Food Storage and Provident Living Newsletters
The following newsletters about food storage and preparedness were originally written for a Relief Society organization of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. The newsletters are meant to help people who are interested in acquiring and using long-term food storage, and becoming prepared in other ways as well. A number of people have requested copies of the newsletters. To make them more readily available, I am posting them here on the World Wide Web. Since the newsletters were written for a local audience of Latter-Day Saint women in Provo, Utah, some of the information may not apply to you - however, most of it should be OK. You are welcome to make copies to use and to share, but please don't make copies to sell or use commercially. Thanks, and good luck to you as you work to be prepared!
Oatmeal is one of the healthiest foods around. It's rich in soluble fiber, and has been proven to help lower cholesterol. It's also inexpensive and keeps well, making it a good choice for long-term food storage.
Instant vs. Regular. Instant oatmeal is just regular oatmeal that's been broken up so it will cook faster. All grains store better and longer if they're kept intact, so regular oatmeal is best for food storage. If you want instant oatmeal, just put regular oatmeal in the blender and pulse it a few times.
Where to buy. You can buy oatmeal in small quantities at the grocery store, but it's much less expensive to buy in bulk. Try Food 4 Less and Macey's, where 50 pounds of oatmeal is running around $17 right now (about .34/lb). You can also go to the Lindon Cannery and dry-pack oatmeal in #10 cans; stored this way, it will keep indefinitely. This is also cheapest; a #10 can is about $1.15, or .20/lb.
What do you do with it? What do you do with 50 pounds of oatmeal besides eat mush every morning? All kinds of things.
You can also make oat flour by grinding regular oatmeal in the blender (just pulse until it's very fine). Oat flour can be substituted for part of the regular flour in almost any recipe. Oat flour has all the health benefits of regular oatmeal. Plus, it's an ideal ingredient for low-sugar, low-fat treats. Because it's slightly sweet, you can cut back on sugar in a recipe. And because oat flour holds moisture, you can cut back on the fat in a recipe.
Drop by rounded tablespoons on ungreased cookie sheet, bake 10-12 minutes.
|* To reduce the fat, cut butter to ½ C butter and add ½ C applesauce.|
|Non-fat, Low-sugar Banana Muffins
oven 350 15 minutes
||Combine, then stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Bake in muffin cups coated with non-stick spray.|
|Berry Cobbler Topping (This recipe is taken from Fat-free Holiday Recipes, by Sandra Woodruff)
oven 375 45 minutes
|A sweet biscuit-type topping for any kind of berry cobbler (blueberry, raspberry, etc.)|
Spoon on top of berry mixture and cook for 45 minutes, or til browned.
|* To make a simple, low-sugar berry cobbler: combine 6 C berries, 3 T cornstarch, and 1/3 C sugar.|
Oatmeal for One
In large serving bowl, combine 1/3 C oatmeal & 1 C water. Microwave for 3-4 minutes.
Muffins for One or Two (Fast, easy breakfasts)
Bake any muffin recipe as usual, then freeze. Individual muffins microwave in about 45 seconds, for great snacks or very fast breakfasts.
Fast, easy meals:
Eat all different ways:
Families on the go:
For one or two:
* Used 5-gallon ice cream pails make great food storage containers. You can them at the BYU dairy for 50 cents, including a tight-fitting lid.
* You can also purchase large blocks of high-quality cheese at the BYU dairy for a reasonable price. Buy in bulk (10-20 lbs) and you'll save a lot. Shred the cheese all at once, and freeze in small packets; it thaws very quickly, and is handy for salads, sandwiches, tacos, enchiladas, topping soups, etc.
* Watch Reams and Storehouse for good sales on bananas (they were 10 cents a pound at Reams last week). Frozen bananas make great fruit smoothies (just whiz 2-3 in blender with yogurt - also good with peaches, raspberries, almost any other fruit); you can thaw them and use in baking; and they're also a good fat substitute in most any baked goods.
Putting together a year's supply of food can be a daunting task! How do you do it? A step at a time:
Basic Food Storage
Basic food storage should include life-sustaining food for a year. It might not be gourmet, but it would keep you alive! Basic food storage requirements for an average adult for one year are as follows.
(Taken from Essentials of Home Production & Storage, published by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.)
Expanded Food Storage
In addition to the basic food storage listed in the table above, most of us would like to have some of the things we use everyday -- meats, cheeses, vegetables, seasonings, and so on -- on hand.
Here's a simple way to gradually acquire expanded food storage:
1. Keep a list handy in the kitchen. As you cook day to day, note what you use that you'd like to keep on hand.
2. Watch the sale flyers that come with the newspaper on Sundays and Tuesdays. Note the prices for things you use all the time. When there's a good sale on an item, buy in bulk -- enough for 3 months, 6 months, or 1 year, depending on how perishable the item is and what you can afford.
Buying on sale this way, you can get almost everything at ½ to 1/3 off the usual retail price. The savings allow you to build up expanded food storage at very little extra cost.
