The 7 Day Challenge: DAY 1 (MONDAY)

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Welcome to the 7 Day Challenge. For 7 days, we are testing our Emergency Preparedness and Food Storage Plans. Each day will bring a NEW mock emergency or situation that will test at least one of the reasons “WHY” we strive to be prepared! REMEMBER: No going to a store, gas station, or spending any money for the entire 7 days! And please feel free to adapt the scenarios to fit your own family and situation.


You just learned that a family member is very very sick so you are going to stay at their house for one week to help them out. Times have been tough so your family has been eating out of your food storage. You must leave behind “ready to cook” meals made out of your food storage for your family to eat while you are out of town.
Goal: Plan and prepare easy meals using your food storage

Today’s Tasks:

  • Put together seven complete DINNERS for your family to eat for a week (either compile long term storage ingredients into a ziplock bag or mason jar, or put together canned goods into a bag to make a complete meal)
  • Make a list of breakfast and lunch ideas that your family can choose from and place the ingredients all in one spot for easy access
  • Ask your spouse or one of your kids to cook one of the meals for dinner tonight
  • SHARING TIME: Take a picture of your 7 meals and share it on our Facebook page or on Instagram (use tags @foodstoragemadeeasy and #FSME7daychallenge) or type up your meal ideas and share them in the blog comments or on today’s Facebook discussion thread

Today’s Limitations:

  • For this day, and ALL days of the challenge: no spending money, no going to stores, and no restaurants
  • You must only select items for your meals that are shelf stable (don’t need to be refrigerated)

Advanced Tasks:

  • Actually compile the 7 breakfasts and 7 lunches (either compile long term storage ingredients into a ziplock bag or mason jar, or put together canned goods into a bag to make a complete meal)
  • Your flight leaves soon, you only have ONE HOUR to complete this task

Make sure your fill out today’s Report Card to see how well you did, to keep track of areas you can improve, to remember things you need to do, and things you need to buy. Use the data to make a game plan to take you to the next level of preparedness, whatever that may be.


Remember — This year we are going to be offering the chance to win daily PRIZES for people who are participating in one of the following ways:

  • Commenting or posting pictures on our Facebook page
  • Loading pictures on your instagram tagging @foodstoragemadeeasy and #FSME7daychallenge
  • Commenting on today’s blog post with how you did
  • Submitting pictures/stories to us via email at


1 soup in a jar kit (6 pantry cans of Thrive Life ingredients to make a simple soup meal)
1 book “It’s In the Bag” by Michelle & Trent Snow

Thank you to all who participated by sharing their experiences. Winners were picked randomly (we didn’t pick the reader who accomplished the task the best, we couldn’t have done that even if we wanted to. So many of you were AMAZING! )

THE SOUP IN A JAR KIT GOES TO ROWENA who uploaded an amazing photo of her meals on our facebook wall.
View picture here

THE BOOK GOES TO LEESA who left a comment on our blog sharing her meals:
Leesa: Breakfast and lunches are also complete. For my dinners I have on the shelf: 1) Chicken Salsa Soup 2) Apricot Chicken 3) Shepard’s Pie 4) Poppyseed Chicken 5) Tacos 6) Spaghetti 7) Rigatoni with Bacon. It has been my goal this summer to make these meals and others shelf stable. I have canned chicken, taco meat, salsa, hamburger, spaghetti sauce, etc… so all of these meals would be to open jars and/or packages and heat.

Rowena and Leesa, please email us at info @ so we can get you your prizes.

  • NJFoodie

    Just wondering WHAT the “basic RULES” are to devising recipes using DH/FD foods. I often see recipes using ingredients I don’t have or don’t like flavor combos- so I want to customize. I don’t have quick cooked beans (only reg. dried) I don’t can meats (yet) etc..Shall I just substitute by using a (separate) baggie of FD chix cubes ?
    In other words does recipe building for Mason Jars OR Mylar go like this :
    Veggies together, sauce,spices,seasonings in a baggie (separated), FD Meats (separated) , pasta, grains, or flours, baking ingredients (separated). PLZ ADVISE.

    • I started with taking my basic recipes and substituting one item at a time with a “shelf stable” item. It’s pretty easy to do in your regular cooking. If you want meal jars specifically you typically don’t HAVE to separate the items into individual baggies. Just dump them all in! So think of what you’d include in a normal soup … chicken/beef, rice/rice/potatoes, veggies, flavorings. I usually start with the bigger chunks at the bottom and then do spices at the end. If there is anything you’d want to put in later (like stirring in sour cream or cheese at the end) you could put them in a separate baggie. Otherwise I like the ease of just dumping it all in a pot and adding water. Hope that helps a bit!

  • Deb H.

    I just discovered your site yesterday, so I’ve missed all the challenges. I’m also new to the preparedness lifestyle and haven’t started canning yet (plans for a garden are in the works). I have used this type of thing in a different way. When members of our church need meals, instead of making a casserole they can freeze, I put together 3-4 meals that are easy to put together. I include all ingredients and recipes. Two bags are usually needed – one for shelf stable items and one for items that need to be refrigerated or frozen. Some of the meals I usually include are spaghetti, chicken/stuffing casserole, a mexican dish (tacos, burritos or taco bake), chili, stew….I include the meat already cooked and vacuum sealed. It just gives them a choice of having all they need for a quick meal if they don’t want a casserole – and it doesn’t take up so much of their freezer space.

    • This is great Deb! I love that idea. And sorry you missed the challenge. You can always sign up and join in next year!

  • Annie

    I’ve been doing just this utilizing commercially canned and home canned foods and packing them in boxes that hold roughly a week’s worth of 1 meal (dinner or lunch or breakfast) and marking with a sharpie on the outside EXACTLY what is in it, including the quantity. For example, I have a box marked: 6 Dinners: 6 cans sauce, 6 lbs. pasta, 4 cans mushrooms, 6 cans oranges, 2 cans pineapple, 8 cans vegetables and everything is in there. I pulled what I had from food storage/pantry. I love looking through everyone else’s ideas, and am definitely going to try some!

  • Rebekah S.

    I did okay. There’s a whole lot of room for improvement though. I have freezer meals already prepared and ready to warm up in baggies with warm water, I have a basement pantry and kitchen pantry with soups and stews that have been canned as well. I only have 1 month of freeze dried supplies. SO not enough to crack open and make these meals. I’m trying to build both the water supply AND the long term shelf supply. It’s why I LOVE these challenges.

    Had I not come across your website last year, I wouldn’t have learned about emergency supplies to help us during storms. Just a wealth of information. I thank you SO MUCH for just taking the time to teach others such an important skill to provide for our families.

  • Teri

    Thank you so much for all the helpful hints and ideas! It is very helpful and inspiring to be more prepared!

  • Holly

    I posted a picture of my 7 meals but decided to comment about my experience too. My family is my husband and a 4 year old. I was a CNA/CHHA for 10 years so I can see being asked to be a caregiver. I’m a stay at home Mom so it would be likely that I’d take my son leaving only my husband to eat. However, we choose to do family size meals vs for 1, as that is more useful for us. I found it funny he was asked to cook (the 4 year old is a bit young). He does most of the cooking due to childhood trauma of washing dishes by hand so I do the dishes. He doesn’t need my help planning meals or leaving instructions! I could’ve cooked and sent him to be the caregiver, he doesn’t have the basic nursing training but he’s unusually kind, gentle… that’s why I married him:) I however cannot do his job as an electrical engineer or provide like he can now. (I put him through SIX+ years of college and THREE degrees.)
    I posted a picture of my 7 meals on facebook. Here’s our 7 dinners:1. spaghetti, beef, sauce, tomatoes 2. casserole: green bean, chicken, cream of mushroom soup, rice, prepared powdered milk, fried onions 3. pasta, alfredo sauce, tuna, peas and sun dried tomatos 4. refried beans, rice and corn 5. lentils, dehydrated veggie stew blend and bread 6.chili, quinoa, green beans 7.corned beef, veggie stew blend, barley and corn.

