Monday, May 17, 2010

How to start a home food storage program

How does one start a home food storage program? I've compiled a list of 5 different methods I find useful.

  1. Use a food storage calculator. Enter the number of people in your household, their ages, and how many months you want the food storage to last, and it will give a list of how many pounds to buy of a variety of products. The downfall is it may not be personalized to fit your family. We did this when we first got married 5 years ago and still have the majority of the tomato paste cans it recommended still on the shelf.
  2. Compile an ingredients list to make 14 of your family's favorite meals, and multiply by 6, = 3 months of meals your family will love! The only hard part is, are the 14 favorite meals' ingredients ones that can be stored for 3+ months?
  3. Instead of buying just 1, buy extra! For example, if a jar of applesauce is on the grocery list, don't buy just one, but load up a few more. If this is done with each storeable item on the list at each grocery shopping, pretty soon the pantry will be stocked with a large supply of food your family regularly eats. Just be sure to rotate regularly, and keep re-stocking. The downside to this method is unless you're very methodical about it, you end up with a food supply where you're not exactly sure how long the applesauce will last in an emergency vs. the storage of tomato sauce, or even how long the storage as a whole will last. Fix that by using Excel, below.
  4. Use an Excel Spreadsheet by downloading the 3-month supply Excel spreadsheet from This is kind of like the 14-meal plan, except you enter in all the ingredients for breakfast, lunch, snack, and dinner for one month and Excel multiplies the result by 3 to get a three month supply. Then you can just print off a 3-month grocery list! With a little knowledge about Excel, this can be tweaked to make a one year food supply and have several other useful functions such as a price calculator.
  5. Food Storage Made Easy also has a baby steps program with nine simple steps covering making room, evacuation plans, 72-hour kits, water storage, in 10 easy steps. Start here.
  6. Many ministries have excellent resources (such as on-line help), or canneries, to help one get started.

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