Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Starting From Scratch: Food Storage

Kirsten is here again today! Have you missed her other posts? Check out her introduction here and all about water here.

The most daunting task in beginning prepping is food storage. Water is the most important but very simple. Food storage is, very simply put, a nightmare. There is just no sugar coating it. But there is good news: there are a lot of ways to store food and it is really fun and interesting to learn about and try them. Find what works for your family, just like everything else in prepping.

In order to appease my own peace of mind, when we first started prepping the only thing I was concerned with was that we had something on hand in case of an emergency. Anything, really…it could have been 30 cans of Spam and I would have been happy. So when I ordered my uber expensive water storage container from Sam’s Club I also ordered a bucket of dehydrated food advertised to be one month’s worth of food for one person. The next month I ordered another one. The month after that I bought a 50-lb bag of white rice and my wonderful husband re-packaged it into mylar bags, sealed them with oxygen absorbers, and put the bags into some 5-gallon buckets for long term storage. So three months into food storage and we had enough to feed our family for one month of bare bones survival. It was nothing glamorous, but it would keep us alive.

One thing I have heard over and over is to “store what you eat and eat what you store”. This thought is scary for those first things I put into our food storage bank. And I will hopefully forever break that rule with those items. They will stay in the dungeon (under the stairs closet) for the next 25 years as long as nothing happens that requires us to open them up and dig in. It is also scary for those on a limited budget, and let’s face it, pretty much everyone is to one extent or another. I look at our food storage as another extension of our savings account, only it isn’t stuck in a bank doing us no good in an emergency situation. It is in our house and we can eat it to stay alive. Pretty awesome savings account, if you ask me!

As we branch out with our dehydrated/freeze dried food storage, we do try more things. When we order from Thrive Life, we will order the pantry can size of something new so that we can try it out. I like to try to make some weird things with them so that I know that if given the “forced opportunity”, I could in fact make something edible and not horrible tasting out of our food storage. After a trial with a pantry can size we will work the larger #10 cans into our orders if we thing they would make a good addition to our food storage. Some things that do not need to be of higher quality or as flavorful we still order from Sam’s Club when they have them for cheaper (dehydrated onions don’t need to be fancy- or expensive- but can add flavor to what might normally be a bland dish of rice and beans).

The most important component of our food storage is my plan for renewable sustainability. Even the largest food storage supply will only last so long. If you choose to go farther in depth into food preparedness, it is important to have a seed bank, learn how to grow your own foods and/or care for animals that can provide for your family. Because we live in a residential subdivision at this point in time, we are limited to having a few chickens and my attempt at a garden each year (from which we did manage to get three or four tomatoes this season!). Every year we change and evolve, and your family will need to decide to what end they would like to food prep. I must say, it is rather exciting going out to the backyard and fetching fresh eggs every day! We feed and water our chickens and it is very rewarding knowing exactly where our eggs come from: happy, healthy, free range girls.

A lot of foods will require cooking (or the addition of hot water), so prepping for a method of heating food and water is essential to your preps. We are fortunate enough to live in a state which receives a lot of sunshine, making a solar oven a valuable and convenient tool for cooking. They can be expensive, so it is not recommended as an initial or primary prep unless you can afford it (aka it’s still on MY wishlist). The most simple method of heating water is the good old Boy Scout method: rub some sticks together. However, this takes a considerable amount of time, skill, and patience. I’d much prefer a flint and steel, or a lighter and some lint and kindling, or a propane tank and camping stove. Are you seeing a pattern here? Yep, backups two, three, four, and…well, I’m sure you get it by now- back to the number one rule of prepping. Not all of these methods will be necessary for every situation or circumstance, so having several methods of starting a fire for cooking and/or warmth is vital.
- Kirsten
Huge thank you to Kirsten again for sharing with us! She'll be back tomorrow for her last installment... finding your fourth! Today's post might also have you interested in a previous post here on Our Thrive Life - Why Food Storage Isn't Just for Preppers. Check it out!


  1. Kristen, you're awesome! Thank you so much! I'm sad tomorrow is the last installment!

  2. Aww thank you so much! Feel free to look me up on Facebook if you want to chat "prepping". I love hearing about what other people do to prep and sharing my ideas!

  3. (Kirsten Nute Nodzon)