By now I'm sure you have all heard about what I will call the 'old way' of doing food storage. You may have even found a food calculator that told you how many pounds of each grain, beans, flour, powdered milk, and sugar you needed. But WHAT are you going to make for dinner with those items?
I had the same dilemma, I was storing the basics as I was guided to, all the while wondering what on earth I was going to make for dinner if that was all I had. Enter the 'new way' of doing food storage. And by 'new way', I mean the way that I will forever do food storage. There is no right or wrong way, but this 'new way' makes sense and works for my family.
This system is based on a survivable worst case scenario, meaning no running water, no gardens, no grocery store and you could still feed your family. This system will allow you know exactly how much food you will need for a year's supply.
Write down 7 breakfasts and 7 dinners that you would like to have once a week for a year. There are 52 weeks in a year, so you will be having these meals 52 times. After deciding on meals, write down everything it takes to make the meal and multiply that by 52. Don't forget to add the water you will need for cooking. My personal food storage has 7 breakfasts( x 52 weeks), 14 dinners(x 26 weeks), a daily loaf of bread (x 365 days), and a variety of desserts. This is a very simple system that saves time and money because you only store what you need and know you will eat. It can easily be adapted for those with food allergies.
Now you may be saying, "What about lunch?" Well, if I'm in a situation to NEED to be living on my food storage, I'm going to sleep late and go to bed early. We won't need lunch. And meals will take longer to cook without modern conveniences. If you would like lunch, feel free to add that.
A few examples of meals and the total needed for a year of that meal.
Let's say you choose spaghetti as a dinner and it takes 1 pound of spaghetti noodles and 1 jar of spaghetti sauce to feed your family. You would need 52 pounds of spaghetti noodles and 52 jars of spaghetti sauce to have that meal once a week for a year.
Or maybe you chose Taco Soup ( makes 9-10 cups)
1 pint (home canned) ground beef x 52 weeks =.........52 pints ground beef
1 can kidney beans x 52 weeks = ................................52 cans kidney beans
1 can corn x 52 weeks =...............................................52 cans corn
1 29 oz can tomatoes x 52 weeks =.............................52 cans tomatoes
2 cups water x 52 weeks =...........................................6 1/2 gal. water
3 T taco seasoning x 52 weeks =.................................2 1/2 pounds of taco seasoning
Everything should be looked at for long shelf life. Many of your favorite recipes can be converted into food storage recipes. Instead of frozen hash browns, try dehydrated potato shreds.
Once you have decided on your meals, written down all the ingredients and tallied a total for all ingredients keep that list with you at all times. Put it in digital format if that is more convenient. Then watch for sales and in a timely manner buy your food storage.
To ensure that the food you store is still safe to eat, you must rotate the store food prior to its expiration date. With this system, rotation is simple. Get a small notebook and as you buy your food storage write down what your bought, when you bought it, the expiration date, and where in the house that food is stored. Each year look at your book and determine what is near expiration. If something will expire within that year, buy/can a new item, take the old item out of storage and place in your pantry to be used in your weekly meals. Then replace that item with the new. Be sure to record the new expiration date in your book.
Soon you will have a full year's supply of meals that you KNOW your family will eat. Rotation will be a simple task that you may even look forward to.
Additional food storage tips can be found here.