Food Storage Sources in Utah County
Here are some sources for food storage here in Utah County, Utah. All have price lists available on request (except the Cannery).
Lindon Cannery. 785-0997, Center Street in Lindon. A wonderful resource for building up food storage, the Lindon Cannery offers both wet-pack and dry-pack family canning. Wet-pack includes things like meats, spaghetti sauces, and fruits. Dry-pack includes things like spaghetti, rice, hot chocolate, potato buds, soup bases, and more. Because it's a non-profit organization operated by the Church, the prices are some of the best you'll find anywhere. You must participate in a work session in order to receive commodities. Look for more information coming up.
Provident Living Center. 723-0635, 1538 W 860 S, Orem. Grains, beans/legumes, pasta, baking supplies, some dehydrated. Jeannie Sorenson runs this out of her home.
Security Food & Supplies/Grain Country. 756-1199, 756-9516, 1060 S 500 E American Fork. A full range of camping/emergency supplies, appliances, spices, seasonings, milk, honey, legumes/beans, dried foods, pasta, grains, etc.
Wholesale Foods. 785-3400, 580 West State, Pleasant Grove. A wide range of "regular" foods -- canned foods, juces, condiments, seasonings, baking supplies, cereals, frozen foods. Some bulk grains, legumes/beans, containers, baking utensils.
Lehi Roller Mills. 768-4401, 833 E Main, Lehi. Flour, wheat, cereals, wheat germ/bran, honey. Very fresh, because it's the mill.
Preparedness Plus. 226-4188. Dehydrated foods, legumes/beans, grains, appliances, some emergency supplies.
Cookbook Review: Too Busy to Cook
Emergencies that might force us to live on wheat and beans for an extended period of time are rare. But "everyday emergencies," when life gets super busy, are common. Wouldn't we all like to have lots of pre-cooked meals on hand as everyday-emergency food storage? (How about a month of meals on hand before a wedding, new baby, or missionary homecoming? Or at the beginning of December -- no cooking during the Christmas rush!)
Too Busy to Cook explains a basic method for cooking about a month's worth of meals at a time, which you then freeze so they're at your fingertips. These are the basic steps:
1. Choose 10 entrees you'd like to serve in the next month or so.
2. Make a grocery list of all the ingredients, then shop for what you need.
2. Prepare individual ingredients all at once (cook meat, grate cheese, chop vegetables).
4. Assemble the meals and freeze.
There's a set of 10 recipes with a shopping list and detailed instructions to get you started. The book also includes another set of 10 recipes with less-detailed instructions; reference tables; ideas for cutting back on fat and eating healthier; and a recipe section with about 40 recipes.
Too Busy to Cook (9.63 at Seagull books)
Lori L. Rogers & Chriscilla M. Thornock
Published 1994, 100 pages, softback
Everyday-Emergency Meal: Super Easy Fried Chicken
Rinse chicken breasts. Grind croutons to fine crumbs in blender. Put in large plastic bag with 2 chicken breasts; shake to coat. Repeat til all are done. Spray large fry pan with non-stick cooking spray & melt the butter. Put the chicken in & cook for 15 minutes each side. This recipe is also good with chicken tenders, for finger food.
Food Storage Recipes: Cool Summer Salads
3-Bean Salad (Georgianne Dalzen)
1. In blender, mix:
2. Then gradually add
3. Last, add
Serve over rice or beans. May add your choice of green beans, raisins, peanuts, bell pepper, jicima, shredded carrots, onions, garbanzo beans, kidney beans.
Aztec Salad (Georgianne Dalzen)
Chicken Salad (Serves 20+)
1. Mix 2 T oil, 2 T orange juice concentrate, 2 T vinegar, and 1 tsp salt.
2. Pour above mixture over 5 C cooked, cubed chicken (6-8 breasts). Marinate overnight.
3. Next day, add 3 C cold cooked rice, 1 13-oz can pinepple tidbits, drained, 1 can mandarin oranges, 1½ C chopped celery.
4. Mix together 1 C mayonaise & 1 C Miracle Whip, then add to chicken mixture.
Sep 97: Start with a Bag of Wheat
Whole grains are the backbone of long-term food storage, and wheat is the most important grain to store. Modern research confirms the health benefits of whole grains, and that wheat is uniquely suited for human consumption -- not surprising, since the Lord declared, "Wheat for man." In addition to its health benefits, wheat will keep indefinitely when stored properly. So wheat is the logical starting point for long-term food storage.
If your family won't eat a dish if they can see the wheat, try these tricks:
Idea #1: Waffles and Pancakes.
Fix a large batch of batter that can double as waffles and pancakes; cook the waffles and freeze for quick heating in the toaster later. Then make pancake "batter bags" for quick, no-mess pancake breakfasts later.
To cook waffles: Toast in toaster.
