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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Food Storage, part 2

"Many more people could ride out the storm-tossed waves in their economic lives if they had their … supply of food … and were debt-free. Today we find that many have followed this counsel in reverse: they have at least a year’s supply of debt and are food-free.” - Thomas S. Monson
After promoting a one-year supply of food storage for decades, in 2007 the Mormon church lowered the bar and now recommends acquiring a 3-month supply instead. The one-year target was just too difficult and many Latter-Day Saints never even tried to reach it. Now the advice is to build slow and steady over time and within budget. For those that reach 3-months, they are encouraged to keep stockpiling for "long-term" but long-term is not specified as to how long.

Shortly after I was married, my wife and I were able to build up a 3-month supply using pasta, canned foods and other easy to buy items. We talked about 1-year but didn't seriously try for it until the Y2K scare when bulk food became readily avaiable. I don't know if we still have a one-year supply or not. We have not updated the inventory in quite a while.

Planning for 3-months or 90 days is so much easier.
  1. Pick 9 favorite recipes each for breakfast, lunch, snack and dinner that can be made from food storage. See for ideas.
  2. Figure out the amount of ingredients for each recipe to feed your family.
  3. Multiply by 10. (This means adding a zero after the amounts.)
  4. Add up the total ingredients and figure out what you need to buy. For example if you need 1000 tsp of salt, how many salt containers will that be? A tsp of salt is typically 6g according to Google. The common 26 oz salt container is 737 grams which means 737 / 6 = 122 tsp of salt per container. So 1000 tsp / 122 = 8 full containers and a little extra. I'd buy nine to allow for wastage and spillage.
  5. Begin stocking up on supplies until you have have enough to make each of the 27 recipes 10 times.
  6. Use the supplies and replace them to keep them fresh.
  7. Don't forget to include water for the recipes and beverages for the family.

Bottom Line
Don't be scared off by the math above. It only gets complicated if you use real recipes from scratch.
If the math and adding up ingredients is too much, work out a plan based upon boxes and cans instead. Say one box of cereal per person for 9 days. Will every breakfast be cereal? Then each family person will need 10 boxes of their favorite cereal (and don't forget water and powered milk for it.)  If you alternate cereal with breakfasts of pancakes or muffins or oatmeal then buy only half as much for 45 days of cereal, 5 boxes per person.

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