Saturday, September 10, 2011

Five Things That Changed The Way I Do Food Storage

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There are so many topics to cover when it comes to Food Storage and Emergency Preparedness.  So when I attended a great class Tuesday at Honeyville Grain called "Five Things That Will Change Your Mind About Food Storage", taught by the store manager Lisa Barker, it got me thinking about how to narrow down the list of all the topics of preparedness to just 5.  Lisa's 5 things are very similar to the 5 things that changed the way I do food storage and also how it has simplified my food storage. (I'll list her ideas at the end of the post) My food storage journey really began on September 11, 2001.  I remember the panicked feeling after watching the Twin Towers fall and then watching the other planes crashing into the Pentagon and in Pennsylvania, and thinking this is it!  The world is ending!  The reason I felt so panicked was I had a 6 month old, 22 month old and a 4 year old and I didn't have more than a week's worth of anything.  My baby was strictly on formula and I only had the one can of formula we were using. I grabbed the kids and went to the grocery store and bought food, paper goods, formula, you name it and I probably bought it.  

As time went by and life looked like it was going to continue I really felt the need to start and continue a food storage program.  I started with basics and had things like flour, but I really didn't know how to store it and rotate it.  I went through several ways of storing my long-term items like a Rubbermaid container.  What I didn't realize was I needed to have a meal plan to create my 3-month supply and I was still cooking whatever sounded good that day for dinner.  I wasted so much food and was really frustrated.  So I know that I was inspired by Spirit when an idea came to me one Sunday afternoon, and that was to create a menu plan with an ingredient list.  I wrote down every meal that my family ate and then I made an ingredient list of all the items from those meals.  NOW I had a built in shopping list and I could buy my ingredients when they went on sale and have a pantry full of food that I used on a daily basis.  I keep this all in a binder with sheet protectors for each meal.  This has worked now for several years for me and I can tweak it as I go and add or subtract recipes when I find them.

My ingredient list that goes with my dinner meal plan.

The ingredient list I made helps me to see exactly what I need to have in my storage room for a 3-month supply.  I just multiply the item by 3 (which is more than a 3-month supply, but more is better, right?)  and I purchase that quantity.  The CASE LOT sales that are going on right now are a PERFECT time to purchase items for your pantry!!! { Click HERE to view the grocery list.} Because if your plan is to come to my house you will probably be disappointed to find that I make you work for free food :)  hahaha :)  All kidding aside you really do need a plan for your family!!

So here are my 5 things that changed my mind about food storage:
  1. Making a meal plan, ingredient list and shopping for items when they are on sale!!
  2. Using the Food Saver to preserve my dehydrated food, spices, chocolate chips, candy, etc. 
  3. Gamma Lids!!  These lids have made my life sooooo much easier!  I can open a bucket of wheat just by unscrewing the gamma lid and the resealing it without having to pry open those lids that come with the buckets. 
  4. Canning and dehydrating my own food at home!  I never knew how easy it was to can your own meat!  Click HERE to view a previous post on canning meat.  I have also learned to dehydrate almost anything I can get my hands on and then sealing the food in a mason jar with the food saver.  
  5. Wheat!  I have loved learning about all the things that wheat can do!  You can grind it into flour, cook it into a cereal, sprout it into a vegetable, crack it and cook it, etc. I am continually amazed at what wheat can do! Making my own bread has been such a fun learning experiment.  Click HERE to see the recipe I use. 
There you have it!  The five things that changed my mind about food storage and here are Lisa's 5 things:
  1. Store what you what you store!
  2. Canning my own foods.
  3. Freeze Dried Foods
  4. FoodSaver, Meals in a jar
  5. I Dare You To Eat It, and It's In the Bag Plans 
EDUCATION IS POWER!!!! And don't forget about the goals for September. Click HERE to view them.


  1. Hey, Julene: I've switched to gamma lids on all our pails and now my wife can't open any of them. Even when I just "spin" them tight, she struggles to open them. Any looser and they won't be sealed. So I'm at a loss. I don't see any commercially available gamma lid opening tools, so I'll make something myself. Have you heard of others who struggle to open the lids, or who might have built tools to make it easier? Thanks again for all your posts!

    1. Hmmmm....I've never had any issues opening the gamma lids. Even my kids can open them. Maybe I'm not that strong...haha. Maybe when you're closing them don't spin then too fast. That way they won't seal too tight to open easily later. I don't really spin them closed,I just manually turn them until they are just tight. Hopefully that will help.


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