    I’m not trying to cheat, hubby eats dinner leftovers for lunch and he has lots of shelf stable breakfast options too (he’s my short order cook on Saturday mornings) but he WOULD eat cold cereal every morning (plus a banana if we have any ripe) and we have a whole shelf unit of cereal and granola. The twist is he’d have to use powdered milk or boxed soy vanilla milk or some boxed Hershey chocolate milk or cans of evaporated milk. We needed milk to make a casserole for dinner so I made 3 quarts of powdered. We have a liberal year plus supply but haven’t tried it! (Didn’t I read here somewhere to add sugar and vanilla? I didn’t, yet.) I understand it is best to reconstitute and refrigerate overnight. I’ve become humble and grateful enough that I’d drink it for the nutrition. We are going to find out what it tastes like in the morning! I need more pitchers. OH, just took 4 yr old in for his 4 yr old physical at 4 yr and 4 months, and the vitamin D recommended daily allowance is now 400 units for him and I think it was increased for adults too. You need the D for your body to absorb the calcium. We have vitamins, I need to give one to him with his milk!
    Anyway, my lunches would likely be some of the same canned meats above plus we have: salmon, pb, lots of dried beans, powdered, bacon bit in a pouch from Costco (must refrigerate after opening), nut/nut butters like almond, beef in a gravy sauce, turkey in a can, soups-lentil/chicken noodle/tomato…
    I also have: velveeta cheese, nacho cheese in a can, unopened mayo
    Breakfast: powdered eggs and bacon bits, multigrain waffle/pancake mix (add powdered milk and eggs)-also to ground wheat berries to make crepes, oatmeal&nuts, powdered gravy, bread-we make with whole wheat in breadmaker… We’ve crackers too:ritz, multispeed, wheat thins…
    Fruit:canned peaches, applesause, LOTS freeze dried strawberries, bags of crazins, fruit cups, dried apple slices, dried apricots, canned pineapple, raisins, juice, cannery fruit drink mix, one each of the chefs banquet regular and tropical freeze dried fruits…
    Grains: mention in dinners above plus: brown rice, white rice, potato flakes, pastas, oatmeals, can make pizza crust with wheat berries in bread maker, granola bars…
    veggies:corn, tomatoes, peas, green beans, veggie stew mix, salsa, tomato sauce/paste, classic sauce
    So you see we keep a lot of options and for me breakfast and lunch are easy shelf stable, dinner no but now I’ve 7 options:)
    Tonight we cooked the canned corned beef and Augason Farms veggie stew mix. Don’t think we’ve had the corned beef before and we really liked it with the mix:) So if we see it at Costco we are going to get more as we’ve LOTS of the stew mix. Yeah, a new dinner!

  • Allison

    We had a family meeting and came up with a menu for a week based on what we had on hand. We had pancakes for dinner tonight.
    Breakfast- oatmeal, english muffin bread, pancakes
    Lunch – peanut butter and honey sandwiches, tuna sandwiches, ramen, bbq beef sandwiches
    Dinner – alfredo, Hawaiian haystacks, honey garlic chicken over rice w/canned veggies, taco soup & corn bread, green chili burritos, goulash, smothered chicken skillet
    Dessert – oreos, brownies
    Snacks – chezits, popcorn, animal crackers

  • Donna

    I completely failed! I have a lot of things but I am not very good at entire meals. I can do basics like spaghetti or even a couple of soup dinners but I seem to be missing at least one or two things for every other meal I tried to come up with. I need to go through my food storage with recipes in mind. Good to know. I would much rather fail today than when I really need the meals.

  • Allison Zundel Grigg

    We did pretty well. Dinners are spaghetti with sauce, meat optional, green beans. Taco soup. Hawaiian haystacks with rice, pineapple, peas, and gravy. Shepherd’s pie with home canned ground beef, mixed veggies, and potato flake mashed potatoes. Chili over pasta, peaches. canned chicken and rice, corn. Pizza and spiced apples. Breakfasts would be oatmeal, cereal, or muffins from scratch. Lunches pb and j, soup, or ramen.

  • TKMac

    Did well on this challenge. Breakfast, lunch and dinners, easy and ready to make from our pantry. Have had to do this for real this last year when my brother in law was sick with COPD. Only thing not in my pantry was DH hash browns. Will have to fix that soon since it is husbands favorite with eggs. What made the challenge easy was having meals planned out with the FSME 3 Month Meal Planner. Hubby chose to make DH Potato soup for dinner.

  • Leslie MacKenzie

    We have just begun our commitment to preparedness so I wasn’t sure how well I’d do with this challenge. We’ve got a lot of pickles and jelly 🙂 but could we put together 21 meals? Yup, we could. But we’ve got some work to do if we want to eat well beyond a week.

    BREAKFAST: 1) Polenta, fried and buttered with syrup, 2) Oatmeal with raisins, 3) Cereal with almond milk, 4) Almond milk shake with hemp protein, peanut butter and dried berries, 5) Pancakes and syrup, 6) Malt-o-meal, 7) cereal with dried apples

    LUNCH: 1) Peanut butter and jelly sandwish with homemade bread, 2) Tomato soup with bread and roasted garlic, 3) Ramen soup with onion, canned carrots, 4) Red lentil soup with bread and pickles, 5) Matza ball soup, pickles, 6) Tuna salad sandwich with tuna, mayo, diced onion, dill pickle, 7) Jaipur Karhi (potato dumplings) over rice.

    DINNER 1) Spaghetti, canned tomato sauce and dried tomatoes, canned artichokes, hot pepper pieces, 2) tuna casserole (canned tuna, mushroom soup, dry milk, served over rice), 3) Garbanzo salad (garbanzo beans, canned artichoke hearts, slices of hot peppers (canned in oil), dried tomatoes, sliced onion, red pepper flakes, vinegar and
    olive oil, 4) Roasted squash pieces in olive oil, slices of canned pear, cooked in coconut milk with curry, served over couscous, 5) a can of matar paneer (peas and paneer cheese) served over rice, 6) bean soup (mixed beans, stewed tomatoes, dried green peppers, onion, garlic, chili powder, cayenne) with apple sauce for desert, 7) Split peas soup made with chicken broth and canned carrots, and bread

  • Helena Whitstine

    I loved this challenge. #1 Meal is; Homemade Hamburger helper. using Freeze dried beef, pasta, can of c. of Mushroom soup, can of string beans. #2. Meal, Jar of canned Chicken, pkg. of fajita mix. dried bell peppers, onions, and tomatoes, plus a can of Mexican corn. Meal #3. is Qt. jar of homemade Veg. Beef soup, pkg. of crackers. #4. Pkg. of Naan bread, jar pizza sauce, small can mushrooms, pkg. grated cheese, pieces of sundried tomatoes, 1/2 pt. jar of chicken. #5. Meal, spaghetti, jar of home canned hamburger, parm. cheese and a sleeve of crackers. #6 Meal, Tuna Hot dish. 2 cans of tuna, 1 1/2 c. elbow mac. 1 c. grated cheese. can of peas. #7 Meal, Chicken and Dumplins from the Home canned chicken, can of string beans.
    These meals were pick because they are favorite to most everyone in the family. Thank you for a great challenge., Breakfasts; #1 Hot oatmeal with Freeze dried fruit, #2 is cold cereal, juice. #3 is an English muffin with jam, #4 is Beagle and peanut butter and jelly, #5 Eggs, poached. #6 in cold cereal and freeze dried fruit. #7 Cheesy Grits.. There is always milk, fruit and or juice along with jams and jellies and peanut butter… Helena Whitstine

  • Dan

    Day 1 B: Bagel (w/butter or egg & cheese…etc) L: Turkey sandwich (canned Turkey or fresh using refrigerated stuff before it goes bad) D: Chicken and Pasta w/peas Day 2 B: Oatmeal and Fruit L:PB&J or leftovers D: Soup Day 3 B: egg and toast (fresh or powdered eggs. Butter, peanut butter, or jelly for toast) L:Tuna sandwich and Mac and cheese D: casserole (tuna or chicken..etc) w/ green beans and Apple sauce Day 4 B: cereal or oatmeal (powdered milk if cereal) L: Ravioli and bread D: chili w/ pasta and corn Day 5 B: scrambled eggs or omelet w/ veggies or salsa and a canned meat L: Chicken sandwich D: Beef Stew and mashed potatoes Day 6 B: pancakes and fruit L: pasta w/ choice of topping (sauce, butter..etc) D: spaghetti and Apple sauce Day 7 B: cereal and fruit L: pb&j D: pizza snacks include granola bars, fruit, trail mix, fruit snacks. Desserts include chocolate, hello, pudding, cookies and cupcakes. Drinks are water, milk ( powdered), and juice. The eggs I mention are from our own chickens so they are readily available. I left in a little room for change for differences in taste, and any meal can be added to or substituted by leftovers.

