American Survival Guide
ORGANIZATION IS KEY
Growing up on a self-sustaining farm, we preserved enough food annually to last until the next harvest and beyond. Rotation was easy: as we preserved, the date was written on the jar and jars were stored on shelves in free-standing wooden cabinets in the basement. Shelves were built to accommodate pints, quarts and gallons without stacking them, and the doors were plywood. At least one row (front to back) was left empty to enable us to reach into the cabinet and move jars without unloading the shelf. For example, in summer we made blackberry jelly; we went to the shelf containing blackberry jelly and moved any remaining jars forward, filling in the back with the new jelly.
When I left the farm and began filling my own cupboards with a goal of having enough food for six months, I learned not to buy food I wouldn’t normally eat because, when it expired, I threw that money away. If you are on a tight budget, consider setting up a secondary pantry (preferably not in the same structure as your kitchen). Purchase only items you will actually eat for your secondary pantry each time you shop. Then, use the secondary pantry as your store by bringing those food items into your kitchen as space opens up there. Refill your secondary pantry with new purchases made, always moving the older food forward and filling in the back with your new purchases.
My food rotation now is almost as simple. When it’s time to prepare for the spring storms (February), I check expiration dates on food, water, and medical supplies in the go-bags and vehicles; then I go to the storm shelter and read the expiration dates on the front row of food, beverages and medical supplies. That which expires first is always in the front. When holiday season arrives in the fall, I go into the garage to get decorations and this is my reminder to check food stored in the cool room. Again
I only need to read the expiration dates on the buckets, containers and cans that are in the front row.