Originally Posted by kathirynne
The problem is, I'm a little overwhelmed by the thought of building up a year's supply. Where do I begin? What do I store? (Any and all thought is appreciated!)TIA
They just came out with a new, simplified program. You can look at www.providentliving.org
for details, but the basics seem to be, "copy storage," i.e., whatever you eat for 3 months that isn't fresh, work on building up a 3 month storage first before you work toward a year.
For example, when I opened a new bottle of DW detergent, I wrote the date on it, so we could figure out how many weeks it lasted. Then I could figure out how much we need for 3 months (about 4 bottles
). Now I keep 1/2 that as my minimum and I always have 1 or 2 when it's "time to buy" more. Because house cleaning supplies and toilet paper should be part of our 3 months supply as well. It's basically the idea of an overly full pantry.
So, for example, my family would probably use about 39 lbs of wheat if I cook everything over 3 months. If I bake bread and make everything, I use about 3 lbs of wheat in a week (pancakes, muffins, tortillas). (Did this for 2 weeks in Jan--very interesting information for us. I sprouted lentils and tried alfalfa, but my alfalfa seeds are too old and it was slimy and gross. The lentils were great!) If you eat about 3 cans of beans every week, then you can store 13 times 3 cans: 39 cans. You can start out by buying 4 when you usually buy 2 and build it up a little at a time, buy 4 the next week, etc. We got a can sorter for better rotation. Figure out a way to add $10 or $20 each week or month to your grocery list and spend it on food storage.
It gets hard when you need to eat applesauce AGAIN but I got some creative with some freezedried cherries that I had, and we had oranges and apples which last a while in the fridge. I guess we would feel very happy to have SOME instead of NONE.
We have also built raised beds with concrete blocks, south facing, for our garden. We'll be planting in them for the first year this year. Gardening is a large initial outlay, then it gets less expensive. I've bought heirloom seeds so we can save seeds and propagate (more food storage). I'm interested in cold frames and wintering over. There's a kind of green salad option called mache that you can just insulate a bit (where I live) and pick it, even with snow! I've just read this, haven't done it yet. I think we may not need cold frames. You can leave carrots right in the ground and just take them out when you want them all winter. I'm putting in asparagus this year, and that is "planning for the future". I'm interested in bin storage, since we won't be building a root cellar.
Sorry for the novel--I've been very excited about and interested in this stuff. And I HATE canning. I will do it, but I don't have to like it.
So alternatives make me happy. (See Laura Ingalls).