  • LynneTolman

    This has turned out to be one of those days that was to close to the assignment. Gratefully it only lasted today. I am just now getting around to following through on the assignment. I am grateful that I have done this in the past and am better prepared because of it.
    One thing I have learned is that variety and spices are the spice of life. If we can serve a variety of things and we have spices to vary the flavors I know my family for one is much happier. Another thing a treat goes a long way towards smiley faces, even if that treat is popcorn. (It is amazing what a little sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg can do for a bowl of popcorn)
    Breakfast: the typical oatmeal, cold cereal and powdered milk. pancakes, cracked wheat and whole wheat muffins. But to make things a little better I have a great recipe for Quick cinnamon rolls that can go from start to finish in an hour or less. This with a class of hot chocolate is great.
    Lunch: Again the typical mac and cheese, and P B & J, Peanut butter and dehydrated apple slices, Muffins and canned peaches, ramen, and something a little different-Make french toast and cut it into four or five strips. This can be served with a small container of jelly or syrup, it is fun and a little different in tough times.
    Dinner: Taco soup- 3 cans different kinds of beans, 1 can tomatoes, 1 can green chilies, 1 can cream corn, some dehydrated or fresh onions, a pkg of taco seasoning or use seasonings from your cupboard.
    Spaghetti with a jar of spaghetti sauce
    Waffles with syrup and peanut butter-never tried it? maybe your should it is great
    Chicken in biscuit cups- Make biscuits from scratch. Cut into circles and flatten them into muffin tins. Mix together a can of chicken, 1 can green chilies, 1 cup salsa. Spoon this mixture into the biscuit cups and bake as directed for biscuits. These could be great leftovers for lunch
    Taquitos-canned hamburger, dehydrated onions, 1 can green chilies, tortillas and oil for frying.
    Creamed Pea and tuna over rice or toast-7 oz can tuna, 1 can peas, make a white sauce and season it to taste. Serve hot over toast or rice
    Crunch Wraps- tortillas, green chilies, salsa, refried beans.
    Thanks for these challenges. they put me and my family to the test before we really need it.

    • a cinnamon roll aficionado

      Any chance we could get that recipe for quick cinnamon rolls? 🙂

      • LynneTolman

        I have been using this recipe for years.  I use it for cinnamon rolls and for regular dinner rolls.  For the dinner rolls I also make orange rolls from this dough.  It can make small cinnamon rolls or larger ones depending on how big you cut them and how long you let them rise.  I usually just put them on the trays and let them rise for as long as it take to heat the oven about 15 minutes.  I don’t like thick frosting so I have included an icing recipe.  I have also included a cream cheese frosting recipe.  I have also included the break down for different amounts of rolls. I hope you enjoy this recipe.
        Quick Cinnamon Rolls

        6 doz              3 doz            2 doz
        Warm water      3 ½
        cups       1 ¾ cup      1 cup 3 tab
        Sugar                 ¾ cup            6 Tab          ¼ cup
        Oil                     1 cup              ½ cup        1/3 cup
        Yeast                 6 Tab             3 Tab          2 Tab
        Mix warm water, sugar, oil and yeast together and let sit
        for 15 minutes.  This allows yeast to
        start working and rise.  It will grow a

        Eggs                  3                    1
        or 2          1
        Salt                    1 Tab              ½ Tab        1 tea
        Flour                10
        ½ Cups       5 ¼ cups     3 ½ cups

        Add eggs salt and flour to above mixture.  Stir in a little at a time.  Knead a little to get the rest of the flour in.

        Roll out for dinner rolls or cinnamon rolls.  If dinner rolls, form and put butter on dough before rolling into rolls.
        If cinnamon rolls:  melt butter and spread over dough.  Sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon or use combined cinnamon sugar.  You can also add raisins or chopped
        nuts.  Roll up and cut.
        Place on greased cookie sheet.  Let rise 15 or more minutes.  Bake in 375 degree oven for 10-15 minutes.  Remove to cooking racks or wax
        paper.  Ice with icing after removing
        from trays.
        This is more of a glaze
        ¼ cup butter
        2 cups powdered sugar
        ¼ cup milk
        1 tea vanilla

        Combine and glaze rolls.

        Cinnamon Roll Frosting
        4 oz cream cheese, softened
        1/2 c butter, softened
        1 3/4 c powdered sugar
        1 tsp vanilla flavor
        1/8 tsp lemon flavor
        1/2 tsp salt

        Whip the cream cheese and butter till fluffy.  Add powdered sugar one cup at a time.  Add the vanilla flavor, lemon flavor and salt and whip for 1minute

  • Sarah

    My daughter actually made the first meal I had planned out tonight. It was new for her and she did so well! Spaghetti Alfredo! It was a bit advanced but she decided to tackle it anyway. Day 2 would be Mac and Cheese with some dried fruit snacks for dessert. Day 3 Potato Soup Mix and Corncakes. Day 4 Pasta Salad (Again with the pasta!) and Brownies. Day 5 Tuna Casserole with Fruit Salad (canned and NOT mixed together) By the time I got to here, my head was swimming and I was feeling slightly sick from the planning of so many rich foods. We are used to fresh fruit and salads, but what if this occurred in the dead of winter? I guess the rich foods would be a good thing then? I will be delving into finding happier healthier ways to supplement our pantry. To finish, Enchiladas for Day 6 (my husband can make those) and Day 7 Bean and Rice Burritos. These are foods my family can make without me. As for desserts, they have cookie mixes which I wouldn’t be surprised if they made those instead of dinner!

  • Amber

    Been waiting patiently all month. Things have been very tight so we don’t have as much food storage as we used too, and I have a family of picky eaters so this is difficult. Here is my list of thinks I can just through together or bake a little early and have ready ahead. Breakfasts were hard for me because my husband won’t eat the same thing two meals or two days in a row where as I grew up on oatmeal 6 days a week for breakfast. And my oldest child won’t eat hot breakfast cereals. I didn’t start her young enough 🙁 . Since this might be my by three months worth of stuff emergency preps I tried not to repeat much at all so it wouldn’t be so monotonous if it got to be a month long deal and things could be changed around from week to week with the right ingredients. The only thing I worry about it the whole milk thing. I have put off even buying powdered milk since I am the only one who will drink it. I even tried putting chocolate milk in it an letting it chill really good and all the other tips on a camping trip one year but the flavor was too different and everyone turned their noses up at it. Does anyone have any suggestions on this? Maybe I could find some shelf stable milk in serving sizes so I wouldn’t have to worry about spoilage like you do with the 10 lb. cans. I definitely found some things I need to try, and found I need to keep some powdered milk on hand even if only for baking buscuits. I have used soured milk to make some mean biscuits so it won’t go to waste but with the fridge off limits, or assuming everything in the fridge that requires refrigeration is used up or spoiled not having any powdered milk on hand limits what we can do with our pantry stock.

    7 breakfasts shelf stable

    1. Pancake mix just add water juice
    2. Cold Cereal with shelf stable milk can we find one we like?
    3. Breakfast bars
    5 Cereal with shelf stable mil
    7.hobo bread

    7 lunches shelf stable

    1. Tuna sandwiches w/ pickles (mayo packets)
    2.bean n bacon soup with crackers
    3.pb & j sandwiches with carrots from the garden
    4.grilled-cheese??? (cheese in a can? unopened cheese chip dip? sandwiches and tomatoe soup
    5.chips and chili with canned corn
    6.vegetable soup with garlic toast
    7.buscuits w/ honey

    7 dinners shelf stable

    1. Pizza just add water and oil , canned sauce with meat, pineapple fruit cup drained for topping
    2.chicken noodle soup with biscuits made from scratch
    3.canned beans with spanish rice and cheese
    4.beanie weenies with canned great beans mashed potatoes
    5. Chicken Piccadillo with rice andmashed black beans
    6.canned ravioli with canned fruit and bread
    7.canned ham, Mac n cheese ,

    • Milenda

      Canning milk in jars isn’t endorsed by ball canning but is up to you if you wish to try. I have many qt jars of whole milk to be on the safe side. As well as some 2% than comes in a cardboard carton shelf stable until opened. These are even at our local dollar tree store!

      • Grimm

        The milk isn’t in cardboard but in the hermetically sealed tetra paks.

    • Darcy

      I found that you really have to just get used to the powdered milk . . . I had it a lot as a kid, so it was fine with me. It took a while for my family to get used to it now. I would suggest mixing it in with the whole milk you currently buy just gradually so they get used to the taste. And remember that in an emergency situation they’ll probably be glad for any kind of milk — hopefully! Oh, and you can use the cans of evaporated milk in recipes that call for milk (esp. soup, makes it even creamier).

  • Kristen

    So funny, we just got back from vacation and I haven’t done any shopping so there is NO fresh food in our house and now the 7 Day Challenge begins!

    So, here is what I came up with:

    Breakfast: Toast w/Peanut butter, Pancakes w/Syrup, FD Fruit (Granny Smith Apples, Cherries, Fuji Apples, Strawberries, Bananas), Granola, Eggs (we have chickens), Oatmeal, Cream of Wheat

    Lunch: Peanut Butter & Honey Sandwiches, FD Fruit, Canned Soup, Canned Baked Beans w/Cornbread, and any Breakfast ideas above

    Pizza w/FD Mozzarella Cheese & FD Veggie Toppings (Peppers, Onions, Mushrooms, Pineapple)
    Cheesy Beans & Rice w/Tortillas: Dry Bean Trio (Red, Kidney & Pinto), White/Brown Rice, FD Cheddar Cheese, Canned Salsa
    Chunky Beef Soup over Egg Noodles
    Pancakes w/FD Fruit Compote
    Pasta, Bean, & FD Veggie Soup

    I can’t believe I actually don’t have to go shopping this week!

