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!