Thursday, January 16, 2020

Preparedness Challenge: January Week 3

One of the first things people want to do for preparedness is buy a year's supply of wheat without really knowing what to do with it. In this 2009 Ensign Magazine article, the LDS Church encourages members to gather a 3-month supply of shelf-stable packaged and canned foods aka pantry foods, emergency water, and a financial reserve FIRST, and THEN gather long-term foods like cans of wheat.

However, this month learn how to make bread, figure out how much wheat you eventually want to store and buy some wheat if you are ready to.

1. Learn How to Make Bread
If you plan to store wheat, you'll probably want to learn how to make bread. This week find a recipe and make bread. If you need help, ask a friend or watch a video. If you have long-term wheat, grind it into wheat flour. If you need to use another grain such as oats because of your diet, that's fine. If you don't have time to make it in the next 7 days, do it sometime this month.

Here's my 2-Loaf Wheat Bread Recipe

2. How Much Wheat to Store?
How many loaves of bread does your family eat each week? How many loaves in one month? Multiply all the ingredients of your recipe to equal the number of loaves you eat in a month or 12 months. Could you store that much food in your home or would starting with a 1-month supply of bread making ingredients be better? The choice is yours.

If you printed the Basic Food Storage Inventory pages for your binder from Preparedness Challenge: January Week 2, you can add your goal for Wheat under the Grains category.

3. Buy Long-Term Wheat
If you're ready to buy long-term 30-year shelf life wheat, the LDS Church Home Storage Centers sell hard red or white wheat in #10 cans for $3.75. You can usually grind 16.5 cups of wheat flour from one can, bake about 6 loaves of wheat bread or make 11 meals of pancakes.

Only buy the amount you can afford and store. Remember, man does not live on wheat alone. You need many more items in your food storage. I like to order a few boxes at a time so they don't expire at the same time so I have money for other food storage items.

A recommended amount for a one-month adult supply of wheat is 2 LDS #10 cans or 11 lbs. Cans of wheat cost about $3.75 from the LDS Church. You can substitute another grain for wheat if your diet requires it.

If possible, store wheat in temperatures of 72 degrees or less. Don't store wheat in the garage where fluctuating temperatures will ruin it and your bread won't rise.

Good luck making your bread!

Valerie Albrechtsen
The Food Storage Organizer

Follow me on Facebook here and Instagram here and Pinterest here.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Pantry Organization for Food Storage

Part of the second Preparedness Challenge in January was to clean out the food in your kitchen cupboards. So welcome to my organized kitchen pantry. This room actually used to be the laundry room of the first home owners. When we remodeled our home in 2017, I had my builder add lots of shelves and cabinets. I kept telling him it was important for food storage.

You can find lots of kitchen and pantry organization ideas on my Pinterest page Home: Pantry Organization.

It's not the pantry most people have, but it's very helpful when all 25 members of our family are in town. I'm the mom of seven children and twelve grandchildren if you didn't know.

These large cupboards used to be a doorway leading into our dining room. We had it sealed off to provide more kitchen privacy.

I love this pantry! I try to keep all or our everyday foods in here so I can see what I have. It's definitely more than a 3-month food storage supply. Don't worry if you can't store all of your food in your kitchen. You don't have to. Find other places in your home.

I keep most of my unopened long-term food storage cans and bags in our food storage room in the basement. If I ever buy another home, a high priority for me will be to have lots space for food storage. Are you surprised?

This first picture shows the CanOrganizer boxes that hold my small canned foods like tomato sauces, fruits, vegetables, beans, canned chicken and tuna and honey. I'm not sure the company is in business anymore, but this is a great product. I love how you can put a can in the top of the box and it rolls down to the bottom. Perfect for rotating your food. I want to add labels to those boxes. Someday.

Yes, I have a window in this pantry since it was a laundry room. I love daylight in my pantry! I know dark is best, but this has worked well for us. Those flowers make my pantry look pretty, but eventually they will go to other parts of the house.

Before I straightened this shelf, it was a mess. Sorry no messy pictures. Items I need often, go on this shelf such as pancake mix, pancake syrup, my pressure cooker and my crockpot. I have two kinds of pancake mixes sitting there. Krusteaz and the mix made by the LDS Church. Krusteaz is if I don't have much time and the other if I have more time. 