  • dogmom4

    Okay, I blew it already. I skimmed and don’t see the part about not using ready to eat stuff. Shame on me! I do keep some ready to eat stuff for emergencies….

    • Grimm

      The challenge also says to tailor it to your family and their needs. I think you did fine. 😉

      • dogmom4

        Thanks Grimm. I actually have a fairly extensive food storage plan. Home canned, number 10 cans, freezer stuff and stuff purchased from the store.I think variety is the key. And reality is if I was leaving on such short notice…at least two members of my family could figure it out for themselves. :). I did change it up on the fb page to try and do what the challenge says…even then I don’t know if I still bent the rules by using veggies from my garden and eggs from my chickens. After all they are part of my long term storage plan. 😉

        • Grimm

          If it is part of your LT plan it counts in my book! If my DH came home with a deer or my Roo gave me a string of squirrels it would count. They didn’t come out of the fridge/freezer. XD

  • dogmom4

    My family consists of me, dh, ds19, stepdaughter6 (who is here 5 mornings before school for breakfast and stepson2 (who is here here for some dinners and lunches).If I’m not here ds19 would put together breakfast.
    Options are oatmeal, farina, cold cereal/milk, or frozen waffles/sausage. Also fresh fruit (bananas, apples) is on the table…enough to last for 3 or 4 days. After fresh fruit is gone there are canned peaches and homemade fruit leather….plenty to blast for the week.
    Lunches for dh would sandwiches (tuna, lunch meat in fridge…enough for two days, pb&j) or fruit and hard boiled eggs. Ds19 would make something at a home (pb&j sandwiches, canned chili with crackers, hard boiled eggs with fruit). There are cut up veggies(carrot sticks, celery,tomatoes) in fridge to choose from.
    Dinner options are potato soup (in freezer) with bread and veggies in fridge, homemade beef and bean burritos(ds19 will make these), grilled cheese sandwiches with canned soup, scrambled eggs with toast and fruit (made by dh or ds19), frozen pizza in garage freezer (for emergencies like this), canned chili with crackers and veggies, and polished sausages with buns and frozen fries in freezer.
    Drink options are water, milk and a couple of different kinds of juice.

  • Brenda

    OK, I was thinking I did well until I read that I couldn’t use anything from the refrigerator!
    We’d be eating a lot of eggs from the chickens and lettuce/tomatos/green beans from the garden (have vinegar & oil for dressing) can add dried fruit (dehydrated from our orchard) to the salad. We would be having rice, spaghetti, canned soups, beans, lentils, tuna, potatoes. Could make bread with ingredients (and grinder if needed)
    this was eye opening!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • shay

    This is my first time participating…It was a little hard since I have a one year old who is just beginning to eat real food or I should say food that the rest of the family eats. I did make my jars: breakfast was pretty simple: powdered eggs and canned sausage or canned bacon, cream of wheat, cereal, oatmeal, pop-tarts, pancakes…Lunch: pb&j, tuna and crackers, cup of noodles, granola and canned fruit, chef-Boyardee(in the can)..Dinner: canned chicken chili with beans, chicken alfredo, enchiladas, potato soup with cornbread, mac and cheese, beef chili mac(freeze dried), canned chicken and rice with dehydrated veggies. Snacks included dehydrated apples with cinnamon, canned fruit, homemade applesauce, pretzels. I do have plenty of water for the week and various drink mixes for the kids(tang, milk, Kool-Aid)..I realized I do need more water and a better way to store it. My family is really excited to see what we can do.

  • Sherrie

    so I did the challenge after doing a bunch of stuff this morning with my daughter and her 2 kids that live an hours drive away. Sorrry to say we shopped and I got gas knowing that the challenge I am doing also with my church starts tomorrow. I checked out a few of the challenges from the past years last night, and saw that some were started on Tues or Wed so I figured I was fine to continue my plans for the day. Also the day started off bad, Grand kids didnt get up and they were late for school as they played around when they finally got up. The meals i jotted down, with the ages of my 2 grandkids living with me in mind, which are 11 & 8, are fairly simple meals. 1.) Bean soup w/barley to be added and pears. 2.) instant potatoes w/gravy, home canned ground turkey, corn & green beans and h-canned peaches. 3.) Spaghetti, tomato sauce w/spices tossed in, h-canned hamburger, and corn. 4.) Chicken Noodle casserole, h-canned chicken, egg noodles, cream of chicken soup, green beans and aspearagus, and h-canned applesauce. 5.) Instant potatoes, chili and h-canned cheese and butter. 6.) Rice and add your own: rice, chicken or ham or turkey, Chow mein noodles, pineapple, olives, cinnamon/sugar, corn and green beans. 7.) Tacos, hard corn tostados, h-canned chicken, refried beans, h-canned cheese, dried onions, and fruit cocktail. I also brought up fron the basement storage a couple of containers of powdered drink mix for a couple of meals. I posted a pic on FB with my 2 grandkids who would be fixing the meals. One of the meals also has home canned corn but i dont remember which one. since i dont hear any noises coming from upstairs I had better go see how dinner is progressing, I have the feeling dinner will be later than grandpa wants as he IS on his way home now. I am very excited about doing these challenges to see where I can improve my preperations.

  • Peggy

    Oh, I have learned so much already–last year I discovered powdered eggs (nope, I really didn’t know they existed before!). Breakfast would be cereal, oatmeal, peanut butter, eggs, pancakes, fruit. Lunch could be mac & cheese, canned meat (chicken, ham etc), canned veggies, canned soup, beans, spaghetti. We always have trail mix handy. We have worked hard recent months to learn to eat “real food” as opposed to “store-bought” canned & processed. Makes me sad to see how much I am relying on store-bought cans, and with no freezer — I can see home canning in my future! Thanks everyone for sharing comments, I am getting so many good ideas and learning again

  • Kathy

    I just love these challenges. I had everything all laid out for 7 days, when my sweet daughter came in and put it all away. Thinking she was helping me by “clearing up”. After I explained, we had fun pulling it all out again & setting it on the counter. We did discover that I did not have enough water set out for both cooking & drinking. I forgot about needing water for rehydrating! Anyway, everything is set for the week. If only I had counter space now…..

  • Tracie

    Did well with this challenge today. Breakfasts were oatmeals(2x), cereal, muffins,pancakes, bacon hash browns,eggs, toast and jam.Lunches were tuna sandwiches, frank and beans, pasta salad with chicken, mac and cheese, falafel, and chicken noodle soup ( all rounded out with cut up veggies from the garden, canned fruit or fresh and crackers). Dinners were ham soup with cornbread, beef stew with rolls, chicken curry over rice, potato soup, tacos, chicken alfredo pasta and salmon patties(rounded out with canned veggies or garden veggies). Snacks were pop corn, pretzels, canned or fresh fruit, graham crackers or cut up veggies. Having canned meats, condensed milk , almond milk (shelf stable), soy flour as an egg substitute and dehydrated and freeze dried foods made this easy and quick. Have a variety of juices and drink mixes like tang and lemonade so drinks would be easy. I was surprised though at how much my children like dairy and think I should look into things like sour cream mix, more dried milk and dehydrated cheese which would have added more to some of the meals. Our oldest daughter made dinner tonight which was home canned soup, cornbread and cupcakes for dessert.

  • Emily

    I just found your blog tonight and don’t actually have time to put anything together before a meeting, but I have some serious work cut out for me. I know that I would not be able to complete this challenge, especially not within the one hour time frame listed. This gives me a lot to think about tonight!

  • Keera Jones

    This is something I work really hard on because it makes my life easier. I have three kinds of easy, low prep meals: mylar meals-everything sealed in the bag with directions on the package, 3 mo. food storage meals that are in the cupboard with the recipes on the door, and freezer crockpot meals (that don’t count for this). This week: chicken rice casserole, taco soup, bean burritos, enchiladas, tortilla soup, skillet lasagna. Breakfast: oatmeal, scrambled eggs, pancakes, muffins, quick bread, canned fruit. Lunch- keep simple with sandwiches, tortillas with whatever in them, canned soup. The one problem I am running in to is that I don’t digest wheat or white rice very well. But, they are good for long term storage. Any other ideas? Also, has anyone tried to can hamburger?

    • Tina Rousseau

      I am gluten intolerant and store Sorghum and Amaranth (you can get Amaranth from Thrive in the #10 cans). You will need some good gluten free recipes and you might need to store Xanthan Gum and Tapioca or potato starch for your bread to turn out right. Check out Gluten Free Goddess for some amazing recipes or Elana’s pantry or Chef Tess Bakeress. Chef Tess also has some amazing meals in a jar recipes.
      I have never canned hamburger but I have heard two opinions about it. One person only cans raw hamburger in pint jars. The meat will be in one large clump when you want to use it so you will have to cut it out of the jar. I assume a wide mouth jar would be best for this. The other person doesn’t like the texture of the raw pack and only cans cooked hamburger.

