Using Your Food Storage

Unused food storage is just very expensive garbage. To get the best use out of your food storage, use it regularly, and replace what you use. The catch phrase is, "Store what you use and use what you store." Excellent advice.

I. Why Store Food?

One obvious reason for storing food is that natural disaster could cut off food supplies to you or to your grocery stores, or the threat of disaster could result in hoarding food by the community, emptying store supplies before they could be replenished. Food storage can be a Godsend when financial or family crisis occurs. Your food storage may be a used in a welcome basket for new neighbors or a care basket for someone in dire straits. Beyond that, food storage is great for everyday use. Buying in bulk or larger quantities than usual can result in savings on your regular grocery bill. Practicing bulk storage and shopping for seasonal sales can significantly reduce your expenses in the long run, providing some extra budget money for savings, education, family needs, or even entertainment.

Handout: "Food Storage in the Home" 
13 page pdf file
Download this file HERE or HERE

II. What to Store?

Deciding what to store can be the obstacle that prevents many people from going forth with their food storage plans. Begin by storing what you already use that has a good shelf life and provides a variety of food with adequate nutrition. Add items to complement these, and don't forget the seasonings and cooking essentials.  Build your storage pantry on these items, adding foods that you will use which store well.

Handout: "Having Your Food Storage and Eating it Too" 
10 page pdf file
Download this file HERE or HERE

III. Using Food Storage

Use your food storage before the shelf life runs out. As the shelf life expires, food loses nutritional value. To get the best nutrition from your storage, rotate your supplies by using the oldest items first. Put new items toward the back of your shelves, behind newer items of the same food. Food storage that's too old too eat may still have uses. For example, flour may be used as paste or for papier mache crafts. Grains and TVP may be added to feed for some animals (check with your vet for food safety.) Learn the shelf life for the foods you store so that you don't store more than you will use.

Handout: "Storing Food Safely" 
8 page pdf file
Download this file HERE or HERE

IV. Cooking with Food Storage

In these fast-food times, it's easy to avoid cooking altogether. But learning to cook with food storage need not be an elaborate culinary enterprise. The canned tuna in your pantry is a great food storage item. You can combine it with salad fixings for a quick meal or serve it with relish and mayo on crackers. Add it to pasta or mac and cheese for a quick casserole. Those frozen vegetables can turn into quick stew with a little meat and tomato sauce or a covered casserole with a can of soup. The meat and bread in the freezer might be meatloaf or stir-fry on toast. Spaghetti or pasta is a quick meal, and you can used canned chicken if you're out of beef. Peanut butter isn't just a quick sandwich for the kids. It's good protein to add to bread, cookies, and it becomes candy when added to powdered sugar and rolled into balls. Look for recipes that utilize what you already have in ways that you will feel comfortable preparing them.

Handout: "Food Storage Cooking School" 
124 page pdf file
Download this file HERE or HERE

Handout: "Safe Home Food Storage" 
15 page pdf file
Download this file HERE or HERE

* banner by Jeri Callan
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