While my family was in town for Christmas, we ran out of milk to make waffles. So we mixed up some LDS Nonfat Dry Milk and added it to the LDS pancake mix. It was perfect! No one knew.

You can purchase the LDS Pancake Mix in a 4 lb. bag and the LDS Nonfat Dry Milk in a 28 oz. bag for $4.00 each at the LDS Home Storage Center stores. You can also order the milk online here, but it can only be ordered in boxes of 12.

On this side of the pantry, I have a shelf of kitchen appliance like my bread machine that a rarely use, the Bosch Mixer, my Nutrimill Grain Mill, a food processor that I forgot I had and an ice cream maker that I never use. Mmm. We'll be making bread in our third challenge, so I'll be using some of these appliances. I don't like to put heavy items up high in my pantry because I would get hurt in an earthquake. :-)

Above the appliance shelf is my baking supplies minus oils and shortening. I use these items often. Sorry you can't see it all, but I have flour, sugar, powdered sugar, rice (only the LDS rice will do for me), LDS Spaghetti Bites that should have a lid, a few boxes of mac and cheese, and my pasta bins. What you can't see is the stacked 2x4's I had cut at Home Depot that help me see what is behind the first row of items: cocoa, brown sugar and LDS Potato Pearls.

You can't see the three buckets with Gamma lids on the floor with sugar, brown sugar bags and powdered sugar bags, bottles of beverages in crates and vinegar.

I moved my cookbooks to the left side of the pantry and I like it better. Since I'm short, I like seeing my cookbooks. And you can see on the right lots of preparedness books I recommend. I created website tab called Buy Books which you can find here, but I have yet to tell you what I love about each one. Coming soon!

This is a cupboard with mixes, extra baking ingredients, cake decorating supplies and those bags you put candy in that tend to slip all over the place. I love seeing it all! Notice how I stacked the cake mix boxes with the name and expiration date right there for me to see?

I tossed plenty of items in this cupboard. I'm notorious for having expired foods in my cupboard. Shhhhh!

This cupboard has broths, soups and pasta sauce on top. Not sure I like this arrangement, but I did group like items. And I have lots of peanut butter, huh! I did toss a few. You can read more about peanut butter shelf life on StillTasty here. I use this website a lot! I highly recommend it. You really want to know how to store peanut butter.

Someday I'll stick the Contact Paper to the shelves. :-)

Okay. Now we're getting into the personal stuff. The snack cupboard. You can't even see the food bars above in this pic, but they are there. I really cleaned this cupboard out. Tossed the really bad-for-us-stuff away. I know microwave popcorn isn't the best thing for you, but there is one box there next to the good popcorn. Oh. I forgot to mention there is a candy shelf really high up that my husband keeps finding.

Last, but not least is all the trash. It felt soooo good to clean out the food in my pantry. It's all edible now. I hope you'll dig into your cupboards if you haven't already done so. Isn't that what January is all about? Getting organized?

I hope some of my ideas helped. One step at a time. You CAN do it!

Valerie Albrechtsen
The Food Storage Organizer

Follow me on Facebook here and Instagram here and Pinterest here.

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Preparedness Challenge: January Week 2

Preparedness Challenge - January Week 2 is the week you've been waiting for. A chance to get organized and clean out your kitchen. This week you'll make two preparedness binders and clean out your kitchen cupboards. If you have a basement and are super brave, you can clean out your food storage room as well. Let's get to work.

1. Make Two Preparedness Binders
  • If you haven't already, sign up for my weekly emails on the top left of my website. Each email will include the printable of the challenge.
  • Download and print these binder covers My Disaster Plan binder and My Home Storage Plan.

  • Find or buy two 1 1/2" binders and two sets of 8 divider tabs.
  • Slide your binder covers in the clear fronts.
  • Label "My Disaster Plan" binder tabs: 
    • Evacuation
    • First Aid
    • Communication
    • Cooking
    • Sanitation
    • Power/Light
    • Shelter
    • Clothing
  • Label "My Home Storage Plan binder tabs:
    • Prep Challenges 
    • Prices 
    • Menus 
    • Food Prep 
    • Food INV
    • Non-Food INV
    • Garden 
    • EM Fund (Emergency Fund)
  • Print the LDS Home Storage Center price list. Put it behind the PRICES tab in "My Home Storage Plan" binder. *NOTE: Scroll about two-thirds down on that page link. 
  • File any preparedness handouts floating around the house in your binders. *NOTE: "My Disaster Binder" is not for important papers like insurance, medical, wills, etc. That would be an Emergency Binder.

