Prepping, homesteading and living the simple, green, independent life.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Advantages to Storing Food

"Are you expecting some a disaster or something?", my wife said after I set up our new can organizer.
Tth Cansolidator is a can organizer that I bought through Shelf Reliance, which are actually meant to go in cupboards or pantry shelves. The plastic is pretty sturdy and it's easy to put together but if I had the money and space, I'd probably have gotten one of the larger metal framed shelving units. 
The basic idea with these is that you put new cans in the top slot and when you want one you pull it from the bottom slot. When you pull out a can, the others roll forward. This way you're always pulling out the oldest can and you automatically rotate your supply.
I've seen designs online to build your own out of cardboard and some really interesting do-it yourself systems between wall studs or using old dressers.
I really wanted to try making my own out of cardboard but I broke down and bought the Cansolidator since I never had the time.
When you begin storing food a lot of people have reactions similar to my wife (who I think was only half-joking).  For some reason you get labeled as a paranoid hoarder.
Back in the ice-storm of 98 I remember driving out with my parents to the only grocery store in town that was open.  The power was out everywhere and the only way we could see was with our car headlights. 
The grocery store was on the other side of town and the roads were pure ice.  I recall almost ditching the car a few times and when we finally got there, the store was almost totally empty.  I don't remember everything that we bought but the only meat we could find was a stick of dried pepperoni and since all the bread was gone we bought pitas to make sandwhiches.
Luckily the power was only out in our town for a few days and we had enough food to last that long.
So ya, having a few weeks worth of non-perishable food would come in handy if there's an emergency like that but this isn't the only reason.
First off, the food is something I'm gonna buy anyway so the money isn't wasted.  This is why it's important to follow the saying of "eat what you store, store what you eat".  Think about what you often buy and eat; there's usually quite a few things that you use a few times per month.  To be more accurate, you could even make a log of what you buy and eat.
Secondly, it's also just handy to have the food on hand.  If guests come over you don't have to do a grocery run and if the stores are closed you're not stuck.
For me however, the main attraction is reducing our overall cost of food.  By stocking food you're never in a situation where you "have" to buy a certain item.  Thanks to this I can watch the prices of items I stock and only buy when the price is low.  For example, one item I always keep stocked is Kraft Diner.  I've seen the price for KD be anywhere from 50 cents to $1.40.  My rule is that I buy when it's less than 80 cents so if KD is over a buck one week, I know I can hold off on buying until the price drops because there's a dozen boxes at home.
It may seem like a big expensive job, but if you just buy one or two extra things each time you do groceries you won't notice it.  I figure I only spend an extra $5 or so each time but it's surprising how fast you can stock up.  In no time you can be a paranoid hoarder too!


  1. My grandparents were, and my father still is, of this mindset. There were always plenty of canned goods on hand, and regularly purchased items on sale were always stocked up on.

    I thought it came from living through the depression and the second World War; but the idea is still very applicable to today's family. In fact, I would say you're wasting money if you don't do this in your own life.

  2. Local prepper here again...

    What's more important, having food to eat, or having people think you are crazy now? There is only one answer. If your wife thinks you are storing too much food...just don't tell her about it, and keep doing it. Bottom line is that it's your job as the man to protect her, and that is what this is all about.

  3. lol, ya it's true. Luckily she doesn't mind and is coming around to thinking that some of this stuff is cool.

    My grandparents were never really into stocking a pantry, though my grandma did pickle a bit. I'm really impressed by my wife's grandparents who are in their 90s and still do canning and keep a well stocked pantry/cold room.

    Sorry about the late reply, it seems that gmail has been putting blog comment notifications into the spam box...