What I learned from Joseph: 12 homemaking subjects

Never mind that I only have a half gallon of milk in the fridge right now and unless I go to the sore tomorrow my kids will be eating something made out of ketchup, old lettuce and freezer jam... I know this subject.  I stockpile food.  Normal people would call this an unnatural amount...
I call it being prepared, for ANYTHING.

Beautiful eh? This is not my pantry but an example of a well stocked one.  Do you remember the story about Joseph who was sold into Egypt?  Remember when he interpreted Pharaoh's dream?  Joseph told Pharaoh that he would have 7 years of plenty and then 7 years of drought.  He instructed Pharaoh to store food... and he saved all of Egypt because he stockpiled food in the years of plenty.... crazy?? No, wise.

Hee, hee, couldn't resist this picture... 

So, why store food?  Why pack rat food away?  Why spend your life overbuying cans then trying to invent furniture that will hide them?
Yes, that's me.  Those cans are in every closet, under every bed, in every dead corner where I have a piece of furniture turned on the diagonal.  WHY?  
Well, to illustrate my point I asked my friends Kari and Kijsa to give us a little gimps into their real life experience this winter as they were "iced in" with an ice storm.

Thank so much for thinking of us...especially during those difficult three weeks!! It really did make us think about preparing...needs...essentials...food!
 As it was freezing (literally)...we were able to salvage perishable goods outside, but quickly used up as many freezer items as quickly as possible (we had an apple pie fest one night!!) Fortunately we were together during the most trying time at the beginning, and had combined many nonperishables from our pantries. Kijsa's gas cooktop would start, so we were able to heat up cans of soup, chili, vegetables, even pie fillings combined with our quickly perishing fresh fruit to use on top of pancakes for a treat (one must have a treat when surviving lengthy power, heat and internet outages!!!) 

 It was a very interesting time to reflect on how much we depend on communication and convenience. The eerie silence of no cell phone or land line capabilities...not one working electric light piercing the darkness...nothing open to acquire supplies....and when they finally did open...everyone only took cash...for the lack of electricity crippled all debit and credit machines, as well as gas pumps, electric doors...etc. 
It is at those times when it begins to try your spirits as you watch children shivering all huddled under blankets in the darkness around the one set of working gas logs!

We would definitely build a pantry staple list (Kijsa finds herself adding a couple extra canned good staples every grocery run.) Keep a list of those items you might use frequently, as well as a few quick meals in a can (soup, tuna, spagettios, etc). We would also say make sure you keep batteries and flashlights or lanterns on hand, as well as a supply of cash- this became a difficulty for people even if they were able to get to an open store or gas station.

I hope this helps- This is a great idea- Going through that ice storm was lifechanging- we were fortunate- I saw the long, long lines of cars that would pull up to the national guard each day to get a lunch and some daily rations- Thanks for sharing! ~
kari & kijsa

Really, how far away is this reality for you?  Natural disasters are unexpected.  My family has fled twice for fires in San Diego and had nothing but their photographs, loved ones, and drumroll....... their 72 hour kits full of food, money, and clothing to care for their families.  Crazy?  Na... wise.  

How would it be to be a mother unable to care for her children or family in a time of crisis?  A little extra food and cash on hand is a blessing and for anyone is a wise preparation for the future.

Here's what I store:
  • 3 month supply of food.  Basic canned and dried items that I can prepare for my family.   Work off of a week or two worth of menu's and start buying a few ingredients every time you go shopping.
  • Water. I live in the desert.  I have (please don't judge me a freak) 6 50 gallon water barrels on the side of my house. They're ugly.  They're blue... but I know my family will have enough water for over a month should they need it... though, I'd gladly share with my neighbors in need.
  • Cash.  Kari and Kijsa saw first hand the value of cold hard cash.  Stick small bills and change somewhere you won't be tempted to raid for your chocolate fixes or an emergency run for a Sonic drink.  Only for emergencies.
  • Long Term Storage.  After you get 3 months of meals, work on long term items like beans, rice, wheat, and a bit of dried milk and oil.  Life can be sustained for a longer period with these raw ingredients.  Of course space is and funds are limited but do what you can.
Times when I've used my food storage:
  • Power outages
  • Hubby out of work.  Supplement to grocery shopping.
  • Times of lean.
If you're looking for food storage helps consider the following:
  • Food Storage For the Clueless (available at my Pretty Organized Store)- I love this book.  It teaches you several methods to use to acquire your supply and it has recipes on everything from homemade cheese to homemade sourdough bread- which I can't seem to perfect.
  • The Provident Living Website for the Church of Jesus Christ- this seems to be a comprehensive site on how to live frugally and manage the home.  I clicked on the Family Home Storage link.
Times are rough for everyone.  A little food and money stored away for a rainy day brings a lot of comfort when you're providing for your little ones.  Even if nothing happens, you'll have a great supply on hand should you need to get to the store... unless you prefer ketchup, old lettuce and freezer jam. 


Jen M said...

What a great post. It really brings home how easily you could be in a situation to need food storage - it's not just for this Big Scary Unlikely Disasters that my never happen. I especially appreciate the reminder to store cash!

Kathleen Grace said...

