ARTICLES RELATING TO EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS
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Budgeting Food Storage Money
There is no need to go into debt to build storage. Priorities should be used in budgeting financial needs with food storage purchases. The following are a few ideas to increase money available for purchasing food storage.
1. Shop sales - be cautious of damaged, poor quality, or outdated goods which may be on sale - shop for quality.
2. Buy foods in season when prices are lower.
3. Buy in bulk - price compare to ensure bulk price is really cheaper, also be sure bulk will be used before shelf life expires.
4. Use tax refund, bonuses, rebate checks, gift money, and other money not a part of fixed income.
5. Forego spending money on entertainment one time and use money saved on storage (exchange entertainment - for example rent a movie rather than purchase a movie ticket and use the difference on food storage, or watch TV instead.)
6. Choose less expensive vacation, shorten vacation, or stay home for vacation and use money saved on storage.
7. Use brown bag for lunch, stay home rather than eating out, cut out commercial snacks, cook from scratch, etc., and use money saved on storage (plus it uses the items stored and develops skills for using storage.)
8. Other ideas you think of.
from "Use It or Lose It" written by Rebecca Low, USU Extension Home Economist in Salt Lake County, and Deloy Hendricks, USU Extension Nutrition and Food Science Specialist.
Food Storage It's like laundry...
By Melanie Cooper
For more than 60 years, members of the Church have been commanded to store a year supply of food. Recently President Hinckley pleaded with members to prepare themselves. Judging by the requests I'm receiving for food storage information, members are taking his counsel very seriously.
Years ago I began storing food for our family truly believing I would someday be done. I have since learned that food storage is like laundry. You may catch up from time to time but the task is never truly finished. If left undone for too long the task becomes seemingly insurmountable.
While I can't offer much in regards to helping you get your laundry done, I can share a few tips and suggestions on obtaining a year supply of food for your family.
Assessing Your Needs
By Melanie Cooper
The first thing you need to do before beginning your food storage is to assess your needs. Your family may be large or small. Perhaps you are the only member of your family. Regardless, you need to know what and how much you should store. The following calculator will help give you an idea.
Food Storage Calculator http://lds.about.com/library/bl/faq/blcalculator.htm
It's important to remember that most of the recommendations you receive are just that... recommendations. In the end you need to decide how you will incorporate the recommended foods into your storage plan. For instance, all the children in our family are lactose intolerant. It doesn't make sense for us to store dry milk. Instead we store soybeans which we use to make soymilk.
I will also point out that the families who are most successful in obtaining a year supply are those who store what they eat. In other words, they keep a rotating food storage.
Why Rotate Storage
By Melanie Cooper
Years ago I religiously attended cooking classes offered by a health food store specializing in helping families eat healthy and stay healthy. The store, which was owned by a Seventh Day Adventist, carried items such as grinders, juicers, dehydrators, wheat, etc. I learned how to make wonderful whole wheat bread, pizza crust, cinnamon rolls, blender pancakes, and more.
The thing that really stands out in my mind was the time I ordered 250 pounds of wheat to add to our food storage. The owner assured me that they always had wheat in stock and I didn't need to stockpile it. I then explained that I was a Latter-day Saint and was storing it as part of our year supply. The expression on her face immediately changed as she exclaimed, "You Mormons are so dumb! You buy a ton of wheat to store in your basement, never to be touched again until some so called time of need. If that time ever really arrives, you'll all die anyways because you don't know how to use it."
I was relieved to tell her that wheat was actually a major staple in our household. We owned a wheat grinder and made everything, except play dough and pie crust, with whole wheat flour. She relaxed a bit and from that time forth respected my decision to store wheat. However, it has always bothered me that her perception of Latter-day Saints was actually pretty accurate. How many of us store wheat in our garage but don't use it? What would happen if the time came when we really did need to use our storage? Though it's true it's better to store wheat than not, we may face some very serious consequences if we don't learn to use the foods we store.
How to Store What You Eat
By Melanie Cooper
Although maintaining a year supply takes a little planning and organization, it's definitely worth the effort. We began by making a list of all the meals we like to eat. Then we figured out which meals could be stored. For example, every Sunday our family makes taco salad. To store this meal we made a list of the ingredients it takes to make this meal: pinto beans rice tomato sauce cumin salt oil olives corn chips salsa. We generally have other toppings such as tomatoes and lettuce but those don't store as well. The above ingredients still make a very tasty meal that will fill the belly. Next we figure out the quantities needed for each ingredient: pinto beans = 1.5 cups rice = 1.5 cups tomato sauce = 1 8oz can cumin = 1 Tbsp. salt = 1 Tbsp. oil = .25 cup olives = 1 can corn chips = .5 bag. Since Salsa is considered more of a luxury we just make a guess as to how much we want to store.
Next we multiply these amounts by 52 since there are 52 weeks in a year: pinto beans = 78 cups or 31 lbs. rice = 78 cups or 31 lbs. tomato sauce = 52 15oz cans cumin = 52 Tbsp. or 3.25 cups salt = 52 Tbsp. or 3.25 cups oil = 13 cups or almost a gallon olives = 52 6oz cans olives corn chips = 26 bags of corn chips.
You now know how much to store for one meal a week for one year. If you follow these steps for six more meals you'll have all your dinners taken care of for one year. The more meals you come up with, the more variety you will have in your food storage and the more likely you are to use it throughout the year. Do the same thing for breakfasts and lunches and you have a year supply that you can really eat and use. I suggest comparing the amounts you come up with against the recommended amounts outlined in the Church's handbook.
It's also important to mention that not all the foods you eat are easily storable. You may be accustomed to eating donuts for breakfast every morning, but it's not really feasible to store a year supply of them. You may need to experiment with some new recipes or eating habits if you truly want to rotate your storage.
Acquiring A Year Supply
By Melanie Cooper
Knowing what you need to store and actually acquiring it are two different things all together. It may seem impossible to purchase all the food you will need to complete your storage if you're already struggling to make ends meet. Have faith! It CAN be done.
The following scripture always bolstered me in times of discouragement: I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them. 1 Nephi 3:7
Just like Nephi, we need to apply a little "stick-to-it-ness" and find creative ways to accomplish what the Lord has counseled us to do. The following are resources that may prove valuable or inspiring as you strive to acquire your storage.
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