Saturday, March 6, 2010

Better at Your House...Than at the Store...

On a regular basis I run into people that see me as the "food storage guy" who ask me food storage questions.  During the conversation I probe...and  ask them how their food storage is coming along.  Many have similar responses. They want to start food storage...but seem to be waiting until they have the ideal situation to start.

They say things like...

"First...I want to build some shelves so that we can rotate the cans".

"I need to clean out underneath our beds first so we have a place to put the food".

"When I can free up some time...I'm going to go out to the cannery and put some food in cans".

"There is a certain kind of container I want to find for our water storage".

"I'm new to storing food...I want to make sure that I am doing it the best way before I get started".

"I want to do a cost comparison of the places I like to shop before I overpay for something".

While I do think that proper planning is wise...and that all of these statements have merit...I have great concern that there are many who "almost" get started...but never do.  Inevitably...I run into these people again...months or years later...and I ask them if they got all the stars to align to get started.  "No...not yet" they sheepishly reply..."but we will!!"

They have good intentions...they know it is important...but the demands and distractions of the day relegate this important task to a lower position on their to-do list. Days turn into weeks...weeks into months...months into years and yet their good intentions do not filled their pantry shelves. Occasionally they are reminded of the danger they are in when they catch the news of our day...but again...the "cares of this life" lull them back to sleep...and so they remain exposed to the dangers associated with calamities that can occur overnight.

It's Not Rocket Science

The thing is...short term food storage doesn't have to be a complicated procedure...

The church is advising us to start with a 3 month supply of what we normally eat...and to store water.

That means grab some extra cans of food when you shop at the store...and more of what you like to eat that is shelf stable (won't spoil too quickly).

Storing water doesn't require that you invest all kinds of money into buying big 55 gallon drums.  It can easily be accomplished by rinsing out and filling up some pop and juice bottles with tap water!  How to do it is described at

Now...when it comes to long term can buy premade long term storage items. Places like Walton Feed can ship you all you might want...already packaged to be put away for decades.

If you are wanting to save money...or want to practice your skills of can do it yourself (like I do).  You might check out my caveman food storage article for details on a really inexpensive way to do long term storage.

As far as any space concern guess is that anyone who says "I don't have a single place to put any food"...or "I want a good rotating system first" or something to that effect...will be able to think a lot of places they could have made it work...when they need to live on that stored food and have none.

Better at Your House...Than at the Store...

I purchase my long term storage food in spurts.  This last week for example..I went to the bulk foods section at Winco and picked up six 25lb bags of various beans that I had ordered (pictured above!). Honestly...I don't know when I am going to get to storing them for long know...with oxygen absorbers and all that jazz. Frankly I'm not really concerned about it. Just having them in my home gives me a lot of peace of mind knowing that I have more to feed my family. They may sit in a closet for a few weeks...or more...before I get to putting them away. In fact...I haven't even ordered the mylar bags that I plan on putting them in!  For now...I will pour the beans into some cleaned grade buckets I picked up at the donut shop until I get around to putting them away for long term.

Am I afraid of mice...not really. Do I fear bugs getting the beans...not really. Do I think that the beans will go bad?...No I don't. In fact...there is a good chance that many of the beans will be used in soups and with other foods before I get to putting them away for long term. Maybe they will never even see long term storage!

The truth is that many or most long term products aren't going to go bad overnight or even over an extended period of time if they aren't stored in long-term airtight containers. If they are kept cool and dry...and away from pests...there should be some time to work out the details.

I am not advocating just keeping all of your long term storage in the bags they came in...what I am saying is that I would rather see people not put off storing food for the perfect conditions...and to just buy the food...and have it in their homes...until it can be put away long term or find a place to put it.  Perhaps they will be tripping over a pile of bags of lentils and rice for a month in the hallway.  Maybe that constant reminder might get them to build some shelves!...or to take care of whatever other concern they have.  At least they would have food to eat.

Let's not wait for some perfect "Someday" to get food stored.  You want it in your home...not on the store shelves when disaster strikes.  Wrestling some soccer mom over the last can of vegetable soup at the store is a fight you might not win!


  1. Thanks for the reminder to not look for the perfect conditions, or all the stars to align before being obedient. Perfect conditions will not feed our families, but obedience will!

  2. very inspiring article... if you are going to a church that encourages you to store food, as you mention, this is a great thing for your church to be telling their members! I love the section about how it's better for the food to be at your home than at the grocery store.. so true. Thanks for the great content!