February 10, 2013

Food Storage Goals: February Week 7 - Oats

This week our food storage focus is oats.

STEP 1: 3-Month Supply (per adult) - Oats: 5 lbs. or 2x42 oz. canisters or 2 #10 LDS cans
Why?: I get excited about oats because they are inexpensive and versatile, and great for the digestive system. They come in steel-cut, rolled and instant. You can make oatmeal, granola, cookies, brownies, apple crisp and so much more! Your 3-Month Supply should include shelf-stable foods your normally eats. Adapt how much based on the eating habits of your family. The amount shown assumes you currently eat additional items for breakfast. This is an item you will consistently replenish.
Tip: Store a few varieties based on your cooking needs. If you are having a difficult time opening #10 cans with a manual can opener, open them upside down.
Shelf Life: 1 year

STEP 2: Drinking Water - 14 gallons (FEMA) or about 4x24 ct. cases of bottled water
(Skip this step if you've already got it.)
Tip: Stock up this month! It's everywhere today, but it may not be tomorrow. Buy more to replenish what you use. Small bottles are for short-term storage because you periodically use them. More durable containers are for long-term storage and need to be refilled every 6 months.
Shelf Life: small bottles see Still Tasty.com

STEP 3: Financial Reserve (per person) - $2.00 +/- per week
(Skip this if you've already accumulated your goal.)
Tip: Start your fund this month! Decide on an amount you want for emergencies and put aside weekly amounts until you build up your reserve. Keep some in the bank and some cash at home.

STEP 4: Longer-Term Supply (per adult) - Oats: 20 lbs. or 8 #10 LDS cans or 6x3.3 lb. Mylar bags
Tips: Bucket amounts are not listed, because I prefer not to open a bucket knowing I have to use all of the item. However, if you use a lot of oats, buckets are a great way to store this item. Buying in bulk is fairly inexpensive. The LDS Home Storage Centers have 50 lb. bags of regular or quick oats for less than $16.00. Canning there yourself: 2.7 lb. #10 cans $2.50 ea., 3.3 lb. Mylar pouches $2.55 ea. Read my experience touring and canning at Welfare Square.
Shelf Life: 30 years with proper packaging and stored in a dry place at or below 75 degrees F (24 degrees C).

Toiletries Group 2 (per adult) - Toothpaste 1 ea.
Tip: Use your best judgement to figure out how much to stock up on for your family. A 3-month or 12 -month supply may be affordable for some families, but a 1 month supply may work for others. Once you know how much you want to stock, try to restock it after you use one.

Preparedness Goal - Copy important documents
How: What should you copy for your grab and go kits? What should you put in a safety deposit box? What should you shred and what should you keep? This is the most complete resource I have ever seen and was updated in January 2013. Check out Managing Household Records at USA.gov.

Equipment Goal - Crank or solar cell phone charger
Why: How quickly does your cell phone battery die? You could be without power for  a week. How will you charge your cell phone so you can communicate with others or check the news? Consider investing in a device that will help you charge your cell phone. A few options are a hand crank charger for about $17.00 or a solar charger for about $120.00.

Weekly Inventory - Snacks
How: Go through your supply of snacks such as food bars, chips, crackers, etc. Count, organize, and use those items close to their expiration date. Toss dented or torn container. Mark amounts on your inventory list.

Good luck on your weekly goals. You CAN do it! Here is the printout of the February 2013 Food Storage list.

Instructions:
Each week, I post various food storage and emergency items to gather. By stocking up year round, you build up your supplies economically, use some, leave some on the shelf, and buy some more. Cycling keeps your items fresh and integrated into your everyday diet. I've incorporated the LDS 4-Step Approach to Home Storage, but with my suggested items to gather.

Work on STEP 1, 2 and 3, before moving to STEP 4: Long-Term Food Supply. It may take you awhile to gather your 3-Month Supply, water and a financial reserve. As long as you are moving forward, that's what matters most. Only gather what you can afford, will eat, and choose goals you have time for. Substitute other foods that work for your family.

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