them accordingly.
Dry pack canning is an excellent option for the long-term storage of some items. Make note that not all foods can be packaged in this manner. Some foods like dried beans, flour and sugar are commonly packaged in this way. Foods canned like this can be stored anywhere from five years up to twenty years on a shelf.
Planning where to store a year’s supply is just as important. A pantry is not the ideal space for a year’s supply of consumables. Large amounts of food can be bulky and take up a lot of space. A dry and cool area is usually the best option for preserving canned items. Make a space in the basement or in a closet dedicated to prepared supplies. If space is limited, think out of the box. Store items under beds or cribs and in areas not filled with other things.
Having a prepared one-year food storage plan is a step towards emergency preparedness. Start with a small step and try not to get discouraged. Daily steps will slowly build the items needed to be prepared when the time comes.