Questions to Ask Yourself….3 Month Supply

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Questions to Ask Yourself ... 3 Month Supply (via Food Storage Made Easy)

When it comes to getting a 3 month supply of food together, we have found that a lot of people get so much anxiety over the whole thing that they don’t do it at all. We’re getting ready to help Grandma Lori with her 3 month supply in our Extreme Food Storage Makeover. In doing so we have compiled a list of questions to ask her that will help us formulate a plan. Ask yourself these questions, and as you do so you’ll see a plan start to form – with some resources on our site to help.


Are you storing a 3 month supply of food for a potential job loss? For a potential natural disaster? For meal planning purposes? Whatever it is that you are doing this for will influence how you go about planning, so first – decide – Why Am I Doing This? Check out our complete series on “Why Food Storage?”, if you haven’t figured this one out yet.

Are you the type that thinks your 3 month plan can only have shelf stable items? Do you think fridge and freezer foods count in your 3 month plan? Do you want to make a plan based on the assumption that you can still buy produce to fill in holes in your recipes? Once you have decided which types of foods you want in your 3 month plan, you’ll be able to filter your recipes to fit that criteria. ***disclaimer*** While it’s always good to have some shelf stable recipes, we think planning strictly shelf stable meals is a hard place to start for beginners-


  • Some people find that buying foods they use often in bulk fit their goals for a 3 month plan.
  • Some people like to plan their meals on our printable pdf forms with good old fashioned pens and pencils. (found on our BabyStep 3 page)
  • If you’re really wanting to get detailed, you can use our 3 month supply excel spreadsheet and go to town including all ingredients for all your recipes and then watch it automatically calculate how many of each item you need.(found on our BabyStep 3 page)


While the end goal is to use foods daily from your pantry, and replace them with your regular grocery shopping, to get your supply kick started you may need to budget a certain amount of money to get your supply going. Figure out what you can spare until you have a supply built up and think of it as an investment.

When you have determined WHAT you need to buy, develop a plan to purchase. You may decide buying one extra each time works for you, or you might get into coupon and sale shopping and buy things only when on sale. Whatever fits your style, having a game plan in place will surely help. For a great site on price matching, and getting the best deals, visit Deals To Meals.

Good luck, and remember there aren’t RIGHT answers to these questions. If we have learned anything in doing this for the last 2 years its that EVERYONE has a different style, and you need to figure out what works for you!

  • Really appreciate you sharing this post. Really looking forward to read more.

  • Susan

    I store some food. I can a lot of produce and meats. My problem is it looks so good to have a full pantry, i have a hard time using what I have stored. Any suggestions on how to conquer THIS particular phobia/dilemma?

    • Victoria

      Have you ever read a cookbook called “The Once A Month Cookbook”?  This cookbook teaches you how to cook all the meals for a month with two days of cooking time (the prep takes one day, the cooking the second day).  It has great pre-planned menus for a week, 2 weeks, 3 weeks, and one month with shopping lists for all items required, recipes for all items in the menu calendar, a system for prep and cooking, and advice on how to make your own menu plans once you get the system down.  It also helps tie your frozen / fresh items to your food storage/canned items.  I found it very helpful when planning meals, especially when I was taking care of my parents in addition to my own family.  Also great for preparing meals for shut-ins, the new mom, convalescing persons, etc. The only problem I had was that the menus had to be adjusted for diabetic/salt restricted diets.  All menus are based on a family of four, easily adjusted for larger families or a couple by doubling or splitting the amounts in half.  It has a system for marking the canned goods or side items (salad, etc.) you will use for each meal to the date on the calendar you are going to use it.  It really helps you stop wasting time, energy and food. 

      When  you can your produce, mark it with date.  Like any canned goods, put the oldest to the front and newest to the back. I have my canned goods in alphabetical order. I simply look at the canned goods, starting from the leftmost side of the top shelf and working down. I pull out enough of each canned good to use for one meal and and put it in a basket, until I have enough for the week (7 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 7 dinners).  You can have three baskets marked breakfast, lunch, dinner if you’d like.  Then pull out your menu book or planner, and plan 7 breakfasts, 7 lunches, and 7 dinners using the items you pulled.  The next week, continue on down the shelves until you get to the bottom shelf.  This not only helps you use the oldest items, you cycle through all your storage. 

    • Melanie

      When you use something you’ve canned, make more to replace it.  Be on the look out for good deals that have to do with what you have used up.  It rotates it and gives you the jars back to use again. 

  • Pat Robinson

    Julie or Jodi, Hi I am trying to add information like bottled tomatoes to excel 3 month food list online. When I insert a row then the format information goes away. I see the little paint brush that says to format as the row above or below and I have clicked one and then the other but it wont’ do the original format to calculate the item. What am I doing wrong? I can add the item way below the common ingredients list but then it is not showing with the canned and bottled items. Please help me figure this out. I want to use the lists that you have provided but also be able to insert other items do. Thanks, Pat Robinson

  • Thank you for encouraging us to do it the way that works for our familiy!

  • Thank you for encouraging us to do it the way that works for our familiy!

  • Thank you so much! Your easy approach has made this whole process doable!

  • Thank you so much! Your easy approach has made this whole process doable!

  • I'm getting excited for this part! I wish my life could be as cute and cheery as the font on here.

  • I'm getting excited for this part! I wish my life could be as cute and cheery as the font on here.

  • thanks for the questions to make you think and the notes and help

  • thanks for the questions to make you think and the notes and help

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