My Foray Into Food Storage

A regular gal learning about Food Storage, Home Cooking, Canning, Gardening, and more!

Where Do I Begin? Something Is Better Than Nothing!

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If this makes you feel overwhelmed:

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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.

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I didn’t need to worry about how to make my own bulgur

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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!)

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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.

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Author: Laurie Nguyen

I am a happily married, stay at home mom with four sons, ages 24, 22, 18, and 14. I'm not a professional blogger, and I'm certainly not a foodie or a chef. But I like food, so I think I'm qualified to write about my own life experience with food. Want to be a little more prepared for the unexpected? Check out my Food Storage Blog, http://forayintofoodstorage.com. Have a question about Food Storage? Email me: forayintofoodstorage@gmail.com.

86 thoughts on “Where Do I Begin? Something Is Better Than Nothing!

  1. hey Laurie. thanks for checking out my thoughts. i’m going through your work and it’s fascinating. i remember growing up with a huge freezer in the basement and lots of frozen chicken cutlets. how times have changed. living as i do, i usually eat on the street, and have nothing in the fridge. but now that i’m back in the states, i think there’s a lot for me to learn. JT

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  2. Thanks for checking my blog and becoming a follower. I hope you will return often and share with me your feedback on my blog. I love the picture at the top of your blog, so vibrant. As I read through this blog I found some images did not work, is it just my PC? I am a person who is trying to cook healthy and stay away from restaurants so I can lose weight. I love soups, I found only a few salads I like, but love cooking spicy foods, I have ice cream pails with little bags of the spices I like to use, and buy coconut milk when it is on sale for those days I want to ignore calories 🙂
    I like the phrase begin where you are, and will borrow it with your gracious permission I hope. I have a wok that I hope to begin to use more, and learn moroccan cooking as well. Have a super weekend.

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  3. Hi Laurie, thanks for stopping by my blog and following me. I myself have too MUCH food stored (in too little space) and iI can never find anything when it’s time to cook. I do grow veggies to satisfy my “cheap tooth.” 🙂

    Happy blogging!

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  4. Farmers markets. Go on Craigslist and look for canning equipment, and check out books on home canning from the library. Then, when you have your setup all ready, buy produce in bulk, then set up family “Can Fest” – all the kids can help, learn about self sufficiency, and all about fresh produce. Then, you can fill your cupboards with lovely food at a lower cost and know that your food is healthy. I used to love to can fresh corn, beans, tomatoes, etc. I also grew up in the South and LOVE fresh Piccalilli and ChowChow. Especially a blend of green tomatoes, corn, red tomatoes and okra. Yummy!

    If you have to, store in the bottom of coat closets – there is room there that is rarely efficiently used.

    Most of all, have Fun with your kids learning about self sufficiency and fresh, natural foods! Oh, and you can make your own fruit leathers that your kids can take to school and show off to their friends, too! Blenders are wonderful things. . .

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  5. Pingback: Everything You Always Wanted To Know, But Were Afraid To Ask… | My Foray Into Food Storage

  6. Interesting! Never thought about storing food!

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  7. Thanks for stopping by my blog. I love your topics! I will follow you and learn and hopefully try some of your ideas. 🙂

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  8. Laurel, I love this post! Food storage is more important today than it ever was. I reared five children, and I know how expensive those purchased cans can be! I have a refried bean recipe that my son and I developed that has no added fat so you can store it forever! It tastes like authentic Mexican refried beans, and is good as a soup base, a dip, or a side dish. May I quote you, “begin where you are”?

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  9. Thank you Laurie Nguyen for sharing this blog. I think our thought is equal. I am optimistic about Food storage. I gain lot of information through your Blog so love to read your Blog. hope you will return and share with me your feedback on my blog.

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  10. I grew up with gardens and canning and food storage. I will say that I never store anything I don’t want to eat! My biggest problem is that I absolutely love fresh raw vegetables. I make a garden every year and keep growing salad materials in the winter inside. Your friend was right… adding anything will help.

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