Ready or Not #168: I Did It — Food Amounts

I did it!  I finished!  I figured it out!  I now know exactly how much food my family needs to store for one year – while continuing to eat like we normally eat and while rotating what we already have!  I no longer have to rely on somebody else’s idea of what I need.  Yes, I have wheat in my storage because I use it.  I also found that my family needs at least 2-gallons of soy sauce (I buy it by the 5-gallon container), 2-quarts of oyster sauce and 2-gallons of catsup – exactly.  How did I do it?  I used the food storage worksheets that I have posted on our website at www.apreparedhome.com – and you can do exactly the same thing.

Just because I created the spreadsheets doesn’t mean that they filled themselves out – I had to fill them out just like you.  The hardest part was just getting started; actually sitting down to figure out what we ate every day on a regular basis.  After I finished making my menus, I typed up all of my recipes that I needed.  Typing up the recipes wasn’t that hard, but it was a little time consuming.  If you can divide the work up between siblings (you all use Mom’s favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe), friends or children, then the work will go a lot faster.

I feel like such a burden has been lifted off of my shoulders.  In the past I have always hoped that I had stored enough food for my family for a year’s time.  At one point I figured I had enough canned and frozen meat that I could feed my family a source of meat protein every day for one year (kind of short sighted and not very healthy).  Another time I had enough soup that I could feed them soup or make a casserole (if I had enough pasta) every day, but I always felt uncomfortable not knowing if what I had would really take care of my family and their needs, both physically (I didn’t want them malnourished) and emotionally (eating is a very emotional thing).  I was always looking for ways to improve my food storage, but the one thing that always seemed elusive was, “When was enough, enough and how much do I really need?”  I just didn’t know, but now I do!

The one thing that I really like about knowing exactly where I stand with my food storage is to know when I can just concentrate on R&R (replenishing and rotation) and not on building my food storage.  Now, after I have finished inventorying and have finished building my food storage, I won’t have the overwhelming need to continue buying except to replenish and if I want to spend some money on a small family vacation (real R&R), I won’t feel like I am taking food away from my children’s hungry mouths – literally.

Knowing what you need in your food storage, versus just guessing and hoping, is a very freeing feeling.  Get it done and feel the freedom – and don’t forget to store your water!

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