If this makes you feel overwhelmed:
I have some very simple advice: begin where you are.
Helpful, right? Well, it’s true that my statement doesn’t give you a ton of detail, but that simple advice helped me. Here’s how…
I knew I wanted to have more food storage (truthfully, some food storage is a better phrase, because I really didn’t have any other than a few extra cans of tomatoes in my cupboard), but I didn’t know how to start. I’d seen these “year supply” all-in-one deals available through a lot of food storage companies, and they sounded so easy! Of course, with ease comes expense. And those babies are EXPENSIVE!!! A couple grand per person. With my family of 6, that wasn’t happening.
I was stuck. I didn’t have enough money to shell out over $10,000 for a year’s supply of food, but I didn’t know where to begin.
Are you in the same boat? Worried about budget? Wondering where to start? Worried that you’ll buy the wrong thing and end up with food you can’t stand to eat in any normal circumstance? Worried that you’ll buy traditional food storage items (wheat, beans, etc.) and not know how to use it in any real way that you and your family can stand eating more than a couple of days?
Maybe you’re a little less crazy than I am, but those were some of my concerns. As a self-confessed cheap person, I have a very hard time wasting money. Frugal is probably a more appropriate word, because I will spend money on something of value that will last or reap good benefits (like an education).
But my inner voice kept telling me that my efforts weren’t going to be good enough. I knew people who had a year supply of food (or more) tucked away in their homes, they rotated it into their regular diet, and, to add insult to injury, they were skinny!
Okay, the skinny part is irrelevant, but part of me did wonder if “the food storage diet” could be a trend… Maybe I could try it and lose all my excess baby weight, write a book, and make enough money to actually FUND my food storage.
But I digress. Back to reality. What was I going to do?
My friend, Sarah, was arranging some group food storage purchases through a company I now love, and she gave me the following advice:
Just buy a can or two whenever there’s a group special on an item your family will eat. Something is better than nothing.
Sarah gave me permission to do the best I could with where I was. I could worry about a year supply of food later. As long as I was working and making an effort, my food storage would grow, and I could make more definitive plans when I was little more comfortable with the whole food storage “thing.”
This was LIBERATING for me! I didn’t need to worry about buying a year supply all at once. I didn’t need to worry about hand grinding and sprouting all my own grains.
I didn’t need to worry about how to make my own bulgur
or how to incorporate TVP into meals my husband and kids would actually eat and LIKE. (Which I did for the first time last week. I made a Shepherd’s Pie with about 1/3 of the meat being TVP. They had no idea! Yeah ME!)
After all this rambling, my point is this. While it might be more efficient to have a plan for food storage when you begin, that felt overwhelming to me, so I started small with where I was. I bought a #10 can or two whenever my friend, Sarah, had a group special featuring an item I knew we would eat: apples, mashed potatoes, vegetables, etc. After I’d been doing that for about a year, I started adding other things and developed more of a plan. I’ll share that with you in another post.
Just remember this: any extra food (provided it’s still edible) is better than none. It may not be your favorite food, but you won’t starve. And isn’t that the most basic point of food storage?
Start where you are, even if it’s just one can, and it will grow from there.