Self reliance is a very important topic and critical to actually put into action.   Through this series we can learn together, taking it a step at a time, to prepare for many types of circumstances and needs that might arise.  Having extra food on hand is key and it’s easy; we will show you how.

 

I grew up with my mom putting away extra food for times in need and taking advantage of sales for getting extra food to have on hand. I continued that same practice myself after I left home.

Years into Stan’s career, we were at one of his work conferences and I kept feeling the strongest impression to talk to a wife of one of Stan’s co-worker’s about storing up a bit of food.

I felt silly. What if she already did have a food storage? What if she thought I was overstepping my bounds to suggest such a thing? What if she was irritated with me for chatting about something so mundane?

After arguing with myself for a bit, I finally went over and asked if I may speak to her, to which she kindly agreed. I told her I felt a bit awkward, but that I felt so prompted to talk to her about purchasing extra food and putting it aside for an emergency that could occur for any number of reasons.

She didn’t really say anything, however looked at me quizzically so I continued to explain.  For example: If she were to purchase a box of cereal, not to to buy just one, but an extra two or three to have on hand. Items that they would already be eating, and to then keep ahead and not to use them all up.

I wasn’t sure if she was listening, or even interested. I can’t say our conversation even lasted a full five minutes. I really felt sheepish, but it was done.

The work our husbands’ did was salesmen. Not too long after that there was a huge upheaval in the economy which really took a toll on everyone; particularly those of us who live on commission.

Not too long after the economy evened out again and I happened to go to another conference with Stan and saw the same woman. She came up to me and thanked me for telling her about storing food away. She said that she normally didn’t cook very much and consequently did not usually have extra food on hand. After our conversation she could not get it out of her head, so she started doing as I suggested. When world events brought the money market to a halt, because of her stockpiling from my explanation,she had food for her family.  She told me how incredibly grateful she was.

While Storing up, Don’t forget the water!

Here’s an example of why having some water bottles stored is a good idea: A couple of my kids and their families live in a town that had a water contamination issue last summer. They weren’t able to drink the water for a couple of days and the grocery stores got wiped out of bottled water pretty quickly. One of my sons and his wife had some cases of bottled water at their house so they were fine and so glad they had it.

Do you have a store of food, or have you ever thought of having one? Here are a few tips to get you started:

Start Small:
– Store up enough to last you/your family for one week if you could not go to the store.
– What would you need to survive?
– Not what you want necessarily, but need – chocolate is a need in my book, lol.
– Once you have enough to last you a week, work your way up to a month, then maybe even three months.

Storing up is so easy to start:
– Just begin with what you eat now.
– Rotate! If you buy a can of soup for a recipe, buy 2-3 extra, put them in the back of the shelf and bring
the others to the front to keep your food storage fresh.
– Every week (or however often you grocery shop), buy a few things that are on sale that you can store, to help keep the cost down.

Store what you need:
– Don’t forget the necessities such as toilet paper, diapers, formula, and even paper plates/cups/utensils, etc. in case your water is unavailable for some reason and you can’t wash dishes.
– Storing water is always a good idea! It’s amazing how much you use for drinking, bathing, brushing teeth, using the toilet…

Where do you store it?:
– Every house is different and some people have to get creative with where they put their food. It could be a kitchen cupboard, a closet, the laundry room – I even heard of someone who stored it under their bed!
– Try not to store it in a place that is exposed to extreme temperatures (like the garage).

Do NOT get overwhelmed and do NOT go into debt or go over your budgeted amount. It if takes you a few months, or longer, to gather all you would need for a week, that’s OK! You’re ahead of where you were before and THAT’s what matters.  We learn what we need, we practice gathering, we become more prepared – the AMS motto!

I want to thank my daughter-in-law Tawni for contributing to this post, she did a fabulous job!

Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2015
Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.