Food storage mistakes are more common than you may think, especially for newbie preppers. While it is one of the first things that most preppers initially set up and acquire regarding their family preparedness, there are mistakes to avoid.
Food storage is easy to do, it has a big impact on general preparedness, and it doesn’t cost too much money to get started.
There are a number of ways to go about acquiring food storage. However there are also a number of food storage mistakes and pitfalls to avoid.
Food Storage Mistakes
Here are a few to consider:
Buying food storage that you don’t regularly eat
When first setting out to fill a deep pantry for preparedness, it’s easy to go overboard and start acquiring foods that you might not normally eat. Instead, especially at first, just start buying more of what you do eat!
Exception: Regardless of whether or not you normally eat them, there are foods that I do advise acquiring. Dry goods that store well for long term such as rice, beans, and wheat. Why? Because they’re packed with calories, they will sustain life, and they are easy to store for many many years (if stored properly).
Not diversifying a variety of foods
In other words, buying too much of one thing or just a few things. Can you imagine just eating rice & beans day in and day out?
Also, diversify the types of processing & storage such as canned foods, dry goods, dehydrated, freeze dried, freezer, etc..
Getting started with food storage but not following through
It’s easier to get excited about starting a new project or setting out on a new goal. But it’s harder to follow through to completion.
Keep on acquiring. Every time you’re at the grocery store, pick up some extra for your deep pantry. Keep filling those shelves. Not only will it set you up for preparedness, it will also save you money in the long run because food prices don’t go down over time…
Building up a food storage supply and letting it sit there
Although foods will be safe to eat beyond their “Use-by Best-by” date, the best way to utilize your food inventory is to consume it!
Rotate your food storage by actually consuming and replacing. Consume the oldest first, and so on… Again, don’t forget to replace it!
Not making a food inventory
After awhile, you will not remember every little thing that you’ve acquired. It’s a great idea to inventory what you have in food storage.
We simply use an Excel spreadsheet. You might choose to simply write it on paper. You can be as detailed or general as you like. But it’s a good reference to have, especially while practicing good food rotation.
Buying too much freezer food
It sure is nice having a chest freezer filled with food. I have several. However, don’t let that be the majority of what you’ve stored!
Why? Because if the electricity goes out, you might lose what you have! You might be okay for 48 hours, but unless you have a generator and unless the power comes back on before you run out of fuel, you will be SOL.
Not labeling your foods with date of purchase
This only applies to certain things, but it’s worth mentioning. For example when I acquire (or DIY) a 5 gallon bucket filled rice or wheat, I apply a strip of white artist tape and with a Sharpie write month/year. This way, later on I know which is oldest, and I’ll use that first! We also do this with some freezer food packaging.
Overlooking the Spice!
Don’t forget about all the other stuff that makes food taste great!
Let’s hear from you. What are some additional food storage mistakes to avoid?