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We have been counseled for years by many prophets to store away food for a rainy day. There are many instances throughout time that we can point to and say, "Yes, that is why they said to have food storage."
However, I believe it is often the lesser seen small emergencies that food storage is most important. We can not know everything that will happen in our lives- lose of a job, illness in our families, or cutbacks. Hard things happen in life and we need to be prepared. President Gordon B. Hinckley (former Prophet and President) stated,
"I do not predict any impending disaster. I hope that there will not be one. But prudence should govern our lives. Everyone who owns a home recognizes the need for fire insurance. We hope and pray that there will never be a fire. Nevertheless, we pay for insurance to cover such a catastrophe, should it occur."
If nothing else comes from your food storage, you can have peace of mind. That has been one of my biggest blessings from our food storage. I know we can easily go for at least a month without going to the store. What a relief! Perhaps the best blessing, however, is knowing that you are following the words of the prophets. We can live our lives knowing we are acting in obedience to his words.
As you begin to build your food storage or continue to build it, remember to consider the following:
- Store Food You Like (and that will be good for you)- If you don't like red hard wheat now, you won't like it later. Yes, as you become really hungry, you'll eat anything. However, you don't have to torture yourselves with your own food storage. Stock up on the items you like. So many today need to go gluten-free. Wheat is often the first thing we think of in terms of food storage but that doesn't mean it needs to be in yours. Plan for nutritious meals that right for your family.
- TRY IT- You won't know you like it if you don't try it. Open a can and try it out. Use it in a week of meals so you will know how you will end up using it. You may be surprised that you don't want to use it as often as you originally thought or its great in everything. Once you try it, you can get a better feel of quantities you will need. If you don't like it- swap it with some friends for something you do.
- Check it- Go look at your supply every 6 months or so. While we hope we are putting our food storage in a safe spot, things happen. Make sure it is still safe and there. My husband was awful at going to down to his family's food storage when he was a kid and sneaking food. He was very skillful at it too so you wouldn't notice it unless you were really looking. His parents would go down to grab something and wonder what happened. So double check (especially if you have hungry teenage boys)!!
- Be Creative- You can have the space if you want to have the space. You have the money if you really want to have the money. There is a way. I get a lot of our items thanks to couponing sites (hip2save is my favorite by the way). If there is something my family will eat and I can get it for free or pretty close I'm definitely stocking up on it. We store some things in our front closet, some in the basement, some in the playroom. Money and space can be tight but if you get creative and pray about it, I know you'll find a way.
- Don't go to Extremes- Don't go out and buy all your food supplies at once unless you actually have the means to do so. No need to go into debt to build up your food storage. One day at a time.
- Store more than food and water- Yes, this is a food storage post but also think beyond food. What else will you need when times are tough- whether its financially tough or because of a natural disaster. Clothes? Hygiene products? Important documents? Money? Put aside a little money each paycheck so you can have some extra when you need it. Even very small amounts add up. Get out of debt as fast as you can.
- Remember the counsel from President Hinckley, "The best welfare program is our own welfare program. Five or six cans of wheat in the home are better than a bushel in the welfare granary."
Commit today to be better prepared for whatever life brings. "Many more people could ride out the storm-tossed waves in their economic lives if they had a supply of food and clothing and were debt-free" (President Thomas S. Monson, Prophet and President). More questions about food storage? Check the church's website for lots of great info.
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