To use batter bags: When you're ready to cook the pancakes, thaw the batter bags in a sink of hot water or in the microwave on defrost (make sure the batter is completely thawed, with no lumps - takes 10-20 minutes). Open the bag and check the consistency, adding more flour or liquid if necessary. Then seal the bag again and clip a small corner off the bottom. You can now "pipe" the batter onto a hot grill for delicious, hot, whole-wheat pancakes.
In a very large mixing bowl, combine:
Multiply your favorite basic muffin recipe by four or five (or use the sample recipe given), then prepare variations as desired. Cook the muffins, freeze, and microwave for easy 1-minute microwave breakfasts & snacks.
Variations: 3 C basic batter plus
1. Cook wheat berries:
2. Add vegetables.
3. Add cheese & garnish.
3. The night before you want to serve the beans, put 2 C of small white beans in a crockpot, then add enough water to cover the beans by about 3 inches. Cook on low all night.
4. The next morning, drain the beans and rinse. Using a 1-cup measuring cup, measure 3/4 C barbeque sauce, then fill to the top with molasses for 1/4 C molasses. (This way, the molasses won't stick to the measuring cup, making for easy cleanup.) Dump the mixture into the crockpot and stir.
5. Let the beans cook in the sauce all day on low, and they'll be ready for supper.
1. First make a starter. Mix 2 C flour with 2 C water and 2 T yeast. Let the starter sit for two days, stirring occasionally.
2. Dissolve 1 T salt in 1 C water. Add 2 C starter and 5½ C flour. Stir and knead into a ball.
3. Let rise overnight at room temperature.
4. The next morning, punch dough down and form into two round loaves.
5. Let the loaves rise for about 4 hrs. (Sourdough takes a long time to rise but it isn't fussy.)
6. Put a pan of water in the oven and preheat to 400. Bake bread for 35 minutes.
7. Replenish the starter by adding 1 3/4 C water and 1 3/4 C flour.
Holidays are hectic. Between presents, decorating, crafts, holiday performances, entertaining, and snacking on all kinds of treats, it's no wonder we're tired -- and no coincidence that everyone's getting sick in January and February. But it doesn't have to be this way. Here are quick tips and good recipes for healthy holiday feasting. They'll help you save time and money. They'll also help you avoid the cycle of being tired during the holidays and sick afterwards. And many of them use traditional food storage foods.
If you think in terms of not eating holiday treats, you set yourself up for a struggle right when temptation is greatest. Instead of thinking in terms of cutting out treats and traditional holiday foods, think of adding in lots of good, healthy food. Then go ahead and have some goodies without feeling guilty. Concentrate on eating well, with a focus on eating these things:
With tempting goodies so readily available, you have to make it convenient to eat healthy food. This isn't as hard as it may seem at first. First commit to do it, then prepare in advance:
Holidays are fun, but busy. Here are ideas for simplifying:
Plan quick meals. For everyday meals, plan things that take 30 minutes or less to prepare. The key to doing this is to plan ahead, stock your house with things your family likes and will eat, and make meal plans so you can combine tasks.
Do the day's cooking all at once. Instead of fixing breakfast, lunch, and dinner at different times during the day, do everything at once: Cook the breakfast cereal or whatever, make lunch sandwiches, and start a dinner stew in the crockpot, all at the same time. Then you only have to clean up the kitchen once. Plus, you enjoy the peace of mind that comes from knowing dinner will be ready at the end of a busy day.
Do a bunch at once. Make enough salad to last three days, then store a day's worth in a ziploc bag to keep it crisp and fresh. Prepare fruits and vegetables for snacking this way, too. When you bake, double or triple the batch, then freeze the extras.
Cut up any fresh fruit you wish -- such as apples, oranges, bananas, kiwi, pineapple, grapes. Stir in a cup of lemon yogurt, then sprinkle coconut on top. To make it "Christmas-y," slice kiwis and place on top, along with a sprinkling of dried cranberries. This is really easy and pretty, perfect for entertaining.
For easy nutritious suppers, follow this formula:
1) Fix a soup in the crockpot (start it in the morning - try beef stew with stew meat, barley, potatoes, onions, carrots; chicken soup with chicken, onions, carrots, potatoes; chili with canned tomatoes, pre-fried hamburger, and kidney beans, seasoned with chili powder; broccoli soup; potato soup; clam chowder, etc.)
2) Have a fresh salad (prepare 3 days' worth at once, as explained earlier)
3) Have a slice of good whole-wheat bread
4) If you wish, have a whole-grain cookie or some whole-grain cake
Vegetable Bags for Easy Soup
Preparing and freezing "vegetable bags" ahead of time makes it easy to fix a quick batch of crockpot soup. In the morning, just throw in the vegetable bag, water, meat, and seasonings. Cook on low all day, and it's ready for dinner when you are.
To prepare vegetable bags, buy carrots, onions, and celery in quantity (2 lbs carrots, 6 onions, and a large bunch of celery make 4-6 vegetable bags). Run the carrots through the food processor, and chop the celery and onions.
