Many of us who live in rural parts of the country in large houses tend to overlook what it must be like for people who are concerned about emergency preparedness but they live in a small apartment. Our perspective when it comes to prepping is quite different than theirs.
I believe that it’s important for everyone to do what they can to prepare for emergencies. That being said, we all have different circumstances which ultimately means that we all have to develop our prepping strategies based on the specific limitations that we each might have.
Unfortunately, one of the main limitations that many people who live in smaller homes or apartments have is the lack of space. They may have the best intentions when it comes to storing food and water but they just don’t feel like they have the room to do it.
Today I’ll be sharing a few tips that might help people who are limited on space store the right types of food to last them for a longer period of time. I’ll admit that the title of this article was a bit of a teaser because I can’t say exactly how much room you have to work with but I think that by following these simple tips, you’ll be able to maximize the space that you do have. Ultimately, you should have enough food to survive on longer which is what I’m really trying to help you accomplish with this article.
Change Your Perspective When It Comes to Food Storage
If you happen to be struggling with finding ways to store food in a small space, one of the first things that you need to do is change the way you think about food storage. If you read very many websites on the subject, they might recommend storing hundreds of pounds of various food staples like rice and beans.
They probably also suggest storing hundreds of gallons of water. While I always advocate that more is better when it comes to storing food and water, simply storing “more” of the same types of foods that other people might be storing may not be the best solution for you.
Focus on Calorie Dense Foods
In the day and age that we live in, everyone is trying to cut calories so we tend to purchase foods that are low in calories in an attempt to stay fit and healthy. While I certainly agree that there is value to this and I know that I need to do a much better job of this myself, if I was in the position of having to store food with limited space, the first thing I would do is throw that strategy out the window.
Please understand that I’m not suggesting that you go out and purchase boxes and boxes full of chocolate bars simply because they’re high in calories. What I’m suggesting is that you start looking at the food that you are storing in terms of how many calories it contains in relationship to how much space it takes up.
For example, let’s compare two items that you might commonly find in someone’s food storage. For this example we’ll take a look at peanut butter and rice. Sure, rice is inexpensive and easy to store but in terms of the amount of volume that it takes up, it has far fewer calories than peanut butter.
According to the website nutritiondata.self.com, 1 cup of white rice contains 193 calories. In comparison, 1 tablespoon of Jif creamy peanut butter contains 95 calories. There are 16 tablespoons in a cup so if we’re comparing apples to apples, 1 cup of peanut butter contains 1,520 calories. Based on this example, it’s very clear that peanut butter is much more calorie rich than rice.
Now, I’m not suggesting that you go out and fill your apartment up with hundreds of jars of peanut butter. The point I’m trying to make is that if you have a limited amount of space to work with, storing foods that are more calorie dense will mean that you may be able to survive for a longer period of time on the limited supply of food that they are able to keep on hand.
Keep in mind that I’m certainly not a nutritional expert and I’m by no means providing advice on what you should include in your diet in this article. I’m simply trying to point out that if you store food items that have more calories in them, you can probably survive for a longer period of time than you can if you store foods that are very low in calories that take up a lot of space.
Since we used peanut butter in this example, let’s take a more in depth look at the nutritional facts for this particular brand. At the time that this article was written, their website had the following data on it.
Jif Peanut Butter Nutritional Facts
Serving Size – 2 tablespoons
- Calories – 190
- Calories from Fat – 130
- Total Fat – 16g
- Saturated Fat – 2.5g
- Sodium – 135mg
- Total Carbohydrate – 8g
- Dietary Fiber – 2g
- Sugars – 3g
- Protein – 7g
- Iron – 4%
- Riboflavin – 2%
- Vitamin E – 10%
- Niacin – 20%
* percent daily values are based on a 2,000 cal diet.
White Rice Nutritional Facts
Serving Size – 1 cup
- Calories – 193
- Total Fat – 1g
- Sodium – 7mg
- Total Carbohydrate – 44g
- Dietary Fiber – 1g
- Protein – 4g
- Calcium – 1%
- Iron – 16%
* percent daily values are based on a 2,000 cal diet.
Again, please understand that only you can determine what your specific nutritional needs are but if I ever found myself in the position where I had to choose between storing boxes and boxes of my favorite kind of breakfast cereal or storing the types of food that would provide enough calories for me to survive with over a longer period of time, I’d go with the latter.
Is It All about the Calories?
I’ve been talking a lot about storing foods that are high in calories but there’s more to consider than just the amount of calories that the particular type of food might contain. For example, there’s no question that lard contains a lot of calories but I’m sure you don’t want to sit down and eat a bowl of lard for your evening meal. The goal is to choose food that is dense in calories that contains a variety of nutrients.
I’m also not saying that food items such as rice and beans should be completely ruled out but they should be supplemented with other foods that are very calorie dense. After all, eating a few tablespoons of peanut butter might provide you enough calories for a meal but your stomach is going to feel pretty empty if that’s all you have to eat.
Consider Doing Some Redecorating
If you’re struggling to find enough space for your food and water storage, I suggest that you get a little bit creative and find ways to turn your furniture into places to store food.
For example, you probably have a coffee table in front of your couch. One clever idea would be to get rid of that coffee table. Then place several 5 gallon buckets with food and/or water in them where the coffee table used to be. Then, have your local home improvement store cut a piece of plywood to your desired size and place that on top of the 5 gallon buckets. Lastly, drape a nice tablecloth over the whole thing and no one will have any idea that you have six or more buckets of food stored under your coffee table!
You could do the exact same thing with your bed but on a much larger scale. Simply replace your metal bed frame with 5 gallon buckets full of emergency supplies. Put your box spring on top of the buckets and then use an oversized bedspread or sheet that will reach all the way to the floor to conceal them. Lastly, put your mattress on top of the box spring and you’ve just given yourself a ton of space to store food and water!
Likewise, your television is probably sitting on a wooden table. You could do the exact same thing that I talked about with your coffee table and replace your TV stand with a stand that would double as a food storage hideaway.
You’re really only limited by your creativity when it comes to using this method. If you wanted to get really crazy, you could replace all kinds of furniture using this technique. Sure, there is a trade-off. You might have to sell your favorite glass coffee table at your next yard sale but I for one feel like the benefit of being able to store food and water in that space makes it well worth the sacrifice.
Do You Have Any Creative Ways to Store Food?
If you have any creative ways to store food and/or water when space is at a premium, please take a minute and share your tips by leaving a comment in the box below!