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Three Key Steps in LDS Emergency Food Storage – Techniques for Beginners

Three Key Steps in LDS Emergency Food Storage – Techniques for Beginners

We’ve heard the counsel for years. Prepare for the future. Save a little for a rainy day. Get a year’s supply of food. You know it’s true and you have every intention of being better prepared for emergencies, but sometimes life spins out of control. Kids, work, church callings…they all demand our time and unfortunately, food storage and emergency preparedness tend to take a back burner in our busy lives. But food storage doesn’t have to be one of those overwhelming tasks on our to-do list. By breaking down your food storage goals into small and easily obtainable steps, you can reach the ultimate goal of a year’s supply of food without losing your mind. In just three steps, you can get your home ready for any type of emergency.

  1. Take an inventory of what you eat on a daily basis. If your family won’t eat it, then don’t store it. Most food storage experts recommend storing food that will last 20 or 30 years. There’s research and reason behind those suggestions, but storing those foods won’t do you any good if your family won’t eat them.

Start by making a list of the top 10 recipes you prepare the most.  Likely these will be the recipes that you’ve made several times in the last 3-6 months. Once you have your list of recipes, make another list of ingredients. The items on the ingredient list that are non-perishable should be the first things you put in your food storage. For example, if one of your family’s favorite meals is spaghetti, put noodles and spaghetti sauce in your storage.

  1. Start small. If you haven’t started food storage yet, start with one week. Then, one month, three months, and eventually you’ll have a year’s supply of food. Breaking your goal of a year’s supply of food into weekly and monthly goals will help you keep on track.

The First Presidency says, “Build a small supply of food that is part of your normal, daily diet. One way to do this is to purchase a few extra items each week to build a one-week supply of food. Then you can gradually increase your supply until it is sufficient for three months. These items should be rotated regularly to avoid spoilage” (

You might want to start by looking for coupons and bulk sales. Stock up when things go on sale. If you buy 10 cans of beans this week, look for 3 boxes of Jello the next, as so forth. You could even pick up just one extra can of food every time you go shopping.

  1. Use it or lose it. Once you start accumulating some food storage, you’ll want to start a rotation…replacing a new item with an older one. This helps keep your food storage fresh and fully stocked. A great deal on a particular item will do you no good if it sits on a shelf for five years and then gets thrown away. Use what you have and then replace it as you go and you’ll always have usable food storage.

Elder L. Tom Perry assures us, “On a daily basis we witness widely fluctuating inflation; wars; interpersonal conflicts; national disasters; variances in weather conditions; innumerable forces of immorality, crime, and violence; attacks and pressures on the family and individuals; technological advances that make occupations obsolete; and so on. The need for preparation is abundantly clear. The great blessing of being prepared gives us freedom from fear, as guaranteed to us by the Lord in the Doctrine and Covenants: “If ye are prepared ye shall not fear” (Ensign, November 1995). What a wonderful promise! If we are prepared and follow the counsel of our church leaders, we will have no need to fear when the uncertainties of life cross our paths. Follow these three simple steps and you’ll be well on your way to finding peace of mind for yourself and your family.

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