Top 30 Food Storage Items & Storage

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Top 30 Food Storage Items & Storage
Tawni has another very informative and useful post in our LOST ART OF SELF RELIANCE Series.  She is addressing her top list of 30 items that are a MUST have and also ideas of where to store them all – very cleverly I might add.
Thank you Tawni for all the effort you have put into this critical topic and educating us so we can be better prepared for anything that may come along.

Post by Tawni Groneman:
Food Storage: My Top 30 & Where to Put It All
I hope you enjoyed the last installment of the Lost Art of Self-Reliance where we introduced the topic of food storage! Now you might be asking, what in the world am I supposed to buy? Or, I have no extra room in my kitchen, where am I going to put more food?
The food that you buy really depends on your personal tastes and what you like/are able to eat, but I’ve compiled a list of basic things that I have in my food storage. If you don’t have any allergies these are all great things to keep a supply of. If you do have allergies, feel free to substitute things you can eat.
So without further adieu, here are my top 30 food storage items!
1 – bottled water
2 – flour
3 – sugar/brown sugar/powdered sugar
4 – rice
5 – salt
6 – herbs & spices
7 – canned meat (tuna, chicken, Spam etc.)
8 – beans (canned or dried; pinto, black, kidney, etc.)
9 – peanut butter
10 – canned fruit
11 – canned vegetables
12 – canned soup
13 – dried or dehydrated fruit
14 – crackers & cereal
15 – cooking oil & cooking spray
16 – butter (I buy the boxes of butter when they’re on sale during the holidays and stick them in my freezer!)
17 – oats
18 – popcorn kernels (we have an air popper, so this makes a great snack)
19 – pasta
20 – honey
21 – chocolate chips, baking chocolate, etc.
22 – drinks (juice, powdered drink mix, powdered milk)
23 – jam/jelly
24 – condiments (mayo, ketchup, mustard, salad dressing, etc.)
25 – yeast (I don’t bake bread much, but I make a lot of rolls so I keep yeast on hand)
26 -baking powder and baking soda
27 – vitamins
28 – toilet paper (if the world goes to pot, at least you have toilet paper!)
29 – paper plates, napkins, plastic utensils, paper towels
30 – feminine supplies
So those are all the basic things that I have. When I see a good deal on something, I try to buy extra. I also keep things like sweet chili sauce, soy sauce, sesame oil, barbecue sauce, etc. Start with the basics and then work your way into the “extras”. And remember, build your storage up little by little. Once you have enough to last you a week, move onto a month, 2 months, 3 months, etc. Don’t get overwhelmed!
Now, where do we put all this food??? The #1 thing to remember is to keep food in a dark, cool, dry area. My family just moved, and in our old house we had some pretty awesome storage in our laundry room, so that’s where I kept it all. In our new house there is a large pantry and so far the food we have fits in there, but I won’t be able to get more unless I figure out a place for it (and we have no basement).
Here are a few ideas:
1 – Under beds – this is a good chance to clean them out! To make even more room, put the bed on raisers, like these. To rotate the food more efficiently, put the food in on the left side of the bed, and when you’re going to use some of it take it out on the right side.
2 – In a closet – we have a closet under our stairs that, with a little cleaning and organization, will be a great place to keep some of our food. Bedroom closets work great too, and most closets have room to add extra shelving somewhere. I have even seen people use hanging organizers for lighter items.
3 – Buy or make furniture – if you have the room, put in extra cabinets or shelves. If you’re really handy, you could build a stool or coffee table with a lid so you can store things inside. There are a lot of shelf options you can buy.
4 – Use an entire room – if you are lucky enough to have an extra room or part of a room that you just use as a “dump room”, this would be a great place to store your food. A few shelves and some organization go a long way.
5 – Under sinks – I keep all our extra shampoos, soap, deodorant, etc. under our bathroom sinks. Use boxes or baskets to maximize your space. Depending on how much room you have, you could even keep all your toilet paper in there too!

