Step 3 – 1 Year Food Storage
Creating a plan to pack away enough food for all the people in your house can be overwhelming, but it is possible.
In Step 1 we covered how to create a 1 month meal plan. FEMA suggests having a 2 week food supply for each person in you house. If you follow step 1, you’re covered. If you make 1 month meal planning a habit, you will begin to build toward our Step 2, a 3-6 month food supply.
Your 1 -6 month food stash should be foods that are fresh, frozen or canned. It will probably need to be rotated because these food are perishable and likely have shorter expiration dates.
Divide your storage space into 3 sections. Section 1 for shelved goods that will be used within 1 – 6 months. I pack away bags of cereal, crackers, soups, canned veggies and fruits in this section. I also stock up on medicine like ibuprofen and cough drops in section 1. Section 2 is for foods with a shelf life that will last 12+ months. These are foods packaged in #10 cans, oxygen free 5 gallon buckets, or freeze dried foods. Section 3 is for household goods, like paper towels, toilet paper, diapers and hygiene items.
Your 1 year food Storage supply should be made up of baking ingredients, freeze dried or dehydrated fruits and veggies, canned or bottled foods and pre-made meals.
If you were to look in your pantry right now, you’ll probably see ingredients to make meals. This is what you need to stock. Stock up on the basics; Flour, Rice, Beans, Oats,Sugar, Salt, Baking Powder, Baking Soda, and Oil/Eggs. Since oil will spoil, I like to store dehydrated eggs. Applesauce is a great sub for oil in baking recipes. You could also store chickens in your backyard for fresh eggs, but that’s another post for another day. Follow our 52 Week Calendar to begin filling your pantry with the basics today.
We do sell some of these basic ingredients on our website through the ‘Shop’ tab, but I can’t beat the prices if you visit a dry pack cannery like the Latter Day Saints Home Storage Centers. If you do a bit of work yourself you can save a lot of money. You can also order dry goods in #10 cans online. Here is a link to find locations and contact info Home Storage Center Locations.
Make sure you cover all food groups in your long term storage. The 4 basic food groups are fruits, veggies, grains and protein. A diet of wheat flour alone will kill you, let alone just be gross. You can make flour out of wheat, rice and beans. Beans will give you protein and fiber. Wheat and rice are grains. Store some fruits and veggies, but its a good idea to grow your own fresh fruits and veggies where possible. That means you need to store some seeds, or plant a fruit tree or two.
One half of your long term storage should be basic ingredients, fruits, and veggies. The other half should be pre-made meals. If you need to tap into your long term food storage in an actual emergency situation, you may not have an oven to bake bread, or a phone to call for pizza. Just like in day to day life, there will be times that you will not feel like dawning an apron and kneading bread, or making your own pasta. It will be nice if all you have to do is heat up some water, and eat yummy lasagna. Your family will thank you for this quick easy option. These pre-made meals can also find their way into the 1 month, or 3 to 6 months shelves as well.
The big question is always, “How much food is enough food?”. There is no one size fits all answer to this one. This is why it was important to keep track of your 1 month meal calendars. After you have 3-6 months in the books, you can look them over and inventory whether or not your family ate more rice than pasta. Are you more of a ‘take-out’ family, or more of a ‘bake-it-at-home’ family. Once you being to track what you actually eat, you can begin to see what items you should store. If you tend to order take out a lot, you need to store 2/3 of your long term storage as pre-made freeze dry meals.
According to the Provident Living Calculator a 6 month supply of long term food looks like this (remember 6 months ingredients, 6 months pre-made meals)
(Calculations based on 2 Adults + 3 Kids)
Grain: (includes wheat, white rice, corn, barley, pasta) 790 lbs
Legumes: (peas, lentils, dried beans, nuts) 119 lbs
Dairy Products: (dry milk, cheese powder, dry cheese) 59 lbs
Sugars: (white sugar, brown sugar, honey, syrup) 119 lbs
Leaving Agents: (yeast, baking powder, powders eggs) 12 lbs
Salt: (table salt, sea salt, soy sauce, bullion) 12 lbs
Fats: (vegetable oils, canned butter, shortening) 59 lbs
At first this might seem overwhelming, but 12 lbs of salt is only 12 canisters from the grocery store. Average price is less than $1. For less than $12 you’ve got salt taken care of. Break it out, break it down and whittle away with each shopping trip.
1 Year Food Storage can seem overwhelming, but you can do it.