Are you interested in starting a home food storage system, but feel overwhelmed with the process? Are you clueless about what kind of foods to store and where to put them? Food storage doesn’t have to be a daunting task and you don’t have to accomplish the job in a day or even a week or a month. Take it step by step, and before you know it, you will have your own home food storage system.
Decide where in your home you will keep your food storage. The best place is one that does not reach extreme temperatures and is dry. A basement is a good place to keep food storage and a garage might be a good choice too, depending on where you live. If you have extra storage space in your kitchen pantry, food will store perfectly well there too.
You may need to purchase or build some shelving to store your food. For those just starting a food storage system, a simple shelf will be fine and more can be added as your food storage grows. Small can organizers that allow cans to be stacked on top of each other and roll forward when one is moved, can be purchased to maximize space and efficiency.
Next, you need to choose what you will store. Many food storage experts recommend certain foods for your food storage. They have research and reason behind their suggestions, but those foods will do you no good if you don’t eat them. The most important thing in choosing foods to store is choosing foods you actually eat.
One of the best ways to find out what you eat is to make a list of ten to twelve of the recipes you prepare the most. Don’t worry about what you’d like to eat, just focus on what you have eaten multiple times in the last six months. These will be dishes like spaghetti, meatloaf, tacos, and lasagna.
Once you have your list of recipes, list out the ingredients for each recipe. Some of the ingredients will be non-perishable, or shelf-stable items. These are the first things you want to add to your food storage. They will be canned goods and dry goods.
To take this exercise to the next level, figure out how many times a year you think you will eat these meals. Let’s say you decide you will eat each of your most popular meals each once a month. That means each meal will be prepared twelve times a year. Simply multiply all your non-perishable ingredients by twelve, and you’ve got the beginnings of a 1 year food storage.
Make this information into a list you can keep in the kitchen or on the fridge. Watch for sales or start purchasing these items in bulk. You don’t need to go and buy them in one fell swoop. Consider adding a few extra items to your grocery cart each week and storing them away. Eventually you will have a years supply for your most-prepared meals.
Granted, should a natural disaster come and leave you on your own for a few weeks, you won’t necessarily be baking lasagna with out fresh ground beef. However, if you have pasta and canned spaghetti sauce, you will be prepared to make a tasty pasta marinara.
The saying holds true for food storage, “use it or lose it.” If you spend the extra money to build up your food storage and let it sit for several years, it will no longer be good to eat. Vitamins and minerals are depleted from dry and canned goods over time. Canned food may become discolored and take on a funny taste.
Using the oldest food item and replacing it with a new one is called “rotation.” By moving your food through this rotation, you keep your food storage fresh and full. No matter how good of a deal you get on a food item, it’s wasted money if it sits on a shelf for 5 years and then gets thrown away.
Use what you have in your home food storage, then replace and you will always have an updated and usable food storage.