I could not agree more! My husband has been out of work since Sept. and before that he worked half time as this recession reared it's ugly head. We have always maintained a pantry in the basement, shopped the sales with coupons and stored as much as we could, it has helped us immeasurably with the grocery bill in this lean time! I still collect coupons and go to couponmom.com and other websites to find free and very low cost staples and other items for the pantry. We have even shopped the pantry to put together bags of groceries and supplies for others in need!

Astrid said...

Great post! What should go into a 72 hour kit? Where do you store these kits? I've got a pantry full of canned goods but I haven't been really good about over stocking it. I'm guessing with the stuff in my pantry and in my freezer I could feed my family for several weeks. I hadn't thought about the cash bit. That's a good idea.

Jenna said...

Thank you for the reminder! I have a food storage room & a big pantry but haven't really inventoried for a long time. When we have lean paychecks, it is great to have enough food stored to save big time at the grocery store.

A Touch of Country said...

What a great reminder for all of us.

We need to be prepared for the unexpected.

Thanks for a great post!

The Nester said...

Was that Donny?!

Val said...

Amen sistah!!! that first pantry had me drooling! Not for the food but for the utter neatness of it all. I used to live 50 miles out of town on a ranch...I know the value of squirreling food away. Not strange at all. Wowsa!! what an ice storm!!! Great Post!!

stacy said...

there is also food storage made easy. i looks like a pretty good site.

Jean said...

I believe in stockpile! I got into this "rut" because for many years I was deep in proverty. I save to buy cheapest foods on stockpile sale in fall where I once lived. What I buy then last me for A YEAR! Also for many years in other location, I garden heavily and in fall is usually when I can them up and that is all I have to eat off until next fall. Now, I'm married with dh w/ almost 6 figure income w/ full basement, I still continue stockpiling! It afford me to go shopping every between 3 to 6 weeks. Ahh, this is life for me! I also consider mileage when shopping. I don't use coupons as I very seldom see any available on what I usually buys. I clean out well the empty cat litter buckets and reuse it to store my dry staples such as popcorn, beans, flour, sugar, whatnots.

Lorrie said...

What a great post. It reminds me in EARTHQUAKE country to always be prepared. I have a great...National disaster leave the area kit...but my "stay at home and survive" is laking...And the cash...well that's not even on the radar. I'll be working on that today!

Anonymous said...

I really love your blog but I didn't know you were a mormon site. I am a bible believing Christian and am only looking for Christian sites. I'm sorry I'll have to stop reading your blog. God bless you and please come to the Savior. Only Christ alone can save you. Please read the Bible...alone. God bless.

Scribbler said...

Thanks for a great post. I learned the art of stockpiling from my mother. It has come in handy many, many times. You never know when the water heater might go kaplooie or some other catastrophe, and it really helps to have things stored up.


Vivienne said...

Great post and great reminders!
Not only do I live in earthquake country, I still have a 9/11 vigilance mentality. (Friends in the military and law enforcement help with that.) I try to make sure I keep my gas tank full, and keep emergency supplies/snacks and walking shoes in my car.

I have also made copies of insurance papers/phone #s to call, etc that I keep with those car supplies.

Pretty Organizer said...

Anonymous- This isn't a Mormon site, it's a homemaking site. Sorry, you're intolerant to having a link to a different church for frugal living information.... I also have linked to Dave Ramsey. Information is Information... I think both sources have wise counsel for living and share them with my readers for their benefit. Next week it may be the Lutherans or Baptists or the Jehovah's witnesses... wisdom abounds everywhere. There are plenty of good churches and faithful Christians in all over the world.

I read the Bible... and think it's silly for you to say I don't know my Savior. Whatever... I'm at peace. Go your way and be happy.

Kristen said...

Again, another wonderful post! I am looking at my pantry completely different now - I have been on such a mission to use everything in it, but now I will work on getting it organized and replenished. I should know better... I do live in tornado alley :)

Amanda @ Serenity Now said...

Wonderful post! I've been trying to remember to buy a little extra here and there to work up our stockpile. I also really want to start a garden soon. :)

debi @ life in my studio said...

This is a great post! It's true, you never know when you will need to have that extra food. Years ago, we suddenly and unexpectedly lost half of our income...we didn't have a food storage in place and it caused big problems. Now we have a food storage and it is something we work on regularly. If nothing else, it gives you a feeling of peace, knowing that if you need it, it's there.

Barbie said...

My friend has a great site called building my ark. She has daily assignments to help get prepared for emergencies. This month the topic is death and she gives ideas on preparing for that time. Last month the focus was on gardening and before that it was on building emergency kits. You should check it out. www.buildingmyark.blogspot.com
Thanks for all your info.

Kimm at Reinvented said...

Great advice, thanks for sharing. I've started building a stockpile, but it's not even close to that amazing pantry! :)

Calm Energy said...

Love, love, love your site! I'm passing this info on to my family!
So many ice storms etc this year!

Beverly said...

We have at least 6 of those blue barrels, too, and we don't live in a desert! I'm thinking of making some of them into rain collection barrels. Maybe using some of that spray paint for plastic to make them blend in a little better. Thanks for a great post!

kari and kijsa said...

What a wonderful post! you always have fantastic advice! This really hits home! Thanks again for including us and all the wonderful inspiration you provide!
kari & kijsa

Elle Pea said...

Do you mind sharing where you found your water storage barrels? We live in Southern CA (Temecula) and I think having some stored water would be an excellent idea.

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