One Can at a Time
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“One Can at a Time,” Ensign, Aug. 2001, 68

One Can at a Time

It would take an elephant to feed my family for a year, I thought as I tried to make a plan for our food storage. And how could I afford it or store it all? Just then an old saying about elephants popped into my mind: “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” The question for me was, “How do you store an elephant?” The answer was—one can at a time!

The Church has provided many areas with a wonderful resource: the dry pack cannery. If there is one nearby, we can sign up to pack various products at reasonable prices. Dry packing in number 10 cans is a convenient and safe way to store the basic foods needed for long-term storage. Our “elephant” could fit nicely in our storage room. The next question was, how could we afford it? Our family came up with the following ideas for financing our food storage:

  1. Save all the change that comes home. It is amazing how much money five people can contribute in just a week. With only $1 per week per person, we could dry pack one can of potato pearls, or three cans of flour, or one can of delicious apple slices.

  2. Use the money from our tax return for quantity purchases. A case of six cans of basic items of milk, flour, sugar, and wheat was affordable and helped us be much more prepared. When we added pasta and beans, we felt that in an emergency we could actually create family meals for a month.

  3. Buy one extra item when at the store. Oils, salt, and spices are necessary for a complete storage plan. The cost of one item was seldom noticed in our grocery bill, but our storage room benefited greatly.

An article in the Ensign about debt reduction states, “Your most important savings is food storage” (Jack M. Lyon, “‘How Many Loaves Have Ye?’” Ensign, Dec. 1989, 41). We have tried to balance this with monetary savings. Each time we purchase an item on sale for food storage, we try to save the extra amount we would normally have spent and add it to our food storage fund.

Our food storage is growing day by day, can by can, case by case. We are better prepared and no longer afraid of being trampled by the enormity of the food-storage elephant.—Mary L. Wilson, Indian Hills Ward, Pocatello Idaho Stake

[illustration] Illustrated by Joe Flores