I fear the thought of running out of food. I fear my children looking at me in those trying times and crying because they are hungry. And believe me I’ll be kicking myself if it’s all my fault. If I didn’t plan correctly it’s entirely possible that all my precise lists will go to waste if I don’t store enough. Now I know I’ve asked you to use a lot of brain power over the last few posts to come to an undoubtedly long list of food items. When I wrote mine out, I looked and it and thought “I have to get all of that?” Well, yes, if you want to have anything decent to eat you do.
To calculate how much of an item to have on hand, decide if you are storing for one month, three months or a year. Let’s look at a three month supply just for simplicity. I think a three month plan is a good starting place for most of us and you can build up to a longer-term storage as you gain experience. If we are storing for three months, we must take the amount of an ingredient needed for a week and multiply x 12 for our total number.
So you can resist the urge to run to the bulk supply store and buy a 25 pound container-you only need 7 jars that you can rotate regularly. Easy!
Now it’s time to work your way down your list and calculate the amount needed. For a one month supply, multiply x4, three months x12 and so on.
Now of course you have some convenience options if you are looking for a way around some of this effort. There are a variety of places to order dehydrated, or freeze dried complete meals-I’ve seen chicken a la king, spaghetti with meatballs, and even dried beef stew-all you have to do is add water and heat. But this option can be a problem for one simple reason: your wallet might hate you. It’s expensive and not always practical. I don’t think having food storage just for sitting and staring at “just in case” is what it’s meant for. It’s meant for everyday use and the only way you will use your items every day is to stock things you eat-Every.Day. So when the kids come in from school and ask what’s for dinner, are you going to say “Freeze dried chicken a la king! Yeah!” Me either. So store what you eat and eat what you store. I can’t say it enough.
Next time: Preparing an area for storage