Hard times can hit anyone, and when they do, it's good to be prepared. Natural disasters happen all over the world. Hard economic times can create unexpected layoffs or job shortages. There could be droughts or flooding, creating a crop shortage. Having a food storage can keep you fed in an emergency. You could even use the food in your food storage to save on the grocery bill during a tight month. Building up a food storage can help offset some of the negative consequences of the unexpected.
Find a place for your food storage. A cool, dark place such as a cellar or basement is the best option. Set up some shelving units and/or pallets. You could also designate a few extra cupboards in your kitchen or couple of shelves in your pantry. Some people store extra cans of food under beds or other out-of-the-way furniture.
Make a plan to acquire a basic food storage. Store food that will keep you alive in an emergency first. If you had to live off your food storage for an extended amount of time, you'll want to have some of the basics on hand. Make sure to include the following foods in your basic food storage: grains, legumes, powdered milk, cooking oil, sugar or honey, and salt.
Store water. Try to have at least a two-week emergency reserve of water. There are many water containers on the market for extended water storage. BePrepared.com is one resource to try. You could also use juice or soda bottle containers for water storage.
Supplement your basic food storage. Once you have several months' worth of the basic foods, you can begin to add different foods for some variety. You can pick up a few extra cans of food whenever you go to the grocery store to add to your food storage.
Rotate the food in your storage. Some foods, such as honey, wheat, sugar, white rice and pinto beans, can store up to 30 years or longer if properly stored. Other foods may need to be used before disaster strikes. To keep the food in your storage from going bad, keep the oldest food items in front, while putting the new ones behind them. Use shorter-term storage items in your meals, while continuing to add to your storage. Check cans of food, boxes and other items for "use by" dates. If your food item does not list one, mark the date of purchase on the can or box with a permanent marker.