Creating 30 days of menus to help you plan your 3-Month Food Storage supply, will help you figure out what your family will eat, and what you need to put in your food storage. Here is what I did:
1. Write down breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack menu’s that your family will eat. Don’t make 5 course meals. Simple meals are best. You can repeat meals over and over again. I used the same bread recipe, and figured I could bake once a week if I needed to. A typical breakfast could include oatmeal w/raisins and milk, or cold cereal w/milk and water, or muffins and water. Lunch could include tuna or PB&J sandwich w/canned fruit and Tang, or Progresso soup, crackers and water. Dinner could be Raviolis, homemade bread and water, or canned chicken-a-la-king on rice, canned vegetables, and Morning Moos milk. Snacks could be homemade popcorn, or granola bars, or homemade cookies. Do you see what items could go into your supply? 3-month food storage is not just wheat and beans.
2. You will need to convert recipes with perishable foods with other foods. Use dry, canned, and packaged foods in most meals. However, if you have a generator that can keep your freezer running during a power outage, use freezer foods that can last 3 months. Most refrigerator foods don’t last 3 months, except a few. So be careful to substitute fresh fruits with canned fruits, fresh milk with powdered milk, etc. If your kids don’t like regular powdered milk, try Morning Moos. If you are looking for shelf-foods-only recipes, check out “Emergency Food in a Nutshell,” by Leslie D. Probert and Lisa L. Harkness. Most other food storage recipe books use a combination of shelf foods and perishable foods but are a great resource too.
3. List all of the ingredients of your menus. Tedious, yes, but very helpful. If you can’t use a spreadsheet, just write ingredients or items down and add them up on paper. 16 cans of corn, 3 jars of jam, etc.
4. Create 25% of your menu’s with prepared foods like stews, soups, pasta meals, pancake mix and Bisquick. This will help in short term disasters or emergencies.
5. Use some long-term foods (wheat, rice, dry beans, etc.) in your menus but realize that if Mom loses her job, who is going to make the homemade bread?
6. Include the typical school snacks you already buy like applesauce cups, food bars, Capri Suns, etc. These are things your kids are familiar with. If you buy them anyway, include them.
7. Don’t think of these menu’s as an “end of the world” project, but an everyday one that you can easily resupply and stock up on.
8. Think about the what if’s. Like what if my husband (or I) lost our jobs. Would these foods help us get by for a few months during our job search? What if there is a pandemic this fall, and heaven forbid, Mom gets sick. Are the foods in the pantry ones that teenage kids could easily prepare? What if the earthquake we don’t want to have happen, does, and we have to campout in our own backyard. Are some of the foods we stored items we can camp-cook with?
9. After you come up with the 30 menus, then multiply all ingredients by 3 to become your 3-month food storage supply.
Hope these ideas get you thinking. Please send me any ideas you may have.