“When the Zombie Apocalypse comes, don’t forget your kitty…”
As if I ever would. This fluffy girl is my best four footed friend, just as my wife is my two footed best friend.
However, by making a bed of an empty box, she’s also reminding me I need to restock! When maintaining a good supply of food, whether for daily use or long term storage, it’s good to rotate your stocks periodically and also check for old or spoiled food. I just had to get rid of about fifteen pounds of rice because there were weevils all through it.
Easy tips for long term food storage:
Plastic Buckets are your friends. Sometimes grocery stores and fast food restaurants give them away, or you can buy them at the hardware store. They are great for wheat, rice, beans, and smaller bags with other items. They are stackable for storage in small closets and usually quite sturdy.
Dry Ice works well with your buckets for storing food. Fill the bucket with dry goods, then place a piece of dry ice on top and tamp the lid shut. The carbon dioxide will help repel bugs and keep things from spoiling.
Powdered cinnamon repels some insects. I sprinkle some around the floor of the pantry to help keep bugs away from the cat food and other dry goods. Diatomaceous Earth is also nontoxic and can be used for the same purpose.
Gallon water bottles are a fairly economical way to buy emergency water. I buy the Glacier Springs bottles for a dollar or less apiece and then just never open them. That way the water won’t go bad very quickly because it’s factory sealed in a sanitized bottle.
Don’t forget the spices. If you have to live off your stockpiles of beans and rice, spices will be your best friend. Get those pound and half pound giant containers when you see them on sale then store them unopened.
Rotate your stock. If the cans or bags are getting too old, start using them and buy new ones to replace them. That way everything is relatively fresh and you don’t have to buy a bunch of things at once.
Grab energy bars when they are on mark down. They make great emergency food – highly portable, and usually with added vitamins. I just found a bunch of Atkins bars for a cheap price so I put some in storage and others I’m using for my work lunches.
Watch for Sales. When you see something that is being sold cheaply, such as cans of tuna, canned chicken, sardines, beans, or rice, buy a little extra and store it. Even a few dollars spent here and there can really add up over time.
Check your medical supplies. Make sure tape isn’t getting gummed together, there are no rips in gauze packages, and swap out your antibiotic ointment and other perishables every year or so. Aspirin can easily last for five or ten years, and things like betadyne and rubbing alcohol will be fine too, but creams, lotions, gel caps, and other such things need to be replaced periodically.
Everybody should be prepared for an emergency, whether it’s a kid getting a nasty bruise, a mis-routed pay check, or a natural disaster. Having a pantry full of food and supplies will give you some much needed peace of mind.