A Quick View of Food Storage Strategies

Follow te Prophet:

  1. Build a three-month supply of food that is part of your normal, daily diet.
  2. Store drinking water.
  3. Complete your storage with nine months of food that will last a long time and that you can use to stay alive. Begin with the church’s most recent recommendations per month: 25 lbs. grains, 5 lbs. legumes, sugar, dry milk, salt, baking soda (to soften beans), oil, and foods containing Vitamin C and other essential nutrients.
  4. Build your food storage gradually.
  5. Don’t go into debt to purchase your food storage.
  6. Store what you eat; eat what you store.
    1. Rotate your three-month supply regularly.
    2. A portion of your long-term supply may be rotated regularly.
    3. Some items can be stored for 30 years without rotation.
    4. Use the food enough to know how to prepare it.
  7. Follow the Spirit.
  8. (Remember other storage recommendations: medicines, cash, clothing, bedding, documents, and fuel where possible.)

Build your storage gradually by calendar increments.

  1. Weekly: the rule of 7. Identify 7 varieties of storable fruits, vegetables, and proteins, one variety for each day of the week. Purchase in quantities of 13 to have one each day for three months or 52 for a year. Increase the quantities as your family grows: two cans for each day (104 for the year), or three cans for each day (156 for the year), etc.
    1. Our favorite canned fruits: applesauce, mandarin oranges, pineapple, pears, peaches, fruit cocktail, and apricots.
    2. Our favorite canned vegetables: corn, green beans, carrots, asparagus, spinach, peas (or mixed vegetables), and tomatoes (sauce, paste, whole).
    3. Our favorite proteins: chicken, beef, refried beans, canned soup, pork and beans, tuna, and home-bottled hamburger.
    4. Other protein ideas: corned beef, ham, turkey, peanut butter, nuts, and Velveeta.
  2. Monthly: the rule of 12. Store the long-term basics in quantities of 3, or 6, or 12; so you can know in advance how many months of storage you have and, during a crisis, how much you may use each month for a year. If you store 12 buckets of an item in your year’s supply, then one bucket would have to last one month.

If you feel inspired, add foods beyond the recommended basics.

  1. Include baking supplies that are necessary for using all that wheat!
    Yeast, baking soda, baking powder, chocolate chips, etc.
  2. Include spices, condiments, and comfort foods to make your storage taste good!
    Spices, dried onion, mayonnaise, Jell-O, candy, more chocolate, etc.
  3. Remember to provide for babies and those with special dietary needs.

Storage conditions

  1. H-A-L-T: minimize exposure to humidity, air, light, and temperature.
    1. Buckets are good containers for large quantities, and they stack well. Avoid storing buckets directly on concrete; toxins can be absorbed through the plastic. “Super-pails” include a mylar bag liner.
    2. #10 cans are good containers for easy rotation and protection from air.
    3. Mylar bags protect well from air. They don’t stack well and can be destroyed by rodents, earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, etc.
  2. Expiration dates mean “best if used by.” In an emergency situation, we can assume that older food would be acceptable for the purpose of sustaining life. Check cans for bulges or bad smells that indicate spoilage.
  3. Remember to store a can opener and a wheat grinder!

Inventory method

  1. The objective is to identify what we need, not how much we already have.
  2. List only those items that we really want to store and how much we want.
  3. Organize the food storage by subject, not by size.
    1. Keep together those items recommended by the church, so it is easy to see that we are following the prophet.
    2. Tape the target list for each section to the shelf.
  4. Involve the whole family.
    1. Give each family member a section to count and be a steward over.
    2. Give young children the job of writing the date on new purchases.
    3. Taking inventory can contribute to a child’s feeling of involvement and sense of security.
  5. Take inventory.
    1. Count the items on the target lists.
    2. Subtract the counted amount from the target amount.
    3. Write down how many we need to buy. This is the shopping list.
  6. Carry the shopping list when going to the store.
    1. Buy needed items when they are on sale.
    2. Call home when an item is on sale and ask the kids to do a quick spot-check on how many are needed.