2. Organize Your Kitchen Cupboards

  • Take all the food out of your kitchen cupboards and put it on your table our counters.
  • Throw away expired or damaged foods, and foods you don't eat anymore and toss it.
  • Tomato based products have a 2-year shelf life because they're acidic. Long-term food doesn't last forever except sugar and honey. Canned flour has a limited shelf life of 8 to 10 years. When in doubt, toss it. Or you can try it and then toss it. 

  • Wipe those shelves clean.
  • Organize foods into categories: small canned foods, pasta/rice/potatoes, baking ingredients, breakfast items, etc. This will help you see what you need to buy or inventory.
  • PRINT the Basic Food Storage Inventory Page.pdf or Basic Food Storage Inventory Page.xls.
  • List the shelf stable foods you have on the inventory page under the matching category.
  • Put the inventory page in My Home Storage binder under the HOME INV tab.
  • Organize any other cupboards or drawers in your kitchen. 
Getting organized feels so good. I'm sure you'll figure out some great ways to do it!

Valerie Albrechtsen
The Food Storage Organizer

Follow me on Facebook here and Instagram here and Pinterest here.

Monday, January 6, 2020

Added a Few Items to My 3-Month Food Storage Supply

Went grocery shopping at Smith's today here in Utah. I added a few items to my 3-month food storage supply, and shampoo to my home supply. Most of the food is from the case lot sale. I used a $3.00 off coupon for the shampoo. It's not really food storage though. :)

My budget is $25.00 per week for 3-month food storage. Did you set a budget for yourself?

Next week is my Costco trip. 👍

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Preparedness Challenge: January Week 1

This year our January preparedness challenges include creating a preparedness plan, stocking up on a few toiletries, adding items to a 72-hour kit and gathering wheat into food storage. You can do your January challenges after work, on a weekend, when the kids are asleep or after school. Or let your kids participate so they learn about preparedness. I'll challenge you two to four times each month. This week you'll create budgets and gather toiletries.

1. Decide on a Food Storage Budget, an Emergency Fund Goal and an Emergency Supply Budget
You feel inspired to work on preparedness, but have you put any money aside? This week decide on a food storage budget, an emergency savings goal and an emergency supply budget. Heavenly Father is aware of your needs and will bless you for any effort you make.

President Gordon B. Hinckley makes food storage doable.

The LDS Church encourages members to have a financial reserve for emergencies. How much do you want in an emergency fund?

Do you want to build a 72-hour kit and have emergency supplies? What is your emergency supply budget? Is it part of your grocery budget? Decide on your budgets and start saving this week.

2. Stock Up on a Few Toiletries
Buy a 1-month supply of toiletries for home use: toilet paper, soap or body wash, deodorant and shampoo/conditioner. Is that 4 toilet paper rolls or 16? Can you work that into your existing grocery budget? Learn to keep your cupboards full.

You've got this! Have faith and begin.

Best wishes,

Valerie Albrechtsen
The Food Storage Organizer

You can follow me on Facebook here and Instagram here and Pinterest here.

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Happy New Year from The Food Storage Organizer

A new year brings a new opportunity for gathering food storage and emergency preparedness supplies. I'm waiting to see if there will be a new LDS Home Storage Center price list. I will know the Home Storage Center price specials on Thursday.

I'll post a January Week 1 preparedness challenge this week about creating your preparedness plan. I'm changing some of the prep challenges from last year to coordinate with my Keep It Simple Preparedness Guidebook. (Coming soon!) I know I keep saying that, but I've had 25 children and grandchildren in my home over the past three weeks and they are my first priority.

I just received a new church calling as a Gospel Doctrine Sunday School teacher for adults and I'm scared to death. Teaching adults about the Book of Mormon when they know more than I do will prove interesting. I predict some sleepless nights. But I'm grateful for a new personal challenge.

I'll be volunteering at the Bountiful Temple in the office again which I'm super excited about. I love those opportunities to feel the Spirit of God in my day.

I hope I can help you get started with food storage if you are a beginner, or keep the rest of you motivated. I wish you each a Happy New Year and many, many blessings. Always remember, God loves you.

Best wishes,
Valerie Albrechtsen
The Food Storage Organizer