Sunday, August 15, 2010

Where to begin

Many times people see Food Storage as this HUGE weight on their backs. They ask me (because of my calling) why they need it. If they are people I know well, I tell them , "So you won't come running to me wanting MY food, when you have nothing" (I do have a sense of humor). I tell others, #1 It has not just been advised, but we have been admonished and commanded by our church leaders to have SOME food storage, #2 If you like food and certain kinds of foods, you need to have them on hand. #3 Why not?

Was it raining when Noah was commanded to build an ark? Nope.
Did people think he was crazy for building this massive ship? YEP.

I have spent many hours discussing foodstorage with people, trying to make a difference in someone's life and yet they still don't GET IT (food storage that is).
Let's break down food storage to simpler terms: FOOD that is STORED in your basement, pantry, freezer, fridge. How many times in the middle of making something, do you realize you are out of some random ingredient? I can try my neighbors (and they always try me), but they could be out also. And usually you don't have time to run to the store.
When there is a great sale (who can resist a great sale?) on Cold cereal, why not buy and extra box or 2? I have found other things to do with cold cereal, than just eat it cold. What about canned goods- Oh the things you can make with a can of soup! Or Beans! And you know someone will need cupcakes or a birthday cake soon, so when you see a sale for cake mixes for .75, buy more than 1.
If your family likes canned veggies- like corn or green beans, buy a few extra. If you have a freezer and space, stock up on those frozen food sales (not just ice cream, but real foods). If you have a garden, learn to freeze your own produce!
Food Storage is not hard. Maybe figuring out what to do with all the random ingredients is a bit intimidating, but start slow, stock up on things you use a lot, and NOT just food, but paper products like Toilet paper! Watch for sales and use coupons if you can. I have learned about printing off coupons from online sources. That's fun to save money and get something for almost nothing.
Sit down and think up a couple weeks of meals for your family, all meals and snacks. Write them down and then write down ingredients that you would need. This would be your shopping list. Don't forget seasonings, condiments, marinades, dry mixes, dressings, etc.
Obviously (well, for me), I always need to have eggs, milk, butter or a substitute, oil, salt, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda - just with those few ingredients I could make scrambled eggs, crepes, pancakes, cookies (because cookies are important part of survival, right?), and other simple dishes.
The other day I was cleaning out my fridge and I found bacon (a rarity it wasn't gone, with my bacon loving family) and I was trying to think of something to make with the bacon, using a vegetable. I had some fresh green beans too. I cooked 8 slices of bacon until crisp (you can use precooked bacon and there is less grease) and then tossed in the green beans, added a bit of pepper and some garlic salt and a little bit of water to steam the beans. This is now a favorite dish with my kids. The problem is I need to have bacon in my freezer or fridge. I might try some bacon bits to see if they can taste the difference. Since then, I have used frozen green beans and they perfect.
Look for simple meals you can make from simple ingredients. Experiment with flavors. Try new recipes or adapt them or old ones to your tastes. I made shrimp linguine last week- butter, frozen shrimp, garlic, parmeasan cheese and whole wheat pasta. It was so good. I had never tried it before and I was just cooking for my husband- so I thought I would try it.
I try to get a couple of meals out of a roast. So one night we had roast with potatoes and then the next night I made stroganoff with the leftover roast. I have also made shredded beef chimis that my kids love.
I hope that gives you some ideas on starting or building your food storage. Try cooking all your meals at home for one week and following your meal plan. You will save money and eat healthier, plus build that food storage!
Once you have some food storage built up, like a 3 month supply, you will feel peace of mind and blessings will come.

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