During the month of March, I like to gather tomato and pasta products for my food storage. For those who live in Utah, you may buy these items at case lot sales starting this week.
If you live outside of Utah, focus on these same foods for March to spread your food storage expense out over the year. It's easy to get overwhelmed gathering food storage, unless you have a monthly focus. If you follow my suggestions, you can gather food year-round and your items will be naturally rotated so they don't lose their shelf life so quickly and heaven forbid you have to toss expired cans out.
Personally, I like to gather a 6-month supply of canned tomatoes and pasta, but gather what you can afford and have space in your home. I don't like to buy more than that because I've discovered we don't eat some foods as quickly as others. Six months from now I buy more to add to my supply.
Tomato-based products have a shorter shelf life such as 12 to 18 months, so it's best to buy them regularly. However, dry pasta lasts about 2 to 3 years in store bags or boxes kept in your cool pantry. The LDS spaghetti and macaroni sealed long-term in #10 cans, can be stored for 30 years. The key is cool, dark and dry. If your kitchen gets hot during the summer, the shelf life of your food may decrease some. NEVER store canned food in a hot garage. In the house is best. I keep store bought pasta in plastic containers in my basement and also some long-term pasta for disasters.
If you want to can your garden tomatoes later this year, then gather pasta and another tomato-type product you don't usually can yourself. Also, if you don't make spaghetti sauce from scratch, buy pre-made pasta sauce. If that's the way your family eats it, go for it.
The thing I love about food storage, is everyone may gather the perfect supply for their family. You don't have to buy everything I suggest or someone else suggests. You build a supply that works for your family so they will eat your food. Food storage, your family, your way.
Regarding emergency preparedness; now is a great time to update your first aid items. You want to have a good first aid kit in your home, some general medical supplies, and medicine on hand for emergencies that can and will happen. I keep all of our old braces, boots or splints from past injuries for disasters. Used crutches would be an awesome item to have too.
This month, my spiritual focus is Be Charitable. One way to do that is to give blood to the Red Cross. There is always a need and no greater service than to share the gift of life. So call the Red Cross to find out where you can donate.
Best wishes to you and your family on your adventures in food storage. You CAN do it!
"And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom;
that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings
ye are only in the service of your God."
Go here to print my March Emergency Preparedness List