Thursday, April 7, 2011

Prepare Every Needful Thing - Three Month Supply of Food and Non Food Items

Are you looking to build your long and short term food storage? I hope the following will help you in your journey. In this post I will share my simple planner pages* for building your three month supply and beyond.

D&C 109:8

Start Small-
"We encourage Church members worldwide to prepare for adversity in life by having a basic supply of food and water and some money in savings.
"We ask that you be wise as you store food and water and build your savings. Do not go to extremes; it is not prudent, for example, to go into debt to establish your food storage all at once. With careful planning, you can, over time, establish a home storage supply and a financial reserve."
—The First Presidency, All Is Safely Gathered In: Family Home Storage, Feb. 2007, 1

Master Meal List-
So you ask, “How do I gather a 3 month supply of food for my family?” Simply start by spending a few minutes writing out a list of common meals that you fix for your family. Ask family members for meal ideas that they like. If you have a picky family member consider their needs as you plan a 3 month supply. (Times of stress are not good times to try to conquer the picky eater.) Be sure to include breakfast foods and lunch foods. (Yes, Cocoa Puffs can be part of the list.)

Master Meal List*-
Breakfast ideas- Lunch ideas- Dinner ideas- Sides, desserts, breads

Build a Menu Plan for Breakfast, Lunch* and Dinner*-
If you are new to menu planning, don’t panic. It really is not very hard. Arm yourself with a master meal list, the menu planning will be much easier.
As you begin first look at your master meal list and consider the ingredients for the dishes. Do they have basic ingredients that can be stored easily? For example, Taco Soup is made from canned foods and frozen ground beef. The ground beef can be gathered and stored in a freezer if you have one available. (Or it can be made without the beef.) The corn and beans varieties are excellent food storage choices, and taco seasoning will store well in a cool dry place. Consider buying in bulk.
How often during a 4 week period do you want to serve each meal? If it is quite popular, maybe serve it once a week. My family never tires of spaghetti. If the dish is less popular couple it with another less popular meal and alternate the two every other week. Remember that during times of financial stress when trips to the store may be greatly limited or during calamities that would effect the movement of groceries fresh foods may be in short supply.

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 regularly to avoid spoilage.” http://www.providentliving.org/content/list/0,11664,7445-1,00.html

Master Grocery List*-
Now that you have a menu plan, tally up how often each meal is to be served. Add the ingredients to the Master Grocery List with tally marks showing how many you will need for a week or months supply.

When I first made mine I saved my sales receipts from the grocery store and big box stores for both food items and non-foods. Pay close attention to what you are using from your reserves also.
As you go you will get a feel for how much you need to store. Basic foods stuffs stored will give you a feeling of security. If you can build a weeks worth of food and then two and so on your security will grow with your food supply.

Longer-Term Supply-
For longer-term needs, and where permitted, gradually build a supply of food that will last a long time and that you can use to stay alive, such as wheat, white rice, and beans.
These items can last 30 years or more when properly packaged and stored in a cool, dry place. A portion of these items may be rotated in your three-month supply.

Our church has provided us with suggestions for storage amounts - where permitted by local laws.
Quantity-
One person for one month
25 lbs. Wheat, white rice, corn, and other grains (30+ years storage life with careful packaging)
5 lbs. Dry beans (30+ years storage life with careful packaging)

“You may also want to add other items to your longer-term storage such as sugar, nonfat dry milk, salt, baking soda, and cooking oil. To meet nutritional needs, also store foods containing Vitamin C and other essential nutrients.
Dry products intended for longer-term storage should be low in moisture (about 10% or less) and free from insects.” http://providentliving.org/content/display/0,11666,7531-1-4062-1,00.html

Where Do I put all of this food?
I attended an organization class where the instructor suggested using fruit boxes stacked and carefully labeled to store smaller supplies such as cans. She related living in a small home without a basement where she stored apple boxes under her children’s mattress and box springs filled with food stuffs. She said her children felt secure knowing that the food was there. She also recommended purchasing lifts for your bed frame so that you can put boxes of supplies under your bed. In a pinch cinder blocks under the corners of the bed frame will do nicely too. I recommend that you do not delay building your food supply. Do not panic and do not go to extremes. Your slow consistent preparation will give you some security, so do what you can.


72 Hour Kits
A natural step in the quest toward self sufficiency is a 72 hour kit. 72 hour kits can be made up of simple foods such as canned fruits, dry meats, Vienna Sausages, canned soups, crackers, pretzels, water and candy. There is no need to buy expensive commercial kits. Enclose mess kits, utensils, a can opener, medications and other supplies that you might need if you had nothing else. I have heard a couple of great suggestions for clothing. Buy each child clearance clothing in next years clothing size. (Or consider play clothes from D.I./Good Will) Then when the next year rolls around remove the outfit for wearing and put the following year’s size into the kit again. This idea appeals to my sense of value. (Waste not want not.)

Drinking Water
For more information see-
http://providentliving.org/content/list/0,11664,7446-1,00.html

Financial Reserve-
“Establish a financial reserve by saving a little money each week and gradually increasing it to a reasonable amount.” http://providentliving.org

Here is a great video to watch about gathering your 3 month supply.

Thank you for stopping by. If this was helpful to you please leave a comment. :o)


Best Wishes!

No Space? Look at this.
What a great demo booth.

3 comments:

  1. Thanks for the tips on improving our food storage, 72 hour kit etc.! I am happy to have found your blog and look forward to continued updates!

    Angela Burrows

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  2. Thanks so much for the ideas! We are told that we are blessed for continually adding to our food storage, and I am grateful for that blessing in our lives!
    Thanks for checking out my blog! I love to hear the wisdom from other mothers! www.sunshineofseven.blogspot.com

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  3. I love my food storage! Sometimes it is big, sometimes it is small. It just depends on how much we have leaned on it. It makes me happy. Let kings count stacks of gold coins. I am content with counting my cans. :o)

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