As a college student, I sometimes feel like a nomad. I move frequently, so food storage always seemed like a waste of space to me. The closest thing to food storage I had was 40 frozen corn dogs from Costco! Besides, food storage is a “grown-up” thing that I don’t need to worry about until after college.
Then I realized that although we may feel invincible, college students are in fact NOT immune from natural disasters and worldwide plagues, I decided I needed to have some sort of emergency preparedness in case tragedy strikes.
Preparing your own food storage is a lot more practical than that. It is important to think of the foods you like and use on a weekly basis, especially those with a long shelf life. For example, if you don’t know how to use or cook with rolled oats, you don’t need it! Keep things simple. If you were to be placed in a situation where you need to use your food storage, storing items that you already know how to use will make things easy and not nearly as intimidating.
Sometimes building a supply of food can be intimidating, especially when on a budget. Simply start small. You do not have to buy everything at once. Notice when items you frequently buy go on sale. When your favorite cereal is having a buy one, get one free discount, put the extra box in your food storage.
Until researching it, I didn’t realize that most of the food that counts as food storage is actually food I buy on a pretty consistent basis. Some items include:
- Nonperishable foods for your pantry to carry you through for a couple of weeks: peanut butter, jerky, pasta, nuts, cereal, dried fruit, canned beans, canned soup, granola, protein bars, juice boxes
- Household food item staples: salt, pepper, olive oil, vegetable oil, honey
- Go-to sickbed foods, like chicken or vegetable broth and crackers in case of illness
- A 30-day supply of water (water bottles or a Britta Filter)
- Hydrating drinks such as Gatorade or Body Armor
- Powdered drink mix-ins
I have always hated the idea of powdered milk. After writing this article, I spoke with Gale Boyd, my writing manager here at Third Hour. She told me she also had always hated non-fat powdered milk, but when her family moved abroad, they became familiar with NIDO. NIDO is made by Nestle and is full-fat, so it will give you nutrition in times of need. Plus it tastes amazing so you won’t feel deprived if you love milk. The instructions for mixing are easy to follow on the label, and you can find a big can of it in the Mexican foods sections of most grocery stores. Buy one can of that and some cocoa and sugar and you’ll always have chocolate milk. It has about a 2-year shelf life.
And I know it is not technically good to rely on frozen foods for food storage, but I have a few staple items, like meatballs and corn dogs, that I know will come in handy should I need a quick meal. I also know that if there is not an emergency before I move out at the end of the semester, I will still be able to eat these food items.
Keim folded sheets smaller, put a few of the blankets on the side of the couch, and squished the remaining pillows and sheets onto the same shelf as the towels. And voila! A food storage area was now available.
You can find free space in your house for food storage; it may just take some creativity on your part. But considering the benefits of having a food safety net, it’s totally worth it.
Three to Four-Month Supply
As President Gordon B. Hinckley once said:
“We can begin ever so modestly. We can begin with a one week’s food supply and gradually build it to a month, and then to three months. I am speaking now of food to cover basic needs. As all of you recognize, this counsel is not new. But I fear that so many feel that a long-term food supply is so far beyond their reach that they make no effort at all. Begin in a small way . . . and gradually build toward a reasonable objective.”
May we come to understand the importance of food storage and make it a priority in our lives.
How do you store food in a tiny space?