    • Jaclyn Wade

      I can hamburger in a few ways, raw. Seasoned like meatloaf. Meatballs in various sauces-brown, tomato, mushroom, plus some in just broth. Stew meat also cans up great!.

    • Grimm

      I home can meatballs, meatloaf, beef taco meat etc. Give it a try.

    • Keera Jones

      Thank you for these ideas! Its time to get brave 🙂

  • Dani

    I was confident at my ability to eat from the pantry for a week (we’ve done it as frequently as needed in the past), but I was pleasantly shocked to arrive home from work and find my husband had assembled 5 nights of well-balanced dinners all on his own! He had them grouped on the counter, and I admit he has earned much admiration on this task.
    Even better, we agreed to revisit our storage system later in the week, when we can both brainstorm ideas to simplify access and rotation. Glad to be in the “lifeboat” together!

  • Mecrawf

    I mostly learned about my water storage today. We live off of our food storage so today’s challenge was actually pretty quick for us. What I did learn is that I need 4 1/2 gallons of water a week and right now I have 4 gallons. So if there is a blizzard or anything that would confine me to my house for a week or less, I feel confident that I can handle it. I do need to beef up my water storage but for now, I’m doing good 🙂

  • joan coursien

    This was fun……………but hubby just made our supper from day # 7 and I have to go eat

  • Amberlynn Allred

    I am surprised at how low stress today’s challenge is for me….
    For Breakfasts there is the choice of Cream of Wheat, Oatmeal, Cold Cereal, scrambled eggs (from canned egg powder), Pancakes, waffles, Hash browns, and Toast (with homemade bread). All can be served with powder milk, Juice mix, and/or Canned fruit.
    For Lunches there is a choice of Mac and Cheese, Ramon Noodles, Peanut butter and jam sandwiches, or Canned soups. All can be accompanied by various canned veggies and fruits.
    For Dinners
    Day 1: Spaghetti using canned sauce
    Day 2: Sloppy Joe’s using canned beans and canned meat
    Day 3: Chicken Noodle soup using canned chicken, carrots and dehydrated celery
    Day 4: Taco Soup using all canned ingredients
    Day 5: Chicken Alfredo using canned chicken (or Alfredo w/out chicken)
    Day 6: Chili with canned beans, tomatoes, meat, etc.
    Day 7: Hawaiian Hay stacks with dry gravy mix, canned chicken, canned tomatoes, canned olives, canned mandarin oranges, canned pineapple, and coconut.
    I even have the ingredients for some desserts such Apple Crisp (made from scratch), Peach cobbler, and various cake and cookie mixes.

  • Courtney Emberlin Schloss

    This was a great challenge and really opened my eyes to what I need to store to make my family happier:) Dehydrated cheese!! breakfast:cereal, pancakes, waffles, toast with jam Lunch: tuna and crackers, pb&J, mac and cheese, pasta with butter
    Dinners: (this was the hardest for me because I rely on my freezer for a lot of my meat) indian fry bread with refried beans, chicken tacos with homemade tortillas, spaghetti, chicken enchiladas with homemade tortillas, hawaiin haystacks, meatless chilli, chicken tortilla soup. Looking forward to tomorrows challenge!!!

  • Jenny Osorio

    I love this challenge! I am now making list for our er kits. Thanks!


    Powdered eggs and canned peaches

    toast and canned apricots

    oatmeal – instant kind

    cereal and powdered milk

    pancakes – add H2O, with honey

    granola and canned pears

    Muffins you just add H20

    Breakfast bars with apple sauce


    Almond butter and jam cracker sandwiches (my kids think is fabulous 😉 w/ raisins

    Texas trash – black eyed peas canned, Italian salad dressing, mexistyle canned corn with tortilla chips

    Trail Mix – almonds, dried fruit, and some chocolate chips

    Mac n cheese – just add water kind, canned mixed veggies

    Tuna lunches – can of tuna, packets of mayo, packets of relish, and crackers

    Canned soup with saltines.

    Omelet – powered eggs, and fd veggies.


    Chili – cans white and red kidney beans, canned tomatoes, canned ground beef, salt and pepper, chili powder, and tortilla chips

    Sketti – noodles, canned sauce, canned ground beef (optional), seasoning, canned green beans

    Hootanani – powdered eggs, powdered milk, sugar, vanilla, syrup, canned peaches

    Chicken n rice casserole – canned chicken, cream of mushroom, onion soup mix, rice, canned corn.

    Hay stacks – rice, canned pineapple, craisins, cream of mushroom, canned chicken, coconut.

    Tacos – refried beans, fd cheese, canned tomatoes, fd sour cream. canned veggies.

    Beef strog – fd beef, can cream of mushroom, fd mushrooms and noodles. canned green beans.

    Treats – granola bars, fruit leather, boxed brownie mix, pumpkin chocolate chip muffins – one can pumpkin, one box yellow cake mix, handful of chocolate chips (just made this this weekend, huge hit!)

  • Elizabeh Fogle

    OH MY! I can’t believe how much my family would starve. Not being able to use the freezer or fridge was killer! Every other day for breakfast was cereal, the other day was oatmeal. Since we have chickens hard boiled eggs, and fruit were for lunch.
    We have applesauce or peaches canned and waiting. Dinners were the Spaghetti, Chili, Pancakes and Eggs, fresh butchered Chicken, Potato Soup, and fresh butchered Rabbit.

    Its nice to know I completely failed, when I couldn’t use my freezer or fridge. Thanks for today’s challenge!

  • Kimberly Landry

    B pancakes, oatmeal, cream of wheat, powdered eggs,
    L pretty easy, everyone love peanut butter and jelly.
    Salad and canned chicken
    S Canned chicken, mashed potatoes and veggies
    Tuna casserole
    Mac n cheese and veggies
    Spaghetti, canned ham, veggies and breadsticks
    Soup and biscuits
    Chili and cornbread
    Rice, canned roast beef, biscuits and veggies
    Snacks. Popcorn, cookies, canned fruit, dumpcake with canned fruit,
    Hot cocoa with marshmellows
    Breakfast will be multiple days on things.
    My son can cook all of these…

  • Tari Stevens York

    After 45 minutes this is what I came up with:
    Day 1 B: Oatmeal with raisins and powdered milk
    L: PBJ’s (I included ingredients for making bread) and powdered milk
    D: Canned Stagg chili and cornbread using canned milk and powdered eggs

    Day 2 B: Pancakes and eggs(powdered) and milk(powdered)
    L: mac n cheese using pow’d milk and coconut oil, canned green beans and pears
    D: Enchilada soup w/ canned chicken and mixed fruit

    Day 3 B: Cream of Wheat using pow’d milk
    L: Spaghettios and applesauce
    D: Tuna Helper Tetrazinni, canned peas and tropical fruit, and german choc. cake from mix

    Day 4 B: breakfast burritos using pow’d eggs and pow’d milk
    L: tomato soup, fruit snacks, and bread
    D: spaghetti and pears

    Day 5 B: scrambled eggs and toast and milk and grapefruit
    L: Chicken noodle soup and dried cranberries
    D: minestrone soup w/ pineapple tidbits

    Day 6: B: granola and milk
    L: Barrilla’s Fusilli, applesauce and canned carrots
    D: Lipton rice mix, baked yams, green beans and apple crumble using canned apples

    Day 7 B: Waffles, scrambled eggs and milk and dried apricots
    L: Lipton noodles, dried apples, and grape juice
    D: Canned whole chicken, instant mashed potatoes, gravy packet, green beans and peaches

  • Mane

    We have a fair amount if time covered with canned goods and other stored food.
    But most of the meals will need me to prepare them… So for hubby and kiddo’s with no cooking skills whatsoever:
    Breakfast suggestions:
    – Crackers with peanut butter of jam/jelly
    – Scrabled eggs from powdered eggs with home canned bacon
    – Pancakes
    and some of these meals twice that week.
    No home made bread because hubby will not be able to do it.

    – Canned soups
    – Ramen noodles with dehydrated veggie mix from the pantry
    – Canned chilli
    – Tuna tortillia’s with freeze dried unions, mayo and herbs from the pantry
    – if possible, leftovers from the past day
    and otherwise some of these meals twice that week
    – Curried chicken over rice (home canned chicken, store bought canned curry sause, rice and canned beans
    – Macaroni, home canned tomatoe sauce with basil, home canned ground beef.
    – Tortillia’s with canned chili
    – Canned hamburgers, mashed potatoes (instant from box), canned carrots & pea’s
    – Home canned potatoes: fried in oil, home canned red cale, canned goulash
    – Lasagna, using home canned beef, home canned tomatoe sauce, freeze dried broccoli, freeze dried mozzerella cheece, stored lasagna noodles and herbs from the pantry
    – Fried rice, home canned chicken from the pantry, dehydrated veggies
    All diners are quite easy to pull together because most of the food is already cooked.
    However, if I should have to leave on very short notice, I’m afraid that hubby will have lots of problems compiling real meals, simply because he never (ever) cooks.
    So, my job is to write down fool-proof instructions on how to prepare the meals I have in mind.
    Thanks for the heads-up. I guessed I got it all done by having the big stockpile, but if someone else but me needs to cook it up, the rest of the family is toasted.
    Love the challenge!