Then combine 1 cup of each vegetable in ziploc bags (3 cups total) and freeze. This is a good basic combination that lends itself to lots of variations. When you make your soup, you can add anything else you want -- potatoes, rice, noodles, canned peas, corn, beans, and so on.
Jan 1998: Powdered Milk
Powdered milk is a basic food storage item. But what do you do with all that powdered milk in your food storage, especially if your family won't drink mixed milk? Lots of things -- read on! (Note: recipes in this newsletter use non-instant powdered milk.)
When you bake with powdered milk, use the same amounts you'd use if you were reconstituting it for drinking (1/4 to 1/3 cup of powdered milk to a cup of water -- for example, if a recipe calls for a cup of milk, you would use a cup of water and 1/4 to 1/3 cup of dry milk powder).
One advantage of baking with powdered milk is that you can include milk in dry mixes. For example, say you want to make bread in your bread machine using the timer, and the recipe calls for milk. If you use powdered milk instead of fresh, the bread mix can sit without spoiling.
Peanut Butter Balls (from the TightWad Gazette)
Note: You can freeze yogurt starter. Just spoon into ice-cube trays, then store the yogurt ice-cubes in the freezer. Thaw 1 cube (don't microwave) for a batch of yogurt, and use as usual.
Substitute yogurt for sour cream (1 C yogurt = 1 C sour cream) in dips, dressings, and sauces.
Fruit Smoothies. In the blender, liquify 1 pint yogurt, 2-3 frozen bananas, cut in chunks, 2 C frozen fruit (peaches, strawberries, pineapple etc.) You can vary the proportions as you wish; more yogurt makes it more like a drink, more fruit makes it more like soft-serve ice cream.
Creamy Salad Dressing
Cream Cheese Substitute. Put a coffee filter in a strainer placed over a bowl. Put 1 pint yogurt in the coffee filter and let sit overnight. You'll end up with about 1 C of thick, non-fat yogurt "cream cheese." Use as you would cream cheese, in dips, spreads, cheesecakes, etc.
Buttermilk Substitute. Mix plain yogurt with an equal amount of water (for example, to make 2 C buttermilk, blend 1 C plain yogurt with 1 C water).
Feb 1998: Water, an Essential Food Storage Item
You can live a lot longer without food than you can without water. So water is perhaps the most essential item in your food storage.
The recommended amount of water storage is a two- week supply, which is a minimum of 14 gallons per person. Seven gallons is for drinking (the average person needs at least 2 quarts of water per day), and seven gallons is for sanitary purposes. If you have dehydrated items in your food storage, you may wish to store additional water.
DO NOT use
LABEL containers clearly: WATER + the date
For long-term storage, you can sterilize water as follows.
"The Prophet Said to Plant a Garden"
Springtime is time to think about gardening! Whether you love to garden, feel guilty about not gardening, or have just never thought about it, being able to grow some of your own food is an important part of emergency preparedness and provident living.
You don't have to have a large garden and spend your life canning to enjoy the benefits of growing some of your own food. Everyone has different needs and lifestyles, and gardening can fit them all.
June 1998: Finding Money for Food Storage
"Food storage, what a joke," a mother of a large family once said to me. "It's hard enough buying groceries; how do you get far enough ahead to buy food storage?"
This mother expressed a common concern: finding money for food storage. There's no one easy solution, but there are many ways to approach the problem. This newsletter offers some ideas on finding money for food storage.
Always scan the grocery stores' sale flyers. (In our area, these come with the newspaper on Sundays and Tuesdays.) Note the prices for things you know your family uses. When there's a good sale (30-50% or more off the usual price), buy up. If the item stores well -- such as canned goods, frozen goods, pasta, rice, other grains -- buy a 3-month, 6-month, or year's supply, depending on how good the sale is and what your budget allows. If money's really tight, just buy two instead of one (if the item's 50% off, you can do this without spending any "extra" money). If the item is perishable (fresh fruits and vegetables, dairy products), buy as much as you think your family can use. (Plan meals around these items so you can use them up in time.)It takes only about 15 minutes a week to scan the flyers and make notes. After two or three months, you will have a very good feel for prices; you'll know right away if something is a good deal or not. Using this method, you can almost always buy groceries and household items for 1/3 to 1/2 off the usual price. Buying in bulk when there is a good sale automatically ensures that you have a good supply of food storage for family staples you'd have to buy sooner or later anyway. You might as well buy in bulk at the best price, and make fewer trips to the store.
Potatoes. In our area, you can buy a 10-lb bag of potatoes on sale for 79 cents. What can you make out of potatoes? Baked potatoes with toppings; potato soup; scalloped potatoes; potato wedges with cheese; mashed potatoes; hash browns, and more. A 10-lb bag of potatoes will make approximately 20 average servings, putting the cost of a serving at about 4 cents for the potato part of the entree.
