Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Free Food Storage Buckets!

I got some free food storage buckets Sunday from the bakery at one of my local supermarkets. I had heard you could do this, but had never before tried it. The ones I got are 3-gallon icing buckets. The lids on these won’t seal air-tight, so I’ll need to either use mylar bags or find another way of sealing them –K thinks silicone sealant will work. But they were free. All I had to do was clean them out and deodorize them with vinegar. That certainly beats paying nearly $10 each from some of the supply houses.

With things going the way they are, I am becoming more and more concerned about keeping enough food stored up to get us through. I’ve read several reports that each estimate global grain production will go down by about 15% this year –and that is an utter disaster. Then there is the Irish Potato Blight, which is devastating gardens and farms alike across the country. All in all, having food stored in the pantry makes me feel a lot more secure. Before K moved in I had enough food to last me three months. That, of course, halved when she moved in. We both agree that building up the pantry is a priority, so I am working on that as much as possible. Our eventual goal is to have a year’s worth of food on hand. That will not happen tomorrow, but we think we can do it in about 6 months.

If you don’t have any idea how much food one person eats in a year, go take a look at the LDS food calculator. It will give you a rough idea. There are several other calculators out there that do the same thing, and have roughly the same numbers. Those numbers are sheer calories –grains, beans, fats, cooking aids. They don’t include fruit and vegetables. The water requirement listed is for one week, as its generally considered impractical to store more water than that.

Here are the numbers for two people:
Grains -600 lb
Legumes -120 lb
Fats and Oils -26 lb
Sugars -120 lb
Milk -170 lb

It’s quite a lot, but my estimates indicate it can be done for around $1000. Less, with really smart shopping. But remember, ANYTHING stored is better than nothing if things go south. A year is a goal we’re striving for, but not one everyone can or even wants to meet. If you don’t have anything stores, start small. Buy an extra jar of peanut butter or a pound of dried beans the next time you go to the store. Every little bit helps.

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