YOUR THREE-MONTH SUPPLY INVENTORY
Did you do your pantry inventory? If not, now is a great time to do it. Write down (or put it into a spread sheet) everything you have in your house and that should give you an idea about what your family eats.
If you are one of those shoppers that buys for the week only and does not keep a pantry per se, this should be simple for you. You already know what you eat and you buy it each week. Write down what your family eats or buys each week, and this should give you an idea of what you will need to have on hand for a three month supply. All you need to do is multiply it by 12 or 13 weeks.
I’ve probably mentioned these before. But some of the items we keep in our short term pantry are:
Rice & Pasta
Canned Tuna, Chicken & Clams
Canned Beans of Various Types
Canned Tomatoes in Various Forms
Whole Wheat Pastry Flour & White Flour, Baking Powder, Baking Soda, Yeast
Sucanat, Molasses & Honey
Seasoning Mixes (homemade or natural from Oregon Spice or Azure Standard)
Herbs, Salt, Pepper & Other Seasonings
Frozen Peas, Corn, Broccoli & Green Beans
Frozen Berries & Stone Fruit, Frozen Pie Filling
Cheese: Cheddar, Mozzarella & Goat Cheese
Healthy Oils & Vinegar
Dried Fruit & Veggies
Peanut Butter & Jam
Onions & Garlic
Frozen Chicken & Beef
This is everything I need to make many different meals. Many of these items we purchased from farmers or grew ourselves and put up.
I am currently not planning my meals ahead of time, but I hope to get back into that routine soon. If you know the exact meals you make each week, it will be easy for you to break that down into a month and then into three months to figure out what you need to keep on hand for your three month supply.
If you would rather wing it, you probably have some idea what you need to keep in your home to make the meals you tend to make. Think about the types of foods you make and the comfort foods you would want to have if you were unable to do your normal shopping and plan what you need to make that happen. These are items that are in your pantry and refrigerator and freezer. This is assuming you can go to the store to buy milk and bread and produce, if you need it. But if you have a list similar to mine above, you can actually get away without these fresh things, if you have to.
SHOPPING FOR YOUR THREE-MONTH SUPPLY
Now, once you have your list together, you will want to take it shopping with you. Some of us have the budget to go and get these items all at once. But many of us don’t. Here is where price tracking comes in handy. Some shoppers keep a price book to help them track the price of certain items they buy regularly. My price list is in my head. If you know your prices and know when something is a good deal, you can pick that item up in bulk when you see it on sale. This is how I do it. I like to take advantage of the best price. If you do any couponing, adding your coupons to the sale prices can get your price per item even lower. But I don’t recommend using coupons unless they are for items you already use, though.
Another way of shopping is by just getting one extra of each item when you do your regular shopping. Eventually, you will have a good stock for your three-month supply this way, and it doesn’t “hurt” your pocketbook as much. Whatever way is best for you, use it to gather your three-month supply of food.
SO I HAVE ALL THIS STUFF. NOW WHAT DO I DO WITH IT?
Okay, so now you have your stock, or you are working on your stock for your three-month supply. Where do you put it?
- If you have a basement, this is ideal!
- Clean out your pantry to make room for your new stock. Make sure you rotate your stock and put the newer items in the back.
- Convert a coat closet into a second pantry area. Put in shelving to help you stay organized. Great food storage photos here.
- Use part of your laundry room. Put up shelves and store your stock in there.
- Buy under the bed boxes and store your stock under your bed.
- Use the space on the top shelf of your bedroom closets.
- Buy shelving units for your garage. Be sure you understand that in a non-temperature controlled garage, your food may not last as long if you live in a warmer climate. You can enclose part of your garage and temperature control it. I have seen this done here.
- Build a shed and put in an a/c unit to keep your stock cool in the summer.
These ladies probably have the best web site about food storage I have ever come across. These are two Mormon Sister in Laws and I have learned A LOT from them. They have great calculators, etc., on their web site to help you figure out what you need to store.
Here’s a link to an article by Peggy Layton. She is a professional when it comes to food storage and I really enjoyed her book Emergency Food Storage & Survival Handbook. It is also a great tool to help you figure out what you need to store for how many months, etc.
Take a look at more food storage rooms, etc., by doing a food storage room search at www.youtube.com. There are so many folks on youtube sharing what they are doing to prepare. It is very encouraging and educational!
The important thing to realize is that everyone is going to have a different list and everyone is going to approach food storage a little differently. That is great! We all eat and live differently. These are just some tips that have helped me. All of the links in this post show different people who do things differently. I hope this helps you in your food storage journey.
Until next time! Kris