While you are planning your food storage, take advantage of all that fancy book learnin’ and use some simple math with your recipes and shopping lists to determine how much of each ingredient you’ll need to store!
Math, Recipes and Shopping Lists
You are now starting your food storage plan. You should have already decided what length of time that you want to plan for. Are you storing food for for 3 days, a week, a month, three months or a year?
You can always add more to your food stores as you build up. A good rule of thumb is to start with a three-month supply list.
We discussed having your menus planned and the ingredients listed for those meals. Now we need to apply a bit of math formula.
Break each ingredient down into total weekly use. Take that number and multiply by 12 (3 month supply; aka 12 weeks). Follow the peanut butter example below so you can compute your other food storage calculations.
- Your family uses one cup of peanut butter every week. They also love peanut butter cookies and you want to cook a batch every week. A batch of peanut butter cookies will require an additional cup of peanut butter. You need to factor in two cups of peanut butter for one week.
- 12 weeks(3 Months) at 2 cups of peanut butter per week equals 24 cups.
- Math Time: There are 8 ounces in one cup. You need 8 ounces times 24 weeks. This equates to 192 ounces of peanut butter required to provide for typical peanut butter usage for a full three months. Use ounces, it will make things really simple, when it comes time to decide how many jars of peanut butter (or other ingredients) you need.
- If a typical jar of peanut butter is 28 ounces. 192 ounces divided by 28 ounces rounds out to 7 jars. You will want to stock 7 jars of peanut butter.
Many of you are already thinking, “I can save money and buy a super-deluxe giant tub of peanut butter.”
Stop and step slowly away from the peanut butter. Keep those hands where I can see them!
Peanut butter, as with most foods, have an expiration date. Those dates aren’t set in stone, but you want to rotate fresh stock in. That super-deluxe giant tub of peanut butter may take too long to finish, and may not be used up by the time it gets gross. Throwing away food will negate the the few pennies you saved, by buying that jumbo size!
If you despise the thought of doing math for every ingredient for every recipe on your list, then you may already be looking for shortcuts. There are other options, but they aren’t as cost effective.
There are dehydrated meals available in many varieties and most are actually quite delicious. This may negate your option to design your meals to your family’s tastes and preferences. and, dehydrated meals can get expensive.
Dehydrated meals are quick, easy to prepare and are designed for efficient storage, but the offset is that you may have to prepare an individual pack of freeze dried chicken and mashed potatoes for every member of your family at each meal?
Your food stores are not only designed to keep your family fed through an global collapse or other major emergency. Getting laid off or snowed in can be counted as an emergency situation and you may need to dip into your food storage. This is exactly what your food storage is there for.
Food Storage Basics Series:
- Part 1: Making a Food Storage Plan
- Part 2: Think Ingredients
- Part 3: Math, Recipes and Shopping Lists
- Part 4: Storing Your Food Storage
- Part 5: Storing Water
- Part 6: Storing Dairy Products
- Part 7: Building Up your Food Storage
- Part 8: Protecting Food From Pests