July Food Storage and Prep Handout

Here is the July 2018 food storage prep newsletter I created for my ward Relief Society sisters. Our July prep focus is sugars, canning supplies, and emergency shelter activities. You are welcome to print it here: July 2018 Food Storage Newsletter

It’s recommended that we store 60 lbs. of sugars per person. Yes, wow! Any combination of honey, white sugar, brown sugar, powdered sugar, jams, jellies, pancake or maple syrup, molasses, agave, etc. will work. See example.

Most recipes need less honey than white sugar…sometimes half. A combination of both is best. Most dry sugars and honey have an indefinite shelf life. Cool!

If you’re a canner, perhaps buy sugar with your canning supplies this month. Costco and Sam’s Club always have great prices on sugar, and the Home Storage Center has white sugar & honey too. Walmart has canning supplies.

With wisdom and careful planning you can gather the types of sugar that work for your family.

Best wishes!

Valerie Albrechtsen, The Food Storage Organizer

June Food Storage and Prep Handout

June is the month where I like to gather grains, vitamins and yeast, and practice bread making because it’s easier for bread to rise when it’s warmer.

If you decide to store a year’s supply of wheat or other grains, it’s important to have enough leavening ingredients. A Brigham Young University handout recommends 2 lbs. for person per year. That’s a lot of yeast. So, I store mine in my freezer and it lasts longer like 3 years.

For my ward Relief Society sisters, I called several stores to find a good price on Saf-instant yeast. A store in Ogden called Kitchen Kneads carries it for about $4.00. You can usually find yeast at stores like Costco and Sam’s Club too.

As far as wheat, I prefer to buy LDS hard wheat as it costs about $2.75 per #10 can, and can be stored for 30 years. I store both hard red and white wheat. A can of wheat makes about 16.5 cups of wheat flour and 6 loaves of bread.

Gathering grains was important anciently. In the Book of Mormon, Lehi and his family “gathered together all manner of seeds of every kind, both of grain of every kind, and also of the seeds of fruit of every kind….much fruits and meat…honey…and provisions…we did go down into the ship….” (1 Nephi 8:1 and 1 Nephi 18:6).

After arriving in the promised land, “…we did put all our seeds into the earth…they did grow exceedingly; wherefore, we were blessed in abundance.” (1 Nephi 18: 24).

Like Nephi, may we be abundantly blessed for our obedience in gathering food storage this month!

Valerie Albrechtsen, The Food Storage Organizer

June 2018 Food Storage Newsletter.pdf

June 2018 Food Storage Newsletter.xlsx

May Food Storage and Prep Handout

The month of May is upon us so I made a provident living (aka food storage) newsletter with ideas of items to gather for my amazing LDS Relief Society sisters. This month we’re focusing on condiments, spices and emergency cooking. You are welcome to print our ward newsletter for your personal or church use.

Typically you think of stocking up on spices in the fall, and there are some good sales then, but you can generally get good prices on larger cinnamon, oregano, basil etc. year-round at big box stores like Costco or Sam’s Club.

I usually buy a can of dehydrated onions from the LDS Home Storage Center too since it’s so inexpensive there. I open it up and transfer some into a smaller jar in my kitchen. I use those onions all the time in my recipes.

SPICES We are accustomed to having our spices at our fingertips and we could never imagine life without them. Centuries ago it wasn’t so easy to get them, and famines do still occur. Since poor weather conditions affect the growth of plants and herbs, it’s a good idea to keep spices on hand. And did you know that most of them come from outside the United States?

MAY 2018 Food Storage Newsletter.pdf

MAY 2018 Food Storage Newsletter.xlsx

CONDIMENTS Usually during May there are some great stock up deals at grocery stores for condiments such as ketchup, mustard, relish, mayonnaise, salad dressings and sauces. Some even have at least a 1-year shelf life. I stock up on enough for the year. But you could just gather a few if cabinet space is limited. Just don’t go overboard. You don’t need 12 bottles of ketchup!

OUTDOOR EMERGENCY COOKING This is also the time of year when you can practice some outdoor cooking skills. And if you keep propaned tanks for your barbecue, make sure you have and extra on hand. These skills will come in handy if you ever had a long-term power outage.

Gathering year-round is easy if you do it along with your regular grocery shopping, and then periodically gather long-term foods like dried onions. I try to shop at the LDS Home Storage Center once a month for a few things.

Best wishes on your preparedness goals!

Valerie Albrechtsen, The Food Storage Organizer


April Food Storage and Prep Handout

After watching the amazing changes at the April 2018 LDS General Conference this past weekend, I reflected how blessed we are to have a prophet of God on the earth today who encourages us to grow both spiritually and temporally.

