Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Food Storage: 3 month supply

A little while ago, I did a little post on food storage 101...an introduction to food storage, if you will. Last week, I did a presentation on food storage for some women in my church. Let me tell you, I learned so much from preparing for that night!

I went through our food storage and calculated that we had about two weeks worth of food and only three days' worth of water. Husband and I talked it over and decided that food storage was very important to us, so we are going to try to have a three month supply, as is suggested by our church leaders.

We determined that we would make a commitment to have 3 months' worth of food storage and two weeks worth of water in six months' time, by February 1st, 2011. I'm sharing this with you so that (a) I can be held accountable for this commitment and (b) maybe you'll get some idea of how this is accomplished.

I am not an expert in this area and am learning a lot as I go, so you are welcome to learn right along with me.

I've divided up what we need to store for each month, although depending on sales, some months I may get more of one thing and less of another. Here is my outline for this month:

Grains (wheat, flour, cornmeal, popcorn, oats, etc.): 49 lbs.
Legumes (beans and lentils): 3.15 lbs.
Powdered milk: 2.3 lbs.
Cooking oil: 0.79 quarts
Sugar or honey: 4.725 lbs.
Salt: 1.16 lbs.
Water: 9 gallons
Canned fruits: 37 cans (these are the 15oz. size)
Dried fruits: 0.75 lbs.
Fruit juice: 3.6 bottles (these are the half gallon size bottles)
Canned vegetables: 37 cans (these are 15oz. again)
Proteins (canned or frozen chicken, tuna, beef, etc.): 19.76 lbs.
Evaporated milk: 43 cans
Processed cheese (powdered and/or frozen): 5.9 lbs.

Now these may seem like crazy numbers to you, and it did to me, too. I got these numbers from a blog called Totally Ready. Our three month supply is supposed to be food that we eat on a regular basis, so I think that as I go through this exercise, I will see more of what we actually eat and can fine tune my storage for our family.

For example, I have a few cans of Manwich sloppy joe sauce. My family loves it and yes, I consider it a vegetable. : ) I also have a freezer in my garage and I have frozen fruits, meats, and vegetables and some grains in there, so I'm counting those items as well as the items in my pantry.

Another example: evaporated milk. 43 cans? I don't think I've even used 1 can in the last 3 months! But I've been reading another amazing website called The Prudent Homemaker and she talks about how you can use evaporated milk for a lot of cooking and it tastes better than powdered milk. I would definitely use it if I had no source of income to buy fresh milk, but I don't think I need that many cans to round out my three month storage.

So we'll see how things go. I'd love to hear how your food storage efforts are going as well!

I also thought I might do a post each week with what I think are good items to add to your pantry (at their best price) to help you fill in the holes in your food storage.

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