As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church or Mormons), I have been taught about the importance of food storage and general preparedness. Several years ago, the general leaders of the church gave counsel to all members that we should obtain, and use, a 90-day supply of the foods and supplies that we eat on a regular basis. Honestly, I was very intimidated by this new directive! Simply purchasing wheat, beans, and rice wasn’t enough anymore.
Fast-forward to today. I am 100% convinced that the 90-supply concept is inspired! Think about it. In the event of an emergency (assuming your home is accessible), you have everything you need. That means you will not be a burden on your community and can offer help and support instead. If you experience a job loss or unexpected bills, you have the food and supplies you need to get by for a few months. And my favorite – if you have all of the things on hand that you typically need for a 3-month period of time, you’ll never be out of anything! My life has been so much easier to plan and I very rarely find myself out of something. 🙂
Let’s be honest. Three months worth of food is a lot of food. And how do you even figure out what you go through in that amount of time, anyway? I’m sure there’s an app for that (sorry, couldn’t resist!) but I KNOW there’s a fabulous website that has forms and charts and all of the fancy stuff to make this easy. The girls over at foodstoragemadeeasy have put together a spreadsheet and tutorial. It’s awesome and I don’t believe in re-inventing things that already work, so head on over and see what they have to offer.
Basically, here’s what you are going to:
- Take inventory! Make a list of everything you already have in your house. Flour, sugar, rice, beans, spices, eggs – include everything.
- Write down 7 breakfast meals that your family generally likes. Mine includes pancakes, oatmeal, cold cereal, etc.
- Write down 7 lunch meals. I have mac & cheese, soup, PB&J, etc.
- Write down 7 (or more) dinners. I have more than 7 so that we’ll have more variety. Some of our favorites are chipotle chicken bowls, chicken & rice, quesadillas, tacos, etc.
- Write down 7 (or more) snacks and/or desserts. Again, having more means more variety.
- Make a list of every ingredient you need to make these meals. I mean every. single. ingredient. Even if the recipe calls for things like bread or salt, write it down. Don’t take anything for granted.
- Multiple by 12 (or less if you have more variety) and you have what you need for three months!
- Compare what you already have on hand with what you need for your total supply. Now you have your shopping list.
The spreadsheet I mentioned above does all the math for you. It’s a life-saver and I highly recommend taking a few minutes to figure out how it works.
Please share your insights, successes, frustrations, failures and such with us. We are all in this together!