Beans. Beans are about the cheapest food there is. If you use dried instead of canned beans, the cost is lower still -- literally pennies a pound. What do you make with beans? Baked beans, bean soup, refried beans, chili, 3-bean salad, beans and rice, and the list goes on. If you serve your family baked beans and a green salad for supper, the cost to feed a family of 6-8 can be as little as $2; the cost of the beans alone would be about 2 cents a serving.
Bread. A loaf of good whole-wheat bread accompanied by a salad or vegetables feeds about four. At 25 cents a loaf, that's just over 4 cents a serving for the bread. Other bread-based entrees include things like sandwiches, home-made pizza, calzones, scones, muffins, pancakes, and waffles. With a green salad or a
Pasta. Pasta can be the basis of many inexpensive meals -- spaghetti, manicotti, stuffed shells, macaroni and cheese, cold pasta salads, etc. Pasta is also a good item to include in your food storage, one that may be more familiar and appetizing to your family than things like bulgur wheat.
Eggs. Eggs are usually under $1 a dozen, and sometimes as cheap as 33 cents a dozen. Inexpensive meals made out of eggs include things like scrambled eggs, omelettes, deviled eggs, and egg-drop soup.
Aug 1998: Eat What You Store, Store What You Eat
"Eat what you store, store what you eat," goes the old saying. But for many of us, this is easier said than done. If we buy a year's supply of traditional, basic food storage, it may go to waste because we don't like it or know how to use it. But acquiring a year's supply of regular groceries is a daunting, if not impossible, task.
What to do? One idea is to approach food storage from both directions: have some storage that consists of the traditional whole grains, powdered milk, honey, and salt. And have some storage that consists of the foods your family enjoys and uses every day.
This newsletter approaches food storage from the second direction, storing what you eat. Here are two ways to identify your own personal food storage staples.
Most people have 12 to 20 favorite dishes that they eat often. These are the old standbys that you fix all the time. They're what you eat when there's "nothing to eat," when you're in a hurry, or when you just want a dinner no one will complain about.
You may not be able to identify these favorite dishes off the top of your head, but if you think about it, you know what they are. (Our family's favorites include things like beef stew, chicken soup, and spaghetti.)
To identify your favorite dishes, get a stack of index cards and keep it handy in the kitchen. Over the next few weeks or a month, note what you're fixing for
dinner, one dish to a card. Also jot down the ingredients for each dish (and the recipe, if there is one). These ingredients are your family's staple foods. If you
keep all or most of them in your food storage, you'll always have something you can fix for dinner. Here is a form to help you identify you personal food storage
Spaghetti 1 lb hamburger 4 oz dry spaghetti (once a month for a year) 12 lbs hamburger 3 lbs dry spaghetti
Your Personal Food Storage Staples (worksheet) Favorite dish
Number of times served
Quantity to buy (example)
1 large can spaghetti sauce
12 cans spaghetti sauce
To make things even easier, you may wish to keep recipes for your standbys in a recipe file or book (you can use one of the small 4 x 6 photo albums that holds 100 photos, or those "sticky" magnetic albums we're not supposed to keep pictures in). When you're stumped for dinner, you can just take a quick look through your recipes, then take a trip to the food storage room. You'll never be stuck with nothing to fix for dinner, and you'll rotate your food storage automatically.
1 lb hamburger
4 oz dry spaghetti
(once a month for a year)
12 lbs hamburger
3 lbs dry spaghetti
(note: Portions of this idea come from Amy Dacyczyn's "The Tightwad Gazette" book I.)
This second method of identifying personal food storage staples kills two birds with one stone: first, you get a comprehensive list of what your family needs and uses, and second, you get all of these items at the lowest possible price. What is this method? It's a price book. Here's how it works.
Get a looseleaf binder, small or large, whatever works for you. Then, every week when the grocery sale flyers come with the newspaper, take about 15 minutes to scan through them. When you see something that you use, note the item at the top right-hand corner of a page, one item to a page, and arrange items alphabetically. Then note the date, the store, the brand, and the price.
After about 3 months, your price book will show you what you use and should therefore store. Before long, you'll know the best prices for the things you use. Over time, you'll even be able to track the price cycles, so you'll also know the best time to buy.
When prices are low, buy in bulk. Note your purchase in the price book, including the date and the quantity purchased. This will help you to track how much you use of any given item, and identify how much you should store.
A price book takes some time to compile initially, but only a little time after that. Considering that it can save you hundreds of dollars, and help you identify your family's needs precisely, the time is well-spent. Here is an example page.
4/14 Smith's Green Giant 14 oz .69
6/17 Reams Del Monte 14 oz .59
7/1 Maceys Generic 14 oz .25
7/1 Bought 1 case
One common complaint about traditional food storage foods is "They take so long to cook!" Everyone's busy, and sometimes it's hard to find time to cook from scratch -- especially if you're away all day and get home exhausted, in search of a quick, easy dinner. If this sounds like familiar, this newsletter's especially for you. It focuses on
All of these recipes are geared to fit a schedule where you only have a few minutes to cook -- in the evening, the morning, or right before dinner.
