March 22, 2011

STEP 1: 3-Month Food Storage Supply

(Note: - STEPS 1, 2, and 3 can be worked on simultaneously. Then move to STEP 4)

STEP 1: Three-Month Supply
"Build a small supply of food that is part of your normal, daily diet. One way to do this is to purchase a few extra items each week to build a one-week supply of food. Then you can gradually increase your supply until it is sufficient for three months. These items should be rotated [eaten and replenished] regularly to avoid spoilage." (ProvidentLiving.org)

Where do I start?
"Start by adding a few storable items that you typically eat, storing some water that is safe to drink, and saving some money, if only a few coins each week. Then over time, expand these initial efforts—as individual circumstances allow and where permitted—by storing a longer-term supply of basics such as grains, beans, and other staples." (Frequently Ask Questions, ProvidentLiving.org)

How quickly should I obtain my food storage?
"It is not prudent to go to extremes or go into debt to establish your home storage all at once. Gradually build reserves over time as financial resources and space permit." (Frequently Ask Questions, ProvidentLiving.org)

What’s the difference between the three-month and longer-term supply items?
"Three-month supply items are foods that you normally eat, including canned and commercially packaged foods. Longer-term supply items are basic food items like grains and beans that have very low moisture content (about 10% or less), can be stored for long periods of time (20–30 years), and would sustain life if nothing else were available to eat. A portion of longer-term supply items may be rotated into the three-month supply." (Frequently Ask Questions, ProvidentLiving.org)

Many of you have asked me what kinds of food should you put in your 3-Month food storage supply. EVERYONE's supply will be different. I've updated my personal 3-Month Food Storage Calculator. It contains shelf stable items for your food storage and also includes paper goods, toiletries and cleaning supplies. Focus on the food items first. Adjust anything you want to suit the needs of your family. The calculator can also give you suggested amounts for a year's supply, but you don't have to store a year supply of many items. Just the long-term foods. This is only a guide, but I like it for my family, so I'm sharing. Let me know if you find errors in the formulas.

Also, at the beginning of each month I post items to add to your food storage supply. Look on the right side bar of my blog. You do not want to buy everything all at once. Just add a little at a time to build up a supply so you don't end up with same expiration dates or get lopsided by having too much of one item. How would that help you in an emergency? Learn to use what you buy, then shop again to replenish your supply. It is all trial and error.

Here is a printable 3-month food storage plan for one adult. You are free to print the Relief Society or ward use. A Sample 3-Month Food Storage Supply for one adult.pdf

If you are feeling overly anxious with amounts, look at my Food Storage for College Students.

Now read STEP 2: Emergency Water

24 comments:

  1. Whoa, I have a lot to work on. I am getting married this summer and I will have to double all of those numbers. How do you store meat?

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    1. I can meat. I also dehydrate meat too. You can learn how to do these things by asking sisters in your area.

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  2. I love following this blog; there are so many great suggestions on being prepared.
    Blessings to you! LeAnn

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  3. Holy cow! Thank you so much for doing all this work! I've just started building up my food storage and your spreadsheet is amazing. I already ran out and tallied up what I have in the garage and closet. Looking forward to visiting what I have in the depths of my pantry so I can finish filling out the "Haves". This is just what I needed to easily see what else I should be storing. And it's also kind of fun. ;) Thank you again!

    Christy B.
    Stay at home mom of one with one on the way, Northern Cali

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  4. This is so great. I will totally use this to help me keep better track of my 3 month supply. Question though. It only shows 1 15 oz. can of vegetables for an adult and when I put in our family (2 adults, 4 kids) it only shows 4 15 oz. cans. Should there be more vegetables than that?

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  5. Emily: Great catch on the vegetables. Yes, it should be 12 not 1 can. I will fix that and post again. I made corrections with Rav/Stew, Vegetables, cornmeal, popcorn (added microwave), fruit cups, candy (doesn't have to be chocolate), and removed the numbers in the 12 month column for infant. Please let me know of anything else. I also fixed the margins so it will print better.

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  6. Oh, thanks so much! You are amazing! This really is so helpful. It's always so overwhelming to me to figure out if I really have enough for my family of 6. One other thing...math is not my forte, but I think the water might be slightly off. You don't factor for children right..they get the same 1 gallon a day as adults?? I figure 14 gallons (2 weeks) times 6 people is 84 gallons, but it shows 112. I could be wrong though.

