This store could be YOUR store faster than would ever seem possible --- even when there is just a possibility of a disaster. I will be posting ways to prepare for that eventuality on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
If you are new to this blog, please go to the What If . . .? posting category and become acquainted with the postings there. This series on foods to sustain you and your family when a need arises starts with an introduction and then each will be numbered, best to be read in order. Previous posts in this category include emergency water, lighting and waste disposal.
Photo from http://preparednesspro.files.wordpress.com/2009/07/empty-grocery-shelves.jpg.
Another approach to stocking your cupboards
HOW DO YOU EAT AN ELEPHANT?
The Same Way You Identify What You Already Have On Hand
Bite by bite or piece by piece ---- or cupboard by cupboard!
Any food you have sitting on a shelf or in the freezer is food storage! See, you have already started! It will be very helpful to know exactly what you already have. You can identify what you have, all at once if you so choose, or easier and less-overwhelming---- a "bite" at a time.
Using sheets of paper or a notebook or whatever method you choose, begin to make lists of what you have on hand: staples, canned goods, packaged items, pastas. . .
While you are doing that, you may want to make note of items that may have an outdated use-by date and move them to the front. Don't discard any of them out unless the cans are bulging, leaking or otherwise obviously beyond use. If I don't provide it before you need it, there is much information on line regarding use by dates----for now, understand most are basically attempts to get you to discard the older and buy newer.
You will probably be surprised by how much you already have, and you may be surprised to find some of the things you had forgotten you have. This inventory lets you start where you are so you can efficiently go forward.
Later, on future posts, suggestions will be given on organizing, keeping track of, and rotating your storage.
1. Compile a list of the main dishes that your family eats on a regular basis. If you have a family, you might prefer to give each person a sheet of paper and have each list their favorite regular every day main dishes.
(When our kids were at home I tried to include something from each of their lists each week.)
2. From those suggestions, select 7 main dishes that would lend themselves to storage items.
3. On a sheet of paper, list the main dishes down the left hand side, and make two columns across the top: Main Meal Menus for a Week / All Ingredients for this Meal.
4. Using the Menu/Ingredients lists, make a shopping list for just these 7 meals.
5. When you go shopping, buy at least one item from your 7-meal-shopping-list, or if possible the ingredients for one meal from your list. And there, as simply as that, your storage program as begun.
Keeping it Going!
Continue this process each time you go grocery shopping, gradually increasing your supply until you have 12 weeks worth of main meals. You will use these items on a regular basis, but the idea is to keep replacing what you use so that you always have a three month supply on hand.
Whenever possible, also buy a non-food item each shopping trip. This will allow you to stock up on those items and allow you to wait to replace them when they are on sale.