Sep 6, 2010

Food Storage for College Students

by Kiku Reidhead

One of the disadvantages of small apartments is having very little storage space. As a college student though, this can hardly be avoided - it is simply a fact of life. So, what do you do with the little space you have? Beyond storing books, CDs, old papers and shoes, there must be room for food. So, let's talk food storage.

As college students out on our own, we need to prepare ourselves for emergencies and have supplies on hand. While this may seem difficult due to limits in both budget and space, we have a few ideas on how to make it easier to be ready for whatever comes.

Start with a 72-hour kit. A 72-hour kit is the most compact and portable emergency food supply. Find an old backpack, fill it with non-perishables, and you have an emergency kit to go. Another component of a 72-hour kit that is great to have on hand is a first aid kit along with other essentials.

Once you create a 72-hour kit, make sure you use it - don't just leave it in your closet. Check expiration dates and eat the food before it goes bad. Use the first aid kit if you need to, but always replace what you use. Change and rotate items over time to keep things interesting and eliminate waste.

Now moving on to your more permanent food storage...

Buy food a little at a time. The key is to buy food that you would actually eat. Think about your college eating habits, and combine them with what mom and dad fed you at home to create well-balanced meals. Take note of what you like to cook and prepare. Then, buy some of your favorites each grocery trip to slowly build up your storage.

Just as with your 72-hour kit, you need to be aware of what you have and use it. Even canned and storable food expires. So watch your expiration dates and make sure you buy new food to replace what you use.

The leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints recommend building up to a 3-month supply at first, and then as space and means allow, adding to your long-term supply little by little.

Create space in your apartment. One way to create more space is to raise big pieces of furniture and use what is beneath them. The easiest piece of furniture to raise is your bed. Raise your bed up and open up a whole new section of storage space for you to use.

There are more tips on the Internet as you run into other questions. Don't get overwhelmed in your journey toward emergency preparedness.. Just remember to be practical and tackle the job a little at a time.

Check out our Stock Your Pantry feature about tips for storage in your pantry!

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