  • dorothy barron

    I didn’t realize just how prepared i was. My breakfasts were oatmeal. cream of wheat or blueberry muffins ( a mix that I made to make two muffins at a time. )
    lunches were:
    rice with beans
    peanut butter sandwiches
    baked beans on toast
    beanie wienies (home canned)
    chicken noodle soup (home canned)
    pancakes with syrup (syrup made with sugar and water)

    Dinners were:

    beef stew (I made from dry storage mixes)
    chicken rice soup from a dry mix
    taco soup made from storage mixes
    bean with bacon soup store bought cans
    meatloaf ( home canned) instant potatoes and home canned green beans
    spaghetti w/ canned sauce

    instant broccoli and cheese soup
    I will however have to try to make things in the pantry more accessible to make making the mixes more easily.

  • april hill

    Mine would be nad if they actually had to eat this since the meat is sparse, lol. 1)red beans with rice, canned peaches for dessert 2) fried sagehetti with mushrooms, canned pears 3)tuna helper and green beans 4)can chili andcornbread(mix) 5) clams, tomatoes, and pasta 6) fried spam with instant mashed potaoes, canned carrots 7) teriakyi noodles, mushrooms, carrots

  • Peggy

    I have an already packaged dehydrated meals bucket with 50 dinners ready to go. Does that count? they do not however contain meat. I am working on the canned meat thing.

    • Grimm

      I have the same. But I thought planning meals from my everyday pantry and my home canned foods would be easier for my family. If they had their way they’d get fast food for the 7 days I were gone!

  • Donna Fitzpatrick

    Wow! The dinners were the easy part for us… We normally don’t eat breakfast so that was a challenge, but I found that we had some individual packs of cereal and instant oatmeal as well as pancake mix and syrup from when my nephew went camping with us. I never realized that lunch would be the most difficult part! Thank goodness Scott and I both really like peanut butter and honey.
    Dinner menu:
    Day 1- Chicken & rice with canned corn (canned chicken)
    Day 2- Home canned Paleo Pork Green Chili with homemade Fry bread
    Day 3- Home canned Turkey & Veggie Soup with crackers
    Day 4- Home canned Ham & Beans with rice
    Day 5- Spaghetti w/meat sauce & canned green beans (Sauce and green beans are home canned)
    Day 6- Home canned Chili and crackers
    Day 7- Fettuccini & turkey in Garlic sauce (home canned turkey, canned butter, powdered milk)

  • Kim Gregorius

    I hope the person I am off to see really likes top ramen and canned peaches 😮 /

  • Laurel Nguyen

    I didn’t do very well! I realized that I have a lot of food, but not a lot that goes together to make meals. Well, that’s not completely true. I have about 2 months worth of food that is “just add water,” but the other staples I have aren’t complete meals. On the up side, I can make a lot of bread and put a lot of jam on it! We wouldn’t starve. 🙂

  • Veronica

    I’m so glad for this challenge! As I suspected, we would survive, but no one is going to be thrilled with the menu and we are seriously lacking in fruit and veggies, which needs to be remedied. This also renewed my desire to learn to can meat, as that alone would help make things more interesting. Here is our dinner menu:

    1. Seasoned rice with beans, pineapple, coconut, etc for topping
    2. 2 bean cornmeal pie
    3. Pasta and a jar of spaghetti sauce
    4. Black bean soup and cornbread
    5. Garlic salmon pasta with potatoes on the side
    6. Meatless chili and cornbread
    7. Instant mashed potatoes, stuffing, canned green beans

    We normally have things like oatmeal and toast for breakfast anyways and sandwiches for lunch. I have things like popcorn and can bake a number of different treats for snacks, but overall our diet is very grain-heavy and needs more variety! Thanks for the inspiration to take charge and get better prepared!

  • Grimm

    Here is what my menu looks like…

    cereal and powdered milk
    just-add-water muffins mix
    powdered eggs and canned bacon
    just-add-water pancakes mix
    Augason’s LT FD yogurt
    toast with homemade jam and powdered eggs

    peanut butter and jelly sandwiches
    canned hotdogs and baked beans
    canned chicken matzo ball soup
    canned chicken noodle soup
    mac and cheese
    canned ravioli
    canned chili

    pasta and canned meatballs
    canned meatloaf
    beef stew (made from all canned foods)
    canned chicken with pasta and Alfredo
    canned corned beef and canned veggies
    canned chicken fajitas
    rice and beans with canned veggies

    just-add-water brownies mix
    canned cake
    instant pudding
    instant jello
    Nutella on toast

    I could have cheated and said all meals are freeze dried meals by Wise Foods but why cheat?

  • Jaclyn Wade

    Well it took me almost 50 minutes to pull everything out from the pantry for someone else to fix. As well as jar up the dry goods. I normally just make my list over the weekend and the night before take out what I will need the following day. So here is my list. My milk and half n half is shelf staple cartons.

    B Waffles, syrup. OJ.
    L Vegetable soup with ABC pasta. Homemade rolls.
    D Feista Chicken over Egg noodles

    B Oatmeal with Apples, OJ
    L Chicken Broccoli Alfredo
    D Cheeseburger Stromboli

    B Grits with Sausage Gravy
    L Black Beans and Rice, Cornbread
    D Chicken Stew

    B Cold Cereal
    L Mac n Cheese with Peas n Carrots
    D Chipotle Beef over Rice

    B Blueberry Muffins
    L Spanish Rice Dish
    D Ham and Cheese Egg Rolls

    B Breakfast Bake
    L AuGratin Potatoes with Ham
    D Reuben Casserole

    B Pancakes, syrup. Applesauce
    L Tuna/Chicken Salad Sandwiches
    D Pork Marsala over Noodles

    That is what our menu is this week. I also have brownies and peanut butter cookie mixes ready to be mixed and baked.

  • Nikki

    Based on this scenario, I am set. The only leave behind meals would be for my dogs and cat. However asking one of them to prepare it would be a bit disastrous. Cat: Mwa ha ha ha, I now have the power. Dog 1: There is only enough food in the house for 1 day, we’re all going to starve. Dog 2: Eat, what’s eat, I just want to play, wait I’m hungry, where’s the food Dog 1? (Dog 1 looks sheepish). On second thought, I better ask my friend to dole out the meals.

  • Trisa

    7 dinner ideas:
    tamale pie & corn (cornbread mix, canned chili, cheese and corn)
    Hamburger helper & green beans (hamburger helper, canned beef and green beans, powdered milk)
    soup and tuna salad (canned tuna and soup, mayo, pickle relish, matzo crackers)
    Pizza (pizza mix, including sauce and cheese; parmesan, dried peppers and onions, canned olives)
    chicken alfredo (noodles, alfredo mix, canned chicken and green peas)
    beans and rice (pinto beans, cajun seasoning and rice)
    spaghetti (noodles, sauce, canned tomatoes and mushrooms, parmesan)

    Breakfast choices: cereal and powdered milk, muffins, pancakes, oatmeal, cream of wheat and granola/nutrigrain bars

    Lunch choices: boxed pasta salad and mac & cheese, ramen noodles, tuna salad cups with matzo crackers, soup with matzo crackers, Hormel compleats

    These ideas are just using shelf stable ingredients we use on a regular basis. We also have frozen food storage that the family would probably use while I was away. And in extreme emergencies, which the scenario was not, we have just add water meals.

  • Leigh

    I have teenagers who can cook, so they’d have meat & potato casserole (family recipe), chicken & noodles with mashed potatoes, pasta with meat sauce, chili, chicken casserole, ham & beans, and taco dip. They could supplement with canned fruit & veggies. Lunches would be canned pasta meals, Ramen noodles, Thrive Express meals, and canned soups. Breakfast would be oatmeal or pancakes with dried fruit and/or homemade fruit butter. And of course there’s always peanut butter!

  • Jessie Hannah

    Well today was interesting, because my family is myself, a two year old and a severely disabled five year old. But I started last week organizing my pantry stuff into meals so I refined that. I don’t have quite the diversity in my food preps yet that I want but that is part of why I am doing this challenge, to learn where my weaknesses are and improve.

