Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Food Storage - How do I Start?

Food storage is one of the most frustrating things you will do or be involved in. You may wonder where to start, what to store, how much to store, and where to put it? These are only a few of the concerns you may have.

The following suggestions will help to take some of the frustration and confusion away.

Putting your food storage together:

To start, we recommend maintaining a three to six month supply of the foods you are already eating.  Later, I'll talk about how to maintain a month or two month supply of ready to eat foods (No water/no cook type, grab and go foods) and a one year supply of long term storage foods – bulk grains, dehydrated or freeze dried foods.

To start: How to store a 3 to 6 month supply of the food you already eat:

I recently went to a food storage class and learned this. It helped simply things for me. So, get lots of scratch paper or your Excel spreadsheet out to figure this out. Make a list of 7 different breakfast menus, 7 different lunch menus, and 7 different dinner menus you eat and love the most (hopefully, for storage sake, they are also fairly simple recipes). For each menu, list all of the ingredients you need for each meal. Once you have done this, simply multiply the number of items per meal you need to last you for either three to six months.

Breakfast:  2 cups raisin bran, 1 cup milk, 8 oz orange juice, 1 piece toast, 1 tablespoon jelly. This will be eaten once a week, or 4 times a month, or 24 times in 6 months. 

So, for 6 month supply, multiply your original meal ingredients by 24. So, I would need to store for one person:  48 cups raisin bran, 24 cups milk, 192 oz (or 1 gallon + 2 Quarts) of orange juice, 24 slices (or 2 loaves) bead, and 24 Tablespoons (or 1 ½ cups) jelly. This will definitely take some math work and a little planning, but once you figure this out, keep all your notes. If you add more people, just add on to the original figures, or remultiply from the original numbers.

  1. Figure out each of your menus and write down all ingredients (including water if your recipe needs to be cooked or boiled with water.)
  2. Multiply out the quantity of ingredients needed. You will need to decide how long you are storing your food and how often you are eating it.
  3. Multiply each ingredient stored by the number of people you will be providing food for.
  4. Do this for all seven meals – breakfast, lunch and dinner through the week.

Before you know it, you will have 6 months of food stored for any kind of emergency!

(Please let me know if you need more ideas or suggestions on this.)
p.s. I have more ideas, so I'll get those published in a day or two from now... check back for more!

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