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Food Storage Tips: Managing Your Storage Inventory

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The most important suggestion I can make: DO keep an inventory!

I have an Excel spreadsheet for tracking my storage. I keep it saved on the computer, but after losing a couple computers, I also keep it saved on a thumb drive. I also print out a master copy in January. I make notes throughout the year: whenever I remove something from the storage room; when I think of something to change; when someone gives me an idea I don’t want to forget. I usually won’t print out a new copy unless the current one gets too cluttered with my notes.

When I update my inventory each January, I reconsider my needs for the upcoming year: is there anything I need/want to add or eliminate from my storage plan, or change quantities? For instance: 1) this year, I have a son who is not here full-time any more – do I still count him when calculating quantity requirements? 2) It is also important to consider changes in dietary needs – is there someone with a “special needs” diet due to health issues? Or in this case, I have a new nephew, so I now include baby & toddler items in my storage, because he will spend a lot of time here. I plan to rotate through the perishable things on a quarterly basis, and send things to my sister for use – she’ll love the quarterly care packages, and they can certainly use the help! 3) Another thing to consider is the changes in eating habits, especially if you have a teenager going through growth spurts! (Sometimes I wonder if I really only have 5 people here!) 4) Does your plan include the possibility of additional mouths to feed in case of emergency? My brother is with us “for a while.” He may only be here a few months, maybe longer. When calculating our needs, I tend to lean towards generous, rather than conservative. My home is the place where family & friends tend to land in times of need, so I feel so much better knowing I’ve allowed for that possibility!

If you’re like me, you’ve always got storage on your mind – am I obsessed? Probably. I’ve been at this for a while now & it’s actually FUN for me to find a new way to fine tune my methods! I hope this helps you on your quest to be self-reliant!

I want everyone reading this to know that I have a strong testimony of the concept of acquiring & maintaining an ample supply of food (and non-food) items. I will share more in another post, but for here I will tell you that my family has just survived a 3-month financial scare because my husband lost his job. We were fortunate to have some money in savings, but had it not been for our food storage, that money would not have gone nearly as far! We were offered help from the Bishop’s Storehouse & I was able to say we didn’t need that assistance at this point…what a great feeling! We have followed the counsel to do this & we’ve been blessed for it…

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