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foodstorageThe Lord as asked us to ‘…prepare every needful thing…’ (Doctrine & Covenants 88:112). He as asked us to do so in such a way that we can provide for ourselves and our families in times of need. Although, we may believe that we will always have suitable employment and sufficient income to live the life we are living, we do not, no will we ever, know what maybe coming around the corner and we would not want to know either. However, God is wiser than we are and he shares his wisdom that if we do what he asks we will be prepared and we will not fear.

Other things you should consider storing –

  • fuel for eating and cooking, if this is flammable fuel or gas canisters it should, if at all possible, be stored away from your home.
  • extra clothing – difficult when you have growing children
  • bedding & blankets
  • candles & matches – in case the lights go out
  • toiletries – store the ones you normally use, and don’t forget to rotate as even toiletries have a ‘use by date’ e.g shampoo, conditioner, body wash, deodorant, tooth paste, tooth brushes, and feminine hygiene products if needed
  • if you have a baby or small child think about what they may need and store a little extra, e.g milk formula, nappies (diapers), wipes, etc
  • toilet rolls & kitchen paper rolls
  • cleaning products – again, store what you normally use, this could include laundry products
  • a first aid kit, which includes a supply of any prescribed medications whenever possible, check ‘use by’ date before use and if you have a child also store appropriate medication
  • can/tin opener, especially if you are storing cans/tins
  • plastic food bags & bin liners
  • WATER & water sterilizing tablets
  • anything else you think your family may need

How to store 

  1. the bigger your family, the bigger the space you are going to need for storage
  2. store items so that they are easily accessible – if possible
  3. leave items, including food, in their original packaging if possible, as this normally as a ‘use by’ date stamped on it
  4. use & rotate, rotate & use…
  5. only store what you normally use
  6. store items where the temperature remains reasonably constant

What to do if something goes out of date – should you still use it?

Toiletries & cleaning products – although, these products have ‘use by’ date on them, as it’s the law in some countries, unless the product appears to be ‘off – bad’ then it is safe to use, even if it is out of date by a long way.

Medications – DON’T use out of date medications. However, this does apply to band aides and bandages, etc. or any product that you are NOT ingesting, these should be still alright to use pass the use by date, providing they are still sealed in the wrapping or container they were bought in.

Packet food – first do not let your food go our of date, but if it has then use your eyes and look at it – does it appear normal? If it does then it is probably alright to use, but if at any point in the preparation of the food item, it does not appear to right, then discard it. Products that contain flour, including pasta and some breakfast cereals, are prone to infestations of mini beasts, to help prevent this, leave the product sealed in its original packaging and then seal it into an out bag or plastic tub, check before using, even if it is in date.

Tin/can products and jars – although these products normally have a ‘use by’ date if the tin/can/jar appears to be ‘normal’ no bulges or leakages and you can not depress the cap on jars then it is probably alright to use several months (I’ve heard of things being stored for years and then when opened they have been perfectly alright to use) after the use by date. In the end, if it is out of date, the only way to really know if it is edible, is to open it and look, smell and then taste it!!!

Water – buy bottled water, store it out of direct sunlight and before you drink it check for anything floating in it, don’t drink if you find anything in it, but it would still be good for washing. If in doubt, then sterilize it before use. The same rule applies to bottled water as it does to tins/cans/jars and that is – if it bulging or leaking don’t use it for drinking water, but you could use it for other things, such as washing. You should aim to store 14 litres of clean drinking water per person, to cover 14 days supply.

First store enough food for ‘a week,’ then build to ‘a month’ and then to build to a ‘3 months’ supply. Store what you eat and what you use and rotate regularly. Be sensible when building a home storage, do so within your means, buy items regularly and keep a list of what is needed with you, on your phone (?), when you go grocery shopping. Also, remember that buying in bulk is good, but only if you are going to use the item before it goes of date, otherwise it is a waste of your money. Also, think carefully about what size of packet, etc you actually need; a family may go through a large bag or rice within a week, but an individual may find that a smaller packet would work better for them. For myself, i try and buy items in a weekly size – which means ‘i am going to use the whole packet in about a week,’

And remember, that having a home storage is an act of obedience.