5 Food Storage Hacks

By Lee Bellinger / November 12, 2013

Smart Moves for Food Storage
as Inflationary Pressures
and Social Chaos Threaten

Stock your pantry
Your grandmother’s pantry with its seemly endless supply of canned goods, bottled preserves, and other staples is more than just a pleasant childhood memory. For many Americans, the extended pantry is making a comeback. The immense value of maintaining an extended food supply is quickly being realized.
With the uncertainties of our food supply and constant price increases at the grocery store, putting food away makes a lot of sense. With rising food costs, shrinking packaging, portion sizes, and uncertainties with the weather related crop shortages, it’s basic food insurance.
We want to tell you about the benefits and practicality of creating a centralized storage place for your family’s food supplies, and how you can customize it to fit whatever space you may have on hand.

It’s No Longer Quaint
to Stock Up on Food

Government inflation statistics fail to show that food portions are shrinking and the amount of packaging per calorie in processed foods is growing, big time. Storing food safely is a true hedge against the falling buying power of the dollar. That’s why home pantry management is making an impressive come-back throughout the country.
At the turn of the 20th century, most homes had some type of dedicated storage area where extra items were kept on hand “just-in-case.” Additionally, they probably had some kind of root cellar. Back in the day, this was not only convenient, it was essential to have access to a storehouse of nutrition in order to keep a hungry household fed throughout the year.
Isolation brought about by great distances or geographic barriers was also a factor. Almost every home, regardless of size or location, was likely to have a dedicated storehouse filled with abundance. It was not uncommon for many to “go to town” only once or twice a year.
Even just 50 years ago, folks were far more self-reliant than they are today. Home food storage was not a luxury. Rather, it was essential to day-to-day survival and was a main theme for Homemaker Education in high schools.

Why You Need to Focus
on Home Food Storage Options

If you enjoy a modern home, you may have a gourmet kitchen with all types of high-end appliances, but you probably lack the most basic food storage. Modest homes are being built with as small a footprint as possible to reduce building costs, and even fewer are being constructed today with basements – thus reducing potential storage options.
This lack of space also reflects evolving lifestyle changes and shopping habits where the average supply of on-hand foods is usually only a few days at best. Better transportation and modern grocery stores make this “convenience” possible when everything is working correctly.
Don’t get lulled into a false sense of security.
If the system breaks down due to man-made or natural disasters, and our current “just-in-time” delivery system goes away, you will quickly appreciate having made the investment of time, space, and extra eats. If that happens, you will truly respect your home “just-in-case” pantry. You might even start to call it your Preparedness Pantry.

Smart Pantry Management:
A Hedge against Food Inflation
and Social Chaos

A pantry is a place where you store extra food. Simple enough. Dedicate or create a place where supplies can be stored for later uses. If your kitchen does not already have a place, then you should find or make a place. Your pantry can be as elaborate as modifying an existing room in your house, or as simple as re-prioritizing a closet or suitable sized shelf.
The deeper the space you can dedicate to your pantry, better. Adjustable shelves will give you additional flexibility. If doors are not feasible for the outside of your pantry, you could consider hanging a simple curtain in front. If you have the funds, you could contract with a custom closet firm and have it built to suit.
If there is no available space at all, then you should try to get creative and use your own ideas. Many home improvement stores sell basic 4′ X 8′ wood shelving kits. Another neat idea might be metal shelves kits that can hold upwards of 700 pounds, yet fit into that same space.
If you enjoy “the hunt,” then start looking at garage sales, thrift stores, and, perhaps the best place of all, building recyclers. Oftentimes, they will have just what you are looking for at a fraction of the cost.

Become Creative
About Storing Food- It Will Pay Off

If you find yourself in a situation where a conventional interior closet or free-standing shelving won’t work out, be creative. Every situation is unique and requires research and common sense.
If you are lucky enough to own a home with a full basement, then you have more options. Normally wasted space that collects family junk can be put to better good use as either a root cellar or store room. Houses without basements usually have crawl spaces. Although not perfect, being close to the earth offers the benefit of consistent temperatures throughout the year. You might even be able to convert a crawl space to a concealed root cellar.
Remember your pantry or storage location should never be in an attic or uninsulated garage. Extremes in temperatures reduce the lifespan of food and can encourage pests. Your food storage is a significant investment in time and money. The point of a pantry is preparedness, so keep that in mind and be safe. There is a wealth of specific information available on this subject, so take advantage of it!

Always Be Aware of How Much
Spare Food Is in Your House

Take a few minutes today to survey your kitchen area. Better yet, take some time and do a complete inventory of the foods you have on hand.
How long would what you have on-hand last? In a worst-case scenario how long could you go without leaving your domicile? If there were an earthquake, pandemic, or storm, could you feed your family for 3 days? Two weeks? 30 days? Or longer?
You are your best expert. Only you know best the dietary needs and special demands of your family. Now is the time to recognize your strengths and weaknesses. There are few things worse than having loved ones who are hungry and not being able to feed them. Avoid this situation by taking the time to be proactive and be prepared with your custom Preparedness Pantry…
Having a pantry can be a positive step in making the move to the food storage program you have been considering, but just haven’t committed to. It can establish the means to make positive changes in your food buying habits and other behavior modification.

Some Benefits of Better Managing
Your Household Food Supply

  • Allows for larger quantity purchases of bargain deals on such occasions as cased canned goods sales.
  • More efficient storage per square foot of available space.
  • Reduces procrastination and encourages commitment to starting and utilizing food storage.
  • Provides space for staples that are always needed like sugar, salt, flour, cereals powered milk, etc.
  • Easy to see inventory of needed or anticipated goods eases your “To Get” lists.
  • Centralized storage locations provide ease of finding wanted nutritional items.
  • Provides much needed space for excess items purchased with coupons or during promotions.
  • Encourages frugality and ease of food consumption and meal planning.
  • Motivates many to explore home canning and bottling of farm fresh fruits, vegetables, and garden crops.
  • Promotes the concept of “Store what you eat – Eat what you store.”
  • Encourages more frugal shopping trips instead of constant stopping at the high priced “Mini-Marts.”
  • Consolidates location and allows for rapid movement of these items in emergency situations.

Your Home Pantry Could Become a
Lifeline in a National Emergency

A pantry can be as complex or as simple as you make it. It can be next to the kitchen or in a remote location that meets your criteria. Even the most basic food storage is light years ahead of no food storage.
Have fun with your pantry and remember its purpose. It does not have to mean endless shelves of expensive name brand freeze dried foods, nor does it mean having to devote all your free time to canning every surplus item your neighbor blesses you with from their garden.