Baked Beans with Ham. About 6 or 7 pm the night before, put ingredients 1 C dry white beans and 3 C water in crockpot and turn to high. Before you go to bed, drain the beans, set to low, and add 3/4 C catsup, 1/4 C molasses, and 1 tsp dry mustard. In the morning, check and add water if necessary. Let cook on low all day.
Chili. About 6 or 7 pm the night before, put ingredients 1 C dry pinto or kidney beans and 3 C water in crockpot and turn to high. Before you go to bed, drain the beans, set to low, and add 1 large can stewed tomatoes, 1 lb cooked, crumbled hamburger, and chili powder, cumin, and garlic to taste.
Beef Barley Stew. The night before you want to serve the stew, put 1-2 lbs stew meat,1 can mixed vegetables,1/3 C dry barley, beef bouillon to taste, and 1 quart water in the crockpot on low. In the morning, add 1/2 T cornstarch that's been mixed with a little water. Let cook on low all day.
Basic Muffins (1 dozen)
"Too often we bask in our comfortable complacency and rationalize that the ravages of war, economic disaster, famine and earthquake cannot happen here... Those who smugly think these calamities will not happen, that they somehow will be set aside because of the righteousness of the Saints, are deceived and will rue the day they harbored such a delusion. The Lord has warned and forewarned us against a day of great tribulation, and has given us counsel, through His servants, on how we can be prepared for these difficult times. Have we heeded His counsel?"
- President Ezra Taft Benson, October 1980 Conference
The prophets have told us repeatedly to store a year's supply of food and other essentials. Some of these warnings, like the one above, are worded quite strongly. It's time to take stock, commit to follow the counsel of the Prophets, and acquire a year's supply. Doing so is not an easy task. But many, many Saints can testify that blessings follow commitment. Commit to get your year's supply, and begin working on it today.
"We have never laid down an exact formula for what anybody should store...Perhaps if we think less in terms of ... what we ordinarily would use, and think more in terms of what it would take to keep us alive in case we didn't have anything else to eat, that last would be very easy to put in storage for a year."
- Harold B. Lee, October 1966 Welfare Conf.
The Church has never told us precisely what we should store. But they have given recommendations for basic, life-sustaining food storage, as mentioned by President Lee above. These recommendations have recently been modified somewhat. The basic recommended one-year food supply for an adult is now as follows (approximate costs for our area - Provo, Utah - are in the last column):
|Item||Amount||Approximate cost (in bulk)|
|Wheat/Whole Grains||400 lbs||$120.00|
|Powdered Milk||16 lbs||$25.00|
|Honey/Sugar||60 lbs||$25.00 (sugar)
|Water (2-week supply)||14 gallons||cost of containers|
|Garden seeds (non-hybrid)||variety||varies|
|$222.50 to $257.50|
Based on these figures, a year's supply of basic food storage for a family of four adults would cost just about $1000. This may sound prohibitive. But doing something is better than doing nothing. And remember, blessings follow commitment.
Make a plan based on your circumstances and needs, then determine to follow it. Remember, the brethren have warned us not to go into debt to purchase food storage. Most of us won't be able to get it all at once; but little things really add up. No matter how slowly you have to go, you'll get there if you just keep going. Here are some thoughts and ideas to help you along the way.
Acquired over the course of a year, one year's worth of basic food storage for one adult would cost approximately $20 a month. What would free up $20 a month?
If the entire family is committed to getting their food storage, another idea might be to forego things like vacations, birthday and Christmas presents, etc. Then put the cost towards food storage until you've acquired a year's supply.
If the idea of acquiring a full year's supply of even basic foods is too daunting to face all at once, you may wish to think in terms of acquiring three or
six months' worth of food. Here are some tables to help you plan.
$15.00 (honey) (non-hybrid)
3-month Supply of Basic Foods for One Adult Item
Approximate cost (in bulk) Wheat/Whole Grains
$6.00 Powdered Milk
$0.60 Water (2-week supply)
cost of containers Garden seeds
varies $65 - $75
|6-month Supply of Basic Foods for One Adult|
|Item||Amount||Approximate cost (in bulk)|
|Wheat/Whole Grains||200 lbs||$60.00|
|Powdered Milk||8 lbs||$12.50|
|Honey/Sugar||30 lbs||$12.50 (sugar)
|Water (2-week supply)||8 gallons||cost of containers|
|$112 - $130|
Perhaps we can't do everything, especially not all at once. But certainly we can do something, and we can do it right now. Small actions and small sacrifices can really add up. Perhaps most important, as we give our very best effort, we prepare the way for the Lord to see that effort and bless us -- sometimes far beyond our own natural ability.
Dec 1998: The Gift of Preparedness
Preparedness Brings Peace
A former BYU stake relief society president tells the following story.
"We had been emphasizing preparedness to the sisters throughout the stake. During this time, a young sister came up to me and told me that she and her husband had been saving all year for a big night out on the town to celebrate their first anniversary. They were looking forward to dinner and a play, then staying overnight in Salt Lake.
