Thursday, October 23, 2008

Food Friday: Baby steps to a 3 month supply

Goal: To have a supply of all the food we would eat for 3 months.

Sounds easy, right? Well, not so much. We eat a lot of fresh food. That won't keep for 3 months. And I usually buy enough food for 4-5 days, not 3 months. Some food storage 'purists' tell me that everything in my supply should be non-perishable. Food in the freezer doesn't count. I can see the point of that. But I feel the need to exercise moderation. As a 'newbie', I just want to get started. I am not hard core yet, I just want to have food on hand and supplies ready. I picture myself being prepared for short-term difficulties, like maybe a tornado that knocks things out for a week or so. Or financial crisis, where we don't have money for a while. That sort of thing. I am not in survival mode. I am not picturing building a stone stove to bake my bread made from fresh ground wheat. I am just looking to beef up our supplies to be prepared. Remember it is a top priority that I will USE the items I buy/store.

Ok, so with that in mind, here is my plan for a 3 month supply:

Breakfast: Store some cereals. Not many of these, since we rarely eat cereal, but it would be nice to have some. Also store other breakfast items: Oatmeal, pancake mix, etc. Not sure what the etc. is, but we will worry about that later.

Lunch: Things like tuna, peanut butter, jelly, not sure what else, but easy stuff that we could eat for lunch.

Dinner: Plan a series of menus, then buy enough ingredients to make each meal 6 times. That would be twice a month for 3 months. To rotate, whenever I add a recipe to my food supply, I will include that recipe once a month as part of my meal planning.

This week I used the recipe for Lemon Chicken Pasta. Very simple, very delicious, and you can eat it as is or add veggies to it. I bought spaghetti, and I already had the chicken and lemon juice. I actually already opened one of the spaghetti boxes, so I will add it to my next shopping list.
I also bought extra butter, which will be kept in the freezer. And I don't like to buy spices to just sit, since I think they are better when they are fresh. But if there is something nearing the end, I will replace it a little quicker than I might have before, trying to be a little more prepared.

Gordon B. Hinckley said "Try a little harder to be a little better". Wise council, and that is what I am trying to do. I will gather the supply piece by piece. This week I got a good stock of one dinner, and that is progress.

One more tip: I am going to set up a google calendar to keep track of expiration dates and rotation schedules. I set a reminder for next September to rotate my water. And on last week's campout, I brought one of my water containers, and it worked great! See it in action if you look closely at the table on this post.


TheVillamorFamily said...

Great ideas Shanna!! This is also what I am working on. I made a 1 week shopping list of dinners. I want to get 4 weeks of menus and maybe buy the list 2x. One to go in my pantry and the other in storage somewhere. My goal is to have the 3 months stored somewhere other than my kitchen so I won't use I can actually "see" what 3 months would be...and see where I would store it!

When I did my week menu I didn't include lunches and dinners though...but we eat a lot of leftovers for lunches and are big cereal people so that will be easy to do.

Right now I am counting on storing for hard times where I still have my electricity(hopefully) since that is where my meat will be! Although I have become accustomed to canned chicken! So convienient!

Ok...that is enough for now! It was good to see you tonight!

Adam and Lisa said...

I am so glad you post about this. When I read it, I kind of reevaluate my own food storage and what I need to do for it. For breakfast, you could add muffin mixes. We really like them and some can be turned in to pancakes. Most you only have to add milk (which you can use dry milk for) or oil. I have been really trying to stock up on basics. Just looking at what are the kind of things I use every day - milk, eggs, oil, flour, sugar, etc. Most are easy to get in bulk, but I realized that I need to store some dry milk and egg substitute because I can't make a lot without those 2. I've been looking for receipes that can be made from "stored" ingredients too. I just thought today about tuna casserole. Pretty simple and everything can be stored. Anyway, I like what you quoted about being better than you were. It can be overwhelming to think of all the things we need, but as long as you are doing something - something is better than nothing!
Thanks for posting about this! I like the reminder every week.

Elaine said...

I love your food fridays Shanna...and I also love your peanut butter bars, we made them last week. YUMMY!

Shanna said...

The meat and the eggs are the things that I've had a hard time figuring out. I guess they make egg substitute? I haven't even looked. For the meat, I think the canned stuff is ok, and I plan to do some vegetarian dishes and rely a lot on beans.

To rotate/use the canned meat, I like to mix it half and half. That saves on the cost, since canned chicken is much more expensive than regular, and it helps a little with the taste. If we were in the mode of relying on only our supply, I have no doubt we would eat less meat than we normally do.

I will have to check out some egg options, since I can make most breads from scratch, but it usually calls for eggs. Even pancakes and things like that use eggs.

Mary Kate said...

I bought a can of egg substitute from one of those food orders and it wasn't too tasty as eggs but was great for baking. It made cakes so moist. I have also experimented with that would take alot of getting use to!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Small-Adventures said...

This is also our goal. Thanks for ideas!!! :)

Andy and Jessica said...

Great guidelines!
I am going to start working on ours. Thanks for the great ideas for making foodstorage more practical.