People often bemoan what it takes to get a food storage program in place. The time, money, effort, planning and work is enough to cause a deer in headlights look from most newbies. But with the work and expense comes the blessings. So today we’re going to look at some of the benefits to a food storage program.
Food storage is a form of insurance. Jeff is on another temporary layoff as his industry is down again. We haven’t received a full paycheck since mid-October. No doubt about it, it’s been lean recently. Food storage has acted as a form of insurance for our family. We haven’t had to worry about affording food while money is tight, it was already taken care of. I haven’t had to choose between food and a house payment while paying the bills.
Food storage is a form of protection against inflation. Food prices are rising, some of them quickly. It is a blessing to have rice we bought last year after Jeff’s last round of unemployment for 25% less than today’s prices. I do not look forward to having to start buying peanut butter again after the recent, ghastly price hike. It recently rose 40% where we live. Even dry beans have gone up 50% since I started storing food.
Food storage protects against the adjustment period when you experience income loss. I know few people who have received a raise since 2007, yet prices keep going up and up. I do know a lot of people who have taken pay cuts in order to stay employed. Our income is down 50% since 2007 and will likely drop again in January. Having a supply of the foods you used to be able to eat and afford helps while you readjust your income and figure out what you can and can not afford. It also helps your children adjust to the tightening budget because you can make the change gradually.
Food storage saves time. Winter is upon us. It is SO NICE to not have to go to the grocery store weekly in the bad weather. It saves us gas and time. No quick trips to the store because I’m missing an ingredient for the meal or dish I’m fixing.
Food storage saves money. No money spent in gas to go shopping, no extra money spent on things picked up that weren’t necessities during that trip to the store, and everything bought in bulk saves money over what it would have cost in smaller packages.
Food storage reduces stress on the enitre family. Having the foods I needed for both kid’s birthday and the holidays despite scrimping to meet the bills was a huge blessing. We make an effort to focus holidays on activities, food and togetherness instead of gifts. It was a good Thanksgiving and Christmas for my children, without them carrying the burden of our financial struggle.
Food storage helps everyone’s attitude during lean times. Food has a huge impact on attitude for both children and adults. Despite the difficulties, our diet has remained relatively consistent. They haven’t felt deprived. I haven’t had to tell them no to their favorite dishes and they haven’t gone without foods they enjoy. Instead, they’re happy and willing to do things like help hang out laundry and keep extra lights turned off as their way to contribute, helping the family instead of grumbling about having to do without in many areas.
Finally, food storage provides family time. Because food storage items used in a traditional food storage program require time to prepare, my children are spending more time with me in the kitchen. It’s a nice bit of family time while they learn some new skills.
So keep your eyes on the prize when you’re planning your food storage program. Yes, there is planning and work involved, but there is also a great blessing and you reap rewards from the hard work.
If you’d like a full food storage program laid out for you that keeps you on a traditional foods diet with no packaged or processed foods, check out our book, Real Food Storage.
This recipe comes from Real Food Storage. If you have a roast in the freezer, you can crock-pot it and then have it on hand for meals such as this. You can also cook a fresh roast or use home-canned roast for this meal. It’s flexible no matter how you obtain the meat. Use a fresh bell pepper or pineapple if it’s in season and you can obtain one. I often use home-canned pineapple and skip the bell pepper unless they’re coming in fresh from my garden.
Hands-on: 15 minutes
Hands-off: 7-8 hrs / 1 hr
1 onion, diced
4 or more cups shredded, cooked roast
1 (8-ounce) can pineapple
2 Tbs sucanat or rapadura or other solid, unrefined sweetener
2 Tbs cornstarch
¼ tsp ginger
½ cup beef stock
¼ cup tamari, coconut aminos or homemade soy sauce substitute
1 clove garlic, pressed or 1/8 tsp garlic granules
1 green bell pepper, sliced into sticks, optional
Place the onion in the bottom of a crock-pot and place the meat on top. Drain the pineapple and reserve the juice. Set the pineapple aside and in a small bowl, whisk the pineapple juice, sucanat, cornstarch, ginger, stock, tamari and garlic and smooth. Pour over the roast and cover. Cook on low 2 hours.
Add reserved pineapple and bell pepper. Cover and cook about an hour, or until the bell pepper is tender.
To stretch this meal, give small servings over extra grain. If you want to use fresh pineapple, cube up about 1 cup of pineapple, and put the extra through a juicer or blender to create 1/3-1/2 cup fluid.