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Eat Well, Spend Less: Emergency Planning

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This month’s Eat Well, Spend Less topic is emergency planning, and whether you’re preparing for earthquakes and hurricanes or serious illness and job loss, having a plan and stockpile for harder times is an important part of eating well on a budget.

I shared my ideas for pasta five ways earlier this week, and the rest of the crew is sharing their emergency planning tips as well!

Here’s a peek at some of the other posts in this series:

5 Ways with Beans {Emergency Preparedness}

From Katie @ goodLife {eats}:

beans five ways
source: goodLife {eats}

This month’s Eat Well, Spend Less topic is emergency preparedness. Part of emergency preparedness is having a well-stocked pantry. Whether through natural disasters, job loss, or unplanned expenses, many of us at one point in our lives may have to rely on the food we’ve put away in our pantries. And the real problem is, we’ll never know when that may be.

But emergency preparedness doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom. Sometimes every day emergencies can take a huge toll on the dinner preparations.

It’s important to think about emergency preparedness even if you don’t worry about hurricanes, tornadoes or tsunamis. Every day emergencies happen all the time: forgotten lunch boxes that mean extra trips to school, a neighbor or friend needing babysitting help, car keys locked in the door while out running errands.

I keep my pantry well stocked with lots of canned beans because they’re one of my favorite pantry staples for quick, inexpensive meals. They help get meals on the table during big and small emergencies.

See Katie’s favorite bean recipes at goodLife {eats}…

Five Ways With Lentils (Curried Lentil Soup)

From Aimee @ Simple Bites:

lentil recipes
source: Simple Bites

This month for our Eat Well, Spend Less series we’re talking about emergency preparedness. We were hit fairly hard by Hurricane Irene recently and lost power for 18 hours; others fared much worse.

We were scrambling a little for things like flashlight batteries and warm blankets, but all in all, we didn’t suffer much during the outage. Still, it was a fair warning that we could -and should- be better prepared next time. While the Texas fires may not be warming our doorsteps, we never know what we might need to be prepared for. Certainly a few snow days are in my future, although I’ve got a few months before I have to worry about that!

We’ve talked about the benefit of a well-stocked pantry, but how much more valuable does it become during a crisis or natural disaster predicament? Suddenly those cans of lentils, tuna and beans are looking particularly fine, wouldn’t you say so?

Find Aimee’s favorite lentil recipes (including curried lentil soup!) at Simple Bites…

Making the Most of Your Pantry, Fridge, & Freezer

From Jessica @ Life as Mom:

source: Life as Mom

All of us have been there at one time or another, staring into the pantry or refrigerator and thinking, “There’s nothing to eat in this house.”

While this truly may be the case for some families, for many of us, this is a gross exaggeration. “Nothing to eat” often translates to:

  • nothing I want to eat
  • nothing I want to prepare
  • nothing I want to battle with my kids over

Chances are for most of us, there really is something to eat. We just need to suck it up and get cooking. Sometimes that takes an attitude shift. Other times we just need a little inspiration.

What if we ran out of power and had to live off what was already in the house? What if we experienced an unexpected job loss and needed to truly “make do” for a season? What if there was some kind of emergency that limited our ability to add to our food stores and we had to make the most of what we had?

After several years of doing “a pantry challenge,” I’m convinced that we could make a go of it for several weeks if we had to. Would it be all the foods we loved? No, obviously not. But, it would be nourishment, and for the most part, it would be tasty.

Get all of Jessica’s pantry cooking tips at Life as Mom…

5 Basic Steps to Emergency Preparedness

From Katie @ Kitchen Stewardship:

emergency preparedness
source: Kitchen Stewardship

Unless your home is completely fireproof, will never flood, and you can be assured that the economy will be perfectly able to support you every day for the rest of your life, you might want to be ready for something weird to happen. It’s a surprise when it does – that’s why it’s called an emergency.

Those of us who know how to make things from scratch, buy in bulk to save money, and have the ability to preserve the harvest might not be thinking of emergency preparedness, but we’re leaps and bounds ahead of the average American already.

That average American only has 3 days or less worth of food on hand at any given time.

It would be a cinch for me not to visit a grocery store for even a few weeks without starving, although we might miss our homemade yogurt terribly after a couple days.

Get Katie’s basic steps to emergency preparedness at Kitchen Stewardship…

Creating and Using from a Long-Term and Short-Term Food Storage

From Tammy @ Tammy’s Recipes:

long-term food storage
source: Tammy's Recipes

Growing up on a farm with parents who grew (and preserved) much of their own food, buying ahead and having short-term food storage in our home seemed natural to me. Then, we took our first steps toward long-term food storage several years ago. Now, we have a mixture of short- and long-term food on hand. I’m still expanding our variety with new foods, like lentils this year.

Here are my tips on getting started:

Research What Stores Well and How To Store It

I knew I wanted to store some food long-term, and I wasn’t planning to buy the little bags or boxes from the grocery store with a “use by” date. Was it really true that properly-stored wheat could stay good and nutritious for decades? What about the shelf life of dry beans?

Here is one of my favorite pages about long-term food storage, and here is another site that is a wealth of information on the topic. Google has lots of results for search terms like “long term food storage”, and a YouTube search for similar terms brings up videos on the topic (if you like to watch instead of just reading!).

Read more about Tammy’s experiences and tips for long-term food storage at Tammy’s recipes…

Emergency Fund in Your Pantry

From Amy @ Kingdom First Mom:

Many people prepare for an emergency by protecting the things they own, so that if something does happen, their items can, for the most part, be replaced. Homes and cars are insured. Important papers are stored in a safety deposit box at the bank or a fireproof safe in your home.

You may even have an emergency fund for your money, but do you have one in your pantry?

Having items on hand for an emergency keeps you from having to run to the store at the last minute and risk paying full price or not being able to get the items at all.

I live in southern Oklahoma, so we deal more with tornadoes than earthquakes, snowstorms, or hurricanes. We did have a crazy ice storm earlier in the year, where it was nearly impossible to get out of our homes for a few days. This is where having an emergency fund in my pantry came in very handy.

Read Amy’s ideas for stocking your emergency fund in your pantry at Kingdom First Mom…

Whole Grain 101

From Shaina @ Food for My Family:

source: Food for My Family

This month in the Eat Well, Spend Less series we’re talking about whole grains from storage to recipes. It’s emergency preparedness month, and I’m dissecting how having whole grains on hand can help you be fed and nourished in that situation.

I’m going to go out on a limb and am going to assume that when the majority of people think about whole grains their minds instantly wander to bread products, cereals and whole wheat pastas first before anything else. I suppose that it has a lot to do with modern advertising, the touting claims of the benefits of whole grains on brightly-colored boxes of cereal and heart healthy labels affixed to encourage you to buy them.

This post, however, is not about cereal and bread. Instead, this post is about whole grains, the seeds of grasses or pseudocereal seeds, cultivated and used for food.

Seeds of grasses. Yep. I’m all about eating grass seed, especially if it looks like popcorn, brown rice, oats and spelt. On the pseudocereal side you have broadleaf seeds like quinoa and amaranth that behave in a similar way to cereal grains.

Get Shaina’s whole grain storage and cooking tips at Food for My Family…

How do you prepare for short- and long-term emergencies?