When I started this website, I decided that whatever I shared, above all I wanted others to feel hopeful. To understand that with small and simple steps, great things can be accomplished as you gather food storage and emergency supplies. I hope that is what you feel when you read what I share.

I continue to write at least once a month, despite a busy life as a wife, mom and grandma. Whatever you choose to do, and however you do it, your efforts will bring blessings! I have experienced that, and know it to be true. Obedience does bring blessings.

April 2018 Food Storage Newsletter.pdf

April 2018 Food Storage Newsletter.xlsx

My way to gather is not necessarily the way for everyone, but it does help me have goals to work toward. I chose a few each month to focus on. You can only eat an elephant one bite at a time, right?

This month I’m sharing suggested goals to the Relief Society sisters in my ward and encouraging them to gather beans, soup, fish and sanitation supplies. Gathering shelf-stable foods in your food storage in small cans that typically have a 3-5 year shelf life is smart. I’m grateful the LDS Church has suggested this plan.

Also gathering emergency water and a financial reserve (emergency savings) is extremely wise. And THEN gathering long-term foods…foods that could help sustain life if needed. That’s BRILLIANT!!!

So, gather what you eat, and eat what you store this month. Consider what recipes you DO use beans in, and keep those cans on your shelf. What soups DO you typically cook with? What kinds of fish do you like? Is it tuna, or only salmon? How much could you eat in 3-months? Not how much DO you eat, but how much could you eat. Plan for 3-months, as that may get you through a job loss, an ecomomic downturn, or a natural disaster.

As far as sanitation supplies (one area most people don’t plan for), have items on hand to prevent disease and illness. I have a few suggestions on the attached handout I prepared for my ward sisters. You are welcome to print it.

I hope you grow spiritually and temporally as you follow the counsel of our LDS Church leaders to prepare for a rainy day.

Best wishes!

Valerie Albrechtsen, The Food Storage Organizer

Coming soon! My organized pantry. Why, oh why has it taken me so long to get organized? Because I’m just like you! Busy, busy, busy. 🙂

March Food Storage & Prep Handout

This month I’m gathering shelf-stable tomato and pasta items into our food storage, and working on first aid supplies. Here in Utah we have some great grocery store case lot sales March 7 – 21 @Bowman’s, Maceys, Kents and Winegars. Reams starts March 6. This is where I buy small cans of tomato sauce and paste, diced tomatoes and spaghetti sauce for a bargain price. They work well in my 3-month food storage supply.

You are welcome to print my church handout for your personal use or ward. But please keep my name on it.

March 2018 Food Storage Newsletter

March 2018 Food Storage Newsletter

I’m also gathering spaghetti and macaroni packaged long-term in #10 cans from the LDS Home Storage Center. I decided to buy those two items long-term so I’ll use them, and fettucini and other pastas at the grocery store in typical 1 lb. packages. Of course you can store wheat pasta into your 3-month supply, but it doesn’t store well long-term.


March is Red Cross month in the U.S. so make an appointment to donate blood and help save a life. Perhaps become better trained for emergencies by taking a $25.00 Red Cross First Aid class online at redcross.org. This month I like to clean out our medicine and first aid supplies. It’s important to dispose of medicine correctly, so be careful.

I hope you enjoy gathering!

Valerie Albrechtsen, The Food Storage Organizer


“Relief Society stands for self-reliance. The best food storage is not in welfare grain elevators but in sealed cans and bottles in the homes of our people. What a gratifying thing it is to see cans of wheat and rice and beans under the beds or in the pantries of women who have taken welfare responsibility into their own hands. Such food may not be tasty, but it will be nourishing if it has to be used.” ~ President Gordon B. Hinckley



February Food Storage & Prep Handout

What’s for breakfast? This month I’m helping the Relief Society sisters in my ward gather shelf-stable food storage ingredients to make breakfast. And we’re also focusing on gathering some emergency communications equipment. You are welcome to print my handout for ideas for your ward.

February 2018 Food Storage Newsletter.pdf

February 2018 Food Storage Newsletter.xlsx

One of the easiest meals to make with food storage is breakfast. You could eat breakfast for every meal of the day if you had to! And the ingredients are inexpensive. Sometimes it takes time to prepare, but I love cooking oatmeal, watching it boil and smelling the cinnamon and raisins!

Some of the best breakfast chefs in our family are my daughter Elisabeth and daughter-in-laws, Melissa and Kailey. They are whole-foods women, and I love watching them make culinary masterpieces like waffles, pancakes, crepes and german pancakes. They tell me there are some good recipes at 100-Days Real Food.

