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Tips on Buying and Maintaining the Family’s Emergency Food Supply
The task of obtaining all of the food storage and essential supplies needed to survive during difficult times can make families feel overwhelmed, especially those already living on a tight budget. There are strategies, however, that can help lighten the financial burden of emergency preparedness, and they all involve exercising a little bit of common sense.
Establish a Food Cycling System
A misconception many families have about food storage is that it only needs to be bought once, and then it will always be there in case of an emergency. It cannot be emphasized enough that food storage does not work in this manner. Most food items have only a few years of shelf-life before they go bad. In order for food storage to be an effective method of survival during an emergency, it needs to be in good condition to eat.
Satisfactory food storage can only be achieved if the food is cycled out on a constant basis. This means that everything that is a part of a family’s food storage should be used as part of their every day cooking, and then replaced, so nothing is left sitting on a shelf without being used for years at a time. Food storage should be very organized and monitored so that money is not wasted on spoiled products.
Only Store Items Used on a Regular Basis
One of the most important bits of common sense for food storage is to not spend money on items that will not be used on a regular basis. There are many families who, although they have good intentions, have boxes full of items such as wheat, pasta, and many dehydrated products that they do not use in their everyday cooking, for various reasons.
There are countless problems with storing unused items. The first being, that if there is an emergency, many families would not know how to use these products, making the food supply they prepared insufficient. Secondly, purchasing these products is a complete waste of money, because all they do is sit on shelves until they are no good and must be thrown away. Lastly, storing items a family does not know how to use, especially in large quantities, is a waste of valuable space. The rule for purchasing food storage items should be that if it is not used on a weekly or monthly basis in a home, it should not be a part of normal food storage.
Buy Items a Few at a Time
The only common sense way to go about obtaining a large food storage that would be able to sustain a family during an emergency is to do it gradually. No family has enough money to go out and buy everything they would need for an emergency in a single shopping trip. The best way to build food storage is to buy a few extra, commonly used, items every time a trip to the grocery store is made.
There are also many cost effective ways to shop in regards to food storage. For instance, wait to buy most items until they are on sale, or shop at a local bulk store where most items cost less because they can only be purchased in large quantities. Also remember to avoid buying items that are not used. Always ask, “Does my family eat this on a regular basis?” and “What is the shelf-life of this item?” before buying anything. These tips will make obtaining a food storage supply much easier.