It's quite possible that I am going to bite off more than I can chew on this post, yet, here I am. I can't help myself. I like getting to talk to you everyday. Even if I don't know what I'm talking about. Today, we're discussing a misunderstood and sometimes even controversial topic, but still I think it's an important one for a homestead to consider.
For when times get a little rough people.
I first started thinking about storing food when I thought about how nice it would be to have extra storage built up for financially challenging times. To have a storage of preserved fruits, vegetables, and grains to draw from if when we needed to. Also, I am very smitten with the idea of preserving what food we can grow and harvest ourselves so that we can enjoy it throughout the winter. I like this because I know exactly where and how the food is grown, as well as the fact that we can save a significant amount of money growing organic vegetables ourselves. Preserving food through the winter is a great way to make the most of a bounty during the summer.
That being said, we have only begun our ultimate food storage journey. As I stated before, the focus of our food storage is to provide us with quality food during financially tough times (as well as to save money by buying in bulk).
Why should I think about preserving and storing food?
It's cheaper to buy in bulk.
It's easier to buy in bulk because you have to shop less often.
If a season of hardship come, it will help ease the sting of having to buy groceries.
It's like having a grocery store in your closet. And that's cool.
Where to buy the food.
In our area, we have a great natural food supplier, Azure Standard. They offer a zillion items available in bulk and have a great selection of grains and such. It's a great resource for anyone who is looking to affordably build their food storage. We are able to get the items shipped for almost nothing by being added onto their “drop list” which comes by once a month. Don't live in the Northwest? Do some research online to find a wholesale natural food supplier near you! You will save a considerable amount of money going through a supplier like this versus purchasing the food at a natural foods store. Plus, the selection of organic grains is much larger. Sometimes these items are also available at wholesale suppliers, such as URM. We have been able to find good deals on rice, sugar, and oats through such suppliers.
Where and how will I store it?
Even if you feel like you don't have the room, get creative! Buckets of grains can easily fit into closets, under beds, in garages or cellars, in your laundry room, or even behind your furniture! If food storage is a goal of yours, just make it happen baby! There's room. You can find it. Kick your little kids out of their beds and stack your buckets on there instead. I joke. But seriously, you can probably find room if you try.
Get this my friends – I have ten, food grade, three gallon buckets in my closet and they didn't cost me a dime. Know what I did? I called a local grocery store, asked for the bakery department, and cried until they agreed to give me their frosting buckets for free. Lucky for them, they agreed rather quickly. No, but seriously, every time I have gone they have had stacks and stacks of buckets and are eager to give me however many I desire. This is a great way to get food grade buckets to store your grains and goodies in for free. (And might I just mention, the perfect bucket size for making your kombucha?!) Just make sure they are food grade and that they have a nice seal on them. Don't spend a ton of money buying fancy buckets online – we must be resourceful!
Where will I find the money to stock up?
For many of us, this is the hard part. How do you prepare for financially tough times while being careful to not create one while doing it? Here is a great idea I was just reading about – stash away $5 a week in an envelope. Just do it. In a few short weeks, you'll have enough to get started! It's a process…a journey. We won't be able to just go buy a ton of extra groceries because we don't have that kind of extra money. But what we can do is slowly and steadily save and build our supply. I received a Christmas bonus this year and was finally able to buy my gallon of honey and bag of wheat berries I have been longing for! Even though it takes awhile, it is important to built your food storage in a financially responsible way. Don't put this on the credit card – Grandma wouldn't allow that on her homestead.
It's a beautiful journey my friends. Homesteads are the perfect place to store food. They preserve their harvest, and like the ant, work diligently to store all they can for the long winter months ahead. I will be doing a Food Storage, Part Deux tomorrow that will focus on what foods are good for storage, why, and what our personal goals are for our homestead.
I am grateful to know that if Stuart and I both get fired for picking our noses at work, we would at least be able to eat oatmeal, canned peaches, and jasmine rice. Oh, and salsa.
And then we would probably move back in with my parents.
Let's hope it doesn't go that far.
Hey Mom and Dad!