Preparing yourself for the worst in life is not necessarily being a pessimistic person; it is being realistic. It is a good idea to make sure you and your family are ready for a time you may not be able to get food and water, including a financial hardship or a natural disaster. However, planning and storage for all the food, water, and other living essentials your family will need for a period of several months can take up a lot of room in your home. And it may seem overwhelming trying to decide what to have in your food storage. Here are some tips to help you find space for your food storage and decide what to stock up on so you are ready.
Find Strategic Storage Areas
Whatever size home you live in, you can find places of all sizes for food storage. You can store food in small spaces, such as under beds, in the back of closets, under the stairs, in crawl spaces, and attics. Organize food storage in larger spaces and rooms using metal or wooden shelves you can buy at most retail stores. Then, you can also store food items in your garage, backyard shed, or a storage unit. Be sure only canned and sealed containers, such as food storage buckets containing non-perishable foods, are stored in your shed or storage unit so the food does not spoil or attract pests.
A rented storage unit makes a good place to keep some or all your ever-growing food storage. Many people don't completely fill their rented storage unit and have extra space inside, which is perfect to stack food storage buckets and pallets of canned foods. If you have furniture stored inside your storage unit, you can use these surfaces to stack your food storage. A stored entertainment center has lots of shelves, nooks, and crannies to store foods. Then, the furniture will keep the foods off the floor in the event water enters your storage unit.
Determine Your Family's Needs
Once you find the space necessary to store your family's food storage, decide what items you want to put in your food storage. This process is simple and similar to making a grocery shopping list.
First, make a list of all food items your family most commonly eats, including condiments, spices, and mixes. Selecting food items and ingredients you family normally eats will make it easy for you to rotate and use your food storage, thereby eliminating any waste. It can be helpful to make a list of items you already have in your pantry. Essentially, you are buying those same items, but on a larger scale for storage.
Don't forget to list items such as cooking oils, yeast, and seasonings, including salt, pepper, and any other spices you use regularly. When you eventually use your food storage, you will still want to make the food taste good. Don't just select food items that can be stored for a long time, even though your family does not like them. It is best to keep a large amount of the foods on hand that your family likes and will eat regularly. Also, make a list of essential living items, such as deodorant, shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, lotion, flashlight batteries, children or adult medicines, such as ibuprofen or Tylenol.
After you have your list of food and non-food items, use an online calculator to figure how much you need of each item, depending on your food storage goal, and begin stocking up for your food storage. If your budget is tight, you don't need to buy large amounts at one time. You can stock up on your storage items slowly and spend as little as ten to fifteen extra dollars each week.
Figure out how much food, water, and goods each person in your family will need for your food storage. This can depend on how many months you want to be prepared for. You may make a goal to have six, twelve, or eighteen months of food storage. There are several online calculators you can use to help you decide how much food you need in storage. Then, be sure to store one gallon of drinking water per person per day with your food storage.
These tips can help you plan and store your family's food storage.