1. Having buckets full of grains, beans or wheat, but have never cooked them before. Make sure to practice cooking with your food storage. Also note that if storing wheat berries you will need to have a wheat grinder to make flour.
2. Storing food that your family does not eat. In a stressful emergency time, it will be such a comfort to serve familiar foods. Make a list of favorite foods then begin storing them.
3. Not rotating food storage. Even though some foods can go past their expiration dates, you should try to use your oldest food storage first. A system of putting newer food toward the back of the shelf and rotating the oldest to the front of the shelf will help prevent food waste.
4. Minimal variety of food for a balanced diet. To prevent food burnout it is best to store a wide variety. Try storing many varieties of fruits, vegetables, grains, beans, meats, seasonings and staples. Also keep on hand foods that are freeze dried, canned, dehydrated, MRE’s, and prepared as instant packaged meals.
5. Poor choice of storage containers. Prevention of pests and rodents invading your food storage is key. Using the right food storage containers also prolongs shelf life, nutritional value and taste. Food grade plastic containers, Mylar bags, glass canning jars, #10 cans and even buckets all help to maintain a longer shelf life.
6. Never put all your eggs in one basket. Store dehydrated and/or freeze dried foods as well as home canned and “store bought” canned goods. These varieties will help to balance out your cooking options and even add a variety of textures and flavors. Another take on this point, is to not store all of your food storage in one location. Instead of having all of your food storage in one location, it may be wise to have other hiding locations. False walls, under floor boards, another building on your property, at your emergency bug out location or even a storage facility.
7. Forgetting salt, cooking oil, shortening, baking powder, soda, yeast, and powdered eggs. You can’t cook even the most basic recipes without these items.
8. Not storing water to cook the food. Many food storage meals require water to rehydrate. Pasta, beans and soups all need water for cooking.
9. Forgetting to store spices, salt, oil and basic condiments that are needed for your food storage. How will your famous spaghetti sauce taste without Italian seasoning, salt, olive oil and that pinch of sugar? Beans are a great staple to have on hand and can be seasoned in a variety of ways using salt, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, soy sauce, ground red pepper and more.
10. Not having an alternative cooking source if the power goes out. There are many alternative cooking sources such as the Kelly Kettle, Volcano Oven, Wonder Oven, Propane Camp Stove, Solar Oven and much more. Research now to see which option is best for your family.
One last tip, don’t forget to store easy to prepare foods to help you get through on difficult days. Even though they may not be on your list of required food storage foods, you may want to reconsider puddings, juice boxes, instant packaged foods, coffee, candy, muffin mixes, cake mixes, Hershey’s chocolate syrup (lasts a long time without refrigeration), brownie mix and other specialty comfort foods.
– Cindy Castillo, American Preppers Network