    B-Farina with half can evaporated milk and dried blueberries
    L-half of a big can of Tuna, mayo, on home made bread
    D-Take tuna leftovers, pasta, evap milk leftovers, and a can of peas, grate wax preserved cheese quick dump and bake casserole

    B- Red wheat cereal, canned peaches, brown sugar
    L- Peanut butter sands on home made bread with apple sauce
    D-Spaghetti noodles and sauce in a casserole, top with cheese leftover from Monday

    B- Biscuits and gravy mix assembled with evap milk
    L- Half can of Canned chicken and mayo and nuts and crasins on home made bread
    D- Leftover chicken, noodles and dehydrated broccoli in pan, top with Parmesan and bread crumbs

    B-Cooked quinoa with strawberry applesauce mixed in, toast from home made bread
    L-Refried beans baked in muffin tins with cheese on top crackers on the side
    D-Ham, other half of the cheese, home made egg powder, and corn in a cassarole

    B:I dont know if this is cheating but I have home assembled pumpkin muffin kits for breakfasts Today I would make that, or assemble it from dry ingrediant stores if that conforms with the rules better. I would serve it with mixed fruit medley
    L-Canned beef, canned kidney beans, seasonings, and baked cheese (our answer to grilled cheese) sandwiches
    D-Dehydrated egg powder, water, dehydrated bell peppers, can of corn, cooked rice, to make stir fry

    B-One box of scalloped potatoes, egg powder, water, dehydrated bell pepper top with cheese. Breakfast cassarole

    L- Canned salmon made into patties with cracker crumbs, egg powder and a little water, served with canned green beans
    D-Canned beans, dry rice, canned peas, seasonings for stew

    B- Egg powder scrambled eggs with nutritional yeast and dehydrated bell peppers
    L- macaroni noodles, powdered cheese, evap milk, top with bread crumbs and bake
    D- Home canned tomato soup, baked cheese sandwiches

    Notes after thinking through this list:
    I limited myself to fifteen minutes or less total cooking interaction time, hence I favored bakable things. My grid down plan for that is a solar oven OR a dutch oven on my Colman stove OR my column cooker. Or even an open fire. So I felt pretty confident that was the way to go. Except for the scrambled eggs all of this can be made in an oven or a dutch oven and baked eggs would be good too.

    I also shot for no repeat foods and almost no repeat meats or veggies. In reality my kiddos probably would not embrace quite that much diversity but I wanted to challenge the diversity of my food storage in this challenge and I was pleasantly surprised! I’ve only been at food storing for six months but I am doing ok. 🙂

    I also realized three days ago, along the lines of this challenge, that I need to make and test a food storage cookbook. A project I started yesterday. So today, since I have no hubby to cook, I will be test driving some recipes from my book.

    I think moving forward having more things in kits, boxes? bags? (I need to research options) where you just pull a box out and it has everything would be amazing. I just heard about pantry kits yesterday and I am excited to try to build some. I am going to gather supplies for those, may wait til the end of the challenge to go to the store and purchase containers though.

    Good challenge, discovered a great recipe today, looking forward to the rest of the day on this plan and the rest of the challenge.

    PS Is this comment all we need to do to enter?

  • Dorothy

    Hubby and I are both 78 yrs old and we live off our storage and replace as needed. I have lots of meals in a jar on the shelves plus canned meats and veggies from our garden and rabbit pens plus hamburger, chicken and broth. My hubby can cook as well as I can especially if just cooking for himself so this is really no challenge for us. Either of us could put meals together for a week with out changing our diets one bit, other than I would have to start using the canned butter and cheese insstead of out of the fridge and freezer. And we would eat ONLY canned meats instead of out of the freezer. I even have the jars and lids on standby so I can take my meat out of the freezer and grab my pressure canner and go out to our camp trailer and using the propane stove can it all up so I don’t loose anything when the power does go down for a long time.

    • Keera Jones

      That is awesome that you have canned meat. The only one I have tried is chicken. What meats have you canned? Any tips?

  • Elaine

    My menu consists of meals made with FD or dehydrated ingredients. Dinner meals have a full serving of veggies per person, plus meat and starch, making them a complete meal.
    Added bonus: except for the Keema, they’re all one-pot, no-fuss, heat
    retention meals that even a person with very little cooking skill can easily prepare! The menu for
    the week is:

    Coconut Chicken Curry-Biryani (Indian dish of green beans and chicken mixed in with saucy-spicy rice)
    Fancy Mac and Cheese (with ham and broccoli)
    Burgundy Beef Stew (includes potatoes)
    Mahloubi (Middle Eastern dish of chicken, mixed vegetables, and rice)
    Spinach and Sausage Penne Pasta (creamed spinach with sausage and penne)
    Keema (Pakistani ground beef stew served over rice)
    Chicken Voila (chicken with cheesy noodles and broccoli, carrots, and corn; just like the frozen dinner-in-a-bag, except better)

    For breakfast: oatmeal served with various fruits; also available: egg powder, vegetables, and recipes to make a variety of egg dishes

    For lunch: leftovers, as well as chicken or ham salad (made from FD meat and buttermilk powder), and several different soups.

    All my recipes are gathered together so hubby can consult them if needed. Plus, all jars have prep instructions written on them.

  • Leesa

    Breakfast and lunches are also complete. For my dinners I have on the shelf: 1) Chicken Salsa Soup 2) Apricot Chicken 3) Shepard’s Pie 4) Poppyseed Chicken 5) Tacos 6) Spaghetti 7) Rigatoni with Bacon. It has been my goal this summer to make these meals and others shelf stable. I have canned chicken, taco meat, salsa, hamburger, spaghetti sauce, etc… so all of these meals would be to open jars and/or packages and heat.

  • judy

    I’m a bit confused here. Everyone has a food storage designed to their personal needs and those of their family. Taking into consideration the fact that unexpected events will come up at anytime most of us have planned for such things so that the family is impacted the least. I have Mountain House prepared meals, home canned meals, and also basic food storage such as flour rice, milk and so on. If I was living out of my storage ( which I have had to many times and I was at home I would use the basics along with home canned, but if I had to leave for a week then my plans would be for my family to use the just add water or open the jar and heat. Especially if we could not use refrigeration . My family could choose what ever they would like for their meals, from fresh eggs from the chickens, or dry cereal, canned milk, or powdered milk, home canned soup, spaghetti and meatballs, (home canned), dried chicken and noodles, canned ground beef and packaged stroganoff. and many other rice and noodle and potato fixings. So they are all good to go, and I have taught all my family to cook and to read directions ! Now to live my life during hard times , from my food storage, I wouldn’t even try to do everything from scratch if I was leaving them for a week.

  • Gabby

    We live kind of basic and I did an exercise with a friend of mine a few months back doing meals in a jar, and that helped a lot.
    I did full days, since we are at home most of the day usually. It did take me a little longer than an hour…it took me 16 extra minutes to complete and I realized I had forgotten the dogs, so I did a week of meals up for them too with snacks.
    My meats are home canned or store bought canned. Veggies are the same way. And our garden is producing right now, though very little as it’s still young for the fall. And I always, always have my sprout trays full of all kinds of salad and bean sprouts.

    Day 1. Mountain House eggs and bacon, coffee or tea
    Day 2. Cereal with powdered milk, coffee or tea
    Day 3. All Day MRE Breakfast portion
    Day 4. Powdered scrambled eggs, corned beef hash, coffee or box juice
    Day 5. Muffins with milk or coffee
    Day 6. Cereal with powdered milk, coffee or tea
    Day 7. Oatmeal with dried apples, powdered milk, brown sugar, coffee or tea

    Day 1. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, juice box and a snack
    Day 2. Hormel Ready Meals, canned veggies, juice box and a snack
    Day 3. All Day MRE Lunch portion
    Day 4. Tuna Salad sandwiches (mayo in packets) with 3 bean salad, juice box and a snack
    Day 5. Black beans and rice with spam, juice box
    Day 6. Canned soups with crackers, juice box and a snack

    Day 7. Chili with potatoes and Velveeta cheese, canned cauliflower juice box

    1. German Chocolate cake (powdered eggs & coconut oil) with frosting
    2. Peanuts
    3. Slim Jims
    4. Dry fruits and nuts
    5. Chewing gum

    Day 1. Chicken Alfredo with mushrooms, garden fare, tea or water
    Day 2. Split Pea Soup with crackers, garden fare, tea or water
    Day 3. All Day MRE Dinner portion
    Day 4. Tacos with refried beans and canned tomatoes, Velveeta cheese, salsa, tea or water
    Day 5. Salmon cakes (powdered eggs), scalloped potatoes (box), canned green beans, tea or water
    Day 6. Red beans & rice with turkey spam, garden fare, tea or water
    Day 7. Chicken & rice with canned veggies, garden fare, tea or water

  • ang8kids

    Are we supposed to actually use these for the rest of the week, or just today, but be able to “plan and prepare?”

  • Jen

    With an hour to pack this is what I would bring :
    Peanut butter and jelly and crackers.
    Baggies of soup mix.
    Dried fruit.
    For dinners hubby can rehydrate some jerky for stew with the soup mix.
    Tuna pouches with noodles.
    With the little inventory we have I would probably choose the most protein and vitamin intensive foods .

