Last week I wrote about how everyone needs a go bag for emergency situations. To go along with dealing with emergencies I want to discuss food preparedness for beginners. Why? Because there will come a time, and it’s happened already several times this year and last, where you can’t go down to your local grocery store and buy food. How can you prepare yourself? Here’s three moves how you can.
Move #1 For Food Preparedness For Beginners: Buy Canned Foods & Other Non-Perishables
The easiest way for food preparedness for beginners is to buy canned foods (veggies, fruits, and meat) and other non-perishables (like pasta and beans) and store them in your home.
Yes, you could can your own food, and if you have the knowledge to do so then feel free. However, canning for beginners can be dangerous if they don’t know what they’re doing or don’t follow the directions properly. Improper canning can lead to foodborne diseases or even botulism (which is deadly). That’s why I suggest beginners buy canned food instead.
Now you don’t need a pantry area or a basement to store them in. You can use kitchen cabinets, a closet, shelving, an unused part of room, any place basically that isn’t too humid to store these items. I keep my canned foods in a specific kitchen cabinet, but I also have a wire shelf in my kitchen for additional storage.
Finally, buy foods that you will eat. If the store has a great deal on beans but you hate them, don’t buy it. I love salmon and sardines so I buy those canned. Yet, I don’t like canned tuna so I stay away from that. If you prefer to eat rice instead of pasta, buy that.
Move #2 For Food Preparedness For Beginners: Stock Up On Dry Goods
The next item in food preparedness for beginners is to stock up on dry goods like salt, flour, sugar, oats, spices, baking powder, and baking soda to name a few.
You need these items for several reasons:
- To improve the taste of your food (like salt or spices)
- You can use them to make other food (using flour to make bread)
- They extend or stretch out other food (mixing in oats into meat thickens it up and creates additional servings)
Now you may have to buy containers to store your dry goods because their original containers may be flimsy for long-term storage (this is especially true for beans). Invest in good quality plastic or glass containers to store these items in.
Finally, buy dry goods you will eat. If you don’t want white sugar due to health concerns, buy honey instead. If you don’t like oats, look into barley or millet. Can’t have flour due to gluten issues? Look into alternatives like almond meal, buckwheat flour or brown rice flour.
Move #3 For Food Preparedness For Beginners: Stock Your Freezer
There will be a time when you come across meat on sale or on clearance, and when you do you need to buy as much as you can fit into your freezer.
Freezing meat (or fruits or veggies) is a great move for food preparedness for beginners. I do this constantly because meat is expensive. Actually, I search different stores now for great meat deals or meats on clearance. When I find a bunch I buy as much as I can.
The same goes with fruit and veggies. You can buy fresh produce and freeze them in freezer-safe bags. I love to do that with berries.
If you want to buy a deep-freezer you can, especially if you have a large family. This way you can freeze more food instead of overloading your regular freezer which isn’t good for the life of the device.
Final Move: Invest In Different Cooking Devices
Many homes have electric or gas stoves for cooking, along with microwaves. Yet, how will you cook your food if there’s an extended power or gas outage? That’s why you need to invest in different cooking devices.
You can buy a charcoal or gas grill and the appropriate fuel source for each. However, this move won’t work if you don’t have the outdoor space for a grill. This will not work if you live in an apartment or condo where you can’t grill due to their rules.
In these cases investing in a camping stove that uses propane or butane is a good alternative. The fuel for these stoves is inexpensive and you can store them easily.
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