Thursday, May 5, 2011

3 Month Supply of Food Storage: Step One

I am thrilled to share this with you because I think it's so fabulous. As members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we have been counseled to set aside a three month supply of food we eat regularly. The idea is to begin gradually and add a little bit at a time until you've reached the goal, not to go out and spend a bunch of money to get it all at once. We are also instructed to rotate our food storage, or use what we have before it goes bad and replace it with new stuff.

This is something I have struggled with because I couldn't figure out what to store, how much to store, how to keep track of what I had, etc. Then I attended a class taught by a girl in our stake, Whitney Permann, and she showed me what she does. I thought it was a simple, easy way to get going on my three month supply. And so I waited a year before doing it. :)

Here's how to get started:
The idea is to store food you already eat. So, make a menu of foods you eat regularly. For simplicity, make a 30 day menu and include all meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a snack.
This is what mine looked like:

  • Muffins
  • Eggs and Toast
  • Cereal
  • German Pancakes
  • Pancakes
  • Oatmeal

  • PBJ/Applesauce
  • Mac & Cheese/Fruit Cocktail
  • Ham &Cheese/Raisins
  • Quesadillas/Peaches
  • Chicken Noodle Soup/Crackers
  • PBJ/Pears

  • Orange Chicken
  • Taco Soup
  • Spaghetti
  • Enchilada Casserole
  • Chicken and Rice Casserole
  • Hawaiian Haystacks
  • Shepherd’s Pie
  • Golden Mushroom Pork chops
  • Polynesian Pork chops
  • Bean Burritos
  • Two Bean Tacos
  • Chicken Pot Pie
  • Mexican Haystacks
  • Enchilada Soup
  • Enchiladas
  • Cory’s Curry
  • Sweet and Sour Chicken
  • Sweet & Spicy Chicken Tacos
  • Apricot Chicken
  • Ritz Cracker Chicken
  • Santa Fe Chipotle Soup
  • Stew
  • Stroganoff
  • Angel Chicken
  • Ham and Bean Soup
  • Creamy Black Bean Chicken
  • Broccoli Cheese Soup
  • Pasta with Tomato Cream Sauce
  • Dirty Rice
  • Tater Tot Casserole

  • Fruit Leather
  • Graham Crackers
  • Ritz Crackers
  • Popcorn
  • Poptarts 
Now, I know you might be looking at this list and thinking, "Wait a minute. How is she going to make some of those things with only non-perishable items?" The answer is, I don't plan to. It would be great if I were cool enough to live off only canned goods, but I'm not. So I have a section for my freezer (which I would love to expand if I were to get a deep-freeze one day.). I know it won't keep if there's some crazy weather/natural disaster where there's no electricity, but it will be good to have in the event of a different kind of emergency, ie. sudden unemployment, too sick to go to the store, etc.
You don't have to agree with me here. If you can come up with a 30 Day Menu with all non-perishables, more power to you.
Also, you may have noticed that my Breakfast, Lunch, and Snack section aren't 30 days. I just plan to multiply them out to equal a 30 day amount.
Once you have your menu planned, make a list of all the ingredients needed for each recipe. For example, when I make Orange Chicken, I need 2-3 chicken breasts, 1/2 can of orange juice concentrate, 2 Tbs. soy sauce, and rice. I also usually serve it with broccoli. There's the stuff I need for one meal. Now move on to the next one.

Finally, check out the Three Month Food Supply Excel Spreadsheet from Food Storage Made Easy. They have created this fabulous Excel spreadsheet to help you keep track of how many of each item you need. There's a video on their site to show you how to use it, and it is seriously so amazing! It turns out my family needs 116 tortillas for 30 days. Who knew?
It may seem overwhelming, but once you get started it's easy to figure out. Give it a try and check back tomorrow for more!

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