I’m so excited that this month the LDS Quick Oats and Pancake Mix are on sale at the LDS Home Storage Centers in the U.S. How did they know I was focusing on breakfast foods this month? 🙂 Go here for a location near you.

And if you’re one of those people that hides your food storage in the basement, get out your can opener and use it!  The First Commandment of LDS Preppers is “use it or lose it.” Don’t be afraid to use your food storage or the day may come when you have to use it and don’t know how.

Also this month, purchase an emergency radio. If the power went out and you couldn’t watch the news or use your cell phone, you will want to hear it on a radio. So be prepared. Lots of people like the Kaito KA500. Personally, I have an inexpensive Dynamo sitting in my window soaking up the sun. Whatever you choose, I’m sure it will be fine.

Also, copy important documents to put in a grab and go binder for evacuation. Or give a copy of that binder to a trusted family member in another state.

I hope you find something yummy to store for breakfast. Get out those can openers.

Faith, not fear makes all things possible. You CAN do it!

Best wishes!

Valerie Albrechtsen, The Food Storage Organizer

What to Pack in Your Car BEFORE an Evacuation

Keeping your car well-stocked with emergency items will save you time if you ever need to evacuate. This article is not about what to do during an evacuation. It’s about getting your car ready beforehand. Don’t expect shelters to be up and running when you arrive. Your car may be the place you sleep and hang out for several days.

I drive a Hyundai Santa Fe and my SUV has many compartments and pockets to store items in. Here is the printable list of the items I chose to keep in my car. An asterisk means it’s also an item you could keep in a grab-and-go bag too. I put several items in Ziploc bags or pencil pouches, and put them throughout my car.

What to Pack in Your Car BEFORE an Evacuation.pdf


  • Flashlight*
  • Umbrella
  • Car emergency glass breaker



  • Sunglasses
  • Cell phone wall charger (the cord is plugged into the car USB port: however, I want the wall charger in case I need it at an evacuation facility.)
  • Gum or mints
  • Hand sanitizer*
  • Mittens*
  • Cash & coins* (small bills)


Groom Me Pouch:

  • Hair elastics*
  • Brush and comb*
  • Mirror* (use an old makeup compact)
  • Tweezers
  • Nail clippers
  • Nail file
  • Tissues*
  • Lip balm*
  • Lotion*
  • Safety pins

Feed Me Pouch

  • Napkins* (gather fast-food)
  • Plastic utensils* (gather fast-food)
  • Cleansing wipes
  • Mini can opener
  • Scissors
  • Candy
  • Paper cups
  • Small trash bags

Communications Pouch

  • Pens & pencils*
  • Notepad*

ACTIVITY POCKETS behind driver/passenger seats (People get bored at evacuation shelters, so keep some activity items in your car that don’t require electricty.)

  • Sudoku and word search activities* (I copied my own online)
  • Coloring books*
  • Small spiral notebooks
  • Colored pencils
  • Colored markers
  • Cards*
  • Small kid toys*
  • Paperback books
  • Scriptures* like The Book of Mormon
  • Magazine like The Friend, New Era or Ensign
  • Laminated copy of LDS patriarchal blessing*


Since fire extinguishers don’t last forever, put a reminder on your Google calendar to have it checked a year from now. Never try not to tackle a fire that is large or out of control.

WHEELED DUFFEL BAG, BACKPACK OR CARRY-ON BAG (Use any size that fits in your car. Put heavy items towards the bottom. Mine is a 30″ Coleman Wheeled Duffle bag I found at Kohl’s. I prefer something with wheels.

  • Water bottles*
  • Millenium food bars*
  • Blanket
  • Tarp
  • Emergency solar blankets, several *
  • Rain ponchos, several *
  • Cargo pants with multiple pockets
  • Shirts*
  • Underwear*
  • Boots & socks*
  • Sun hat that covers neck*
  • Beanie*
  • Toiletries*
  • Liquid soap
  • Headlamp*
  • Duct tape
  • Wash cloth*
  • Toilet paper*
  • Feminine items*
  • Stove in a can*
  • Enamel cup*
  • Large trash bags*


  • Bandages, various*
  • Gauze & pads, various*
  • Medical gloves*
  • Ace bandages*
  • Adhesive tape*
  • CPR mouthpiece*
  • Dust masks*
  • Bandana*
  • Alcohol wipes*
  • Needles and thread
  • Triangular bandages
  • Cold packs
  • Benadryl kids chewable (bee stings, allergic reactions, etc.)
  • Prescriptions*
  • First Aid Guide*

C.E.R.T. BACKPACK (Community Emergency Response Team). You’ ll recognize these search and rescue items if you’ve been CERT trained. Everyone should be CERT trained and CPR trained. Become part of the solution.

