Fall is my favorite time of year! There is so much to look forward to: the change of color on the trees, football games, General Conference, holidays with family, yummy food, and case lot sales. Yes! I even look forward to that.
This month my food storage focus is oils and fats. Our bodies need fats to absorb certain nutrients to help our bodies function. When I think of fats it reminds me of the tin man in the Wizard of Oz getting some much needed oil. He says, "Oil can! My goodness! I can talk again. Oil my arms, please. Oil my elbows."
As we enter the holiday season, cooking oil, shortening, chocolate chips and baking chocolate go on sale. Of course I put chocolate chips in my food storage. Costco usually puts bags of them on sale, so I pick up two large bags and store them in my freezer for the coming year. But they don't have to be frozen. Put something yummy in your food storage too, since those little yummies can be great stress relievers during emergencies. And they taste good too!
In October, I buy a few cans of roast beef (Wal-mart), and some beef or turkey jerky for my 3-month food storage supply. These items are too costly for me to buy a year's supply. They are the least expensive at stores like Costco or Sam's Club. Some of you know how to dry your own beef, but this suburban mom just buys it.
It's important to store oil properly. Oil should NOT be stored in a garage where the heat will ruin it. Unopened vegetable oil has a 1-year shelf life, though it can be stored longer if you store it in a very cool (not freezing) location. Once opened the shelf-life is 4 - 6 months, so it's a good idea to write the date you open it on the outside of the bottle.
Oils should be stored in a dark location such as a closed cupboard or pantry. Olive oil has about a 6-month shelf life, but can be stored for a year in a refrigerator. To avoid using rancid oil, always smell it first. Sticks or canned shortening have a 2-year shelf life. Once opened, canned shortening has a 1 year shelf life, but the sticks only have a 6-month shelf life. I just threw too many numbers at you didn't I. Many of you are fans of coconut oil for your food storage, and since I'm not an expert on it, all I can say is my friends love it.
Peanut or almond butter is another item I stock up on this month, but remember it has a short shelf life of about 1 year. I usually keep a 6 month supply on hand in the small 18 oz. containers because we use it slowly. If you need help figuring out the shelf life of any food item, visit StillTasty.com or look at the expiration date the manufacturer put on the item. And remember to see if the date is truly an expiration date OR a best buy date. Many items can be stored beyond the best buy date, but be careful about oils as rancid foods can make you sick. Yuck!
There are no long-term food storage items (20 to 30 year shelf-life) to gather this month, however continue to put a little bit of money in your emergency fund each week, and keep your emergency supply of drinking water up to date. How much water? At least one gallon per person for 14 days or at least 14 gallons per person. This can be used for cooking. If you live in Utah, cases of bottled water go on sale for about $2.50 at the case lot sales. That's about .10 per bottle for commercially prepared water. You can always get them at warehouse stores too.
My October emergency preparedness focus is fire prevention. It's time to test those smoke alarms, get your fire extinguisher tested, check that carbon monoxide alarm and have a mock fire drill. If you don't have a fire extinguisher, get one for small fires. Never use on large fires. Just get out!
DISASTER! No one likes that word, but the cleanup afterwards is awful. This month, put together a disaster cleanup kit. Many of these supplies can be found at your dollar store. Or you may have some on hand already. Wouldn't it be nice to be ready to help your neighbors? The following video by United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) has a disaster cleaning bucket. I think they do a pretty good job explaining it.
That's it for October. Don't bite off more than you can chew. Decide what you CAN do this month, and do it!
"And inasmuch as they are faithful they shall be preserved,
and I, the Lord, will be with them."
and I, the Lord, will be with them."
Go here to print my October Emergency Preparedness List.pdf
Go here for my 12 Monthly Preparedness Lists