Organizing Your Food Storage with Special Guest: Misty of Your Own Home Store
I am so excited to introduce a guest at Project Simple Home today: Misty of Your Own Home Store! I know many of you are familiar with her blog and a few of you have participated in her 26-week series to build your own 72 hour kit. If you haven’t yet, you can get the entire program on her E-Book: “Your Own 72 Hour Kit” which I HIGHLY recommend. I also guest post on her blog with a “Skill of the Month” series. Misty and I are great friends, but she is also my personal mentor at Thrive Life (though I look up to her in many other respects as well). In fact, both of us are currently playing in Mexico on the Thrive Life Fantasy Getaway, so please forgive us if it takes a day or two to reply to any comments.
Take it away Misty!
Hello! I am so excited to be featured here at Project Simple Home today! Andrea and I are dear friends. I love her positive attitude. I admire her organizational skills and her drive. It is an honor to be featured here on her site. Today I wanted to share just a bit with you about how I organize my food storage. First, I’ll walk you through how I plan what to store. Then, I’ll show you how I actually store it. Last, I’ll talk just a bit about how I rotate through what I’ve got.
Planning What Food to Store:
There are a few mistakes people make when storing extra food in their homes:
- They store food based on calories alone. Most adults eat around 1500-2000 calories / day. Many I know store enough calories per day, but that doesn’t mean the food they store is well-rounded or that they will be able to make actual meals with it. You simply won’t be able to do much with just wheat, rice, milk, flour and sugar, even if you have 2000 / calories per day worth of it!
- They store foods they don’t regularly eat. I was soooooo guilty of this when I first started storing food a few years ago. I wanted inexpensive foods with a long shelf life. So, I stored wheat, powdered milk, powdered eggs and oats. I had no idea how to use those things, so we never ate what I stored! It just sat on our shelf. Some of it still is.
A few years ago, I decided that I would plan what I stored differently and I recommend all my readers do the same. It is really profound. Are you ready?
Choose what to store based on what you eat!
When you plan what to store, I recommend you create a list of 15 dinners, 7 lunches and 7 breakfasts that your family will eat. Make sure they are meals you can make with 100% shelf stable ingredients (remember, you can get and use most fruits and veggies in freeze dried form…Andrea can help you with that). Then purchase enough ingredients for 2 of each dinner and 4-5 of each lunch and breakfast. That will give you a 1 month supply of food for your family. Do it again and again until you have a 3, 6, or 12 month supply of food (or whatever your goal is).
Storing my food:
Since I am lucky enough to be a THRIVE Life consultant, I use their incredible food rotations systems to store my food. These fantastic first in-first out systems simplify so much for me! I’m always able to make sure I’m using my oldest food first without having to sort through a bunch of cans on a shelf to check expiration dates I keep the bulk of our storage in a cold storage room in our basement. I know I’m SUPER lucky to have this.
If you don’t have such a room, don’t fret! If you are buying your food like I taught above and using your food like I will mention below, then go ahead and store it in your garage etc. You will use it WAY before it reaches it’s shelf life! Remember, most shelf lives are based on about 70 degrees Fahrenheit. For every 10 degrees above that, you cut your shelf life in half. So, even at 90 degrees, foods that claim a 25 year shelf life will last at least six or seven years. That is plenty of time for you to use it as long as you are storing meals and not calories!
In addition to the food in my storage room, I also keep an open can of each freeze dried product in my kitchen pantry. I love having fruits, vegetables and meats at my fingertips:
Using My Food Storage:
Since my food tastes good (THRIVE really is incredible, just ask Andrea), and I’m storing meals, not just calories, it is very simple for me to use and rotate through my food storage.
Each week, I simply plan to eat two “shelf stable” breakfasts, lunches and dinners. I have a 1 year supply of most food. So, it would take me about 3 1/2 years to rotate through my full supply at two meals / week.
But not only does this allow me to rotate through my storage, it makes meal planning simpler, last minute meals do-able and cuts down on our grocery bill! In fact, I would say that while I typically only cook two 100% shelf stable meals each week, there is very rarely a meal in which I don’t use some sort of “food storage” item. My freeze dried veggies and meats especially are items that make my life simpler.
I keep three lists in our storage room downstairs and I update them each time I remove something from the food storage room:
- Items I need to re-stock from the grocery store. I do this weekly.
- Items I need to re-stock from Costco. I do this quarterly
- Items I need to re-stock from THRIVE. I do this monthly through my THRIVE Q as well as placing an additional “purchase” using free product benefits I get as a THRIVE Life consultant.
These lists are just on a plain white piece of paper. When I take one shopping with me, I just replace it with a new blank piece of paper.
I actually have one additional list. While we have a 1 year supply of most items for our meals, there are a few things we are missing. I have a list of these items and I use free product benefits at THRIVE to get the freeze dried items and the money we are saving from using THRIVE to get the other things that THRIVE doesn’t carry.
So there you have it! I hope you’ve found this helpful and that it inspires you to start or re-vamp your food storage system. Storing a bit of extra food (aka “prepping) is a good idea, no matter what. Perhaps you are worried about huge disasters or economic collapse. However, it is also great for mini emergencies like forgetting to thaw out the meat or having a poor nights sleep that results in little energy to wash and chop veggies!
I agree with her thoughts on how to build your home pantry and food storage. It make much more sense to build off of recipes you already know and love, rather than calories. The dishes will be familiar (aka “comforting”) during trials, and you will have a much simpler time rotating them properly. I also appreciate her opening up her pantry to us, and reassuring us (okay, me) that storing some extra food in the garage is fine as long as you rotate it properly.
I want to hear from you!
- How are you building your food storage/pantry?
- Where do you store everything? Are you lucky enough to have a cold storage room with Food Rotation Systems (and yes, they do ROCK!) or do you use the garage, under the beds, etc.
- What is one dish you and your family couldn’t do without, even during an emergency? Do you have a shelf stable recipe, and would you like to share it?