Monday, August 31, 2015

how i created a short term food supply

hello there. today i thought i'd share a bit about how i spent several months figuring out how to create a short term supply of food.

{Are you not familiar with this idea? Please don't jump to super scary thoughts of an underground shelter and canned beans stacked from floor to ceiling... are you looking for a good place to start? read this pretty low key two-page pdf :: link here}

i was inspired to prepare in this way when i considered all my family's work and thoughts that made our emergency savings and get-out-of-debt plan such a success thus far. i realized something that would help us with this emergency preparedness would also be a basic food supply.

now i don't know if we're exactly prepared for some crazy out of the norm long term event {i.e. a zombie world take over - i know that my husband and i will both hold out to be saved by Brad Pitt} however, if it became difficult for us to afford groceries or one of us became very ill the family could make do with what is in our food storage and general food storage plan.

our short term storage also has been a great resource when we are just low on groceries or time when cooking a late night dinner - why not pull out that can of black beans for a protein? then you can replace it with a newer can the next time they go on sale at the store!

A Few Important Ideas that Worked for Me:

+ shopping slowly
now, i know the need can strike at anytime for the use of a food storage, however i found it most manageable when i broke down the shopping into small amounts. partly due to spending constraints, but also because i like to purchase bulk items at specific places. so i started by consider what i'd like to have in my storage and then only putting a few of those items on my shopping list when i knew that i could purchase a little more than the list of what we needed to eat for the week.

+only buy what will work for my cooking
i figured if it was something we wouldn't want to eat we would live without it. like i didn't purchase dried eggs or dried milk. it just wasn't something i was willing to say - yes i will cook with this. instead i put foods on the list i was comfortable with and planned meals with the ingredients that i thought would keep well for our storage plan. and i purchased items that didn't confuse me while reading the ingredient lists.

+use my canning stash to supplement
i enjoy canning food - jams, ketchups, salsa, tomato sauces, dill veggies - so in those went to my supply. and i planned meals or snacks with those items.

+labeling my storage space
i really believe in good labeling when it comes to food storage. i selected one cabinet to hold our extra food items and made a simple list {about 6 pages long} to state what is on each shelf and their expiration dates. this way we can eat food {and quickly replace it} before it goes bad. if there is more than we can manage we also can donate canned goods to a local food shelter before it expires so at least someone can eat it. i also use a highlighter to cross out items that we eat. that way i know quickly what we have and what we don't have on the shelf.  i like knowing what we had in the past so i don't have to go back through and re-brainstorm the initial list of what should go on these shelves.

Inspired? Want to consider making your own food storage plan? Try some of these resources for more tips, hints, and helpful ideas:

Detailed run down of how to start your 3 month food supply {with Valerie of Prepared LDS Family blog} - be sure to read the comments for a few more helpful suggestions

Pantry Shopping List + Key Points List to get you started when considering your short term food supply {with Crystal at Everyday Food Storage}

Ways to look at your 3 month supply as a "working supply of food storage" {with Shelle at Preparedness Mama}

Check out this post with a great 3 Month Planning Graphic {with Tammy from Simply Preparing}

* i've added this post to Our Simple Homestead Blog Hop::click here:: to head over and check out all the great information and stories from other bloggers! Thanks to all the hosts and bloggers for sharing in the fun!


  1. Hopefully you're also storing water, TP, etc... :)

    1. Hi Nancy,

      Good thing to take notice of! There are lots of non-food items to save up too! I know we don't use a ton of paper products but we do have extras of what we find useful around our home. And our water couldn't fit in the food storage area I made so it sits on the back of a larger (and previously less full) shelf.
      Thanks for stopping by my blog!

  2. Thank you for sharing your post at Our Simple Homestead Blog Hop!
    Great tips!!

    1. Hi Sandra:
      You are welcome - there are always so many good ideas and tips at Our Simple Homestead Blog Hop! I'm happy to be part of it. Thank you for reading my post.