Today we tackle the Bermuda Triangle of food storage: rotating, storing, and using.
If you’re a little lost in this food storage trifecta, you’re not alone– and we’re here to help.
Rotating your Food Storage: Which strategy is right for you?
There are three basic camps of thought when it comes to rotation your food storage:
- As you use it, you replace it one can or bottle, or better yet, one meal at a time.
- Every 5-10 years you just replace it all at once.
- You never replace it, an when it comes time to use it, you either say a quick prayer and eat the off-color, mushy food, give it to someone who has nothing to eat, or throw it away–which would be a terrible waste.
You’ve probably guessed that we’re secretly hoping you opt in for option 1. If, however, you aren’t sure, let’s see if we can use a little of our magical food storage powers to persuade you to at least giving it a try.
Using and replacing your food storage has so many benefits. Besides being cheaper and healthier, learning to cook with it will lead you to things like making your own bread or tortillas. Your family and friends will be amazed at your cooking skills as you produce delicious meals made from “food storage,” making them believers too. As a side benefit, you learn to replace any good, bad and yucky recipes or ingredients with ones you love. As you do this, you will want to buy more food so you can make more delicious meals. And it goes on and on and you will be happy and blessed. Okay, so maybe that was a little much, but we had to give it a shot. really try it; you just may like it. IF after this you still think you won’t rotate, then go for the products that have the longest shelf life.
Easy Storage Solutions
Chances are you have more space for food storage in your home than you realize! It doesn’t require a special “cold storage” room, although those are handy, just a tucked away place with a few extra shelves or inches of space. Yes, you may need to clean out a few closets and de-clutter but hasn’t that been on your to-do list for awhile now? Here are a few ideas to get you started.
Closets: Is there a closet your family doesn’t need? Think about coat closets, under stair storage, the baby’s room, etc. Could one of those be converted into an extra pantry? Most closets have wasted space at the top where people can’t reach. Make use of the space by adding in extra shelves and storing #10 cans there.
Beds: Store extra food storage under the bed. Did you know you can fit a complete basic year supply of food in cases of #10 cans, under one twin sized bed? Or you can check out Thrive Life’s under bed can rotators or use storage boxes sized to fit under the bed for easy pull-out abilities.
Couches: Place a short bookshelf or faux sofa table behind your couch! Fit cans on the shelves behind the couch and place decorative items on top where people can see. Or, if your couch is tall enough, place food under your couch.
Food Rotation Systems: Thrive really has the market on these products. They range in sizes small enough to fit on a pantry shelf to large enough to fit rows and rows of food. Debbie used these as “modern art” in her living room for a few years. They were functional, being close to the kitchen and made great converstaion pieces. P.S. The best sales are on Black Friday where you can almost ensure you’re getting the best deal.
Cooking with Food Storage: From Cans and Buckets to Delicious Meals
Because we want you to think of your food storage more as meals rather than as cans and buckets of wheat, beans and milk. You need to learn how to put together great long-term supply in terms of measl the way your family would eat them. What we, and hopefully you, care about is making a great long-term plan that is successful, easy to use, and that won’t break the budget.
- Make Over Your Own Recipes
Look for easy meals like spaghetti or fettuccine alfredo that your family already eats. Noodles with a bottled sauce make for very easy shelf-stable meals. Also, look for recipes where the only fresh ingredients are meat and/or vegetables. A lot of these may be soup recipes but definitely aren’t limited to soup. Recipes that are saucy with meat and served over a carb are also very easy to transition to shelf-stable. Frozen or fresh vegetables can be replaced with canned and fresh meat cane exchanged with canned meat. Take a walk down your local canned food aisle. You will probably be surprised at all the canned foods that can be used in your every day recipes.
- Get a Good Book
If you’re really afraid your family would starve if they had to actually live off your food storage you may need a little more coaxing and hand-holding before you begin cooking with your food storage. Have no fear! I Can’t Believe It’s Food Storage will help you easily transition common food storage items (such as powdered milk, whole wheat, and dried beans) into your own recipes with a simple step-by-step plan designed to help you create delicious meals your family already loves!
- Make a Menu
Your best chance for success is in using a menu. It helps you know how much you need to store, cuts down on waste, and gives you a plan to follow. Here are some basic goals for your menu:
Breakfasts: choose at least two weeks of meals.
Plan for at least two weeks of breakfast meals that you can rotate for the year. We won’t judge you for choosing cold cereal for the two weeks, if you don’t. The most important thing is to be REAL with yourself and what your family normal eats.
Lunches: choose at least two weeks of meals
It may be hard to think of a variety of lunches to serve, but the key to variety is in the snacks. Basic lunches start with a sandwich and are coupled with snacks like chips, crackers, fruit, and yogurt. You may be surprised at how many options you will have to put in that brown paper sack.
Dinners: choose at least two to four weeks of dinners
Think of your family comfort classics, budget friendly beans and rice (really, they can taste good!), and meals your kids love. Separate them into themes to make it easy for you to plan for variety.
Desserts: choose at least four to have every month
After all, the family that eats dessert together stays together. Plan for a few treats every once in a while–it will keep you all from going crazy. You’ll want to pick easy-to-make desserts that are real comfort treats for your family.
Building your long term storage is probably on of the easiest parts of gathering food storage. Start with a plan, how many pounds/cans/buckets of each product will you family need for a basic year supply Next, add some spices, fruits, vegetables and meats to make basic meals. Then set a goal of how fast you want to gather it all up. Finally, go and do. Don’t make excuses, just find a way to get it done.
Having made it all the way through this four part series makes you very special! Many people, in theory, want to know more about food storage but few actually do something about it! So congratulations! We hope you have been inspired to take some simple actions that will have a dramatic impact on your life over the long term. Having a successful and useful food storage plan and supply of food is not simply about accumulating food. It’s also about relieving stress and worries about the future. In other words, having a food storage plan should not only change your future, it should also change your present.
And if you would like more simple and savvy food storage advice, you should get our latest book Store This, Not That!. Think of it as the Cliff notes for food storage. It’s amazing in that it goes straight to what works, and forgets everything else. You’ll be able to quickly decipher what you should and should not be storing, learn space saving tricks and insider information to save you $1,000s of dollars when buying your food storage and in the end how to make delicious meals your family would actually eat–including a full menu of food storage meals! Get it on Amazon prime, HERE.