Sunday, July 28, 2019

Food Storage, Just Plain and Simple

Over the years of blog writing, I've run into extreme preppers who say I should do way more than I'm doing. Well, they give me anxiety! I need my efforts to be just plain and simple. Years ago, when I first started gathering food storage, I was completely overwhelmed. I kept thinking my shelves had to look like the shelves of a woman who cans her food from her Garden of Eden vegetable garden. But honestly, I buy most of my food.

When The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints simplified their food storage (home storage) program in 2007, a light bulb went on for me. IT was plain and simple!
  • Food Supply (three-month and long-term)
  • Drinking Water
  • Financial Reserve
I was already a frugal grocery shopper, so I got that three-month food supply thing figured out super quick by learning not to leave my cupboards bare. You don't have to be a hoarder, but purchase a few more cans, boxes or bags of food than you normally need each week. And soon you'll have a food supply. It a c t u a l l y  g r o w s!

Gathering emergency water was simple. It just took one Saturday to get focused, find containers and have my husband fill them up.

As far as a financial reserve (aka emergency savings), I came up with a monthly amount of money our bank automatically transfers from checking to savings. Slow and steady wins the race. Every so often, I get some cash out in small bills, and bring it home for emergencies. 

Gathering long-term foods can be simple if you learn to use what you store. I know, I know. Everyone wants to buy freeze-dried food they don't actually eat until there's a disaster. But the counsel is to gather food storage gradually and USE IT, so it gets rotated. Then when you lose your job or are financially strapped when a family member has a long-term illness, you can use that food. It's not just for natural disasters.

Elder Dallin H. Oaks, an apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ, gave us this counsel:

“We need to make both temporal and spiritual preparation for the events prophesied at the time of the Second Coming. And the preparation most likely to be neglected is the one less visible and more difficult—the spiritual. A 72-hour kit of temporal supplies may prove valuable for earthly challenges, but, as the foolish virgins learned to their sorrow, a 24-hour kit of spiritual preparation is of greater and more enduring value.” Preparation For the Second Coming, May 2004

Ensign Magazine, March 2009

I want to be one of those five wise virgins in the 25th chapter of Matthew and gather temporal food and spiritual oil. I hope each of you wants to move forward with preparedness too. It can be just plain and simple.

Valerie Albrechtsen
The Food Storage Organizer

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Preparedness Challenge – July Week 2

This week for the second July Preparedness Challenge, let's gather some short-term and long-term rice, and canned meats into our food storage. Check out a few ideas below.


Has a short-term shelf life so it’s perfect for your 3-month food storage supply.
  • According to, brown rice has a 3-6 month pantry shelf life, 6 - 12 month refrigerator shelf-life and a 12 - 18 month freezer shelf life. 
  • High oil content of brown rice causes it to spoil more quickly than white rice. 
  • Transfer brown rice to a covered airtight container or resealable plastic freezer bag.
White, Basmati and Jasmine rice are great food items to store in your short AND long-term food storage.
  • "Store in a cool dry area; after opening the package, place the uncooked white rice in a sealed airtight container or place original package in a resealable heavy-duty freezer bag." StillTasty
  • White rice has an indefinite shelf life if protected from contamination. 
  • Discard if it develops an off odor, flavor or appearance, or if insects or other contaminants appear.
  • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sells white rice in large 5.4 lb. cans for $5.00. Cans have a 30 year shelf life (if stored properly). Order online or pick up at an LDS Home Storage Center.
  • A year's supply is about 12 of these cans. See "An Approach to Longer-Term Food Storage."


Canned chicken, roast beef, tuna, corned beef hash, Vienna sausages and Spam are readily available. Here are some stocking and use tips:
  • Quick and easy to use. A great backup for a last minute meal.
  • Typically has about a 2-year shelf life. 
  • A 12 oz can of roast beef can be used in place of 1 lb. of ground beef in many recipes. A 12 oz can of chicken can be used in enchiladas, salads and chicken sandwiches.
  • Can your own meat in jars with a meat pressure canner for added savings.
Good luck gathering rice and meat this week. You CAN do it!

Valerie Albrechtsen
The Food Storage Organizer

Friday, July 5, 2019

Preparedness Challenge – July Week 1

Over the years I've written posts about fire safety during the month of October because that’s National Fire Safety month. But after visiting the aftermath of Paradise, California last year, I decided to move fire safety into our July prep. It's never too early to prepare for fires. Earthquakes, tornadoes and other disasters cause fires too. So, this week we’ll be gathering fire safety and rescue equipment.

1. Buy or Test Fire Safety Equipment

A. Buy a fire escape ladder if you have or live on the 2nd floor.
B. Buy or test your fire extinguisher.
  • This video shows firefighters going door to door helping people test their fire extinguishers and find the correct place to store them. Sorry, it shouldn't be under your kitchen sink.
C. Buy or test your smoke alarms. Do you have a newer model? Yes, they do get old.
D. Buy or test your carbon monoxide detector.

All items may be purchased at Walmart, Sam’s Club and Costco and other hardware store.


2. Buy or Gather Rescue Supplies

Let firefighters or other first responders do the rescuing whenever possible, but if you must come to the rescue, a few of the supplies below may help. And if you aren't strong enough or trained to rescue someone, wouldn't it be nice to hand someone else the equipment you have on hand? Keep these items stored in a well-marked tote where you can easily find them. Put the work gloves on top.
  • Pry bar - can pull nails, pry, lift or scrape. One idea is the Wonder Bar or Super Bar. About $12.
  • Outdoor climbing rope - can help you tie off an object or assist in a rescue. About $20.
  • Headlamp - can keep your hands free to help you see in the dark. About $10.
  • Work gloves - to protect your hands from sharp objects. About $10.
  • Emergency Auto Safety Hammer - use to break out or into a car. About $5. Amazon VicTsing. This may be a Christmas gift for my family.
    As you ponder what you can do to keep your family safe, answers will come.

    Best wishes on working on this week's preparedness challenge.

    Valerie Albrechtsen