"But they took what we said about preparedness to heart, and changed their plans. Instead of the big night out on the town, they decided to spend the money they'd saved on acquiring basic preparedness items and a supply of food.
"This sister told me that their decision had brought them great peace. They felt like being prepared was so much more significant to them than a lavish one-night celebration, they never regretted their choice."
During the Christmas season, we all give and receive many gifts. Perhaps some of the most significant gifts we can give or receive are gifts of preparedness. Such gifts may not seem exciting on the outside, but they can bring us great peace on the inside.
A table listing ideas for tangible preparedness gifts follows. You may wish to consider some of these gifts for your own family or loved ones this
holiday season. They may not sound glamorous, but think of it this way: Is a roll of toilet paper an exciting Christmas gift? Heck, no! Might a roll of
toilet paper seem exciting if you didn't have any and you couldn't get any at the store? Heck, yes!
Library books (there are many at the Orem
lib.) (Deseret Book) Classes Fill pop containers with
water (OK, so you need a big
stocking) Inventory your existing
supplies Salt 25 lb flour ($5) 25 lb sugar ($8) 5 lbs honey 1-4 gals oil 50 lbs oatmeal Etc, etc, etc, -- there are
tons of food storage items in
this category Year's supply of foods of
your choice Paper plates Plastic utensils Thermos Freezer bags Sprouting kit Propane tank Dutch oven Canner Pressure cooker Bread mixer Propane stove Freezer Dehydrator Screwdrivers Etc. Shovel Sanitation Toothbrush Toothpaste Soap, shampoo, Etc, etc, etc Library books Heat packs Heavy coats Fireplace tools Wood, coal, propane stoves Batteries Candles (gift to yourself, or bring a
friend) Emergency car kit Fire Extinguisher
Ideas for Preparedness Gifts Free (or almost)
Red Cross pamphlets,
"Essentials of Home
Production and Storage"
Any number of good books
More extensive classes
Fill your empty canning jars
w/ water & process
5-gallon water storage jug,
Water purification tools or
55-gallon water barrels
Sit down and make a plan
for what you want to store,
then commit to do it
50 lbs wheat
Just buy bigger quantities
Complete year's supply of
very basic foods ($250 per
A gift certificate entitling the
bearer to a canning lesson,
cooking lesson, or any other
skill they'd like to learn
Hand grain grinder
Electric wheat grinder
A gift certificate entitling the
bearer to a lesson on any
type of home/car
Rototiller & fuel Toiletries/
4-pack of toilet paper
Case of toilet paper/paper
Year's supply of most any
toiletry would fit here, or
even cost less
Inexpensive first aid kit
More expensive first aid kit
Wood/Coal Sleeping bags
More expensive lantern
Other Gifts of Preparedness
(there are many at the Orem lib.)
Fill pop containers with water
(OK, so you need a big stocking)
Inventory your existing supplies
25 lb flour ($5)
25 lb sugar ($8)
5 lbs honey
1-4 gals oil
50 lbs oatmeal
Etc, etc, etc, -- there are tons of food storage items in this category
Year's supply of foods of your choice
Thermos Freezer bags
Soap, shampoo, Etc, etc, etc
Wood, coal, propane stoves
(gift to yourself, or bring a friend)
Emergency car kit
But perhaps the best gifts we might give ourselves, our families, or our friends are more intangible. Here are a few to consider.
Jan 1999: How Do You Eat an Elephant?
Preparedness can be overwhelming. There are so many things to do that it might be tempting to quit before you start! But you can tackle preparedness just like eating an elephant: one bite at a time.
This newsletter offers a systematic, step-by-step plan for "eating the elephant." Here is a month-by-month calendar of tasks to complete so you'll be
on top of emergency preparedness, financial preparedness, and basic food storage. After you've gone through the calendar once, start over again at
the beginning, maintaining and improving upon what you've already accomplished.
Post emergency #s by phones. Here are some notes on various tasks contained in the calendar. Jan. The American Red Cross offers classes on first aid and CPR. They're at 865 North Freedom Blvd in Provo, and the phone number is 373-8580. Apr. The Family Home Evening Resource Book offers a complete section on family preparedness activities beginning on page 322. July. A pamphlet, "Helping Children Cope with Disaster," is available from the Red Cross. Oct. Books and pamphlets on disaster preparedness are available at the Red Cross and places like Emergency Essentials, Preparedness Plus, & Deseret Book. Feb. Most experts suggest that you save and invest at least 10% of your income every month, more if possible. Mar. "One for the Money: Guide to Family Finance" is a pamphlet containing the text of an LDS General Conference address by James E Faust. It's available at
Deseret Book. June. Resources on teaching children how to manage money: Family Home Evening Resource Manual, lesson on Money Management, page 210, and lesson on
Tithing, page 227. Some useful books: "Money Doesn't Grow on Trees," and "A Penny Saved," both by Neale S Godfrey. Sep. Some ideas for reading on money management: "One for the Money," James E Faust; "The Richest Man in Babylon," George S. Clason; "The Wealthy
Barber," Dave Chilton; "The Millionaire Next Door," Thomas Stanley & William Danko. An excellent resource on basic food storage is published by the LDS church: "Essentials of Home Production and Storage." Numerous good books are available at Deseret Book & in the natural foods sections of bookstores.
