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Food Storage Essentials: Food storage for 1 or 2 people

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Singles consider which foods to store.

Singles consider which foods to store.

Leslie Probert

Just because there are one or two of you does not mean it’s wise to skip storing food. A variety of events can make it a challenge to get food. In an emergency, your most reliable source for help is you. Why leave your care entirely to others when a time of difficulty arises?

Some singles have found a great advantage in having a supply of food on hand. Four women share their experiences with food storage in “Being Independent, Being Prepared,” by Lisa Barton ( Ensign, January 2010, pages 62–65).

Shannon Wilson of Texas a single young woman who broke her foot, was very grateful for a supply of food, which allowed her to make fewer trips to the store requiring the help of others during her two-month recovery.

In an extended time of bad weather, an apartment of singles appreciated having a supply of food when stores with empty shelves were crowded with stressed people trying to buy supplies, Abby Croshaw of Idaho shared. Also, Jocelyn Winter of Texas shared in the article how she gave away some of her supply of food to people who were displaced from their homes after a hurricane in Texas.

Even though Emily Hardman of Utah had not been caught in an emergency, she said that she liked the security of knowing she could care for herself should one arise.

Additionally, I was emailed a tender report of a single woman in Japan who was glad she had a supply of food to share with a care center for the elderly after the tsunami.

One young married couple was counseled by a leader in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to buy two cans of food on sale each week when they went grocery shopping. Ron and Lorene Shiflet were amused as they followed his advice only to find it not a laughing matter when Ron lost his job six months later and they had no money for food. How thankful they were for the suggestion they had received (see “Two Cans of Corn: Home Storage for Newlyweds,” by Allie Schulte, Ensign, September 2009, pages 66–69).

At other times, young couples finishing school have needed extra food to sustain them after graduation when it took months to find a job. Older couples have appreciated the security of having stored food when they are no longer working and expenses become unpredictable.

Questions often arise when storing food for just one or two people. Here are six common concerns and some simple solutions.

What to store?

Buy foods you like on sale. From there, plan what you store around the recipes you would like to eat. If you are on a budget, consider recipes you like to eat using the basics, grains and beans, which are inexpensive, space efficient and nutritious. Canned beans provide very fast meals.

The containers of dried foods seem too large.

Keep in mind that dried foods will last at least a year after opening, which makes using food in No. 10 cans not so daunting. Because the plastic lid on a can is not air tight, in humid climates, contents of an opened can should be transferred to a zip seal bag and returned to the can for protection from moisture and light.

Several companies now sell dried foods in smaller size 2.5 cans, which hold about three cups. Food purchased this way will be a little more expensive but may be more practical.

I don’t like to cook.

Using canned and dried foods makes very fast meals. Vegetables are already peeled and cut up. Most of us use dried onions. Why not include a few other dried vegetables in meal preparation? They are very convenient and flavorful. Many food storage meals can be assembled in just two to three minutes and cook in 15-30 minutes.

Food storage recipes are too large

Recipes can always be halved, however, a full recipe will provide leftovers, making one less meal to cook. It’s always possible to freeze half a recipe and enjoy it later.

I don’t have space for stored food in my apartment.

Designate some closet or under-the-bed spaces for storing food. If you are committed to storing food, it’s surprising how many places can be found to store it.

What about storing water?

Bottled water is very easy to store and rotate. Fourteen gallons of water, less than five cases of 24 17-ounce bottles, is a two-week supply for one person. Another option is to buy bottled water from companies, like Culligan, which will deliver it.

Everyone, including singles and couples, benefits from storing food. Solutions to concerns singles or couples may have about buying, storing and using food storage do not have to be complicated. Purchasing food consistently each week pays off when over the months your supply of food grows and with that, a sense of peace in knowing you’ve taken responsibility for caring for yourself.

That’s a good feeling everyone should have.

Leslie Probert, a graduate in home economics from Brigham Young University, has been a popular speaker and is co-author of "Emergency Food Storage in a Nutshell, 3rd Edition," with over 400 fast, creative recipes. Email: foodstoragechick@gmail.com