Starting a Food Storage System

As a young bride I went to the store weekly and bought what I thought I needed for the two of us, then the three, and the four of us. Toward the end of the week, we might or might not have, had much to eat.

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On the Thursday before my husband's Friday payday, I found in my pantry, a can of pork and beans, a can of lima beans, and a can of green beans, and that along with some rice was what we had for dinner. That was an interesting meal!

I began by planning a week's worth of menus at that point and buying what was needed for those menus. Nothing had to be used on a specific day, just some time during the week. And as I progressed I collected 35 or 40 menus.

Of course, sometimes there were sales on foods, twofers, etc and I began to buy those extra cans for emergencies. I set aside shelves in my basement and put the extras there. You can put them under the bed or any place where there is room, even in a small apartment.

As I began to accumulate foods, I would first shop from my food storage, and then go to the store, replenishing what I had used and buying a few extras as well.

A salvage warehouse came to my area. Cases of canned goods, housecleaning supplies from wrecked trucks and trains were available at the warehouse. I would check the store price of such things as green beans and then 'haggle' at the warehouse for a case of green beans at a much lower price per can. None of the cans I bought were damaged, although the boxes they were in might have been.

At the end of the month when I got my salary, I would go to the warehouse and spend a total of $50 or whatever I had, on extra foods, things that we all liked and that I used frequently.

If there are warehouse big box stores near you, buying just a few things extra each week can add up to a good food storage program. Even the twofers from the grocery store are great and using any coupons of course, adds to the value. Later I added freezer products to my food storage, as well as dry goods.

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Today, quite a few years after being a 'young bride' I continue the food storage. I try to keep at least a 6 month supply of food on hand at all times. And there have been times that I have had to live off of my food storage with no purchases from the store, and for extended periods. Such a time as now and what we are going through with the economy is a good time to have a food storage program, or even begin one, can by can.

By Nancy S. from Cross Lanes, WV

March 18, 20100 found this helpful

Great idea! I've done similar myself - it's funny what you learn as the years go by!

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March 20, 20100 found this helpful

Don't forget to put the the most recent purchases in the back and oldest in the front. We have a storage room in our basement with shelves. This is wonderful for stocking up when there are sales like buy 1 get 1 free. If some stuff is near expiring I put it on another shelf to be used now. You never know what is going to happen and should try to prepare just in case. I am very thankful I can do this as there are many who can't. When there is a food drive this is the first place I go.

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