Today, while perusing The Prudent Homemaker (a wonderful site by a wonderful lady), I found a link to a very inspiring "you-can-do-it" talk on food storage given by Vaughn J. Featherstone. I wanted to share an excerpt from that speech with you today:
This morning I would like to discuss food storage. Let me suggest three or four things we can do. Start by taking an inventory—take a physical count of all of your reserves. This would be a great family home evening project if you’re prepared. If not, it may be terribly embarrassing to you in front of your family. Imagine how the powerful testimony you bear concerning a living prophet must sound to your children, who know that as a family head you have been counseled for years to have a year’s reserve of food on hand. We need to know where we are. Every family should take an inventory—get all the facts.
Second, decide what is needed to bring your present reserve levels to a year’s supply. Then make a list and prepare a plan. Consider first, what are the basics?—wheat (or grain from your locale), sugar or honey, dried milk, salt, and water. Most of us can afford such basics. Buy them from your monthly food budget allowance. The Church discourages going into debt to buy for storage.
Now that you know where you are and where you need to be, the third step is to work out a time schedule for when you will reach your goal. I suggest that one year from today we ought to have a year’s supply of food in all active—and many inactive—members’ homes in the Church. Where food storage violates the law of your land, then abide the law. However, even in those cases we can plant gardens and fruit trees and raise rabbits or chickens. Do all you can within the laws of your community, and the Lord will bless you when the time of need comes.
Now here are some suggestions how:
1. Follow the prophet. He has counseled us to plant a garden and fruit trees. This year don’t just think about it—do it. Grow all the food you possibly can. Also remember to buy a year’s supply of garden seeds so that, in case of a shortage, you will have them for the following spring. I’m going to tell you where to get the money for all the things I’m going to suggest.
2. Find someone who sells large bulk of grains, depending on your locale. Make arrangements to buy a ton or so of grain.
3. Find someone who sells honey in large containers and make arrangements to buy what you can afford on a regular basis or buy a little additional sugar each time you go to the store.
4. Purchase dry milk from the store or dairy, on a systematic basis.
5. Buy a case of salt the next time you go to the store. In most areas, 24 one-pound packages will cost you less than $5.
6. Store enough water for each member of your family to last for at least two weeks. Where the foods I mentioned are not available or are not basic in your culture or area, make appropriate substitutions.
Now you ask, “Where do I get the money for these things? I agree we need them, but I’m having a hard time making ends meet.” Here is how you do it. Use any one or all of these suggestions, some of which may not be applicable in your country:
1. Decide as a family this year that 25 or 50 percent of your Christmas will be spent on a year’s supply. Many families in the Church spend considerable sums of money for Christmas. Half or part of these Christmas monies will go a long way toward purchasing the basics. I recall the Scotsman who went to the doctor and had an X-ray taken of his chest. Then he had the X-ray gift-wrapped and gave it to his wife for their anniversary. He couldn’t afford a gift, but he wanted her to know his heart was in the right place. Brethren, give your wife a year’s supply of wheat for Christmas, and she’ll know your heart is in the right place.
2. When you desire new clothes, don’t buy them. Repair and mend and make your present wardrobe last a few months longer. Use that money for the food basics. Make all of your nonfood necessities that you feasibly can, such as furniture and clothing.
3. Cut the amount of money you spend on recreation by 50 percent. Do fun things that do not require money outlay but make more lasting impressions on your children.
4. Decide as a family that there will be no vacation or holiday next year unless you have your year’s supply. Many Church members could buy a full year’s supply of the basics from what they would save by not taking a vacation. Take the vacation time and work on a family garden. Be together, and it can be just as much fun.
5. If you haven’t a year’s supply yet and you do have boats, snowmobiles, campers, or other luxury possessions, sell or trade one or two or more of them and get your year’s supply.
6. Watch advertised specials in the grocery stores and pick up extra supplies of those items that are of exceptional value.
7. Change the mix in your family’s diet. Get your protein from sources less expensive than meat. The grocery bill is one bill that can be cut. Every time you enter the store and feel tempted by effective and honest merchandising to buy cookies, candy, ice cream, non-food items, or magazines—don’t! Think carefully; buy only the essentials. Then figure what you have saved and spend it on powdered milk, sugar, honey, salt, or grain. The Lord will make it possible, if we make a firm commitment, for every Latter-day Saint family to have a year’s supply of food reserves by April 1977. All we have to do is to decide, commit to do it, and then keep the commitment. Miracles will take place; the way will be opened, and next April we will have our storage areas filled. We will prove through our actions our willingness to follow our beloved prophet and the Brethren, which will bring security to us and our families.
I LOVE this talk! Sisters, I really think that we CAN be more prepared, if only we take it one step at a time. I admit that I have a long way to go, but I'm working on it. That's all we can do, right? :-)Here a link to the entire talk: Food Storage by Vaughn J. Featherstone
P.S.-- Please feel free to post about your progress in the comments!