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  7. Emily: Right on! I added different formula for the water and a new line for total adults/children. Let me know if that works for you. Thanks for helping everyone!

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  8. Thank you for your informative blog; you are a great teacher! As a fledgling student - is there a cookbook specific to the 3-month storage plan you provided? I could use more definitive guidance in dividing up and preparing the food supply. Thank you so much!

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  9. Oh, I see. The instructions show up fine when I download the spreadsheet, you just can't see them all the way on the google site. The word "number" in 10A is misspelled. (You just happened to get a spelling geek with me.)

    I just threw it totally off by putting in that I had more water than required. It calls for 63 gal for us, and I put in that I have 200 gal. That made it -137 gal which was too big for the field.

    It's going to take me some time to work thru this and input all my stuff. I'm excited though. You asked for critiques, right? I don't mean to be critical except in a helpful way, really! Thanks so much for sharing. I emailed it to my husband to look at, too. He's been helping me with the spreadsheet we've been working on.

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  10. Strawnfam: Thanks for your help. I do need people to look over the spreadsheet carefully. You can change the formulas or change the total in the far right column to adjust for your water. I have more water too in barrels. The view on Google docs is frustrating. Just requires the download. I'm a typo geek too, but when I'm working late at night I get lazy. :)

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  11. Fledging Student: I am currently working on the Food Storage Organizer to help you shop for food storage. I have a few recipes on the right side bar of this blog, however, it is best to use your own recipes and stock up on staples that you use.

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  12. This is AMAZING! Thank you for all of your hard work! I was looking for a calculator that would include paper and hygiene products, and yours is wonderful!

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  13. I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

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  14. Thank you, John! I have been improving the blog today so it will be more user friendly. Keep checking back. So excited about things to come.

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  15. When you plan a 3 month supply, do you figure in things like eggs/fresh veggies/fruit? Is it important to plan 3-month supply meals that utilize all cans and shelf items, or can it include freezer/refrigerator items as well? (Specifically speaking about 3-month supply, not year supply)

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  16. Hi Jenna,

    A 3-month supply is shelf stable foods: canned, bottled, and boxed items. I don't include my perishable freezer and refrigerator items in the supply. Though I do store everyday food in those locations.

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  17. I am getting back into my food preparations after moving two years ago and starting a family business. It took it out of me to move and downsize, and I am still going through boxes, but now that we have the same status quo for the next four years, I am making it a priority to cook at home. My biggest NEED is a pantry organizor. Does anyone have any ideas? I know I could make my own, but why re-invent the wheel? If someone out there already has one, I'd like to use it! Something I could fill out with all my pantry and storage food, and then a schedule of time to use it by, so managing and rotating become easy (or easier)...waxhwdpatt@aol.com

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  18. I just found this site by accident but I love it. I am very new at Preparing for a disaster. I am trying to start getting my 72 hour kits together. I can only find Steps 1 and 2 of the 72 hour kits in 12 steps. Can anyone help me find the last 10 steps?

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  19. I am just getting started on my food storage and this was some great information and a great guide to follow. I am going to get real busy putting my stuff away. I know when I was younger, my parent used to can a lot of our meat and put it up, I think I will try that too. Also, these days you can also buy a lot of food storage items that last for years. It is always something worth looking into. Thanks for your great advice.

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  20. Hello! I have been following your blog since January of this year. I have been gathering my 3 month supply for my family thanks to your advice and encouragement. Thank you! Whenever food storage comes up in conversation I always recommend your site- it is fabulous! Today I came to your site to make an inventory of the things I have been gathering since January- mostly looking for the Monthly shopping lists and it was hard to hunt around for them. Is there one page with all the links? That would be helpful. Thanks again! Your work is so appreciated!

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    1. Hi MoraSue, Go to the tab at the top of my blog called "12 Monthly Food Storage Lists." As you scroll down, you can click on the monthly list of those I have published. I changed the format this year so I only have links up to the current month listed. Glad you are doing a good job with your food storage!

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  21. Can you post your 3 month sample plan for food storage in excel format, thank you?

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  22. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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