6 – Behind curtains – if you have a little extra space at the end of a room, hang curtains across and hide food storage behind them!
7 – Laundry room – I store extra detergent on a shelf in my *small* laundry room
8 – Drawers – do you have an extra drawer in your dresser or in a bathroom? This would be a great place to store food or non-food items.
9 – Behind furniture – pull out couches, chairs, beds or whatever furniture you have, and put food behind them. Even a few inches is enough to store cans.
I hope this has given you some ideas and a place to start. Remember to start small and work your way up and please try not to get overwhelmed. In the words of Bob on the movie What About Bob?, “Baby steps!”
 Great job Tawni!

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

The Lost Art of Self Reliance – Food Storage

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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.




Money freedom

Teaching the Value of Money, Part 4

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Money freedom

Money freedom

Do you know HOW to TEACH your older teen and adult children how to be fiscally responsible?

Do YOU know how to budget?            What OTHER factors play into being self-sufficient?

Total freedom, or making determined strides, away from debt and towards independence is the greatest liberating joy!    

I have some information that can help you and your family in this article to give everyone peace of mind and self-reliance!

Broken marriages and unhappy families are more often than not suffering from severe debt.  There are catastrophic circumstances, out of ones control, that do happen and cause financial strife.  However, most of the time, it is due to wanting something now, instead of later.  The pay-as-you-go theory is almost unheard of today and has been replaced with, “You deserve it now”. Example speaks louder than any words.  If you do not know how to handle money wisely, how can you effectively teach your children, of all ages, this most important life skill.

First Step:  Get your finances in order (help is coming if you need it, keep reading)

Second Step:   Demonstrate, enroll/provide the means for your older teens and adult children to master this aspect.  If your child is graduated from high school, or about that age, they must be expected to handle money responsibly and not live completely off mom and dad if mentally and physically able.  

Third Step:  Ensure your child understands how to keep a checking account/card account and to keep it balanced to avoid overage charges and credit problems.  This is a crucial skill to have!!!

Forth Step:  Have clear expectations that your children understand concerning the rules are for them after they graduate high school.  For us, it has been:  as long as they are working part-time to full-time and going to school full-time, paying their own insurance, schooling costs, books and other expenses, they can live at home, have meals, utilities paid for, etc..  They still must chip in to help with chores, pay for the gas in any of our vehicles they borrow and costs they incur.  If they had scholarships, all the better for them, as they are able to save more money by putting away what they earn at a job. If they were to go away for school we would help with food and expenses comparable.   The one thing we will not pay for are the classes.  The reason being, is if they fail, or do poorly in a class, they do not have the ownership or as much invested.  At 18 they are adults now, and can take full responsibility for how well they do in a class, or if poorly/failed, they can pay to retake it and it does not cause friction or discord in our home, as ‘that is their problem to deal with’.  Money talks when it hurts = they give more attention to studies to avoid extra expenses.

  • How to start or teach how to budget?  I agree whole-hardheartedly in what Dave Ramsey teaches as it is basic enough to understand, it is doable for all people, and is just plain commonsense smart.

He lists the following

Step 1:  Start an emergency plan of $1,000.  Why is this important?  It will cover an unexpected job change or layoff for a time to give you time to find another job.  A car repair comes up. Any real emergency that comes along; and this does not mean a trip to the mall for a shopping trip. Step 2: Snowball your debt and pay it off. 

Step 2: Dave recommends listing all your debts, with the smallest first, and paying them down by putting any extra you can manage into the smallest debt first.  When that is paid off, roll all that payment into the next smallest.  When that is paid off, roll the amount you were putting onto the first and second debts, now combining with the amount you were making payments toward the third to pay it off and so on.

Step 3: When the debts are paid down, or off, save up 6 months of living expenses to carry you through a job loss or unplanned monetary circumstances.

Steps 4 & 5: Invest money and save for children’s college fund.

