Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Food Storage: Keep Discouragement at Bay

For me, the absolute hardest part of food storage is not getting discouraged and throwing my hands in the air. I've never been great at food storage--terrible even--which is one of the reasons why Hannah and I started this blog. We wanted something to keep us accountable, and a way to make it seem less dauntless. But truth is, I still get discouraged.

Food storage is a never ending task.
You can't go to the store and buy thousands of dollars of food, bring it home and tuck it into the corners of your home and say: "I'm done!" Food storage consists of constantly planning, buying and rotating food to avoid spoilage. It's a job that's never done. Like laundry, if you have a two year old or younger.

There have been many times in my life when I've gotten down on myself about food storage:

"I should have my food storage perfect! I write on a food storage blog for crying out loud!"
"I can't believe I haven't even finished my 3-Month supply!"
"How am I supposed to build my food storage on just $200 grocery budget a month?"

These are all thoughts that have run through my head multiple times. Instead of sinking down and giving up, I'm trying to think of ways to ward off discouragement:

Keep going! Keeping going no matter what. For me, to keep going, it means that I buy a can of green beans and a can of corn every week when I go grocery shopping. It ends up being about $1.30 each week and that's something I can handle, and at least I know I'm doing something. I also try to buy a sack or a couple #10 cans of wheat from the cannery at least once every 3 months. Because I have a wheat grinder, wheat is something that we eat regularly.

Make mini goals. Instead of thinking: "Oh man, I've got to have 3-Months worth of meals for our whole family!" Try a goal of one week of breakfast meals. Then one week of lunch meals, and then one week of dinner meals, and then you have a whole week out of your 3-Month supply! Smaller goals are easier to attain and as you complete goals you'll have the strength and willpower to keep going.

Look at what you already have.
Instead of focusing on what you don't have, look at what you do. Sometimes I stare into my guest room closet (home to much of my food storage) and think: "I have no food storage," when I'm actually staring at a lot of food. I have to compare myself to what I had 6 years ago which was a couple of cans of oats, sugar and instant potatoes that were gifted to us for our wedding. Compared to that I've come far.

Get to work. President Dieter F. Uchtdorf said, in his last General Conference address:

"Work is an antidote for anxiety,
an ointment for sorrow
and a doorway to possibility."

Instead of wallowing in self-pity, get to work. I may not have money to go buy food, but I have garbage bags stuffed with empty 2 liter soda bottles in my garage that I got for free from a friend. I could be washing out and filling these with water for my water storage. Doing something will always make you feel better than doing nothing.

In the end you have to remember that as long as you are trying to build and rotate your food storage you will still get the blessings of food storage. Although he was talking about raising righteous children, I think it also applies to following the commandment of having a food storage. President Gordon B. Hinckley said:

"You have not failed as long as you have tried."


The Garden of Egan said...

Great thoughts!

The Garden of Egan said...

Great thoughts!

Anonymous said...

Your blog is great! I have been working on my year's supply for years and you just keep on truckin' on. You definitely have great ideas, especially for younger couples.

Grandma in AZ

Sara said...

As of 2 years ago I had nothing cause I thought I am in a condo with no storage so I can't have food storage. WEll when I bought my home I told my Husband that was my goal..to get my 1 year storage. Well I have bought case lot sales, started bottling this past Feb. and did a garden then proceeded to bottle what I got from that. I now have an amazing food storage and I am up to about 3 or 4 months worth. Am I at my 1 year yet? NO but I am getting there and I do what you do. Spend $5.00 a week on food storage stuff or $20.00 a month. It adds up quickly!

Megan said...

Thanks for the great reminder!

K P said...

Keep it up! You're doing a great work! :) Thanks for sharing your blog with us!

Stacy said...

Thank you for this very good post. Right now with my hubby laid off we are living off our food storage. It has gotten discouraging to not be able to add to it. Thanks for the reality check that you can actually do something without money.