Food Storage (Very Basic 1-yr Plan) Jan
Take first-aid & CPR training.
Make a will/trust. If you have one, review &
update it if necessary.
Store 7-10 gallons of water per person. Feb
Update first aid kit and have extra medicines
Commit to save a set amount each month. Set up
an automatic transfer from your checking to a
Store 200 lbs of wheat and/or flour or whole grains per
adult (approx cost $30-40 each). Also store 10 lbs of
salt per person (approx cost $2 each). Mar
Obtain flashlights, batteries, transistor radio (or
If you are carrying unnecessary debt, create a
debt-elimination calendar and begin paying off the
debt (see "One for the Money," p. 5).
Store 10 lbs of powdered milk per adult (approx cost
$10 each). Apr
Create a family plan in case of disaster (where to
gather, where 72-hr kits are, emergency phone
#s, etc.) Explain & practice in family home
Set up a basic household budget, using any
method that fits your needs. Begin tracking family
expenses in a way that's useful to you.
Store 25-30 lbs of sugar/honey per adult (approx cost
$7-12 each). May
Purchase fire extinguisher & learn how to use.
Check smoke detectors. Also collect kerosene
lamp, fuel, & matches.
Review your insurance needs (home, life, health,
auto etc.) Ensure you have adequate insurance.
Store 30 lbs of dried beans/legumes per adult (approx
cost $15 each). Or store canned beans if you wish. June
Create a car emergency kit including first aid
supplies, coins/cash, flashlight, blanket, water,
Have a family home evening to teach children
about using money wisely. Make sure children &
spouses know where important financial papers
(especially wills) are located.
Store 10 lbs of fat/oil per adult (cost varies). Jul
Anticipate what kids might need to cope with
disaster. Add to 72-hr kit.
Create a filing system for your important financial
Store 7-10 gallons of water per person. Aug
Gather important personal items (birth
certificates, photos, videos) and place in safe
deposit box or other secure location away from
Copy all important financial papers and place
copies in a safe deposit box or other secure
location away from your home. You may wish to
place certain important documents in 72-hr kits.
Store 200 of whole grains/flour per adult (cost varies). Sep
Gather clothing, bedding, first aid kit,
flashlights, batteries, radio, food & water in
72-hr kit you can grab & run.
Commit to educating yourself financially by
reading one good book on a financial planning
topic of interest to you.
Store 10 lbs of powdered milk per adult (approx cost
$10 each). Oct
Educate yourself by reading a book or article on
Create a net worth statement by listing all assets
Store 25 lbs of sugar/honey per adult (approx cost
$7-12 each). Nov
Learn/review how to turn off electricity, water,
& gas. Put crowbar, wrench, & shovel in 72-hr
Walk through your house with a camcorder or
camera to create a visual record of important
Store 30 lbs of dried beans/legumes per adult (approx
cost $15 each). Or store canned beans if you wish. Dec
Relax and enjoy peace of mind this Christmas!
Be sure not to overspend on Christmas!
Store 10 lbs of fat/oil per adult (cost varies).
Post emergency #s by phones.
Here are some notes on various tasks contained in the calendar.
Jan. The American Red Cross offers classes on first aid and CPR. They're at 865 North Freedom Blvd in Provo, and the phone number is 373-8580.
Apr. The Family Home Evening Resource Book offers a complete section on family preparedness activities beginning on page 322.
July. A pamphlet, "Helping Children Cope with Disaster," is available from the Red Cross.
Oct. Books and pamphlets on disaster preparedness are available at the Red Cross and places like Emergency Essentials, Preparedness Plus, & Deseret Book.
Feb. Most experts suggest that you save and invest at least 10% of your income every month, more if possible.
Mar. "One for the Money: Guide to Family Finance" is a pamphlet containing the text of an LDS General Conference address by James E Faust. It's available at Deseret Book.
June. Resources on teaching children how to manage money: Family Home Evening Resource Manual, lesson on Money Management, page 210, and lesson on Tithing, page 227. Some useful books: "Money Doesn't Grow on Trees," and "A Penny Saved," both by Neale S Godfrey.
Sep. Some ideas for reading on money management: "One for the Money," James E Faust; "The Richest Man in Babylon," George S. Clason; "The Wealthy Barber," Dave Chilton; "The Millionaire Next Door," Thomas Stanley & William Danko.
An excellent resource on basic food storage is published by the LDS church: "Essentials of Home Production and Storage."
Numerous good books are available at Deseret Book & in the natural foods sections of bookstores.