That being said, I know there are many of you concerned about food prices going up. Food prices have always gone up, so don't panic. It may be uncomfortable. But you can't run faster than you are able to afford, and don't need to. It takes faith to even begin, but blessings come from exercising that faith.
Even with my weekly suggestions, I can't say, "This is the one and only way." The moment I say it, you will say, "Well, we don't eat canned vegetables. We only eat fresh foods." Or something like that. Funny thing is, I eat fresh foods too, but I know they won't be available during a disaster. Most families only have a 3-day to a week supply of food in their home. Does that surprise you? It sure surprised me. So, it's important to be realistic and create a plan. Besides, food storage is for emergencies, not just disasters.
I always suggest starting with a 3-month supply of foods your family eats now. Most people panic when they hear "year's supply." Even a 3-month supply won't be easy for some of you to gather, but it's a place to start. It's STEP 1 of the LDS Home Storage Plan.
Some people like to create menus first, and figure out the ingredients for those menus. I've done that, but it's not very easy. Others suggest you create simple meals like spaghetti sauce + spaghetti = a meal. Personally, I think you can figure it out just by looking in your own cupboards and seeing what shelf-stable foods are already there.
There are two types of shelf stable foods:
- Short-term foods - these foods on average have a 3 month to 10 year shelf life. For example, boxed breakfast cereals have about a 1 year shelf life. However, a can of corn has a 2 -5 year shelf life.
- Long-term foods - these foods have a 20 - 30 year shelf life because they have been sealed long-term. For example, whole wheat sealed in a #10 can with an oxygen absorber packet, has a 30 year shelf life.
Most of the foods in your 3-month supply will be short-term foods. So where do you begin? Well, I've been revising a list which has a sample 3-month food storage supply for one adult. It may not be your plan, but I hope it will help you figure things out for your own family. Here is a suggestion of how to create your own rough draft 3-month food storage plan.
A. Examine A 3-Month Food Storage Supply Sample
- Print out a Sample 3-month Supply of Food Storage Supply.pdf for 1 adult. Remember, I have no idea how much or what your family eats. But the list of items will get you thinking.
- Go through the list, and put a check by items you eat now or might consider using. Cross off those items your family does not like or can't eat because of allergies or medical conditions. But be open minded.
- Some long-term foods are listed like wheat or dry milk. If you don't want to gather a small supply of them right now, you can save them on the list and gather them after you complete Step 1, Step 2 and Step 3 of your home storage plan. Long-term foods are Step 4.
- Look over the suggested amounts and multiply them by the number of family members. You can divide numbers in half for children, but you don't have to.
- Don't get too detailed, because I promise later on you will add or delete items and change amounts. Storing yams did not work for our family. Just put together the rough draft.
- Go on a hunt through your home and find shelf-stable foods you already have on your shelves: foods that have been processed or sealed so they can be safely stored on a shelf for a long time. These foods are canned, boxed or packaged. Take your kids with you and make it fun.
- As you search, write down on another piece of paper other items you have on your shelves that are not on the list. Use my categories to keep it organized.
- List the number of items you have and the detail. For instance: corn, 15 oz. can, 2 ea.
- Type up your list and there you have it. Your own rough draft 3-month food storage supply plan.
I promise that as you spend time working on this, you will feel a whole lot better. It's all part of the journey, but it's well worth it. I would love to hear about your experiences creating your 3-month food storage plan.
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