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Food Storage and Rotation Tips

Here are some things to keep in mind as you plan your food storage rotation:

  • Store wisely Store items that will keep for a long time. This will greatly reduce the food rotation burden. Also, don't store more than you need! True, storing a little extra seems like a good thing to do. Just remember, the more you store, the more you will need to rotate in order to keep it fresh.

  • Put a date on everything! Whether you buy it from the store or you can it yourself, date it! Knowing when something was put away is essential to knowing when it needs to be consumed. Even if you can't determine when a store-bought product was canned, just writing the purchase date on the can will help.

  • Establish a method If you stock a pantry with canned goods, put new purchases in the back and withdraw older cans from the front. Sloped shelves can be constructed that let newer cans roll forward as the oldest cans are taken. If you have a separate cold storage, establish regular times for withdrawing foods. Or establish a schedule for restocking your pantry from a longer-term storage area.

  • Make your food storage easy to get to This may sound trivial, but when it comes to food storage: out of sight is definitely out of mind. And, when it's easier to drive down to the grocery store than to get to your stored food, guess where you'll head most of the time!

  • Estimate a rate of consumption Keep in mind that each year you will need to consume one half of anything with a two-year shelf life. Likewise, you will need to consume one third of anything with a three-year shelf life, an so on.

  • Learn from your experience Letting your family sample what you have stored will help you determine what to store in the future. Let's face it, if all those dried lima beans haven't moved after two years, they probably won't make anyone really happy during an emergency either.

  • Grow your own Consider providing for at least part of your needs from your garden. That way, if you ever do have to live from your stored food, you can supplement with fresh produce from the garden.

Prudent methods of food storage are learned over many years. Taking time to learn good methods and plan your storage will pay off in the long run. Learning how to use food storage items in your daily diet is part of this learning process. A more self-sufficient lifestyle results when we learn to properly produce, process, store, and use food.

Food and Water Rotation Planners