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Friday, July 23, 2010

How Much Is Enough? (Making Food Storage a Priority)

Hi everyone! Do you ever look at your food storage and wonder if you have enough?? Sure, there are lots of cans, boxes, and 5-gallon buckets full of food, but will it be enough to last through a major emergency? How can you be sure you have enough?

Well, first off you have to decide how many months of eating out of your food storage you want to prepare for. I'd say the absolute minimum should be 1 month, but you'd be better off aiming for 3 months or more. Remember, there could be damage to your food storage or you could end up feeding more people than you anticipated, and your food storage could be depleted faster than you thought. While I'm not into hoarding, when it comes to food storage more is better!!!!

Next, you need to figure out how many breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks you're going to have to cover. If your storing for 3 months, that's 90 breakfasts per person, 90 lunches, and 90 dinners per person!! Those numbers are quite staggering, aren't they? That is alot of food! But, it's best to know and anticipate how much food is needed before the time comes. You don't want to get caught without enough. Now, look at your food storage and actually count how many breakfast, lunch, and dinner meals you can get out of what you have. Take good notes. Is it enough?

The thing that always confuses me is the bulk food. I have lots of 5-gallon buckets of oatmeal, soft wheat, and hard wheat. How many meals can I get out of that???? Well, for that stuff, I like to look at this LDS food storage calculator for guidance. (I'm in no way affiliated with the LDS church, but I have to give them props for being huge proponents of food storage. That church understands that we, ourselves, are in charge of caring for our families and for others.) All you do is enter the number of people in your family (or the number of people you think you'll be feeding), click calculate and scroll down to see the totals. I've done this and copied the results for a few different numbers of people that I think I may have to feed. Talk about simplifying the process of figuring out how much food you need! Now, obviously this is a guide. If something doesn't apply to you, ignore it. Take what you need, take whatever guidance applies to you, and leave the rest.

Over the next few weeks, my goal is to go over my food storage again, using the LDS results, and make sure I have 'enough'. I've got some new food rotation boxes on the way (I'll show you when they arrive!) and I'm going to be rearranging and refiguring my food storage. I'd recommend you do this every once-in-a-while. Your life changes, people change, and you need to take new factors into account. Maybe somebody lost a job, maybe a child moved out or moved back in. Things are constantly changing. You don't want your food storage to be short-changed.

Why don't you join me and make it a priority this summer to double-check your food storage situation?

Prep On!
Gen-IL Homesteader

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