Food Storage

  • How To Get Started with Food Storage...
  • I started by trying to shop for groceries once per month.
    • I made a menu of all the meals my family would be eating that month, including snacks and deserts.  I tried out several templates for my menu, and realized that they all worked well.  You just have to decide which one works best for you.  I use this one in my planner, and love that it has all the meals, plus room to write out the ingredients.  I use this one to post on my fridge so the kids don't have to ask "Mom, what's for dinner?", plus it gives me theme ideas to work with.
    • I then took each meal, and wrote out the ingredients I would need, making sure to include base ingredients like salt and pepper. Then I took that list to the store, and when I did it right, I would only have to shop for groceries once a month.  Thus saving me time and lots of money.   
      • At this point you can multiply this list by three, to get a list of what you will need for a three month supply.  Or multiply it by 12 to get a years supply.  If you plan a whole month of dinners, your family will only repeat a meal once a month. 
      • To make this a bit more simple, you could start by writing down everything that your family eats in a week or two.  This will help you figure out what kinds of foods your family would like on the menu. 
      • For my family, we like to have pizza once a week, and my children can eat PB&J sandwiches 3 times a week with no complaints.  Use this to your advantage when making your menu. 
      • You don't have to schedule 31 different breakfast meals (I am not sure if I could think of that many).  Use meals that your family already eats and loves.  (Cereal, oatmeal, pancakes, waffles, etc.)
  • I quickly realized how many foods go bad throughout the month.  So I began changing over from fresh foods to food storage, one item at a time...
    • Bell peppers: This was my first switch, and a very easy transition.  Bell peppers are expensive to buy in the store, especially in the off season, but so good in SO many recipes.  I bought a #10 can of already diced red and green bell peppers from Thrive.  I started using several other freeze dried vegetables after having such good luck with the peppers, and the family loved it. 
    • Milk: This was the next switch I made, for cost alone.  How I switched from wet to dry, you might ask.
      I tried several kinds of powdered milk and experimented with "recipes" for making milk that my family could enjoy, not just tolerate.  I let my children help me make the milk, and told them up front that it would be different.  My final favorite powdered milk comes from the LDS cannery, and to it I add a few drops of almond extract for the drinking milk.  This milk conversion chart tells you how to dilute your powdered milk for whatever you might need to use it for.
    • Eggs: I use powdered eggs in baking, and the kids love it because they can eat the cookie dough with no worries. 
    • Meat: I love the ease and convenience of TVP in a lot of my dishes.  I add it to most of my casseroles instead of actual meat, it is cheaper, and I don't have to do any prep work.  LOVE IT! 

  • Do's
    • Buy a little extra of the things your family likes that will store well
    • Look for sales and use coupons to maximize savings
    • Store your food in a cool, dry place (pantries, closets, under beds, etc.)
    • Make sure your food is securely sealed (no one wants bugs to eat their food) 
    • Substitute food storage or whole foods when possible to boost nutritional value

  • Don'ts
    • Don't try to build up a year's supply in one shopping trip
    • Don't store your food in hot or wet places
    • Don't buy food that you/your family wont eat
    • Don't go to the store for one ingredient (you know you will buy more)
  • Recipes and Print Offs
  • Additional Resources