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My food storage focus in October is oils and fats. If you are new at this, gather an amount that you might use in 3-months. For instance, if you would only use a 48 oz. bottle of canola oil and have a half-used bottle in your pantry, buy one new bottle.

This is the handout I prepared for my ward Relief Society sisters. You are welcome to print it. Earlier today as I was working on it, I decided to use a quote by Robert D. Hales. And then later found out he was in the hospital. Prayers for Elder Hales and President Monson.

October Food Storage Goals.pdf

Oil should be stored in a cool, dark area, and NOT in your garage where the heat will ruin it. Unopened vegetable oil has about a 1-year shelf life, though it may be stored longer if you store it in a very cool (not freezing) location. Once opened the shelf-life is 4 – 6 months, so it’s a good idea to write the date you open it on the bottle.

Olive oil has about a 6-month shelf life, but can be stored for a year in the refrigerator. Always smell oil first to see if it has gone rancid. It will smell “off” if it has. Sticks or canned shortening have a 2-year shelf life. Once opened, canned shortening has about a 1-year shelf life, but the sticks only have a 6-month shelf life.

Peanut butter is another item I stock up on this month, but it has about a 1-year shelf life, so purchase accordingly. I usually keep a 6-month supply on hand in small 16 to 18 oz. jars. We don’t eat a lot of peanut butter so large jars won’t work for us.

I also stock up on baking cocoa and chocolate chips this month. A large container of baking cocoa is very inexpensive at Costco or Sam’s Club and will last a long time. Chocolate chips are also less expensive at these stores, and sometimes in the fall there are discounts on it. I like to buy two 72-ounce bags and store the chocolate chips in my big freezer.

My October emergency preparedness focus is fire prevention. It’s time to test those smoke alarms, get your fire extinguisher tested, check your carbon monoxide alarm and have a mock fire drill. Costco typically has these items on sale this month. Only use a fire extinguisher on very small fires. Never try to put out large fires. Just get out.

A great resource for fire safety is this page at the Red Cross. Check it out. Best wishes on your preparedness goals. A little at a time will build your supplies.

Valerie Albrechtsen, The Food Storage Organizer

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