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Monday, March 15, 2010

Toilet paper

What a 'regular' family needs.....Part II

Two of the most important things for the 'regular' family to do is to store food and water! You can live without electricity or gas or toilet paper, (though not comfortably, I might add!) but you absolutely cannot live without food and water! There will never be a time where you aren't going to eat, so why not stock up?

Look honestly at your cupboards and try to figure out how long you could feed your family on what is in them. Honestly. You can't get to the store and buy anything else.....how long will your family survive? A few days? I hope you've got at least that much! But in terms of security, more food is better than less food.

Let's discuss a few reasons to stock up on food and water. If there is any disruption in delivery services, your local grocery has only 3 days of food on the shelves. If there's a panic and folks rush to the stores, they have only a few hours worth of food on the shelves. In the event of inflation/hyperinflation, buying now to eat later allows you to eat at pre-inflation prices. If you know of others in need you are able to help them with your stored foods. Food on the shelves is like money in the bank--security. When there are food recalls and shortages because of tainted food (think spinach, tomatoes, peanut butter), drought (think California, a huge food producer), or weather problems (think frozen fruit in Florida), you won't have to worry if you prepared ahead and stocked your shelves.

But, how should you build up that store of food and how much do you need? Well, if you know me, you know that my first answer is GROW IT!! Growing your own food lets you control what and how much of a certain thing you'll eat. It allows you to grow chemical-free food. It connects you to your food in a way nothing else can. After you grow your own food, learn to can, freeze, or dehydrate it so your pantry starts filling up. That is the easiest, cheapest, healthiest way to build up your stores.

Start planning your meals and writing out a shopping list so that you're buying foods that you actually use. Cut out coupons and shop sales. If you have to buy rice, green beans, and dried apples this week, make sure to buy at least one more of everything, or buy the largest size that you can afford. Put those extra cans on the shelves. After a few months of shopping this way you'll have quite a storehouse of foods that you actually use. Watch your expiration dates and rotate foods accordingly. This is the easiest way to build your pantry outside of your garden. One can at a time. (Or 2 or 3 or 5 cans at a time if you can afford it.)

Stores like CVS and Walgreens have great rebate programs where you can get many supplies free or almost free. Always check your store's clearance aisle. Does your grocery sell dinged cans on the cheap? Buy them! Can you find mark-down produce? Buy it and freeze, can, or dehydrate it! Look for any way that you can build your food stores without killing your budget. I make it a point to try and purchase clearance prepackaged foods, sale foods, or to buy something to can/freeze/dehydrate every time I go to the store. I keep food preps at the top of my priority list. Like Shelly from Ohio Preppers says, prepping is really a job. The welfare of your family deserves that kind of attention.

How much do you need to store? Matt at Kentucky Preppers did a post on a $200 food storage kit for college students. It showed how easy it was to get a 3-month supply of food without a lot of money. Is your family bigger than that? Use this great food storage calculator from the LDS church to see how much food is recommended for a family of your size with kids at various ages. (It's a great tool!)

Well, this is quite long, so I think I will come back and do another post on water tomorrow. See you then?

Prep On!
Gen-IL Homesteader