provident living – modern food storage

Lately I’ve been pondering food storage,  how our modern, technological lives have altered it a bit, resulting in various stores of food.  What we find in our pantries cellars, and shelves is most likely different in each of our homes.  I think about what food storage looked like in ages past and even more recently.  The people stored what they would eat later.   Pioneers crossing the continent brought the food necessary for the entire journey.  Again: what they would eat.  Early saints in Utah and throughout the western states were counseled to set aside for a rainy day (storing more of the food they ate regularly).

Jumping ahead several generations to my parent’s food storage.  They listened, and stored huge barrells of water in our backyard, buckets and buckets of wheat, and dried food.  In the 18 or so years that I lived at home, and even to this day, (aside from #10 cans of rolled oats), we rarely ate from the enormous food storage.  {I remember mom using a recipe or two she’d been given to cook from her food storage…she made it to try it out in case we ever had to eat it}.  In fact, after about 10 or 15 years, they threw it away and got a new supply.

Does this sound familiar?  I’m afraid it’s probably more common than we’d like to admit.

  • Why did we not eat out of our food storage?
  • Why did we store what we were not going to eat?
  • And (eventually), why did my parents waste that money?

I’ve got a few ideas:

  1. The food stored was in it’s original state: it needed to be soaked, ground or pulled from bulky containers
  2. The food and the extra process needed wasn’t part of our regular menu/regime
  3. My parents didn’t know what else to do…they were following what had been done for generations
{Just another thought about my parents food storage: members in the ward and community that were struggling during that 20 year period…we could have given them from our storage instead of letting it go to waste.  Makes me a bit sad.}

Several years ago, the designer and I started with a very humble form of food storage.  Thanks to my parents, I knew we had to find a better way…especially since money was tight…and we simply couldn’t afford to throw that money away.  We slowly bought those things we used each day…in bulk.  We ate from this supply everyday.  After a few years we found that by buying a little bulk each month, we’ve saved up quite a store. (And we were actually lowering our monthly spending)!

I won’t go into details about what we bought, because as modern families…we probably all eat differently.  We cook recipes using spices and ingredients that might be completely different.  The key, is to buy more of what you already eat/use. 

If our family ate chef boyardee once a week, I would be stocking up.  If we were eating frozen pizza…same.

The more I think about it…there is no set food storage we need to follow!  As with most things in life, do what works best for your family.

A few Tips to obtain a Modern Food Storage:

  1. make a list of what you use regularly (cleaning supplies, toothpaste, band-aids, etc)
  2. save your receipts – notice what menus you’re repeating and foods you’re buying each week/month
  3. find a place to buy it in bulk
  4. set aside a small amount each month and use it to buy one or a few things in bulk each month
  5. let me know if you find any secrets along the way
Here are a few places I’ve found helpful in my bulk quest:
  • grow a large garden (maybe even with family/friends)
  • shop your local produce stands (starting local is always best and generally cheapest)
  • regularly attend local farmers markets
  • go to the source (if you have local farmers, ask if they can sell to you in bulk for less…no middle man means lower prices)
  • Azure Standard – organic and natural in bulk, grains straight from their Idaho farm
  • Blue Chip (now Auguson Farms) – bulk specialty and food allergy mixes

For even more resources, check out my provident living page.

What are you using regularly?  Where do you buy in bulk?  Happy Storing! xoxo~katrina

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