  • C.E.R.T. safety vest
  • C.E.R.T. hard hat
  • Goggles
  • Leather work gloves
  • Knee pads or foam gardening pad
  • C.E.R.T. victim identification tape 4 colors
  • Carabiners
  • Light Sticks – 12 Hour Green
  • Permanent markers
  • Notebook
  • Pencils & pens
  • Rubber bands
  • Multi-use tool
  • Pocket knife
  • Emergency Solar Radio
  • Extra flashlight batteries in dated baggie
  • Crowbar
  • Nylon rope
  • Sunblock, travel size
  • Insect repellant, travel size

Wow! That took some time to put together. And please don’t think my car is all ready. I’ve still got some work to do.

Do I have sleepless nights worrying about evacuations? No. But it feels soooo good to get this idea moving forward. I hope you’ll find something useful in this post to help you prepare your car for an evacuation. And I hope you never ever, EVER have to evacuate.

Best wishes,

Valerie Albrechtsen

The Food Storage Organizer


Facebook LIVE Event

I’ll be sharing some simple ideas on making a car kit to help you during an emergency evacuation on Thursday, January 25th @ 7 p.m. MST. See you then!

Grab and Go Evacuation List in 10 Steps

It is always better to plan an evacuation when your mind is clear, rather than during an actual life-threatening evacuation when you’re having an adrenaline attack. Here are 10 steps to creating a grab and go evacuation list.

Grab and Go Evacuation List in 10 Steps.pdf

Every time I do this activity, I realize I am not as prepared as I want to be. It makes me a bit crazy. Honestly, I have never evacuated, so this activity is something I have to imagine, and it always gets my heart racing.

If someone were to knock on your door and say you have a few minutes to evacuate, would you be ready?

During a mandatory evacuation, your greatest concern is for you and your family. All the STUFF doesn’t matter. So, take a few minutes and do this activity. It may save a life.

How to Prioritize an Evacuation List

  1. Create a list of the most important items you woud take with you if you had to evacuate.
  2. Then divide the big list into 3 smaller lists; what you would take if you had 5 minutes, 15 minutes or 30 minutes to evacuate. Look at the sample for ideas.
  3. Then arrange your items in the order you would grab them in your home to save the most time. Perhaps start upstairs, and work your way down. If you don’t have an upstairs, then choose a room you would go to first.
  4. Move emergency items to a central location such as a hall closet so they are easier to grab and go.
  5. Make it a habit to keep things in their specified location, otherwise you’ll be running all over the house.
  6. During an evacuation, grab the list and carry it with you as you gather items. You may want to grab a laundry basket and fill it up.
  7. If you have more than 5 minutes, grab items from the 15 minute list, and so forth.
  8. Practice the evacuation with your family. You may think you can take more than you really can. Those paintings and statues won’t be coming.
  9. Remind teens that it is safer to get out of the house and get to a neighbor if you are not there. Don’t put this responsibility all on them.
  10. Make several copies of the list and hang in various locations in your home where family will see it. Perhaps inside a kitchen cupboard or laundry cupboard.

January Food Storage & Prep Handout

I’m ready to make 2018 the year I help my family and ward become better prepared for emergencies! My JANUARY FOCUS: Get Organized, Water Storage and Beverages. Check out the new handout I created for my ward Relief Society sisters. You are welcome to print it for ideas. Please leave my name on the documents.

January 2018 Relief Society Prep handout.pdf

January 2018 Relief Society Prep handout.xlsx

SOMETHING NEW WE’RE DOING THIS YEAR. I’ve contacted some emergency prep companies for group deals on emergency supplies. We’ll focus on the basics. Not the weird stuff.  Each month I’ll place an order for the sisters. Some items can be ordered directly online. Just trying to help them stay focused on monthly goals.

  • The 5 gallon water containers are from The Ready Store
  • The 55 gallon barrels are offered in Utah through Walmart.com
  • The 28 oz. Seychelle water purification bottles are from the LDS Home Storage Center
  • The food storage book: “Store This, Not That” is offered on Amazon.com

I gave each of my older children a Seychelle water filtration bottle for Christmas to use if their water supply ever becomes contaminated. So they have a great start for emergencies too!

PREP CLASSES. In a few weeks, we’ll have a prep class in my ward. Our emergency coordinator will teach us how to correctly store water, and I’ll teach members how to prepare to evacuate quickly. I’ve come up with a tentative calendar with my Relief Society with about five classes we’ll teach through the year.

IT’S TIME TO GET OUR HOUSES IN ORDER. “Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing; and establish a house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God” D&C 88:119

With a little faith, you CAN do it!

Best Wishes!

Valerie Albrechtsen
The Food Storage Organizer and Ward Provident Living Specialist