I have always felt like food storage and emergency preparation were things that I needed to do for my family, and through the years have made feeble attempts at it. It has taken me several years to find and fine-tune a plan that would work for us, since we don't "eat, drink and sleep" food storage. I wanted to come up with something that would work for our busy (one might even say crazy) life. This plan works perfectly for us because it takes so little time each week. When I first began working on it, I was a little doubtful as to whether I'd really stick with it and have my food storage all collected and sitting on the shelf within a year. And after that first year, I had amazed myself. It was just too easy of a plan to not be able to do.
All it takes is for me to look at my weekly schedule every Monday morning as I go downstairs for my daily workout. Then, I can check my shelves and tally up what I have and what I need for that week. It takes about 3 minutes. At the very most. No kidding. And then I write the items on my grocery list, and next time I'm at the store, I purchase the needed items. So, maybe a total of 5 minutes? Who can't spare 5 minutes a week? And then, each week, as you see a few more items on your shelf, you can feel so good about doing something really important for you and your family. Even after just the first week, it should put a smile on your face!
I have received many emails from people very surprised that I would share this so easily with anyone who requests it. Why not? Its a good plan, and it works, and it wouldn't make sense not to share it! I hope that you find it useful and that it enables you to get something on the shelves for you and your families.
If you're just starting, and hate the thought of having missed several weeks of the plan, no worries. That is one of the beautiful things about this plan. Start wherever we happen to be on the list, and follow along week-by-week. This is not a plan that begins and then one year later, ends. There is no end, so it doesn't really matter where you start.
Now, to this week's food storage item:
February Week 3: Canola or vegetable oil, olive oil, canned butter, coconut oil
As with all the other weeks, store enough of each item that your family would generally use in the coming year, OR that you might use in a long-term emergency situation. For instance, back in January, we collected paper goods. You may say to yourself "We don't ever use paper plates or plastic utensils, so I don't think I'll worry about storing any". But, if there was an emergency situation where water was scarce, you wouldn't want to waste water by having to wash dishes. Paper goods would sure come in handy. And, if you never use them, then next year when it comes time to check that week's inventory, you won't have to buy any more paper goods!
So, with the items for this week, I will check and make sure I have enough on my shelves to use for a whole year, plus some. I hate to completely go through my stocks within the year, so I like to buy just a little extra. Coconut oil seems to be the latest thing these days (check out the list below), so if you're liking that, store some! Also, you'll notice I have Red Feather canned butter on the list. I bought some canned butter a couple of years ago specifically for food storage. I don't ever use it, and it lasts quite a while, so I just leave it on the shelf. Who knows... maybe canned butter will be just the thing we'll need when we cook up those potato flakes over our propane stove. Ugh. Since the Red Feather canned butter doesn't have an expiration date on the can, I've looked online and found varying reports as to how long it lasts. People seem to feel like it still tastes great whenever they open it, and some have even reported contacting Red Feather (click to read what they say about canned food shelf life) and being told that the cans will be good even up to 30 years. So, there you have it.
Some of you might be saying to yourselves, "If I store what I will use in the coming year, then by the end of the year, it will be totally gone, and I won't have anything in my storage." That is why I always buy a little extra, making sure to check the dates of expiration. By the end of the year, I don't want a bunch of things that I have to throw out because they've expired. So, its a fine line of buying what you need, plus some extra, but not so much that you'll be wasting food. As you go, it becomes easier to judge that. Some of the things we will be collecting never expire, some expire several years from now, and some expire within just a year. Don't worry... you won't have a bunch of empty shelves after a year. Not with this weekly plan.
So, write the various oils on your grocery list this week, and get started!
If you would like the full info on the Week-By-Week Food Storage Plan, just click on the tab at the top of the page. You can then click on any single week and it will take you to the most up-to-date post that featured that week's items. It also has the information as to how you can get a copy of the weekly schedule as well as the complete inventory sheets.
More on Coconut Oil...
If you google "coconut oil uses", you will find tons of ways people use coconut oil -- some proven by research, many not. TheHowToCrew.com offers a list of 20 ways to use it:
Deep conditioning hair. Rub a small amount of oil into hair (mostly at the ends), comb through and place hair in a loose bun or in a shower cap. Let sit overnight and wash out in the morning.
Body moisturizer. Rub coconut oil directly into skin directly after.
Eye makeup remover. Rub a small amount of coconut oil on eyelashes or waterproof makeup and rinse off.
Cheekbone highlighter. Rub a very small amount of coconut oil on the tops of cheekbones to highlight over makeup.
Vegetable oil alternative. Replace coconut oil foroil in your favorite .
Wound care. Replace Neosporin for coconut oil to protect and help wounds heal. Can also be applied to small cuts and scrapes to stop bleeding.
Dry feet treatment. Combine coconut oil with sea salt to create a foot scrub.
Sunburn care. Rub coconut oil on burned skin to help soothe and repair sunburned skin.
Stretch mark prevention. Apply coconut oil to stretching skin multiple times a day.
Body scrub. Combine coconut oil andto create a sugar scrub to exfoliate and soften your skin.
Healthy smoothies. Add a spoonful of coconut oil to your smoothie to help increase your energy.
Cooking at high heat. Some oils can't be heated to high temperatures, but coconut oil is a safe alternative.
Popcorn topping. Add a spoonful of coconut oil to popcorn and top with sea salt for a sweet and salty treat.
Shaving lotion. Rub coconut oil on area to be shaved to replace shaving cream and post shave moisturizer.
Lip balm. Rub a small amount of coconut oil on lips for a natural lip balm.
Facial moisturizer. Apply a small amount of coconut oil onskin in place of usual moisturizer.
Moisturizing soak. Add some coconut oil to a warm bath to soften skin.
Frizzy hair fighter. Rub a little coconut oil between your palms and rub through hair to tame frizziness and fly aways.
Hydrating night cream. Replace your night cream with coconut oil. Apply coconut oil to the areas that tend to wrinkle and crease lock in moisture and hydrate skin.
Cuticle softener. Rub coconut oil on ragged cuticles to hydrate and strengthen nails.