Abi’s Intro to Prepping: Food Storage
Have you ever heard of the story of the ants and the grasshopper? The ants spend all year preparing and storing food in their home while the grasshoppers stand by and relax and laugh at them… well winter comes and the grasshoppers freeze and the ants feast. It’s a pretty sad story, but I haven’t been able get out of my mind since Covid started and a big earthquake hit SLC. The worst feeling is not feeling prepared when caught in a bad situation. Prepping for a disaster doesn't have to be overwhelming or scary. A disaster doesn’t mean your life might end or the zombie apocalypse is coming. It could be that you lose your job and money for food is tight. It’s never a bad idea to have a little extra (or a lot extra) in case something may happen.
I’ve been on a serious journey the last few years learning all I can about food storage. I've learned how and where to properly store it, how determine which foods to stock up on, and how much my family needs. I wish I could wave a wand and you would know all the things, but I can’t, so here goes my best shot at breaking it down…
- First, determine how many people you’d be serving. How many people are in your family? Are you planning to store enough for anyone else? I suggest adding one “ghost person,” to the list, just in case. I’d rather have more than less when it comes to food. This makes the servings for my family come to 6, even though there are only 5 of us.
- Now that you’ve determined how many servings of each meal you’ll need, it’s time to decide how many meals you want to eat per day. Many experts say that when you’re in survival mode you should plan for only 2 meals a day. I agree with this, but you may not, and that’s ok. You just need to decide how many meals you’ll be serving per day, and for how long you want your storage to feed you. Ammon and I want to serve at least 2 meals per day for up to a year. I know that sounds crazy, but that’s our goal. And heaven forbid things go horribly wrong, we will have more than enough food to feed neighbors and friends for a shorter period of time.
- Plan where you’re going to store your food. The ideal temperature range to store dry goods is between 50°F and 70°F. This will maximize the shelf life. We once had our food storage stored in the garage and it all went bad because Utah experiences extreme temperature fluctuations throughout the year. Cold food storage, a crawl space, pantry or basement are all good options.
- Once you’ve decided on all of these things, the fun really begins. Now you get a meal plan for a whole year! Yaaaay! Hahaha! Now, just because we are living on food storage doesn’t mean we have to suffer. Plan meals that your family enjoys, but keep a few things in mind: You want meals that don’t take a lot of time or energy to prepare. You’ll also want to use foods that are high in nutrients and can provide you with lasting energy. Protein bars and Instant oatmeal are two of my favorite things, but you don't want to live on that for a long time so be sure to include some variety. There are tons of people on social media teaching how to plan these kinds of meals and sharing great recipes.
Now that you've compiled your recipes, it's time to crunch some numbers. I’ll share an example here for how to figure out how much I need of each ingredient for a month’s worth of oatmeal. The oatmeal recipe that feeds my entire family once calls for:
- Instant Oats: 2 cups
- Freeze Dried Strawberries: ½ cup
- Freeze Dried Peaches: ½ cup Dried Milk: 3 Tablespoons
- Almonds ½ cup
- I want to have enough stored up to make this recipe 3 times a week for a month. That’s 12 times a month, so I need to start multiplying each ingredient by 12
- 2 cups oats x 12 = 24 cups oats
- ½ cup strawberries x 12 = 6 cups strawberries (or one canister Thrive Life strawberries)
- ½ cup peaches x 12 = 6 cups peaches (or one canister Thrive Life peaches)
- 3 Tablespoons dried milk x 12 = 36 Tablespoons (2.25 cups or about one small canister from Thrive Life)
- ½ cup almonds x 12 = 6 cups almonds
- Now I have my shopping list for a month’s worth of oatmeal.
- You'll also need things to cook and eat your food. It’s nice to get paper products so you don’t have to worry about trash and you don’t have to waste water cleaning them. Here's a list of things you will want to put with your food storage:
I’ve recently been cooking a lot more with Thrive Life and I've learned a lot about cooking with freeze dried ingredients. I'm going to be coming out with new videos on this topic every month and I can’t show you what I've learned over the past year. In the meantime, let me tell you that Thrive Life is the best quality and best tasting food money can buy. The food is real and nutritious, with no added ingredients or preservatives. Everything is freeze dried at it's prime, so the produce tastes fresh picked and the meat tastes fresh cooked (because it is). Plus, it's shelf stable for 30 years! I am a forever fan of Thrive Life. I want to help you feel invigorated and excited to start preparing! You may feel overwhelmed and defeated, but once you start checking things off the list - you’ll start feeling better and better! I started with nothing and slowly built up to where I am now, and we are starting to save for bigger things.
Homesteading Like a GangsterAre you interested in learning more about self sufficiency and emergency preparedness? I created a super helpful BEGINNER guide to homesteading just for you! “Homesteading like a Gangster” covers several areas of homesteading in great detail, but keeps it simple and accessible for beginners. Subjects covered are:
- Starting a garden
- Raising Chickens
- Buying Meat in Bulk
- Brewing Kombucha
- Baking Sourdough Bread
- Canning Basics