Step 6: Pay off house early

Step 7: Build wealth and help others  For more in-depth information and a wealthy of resources, visit Dave Ramsey’s site at  

A few items I would like to address –

  • Have sufficient  health insurance, renter or home insurance and life insurance for those who depend on you.
This includes health insurance, renter’s insurance, disability insurance, and even life insurance if you have people who depend on you. Don’t take this lightly, you are at a pivotal moment in your life and the decisions you make today will have a direct effect on you tomorrow. – See more at:
  •  Build up a food storage. Why?
  1. You never know if, or when, there will be a natural catastrophe or disaster in your area and you may not be able to get to a store.
  2. If your employer has to cut back your hours, you will have food for your family/yourself
  3. If a job loss, or major bills such as medical happen, you will have food
  • What is food storage?
  1. Have a storage of water to last you several days (part of this can be your water heater) if there were a disruption in your water supply
  2. Start SMALL and build to a week of food that you normally eat on hand that is NOT part of your menu plans to use. 
  3. After you are able to have a weeks worth of menu items, such as cereal, meat, canned goods, and such, then work for 2 weeks.
  4. Eventually you will want to have 3 months worth of food on hand.
  5. Now start to get a few items such as boxed milk and things that can last without refrigeration
  6. Work on 6 months of storage now of food items
  7. A cooking source that can be used if the power was out.  Such as a mini-gas grill to cook on.
  8. Extra blankets if you live in a cold climate.

What if you happen to have an adult child, who is able bodied, but still ‘living off’ of you? 

Here are a few ideas:

1st – If you haven’t taught them, or given them the tools to be independent, NOW is the time.  Not tomorrow, but start TODAY.  Do not let them guilt you into taking care of them any longer; whether it be from a broken home, not teaching them, it’s too hard, you owe them, etc., etc., etc.,  None of that matters.  Helping them become responsible, independent and worth their ‘salt’ is your utmost concern and obligation at this point.

2nd – Give a time frame, of say 2 months, to move out and be independent.  Stick to IT!  Do NOT give in.  If you do, it is NOT doing them a favor, but enabling and creating an entitled and dependent person and generation.  That’s truly a disservice to your child, your family and society.

3rd – Enroll them in a Dave Ramsey program, or buy them the book so they can understand how to manage money.  Get someone else to walk them through the steps if you are not able to.

4th – Not employed?  There are almost always jobs available, though maybe not up to their expectation.  However, menial labor leads one to want to gain an education/training to expand their horizons, and that is not a bad thing.

5th – The comforts of home may not be available when they move out, but that is what will help provide the motivation to do more, be more and move forward in life.

6th – This WILL BE HARD!  I can guarantee it.   However, I can also promise you, that if you do not take the difficult stance, they will resent you.  Why?           

-a.  Because not forcing an adult child to stand on their own actually tells them that you do not trust them to be independent.

-b.  You do not care enough to force them to grow and mature. Think about it.  We learn from our trials and hardships.  Without learning and growing opportunities, how able to flourish and develop their ability to go beyond the substandard you are expecting.        

-c.  You feel the need to have them depend on you for whatever reason; such as control or the feeling that you are needed – when this really is the opposite motive.  You actually have a greater influence for good and will gain more respect and admiration from your child(ren) when you help/force them to stand on their own and to be independent. 

7th – Be STRONG.  Pray for strength and DO what is RIGHT for your adult child.  Do NOT give in when it is for their own good.  You CAN do this, I believe in YOU and your family!

All of these suggestions addressed, will allow a person who is free to accomplish all that they are here to do, have the ability to help others, and feel great joy in their independence and freedom from bondage. 

This includes health insurance, renter’s insurance, disability insurance, and even life insurance if you have people who depend on you. Don’t take this lightly, you are at a pivotal moment in your life and the decisions you make today will have a direct effect on you tomorrow. –

See more at:

Part 1 Click HERE for Teaching the Value of Money

Part 2 Click HERE for Teaching the Value of Money

Part 3 Click HERE for Teaching the Value of Money,

Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2014

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.