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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Food Storage Basics

Storing food is an essential task that many people overlook. While most readers already know the importance of having a well stocked pantry, a large portion of the world remains unprepared. The economic collapse is truly a global concern and the need to prepare knows no country.

Sadly, the powers that be have been extremely successful in training the masses that dependence on government is more important that self reliance.  We are, more than likely, heading to an economic condition that will rival the days of the great depression. Evidently, people were far more prepared then, than they are now.

In these days of record unemployment many struggle with the notion of stocking a pantry. An often repeated question that is raised is, "How can I afford to buy extra when I can barely make ends meet?" This problem is easily solved when approached from the perspective of a lifestyle choice. Once a person internalizes the mindset required to embrace the prepper's lifestyle the rest will by nature fall into place. The familiar excuses and obstacles that prevent most people from prepping fall to the wayside once you determine that this is how you are going to live.

Prepping is not a problem that has an overnight solution. Nor can you buy your way out of trouble. It is a life long commitment to yourself and your family. It is the decision to ,"always be learning," and a commitment to stand on your own two feet, regardless of the occasion. With that said there are a few tried but true rules that will help you assemble a first class pantry that would make your depression era relatives jealous.

Rule #1-Track what your family actually uses. Take about a month and determine what foods your family actually consumes. Once you get an idea on your consumption pattern it becomes relatively easy to determine how much you need of each item.

Rule #2- Only buy what your family eats. There is nothing worse than surviving the end of the world as we know it with food you can barely stomach to get down. During a crises foods that you are familiar with are a welcomed comfort. Naturally, in a worst case scenario you should eat whatever you get your hands on but, if you have time to prepare you might as well stock what you like. Remember the movie Zombieland, all Tallahassee wanted was a twinkie. Sometimes a twinkie can change your perspective.

Rule #3- Rob 'em blind. Since you've taken the time to assemble a list of supplies you consume on a monthly basis use the system against itself. You know exactly what you want. Clip coupons and browse the sales papers to maximize your savings. Often you can legally acquire your goods for free. It takes work but I do it all the time. Once you start paying attention you will realize the patterns they use to lure you in. Loss leaders are items that the store has deeply discounted so that they actually lose money when you purchase the item. The trade-off, for them, is that you will also buy many other items, at a profit. Get your timing right and you can save a ton of money.

Rule #4- First in, first out. Always, always, always rotate your food. Pay attention to expiration dates. I actually mark my dates in black permanent marker, just to be sure.

Rule #5- Never buy more than you can consume. What good does it do you if you buy a hundred cans of beans and half of them rot in the cans because you couldn't use them? Think, plan and then shop.

Rule #6- Pay it forward. If you do buy too much and you know you will not use it, bless someone who needs the help.We're all in this struggle together.

By following these simple steps and acquiring your goods slowly over time you can quickly assemble and stock a worthwhile pantry and never even notice, in regards to your wallet.