    This is a great challenge because I don’t want to spend my whole hour on this. Definitely going to devote time to make this issue easy while remembering that there are going to be situations where making a meal is just one of the many issues to face.

  • Robin

    I don’t think it’s restricting “ready to use” meals. To me it reads that you have to leave ready to make meals behind for your family to eat so it’s easy and self explanatory…no hunting for ingredients. They’re “ready to make” so whether you compile them in a bag yourself or they’re ready for your family straight from the can it seems like it counts to me. After all that’s why I buy those things.

  • Robin

    So I’m planning on doing this but I have to go to the store now as my three year old has stuffed the bathroom sunk with all kinds if food and nothing is getting it loose. Can i still do it?

  • Vicki

    Breakfasts: 1.) Multigrain pancake mix with instant milk. 2.) Malto meal with instant milk and raisins. 3.) Scrambled (powdered) eggs and sausage (freeze dried). 4.) Instant oatmeal with instant milk. 5.) Omelets in a ziplock with powdered scrambled eggs and whatever freeze dried veggies and meat they like. 6.) Cold cereal with instant milk and freeze dried fruit. 7.) Waffles with the multigrain pancake mix.

    Lunches: 1.) Tuna casserole (Tuna, Cream of Mushroom soup, and pasta). 2.) Home canned stew with crackers. 3.) Peanut butter and Jelly on crackers. 4.) Stroganoff (Freeze dried ground beef, freeze dried onions, cream of mushroom soup, Sour cream powder+water, pasta. 5.) Chicken noodles with canned chicken and old fashioned noodles with chicken bouillon. 6.) Spaghetti (canned spaghetti sauce, and pasta). 7.) Chili mac (box of mac and cheese with a can of chili.

  • Okiesister

    DH does a lot of the cooking here, and we use FD and dehydrated items daily. I did get a 7 day menu together, and I will do most of the cooking this week for a change. We eat hot cereal every day so breakfast is covered. 4 dinners came from 100-Day Pantry cookbook. DH cooks on the fly, but I usually need recipes. These are recipes we haven’t tried, and with me cooking this will be an interesting week!

    Lesson for the day: inventory and MAP where your items are! Still can’t find the water chestnuts needed for a recipe. They’re here somewhere! Oh, and always have a backup can of FD mushrooms! They have been shipped, so those meals will have to wait until later in the week. Yummmm!

    Great challenge! Now I am going on to see if I can make a 30 day menu from storage. Thanks for the nudge!

  • Susan L

    I can’t believe I let this week come without having chocolate chips in store.

    • Jessie Hannah

      I know right? I was thinking the same thing. I do however have bakers chocolate and all the stuff to make lava cake so I am less sad then I could be lol

    • Holly

      We all need chocolate from waiting 22 days for this to start! My son had brownies for breakfast, Mom of the YEAR! 🙂 Chocolate food group, check, meal complete. Six more days of chocolate therapy, pace yourselves. hahaha

    • Milenda

      I have them, but can’t eat them on our current diet!! (probably why they are still here. LOL)

  • Mama L

    7 Dinners, easily made on a regular basis by my DH who loves to cook. Our garden is still in full production so I have added “if garden veggies allowed” but have also indicated alternate in case we can’t use any fresh veggies.

    Monday Chicken Pot Pie:

    home canned chicken, home canned garden potatoes/carrots/parsnips, Thrive freeze dried celery, dehy onions, white sauce (butter/oil, flour, powdered milk), home made biscuit topping (flour, butter/refrigerated olive oil (goes solid!), baking powder, salt, dry milk, water).

    Tuesday Spaghetti with Meat/Veggie Sauce, Garlic Bread:

    dry pasta, home canned sauce of tomatoes, hamburger, onions, garlic, celery, carrots, zucchini, Italian seasoning) with home made bread from freezer spread lightly with with garlic butter/refrigerated (solid!) olive oil). If fresh garden veggies allowed, add Caesar Salad of Romaine lettuce and bottled dressing.

    Wednesday Frozen Bean Burritos:

    home made tortillas, rice, home canned black beans, canned corn, home canned chili starter (kinda like salsa–tomatoes, onions, peppers, chilis, cumin, garlic).

    Thursday Beef Stew:

    home canned beef chunks, home canned garden potatoes, carrots, parsnips, green beans, dehy onions, freeze dried celery, all liquid from canned items, home canned tomato sauce, bit of flour to thicken, home made buns.

    Friday Salmon Patties:

    Canned salmon, mashed potatoes (from box, made up with dry milk), dehy onion, freeze dried celery, olive oil, dijon mustard, bread crumbs. Eat with rice and if garden veggies allowed, baked garden squash, otherwise use home canned squash chunks baked with butter/oil and bit of brown sugar.

    Saturday Shepherd’s Pie:

    home canned hamburger, dehy onions, freeze dried celery, home canned carrots, home canned baked beans (in tomato sauce), box mashed potatoes for topping (made with dry milk). If garden veggies allowed, add green salad of lettuce, tomatoes, cukes and bottled dressing.

    Sunday Chicken Curry:

    home canned chicken, dehy onions, home canned mango chutney, curry powder, with rice and garden cauliflower (if allowed) and home canned green beans.

    • Mama L

      1) Oatmeal with dry milk, raisins, dry milk
      2) Home made bread toast, peanut butter, home made jam
      3) Home made granola with dry milk or home made yogurt
      4) Waffles or pancakes with home canned fruit and maple syrup
      5) Cream of Wheat cereal with honey and dry milk
      6) Smoothie of home made yogurt, peanut butter, and home canned fruit
      7) “Ova Easy” scrambled eggs, shelf stable Maple Leaf cooked bacon, home made bread toast.

      • Mama L

        Lunches (hot lunches easily carried to school in Thermos)

        1) Home canned veggie beef soup with crackers
        2) Home canned baked beans (on toast or with crackers)
        3) Tuna sandwiches
        4) Dinner leftovers
        5) PB&J sandwiches
        6) Home canned tomato soup with crackers
        7) Dinner leftovers

      • Mama L

        Ugh, that first breakfast should read Oatmeal with brown sugar, raisins, dry milk. Early morning brain fart, my apologies 🙂

    • Hilary

      Great menu, but i noticed it says only shelf stable foods that don’t need to be refrigerated.

      • Mama L

        Hi, I noted alternates if the garden veggies are not allowed 🙂

        • Mama L

          Oh, and we pick/pull veggies as needed/ready for picking so we either can the excess or eat what we pick every day. Nothing goes into the fridge.

  • Judy

    My only child would have to go with me because he is too young to take care of himself when the hubby is at work. The hubby is an adult and knows how to cook. Mountain House meals…add water. Done.

    • Susan L

      It says leave behind “ready to cook” meals in your food storage. I would count mountain house meals in that. I think the purpose of this challenge is to get you to come up with recipes using your other food storage. It’s not much of a challenge if you’re only adding water.

      • Judy

        I thought the “challenge” was to be prepared. What is more prepared than having easy, quick meals? In fact, it’s probably the most prepared you can be. Our Mountain House meals are in a backpack so they are ready to go at a moment’s notice even if we want to bug out. And if he doesn’t want the Mountain House meals, he can open a can. Either way, we’re covered on this one.

      • Robin

        Leave behind as in for your family not leave them out of the challenge. At least that’s how I understood it upon reading that sentence.

  • Paul

    Not sure this counts as I have no family to leave behind. In this scenario the wife would just come along with me. But for the sake of argument lets say she stayed home. Meals would be pretty straight forward. Greenhouse has all the fresh veggies and herbs she could want. For variety we have a large supply of canned foods that she could pick from if she didn’t feel like actually preparing anything. Since she is the one that prepares most of the meals anyway this would be no different than any other day really.
    Now the better challenge would have been for the primary food preparer to have left for the week!

    • Joanne

      Well then, why not pretend that the primary food preparer HAS left for the week and make the challenge fit your situation. How would you cope without her for the week using your food storage?

      • Great suggestion Joanne. We definitely try to encourage people to adjust the challenges to fit their personal situations while still learning the lesson we are teaching or practicing that day!

        • Paul

          If my wife left for a week it would be “guy time”! Oh wait.. did I say that out loud? LOL.. In all honestly though we live out in the mountains partly off grid going completely off grid 🙂 Living off the land and storage is pretty sop. Same thing as I noted above though, greenhouse and hit the canned stuff if I didn’t feel like cooking or grilling. Could walk down the canyon and bag a turkey and toss it in the solar oven too.

  • Cindy Merkley

    Am I allowed to use food in my fridge and freezer? I wasn’t sure if I understood that correctly.

    • No fridge or freezer food. You have been living on your food storage and have none on hand 😉 plus the items need to be prepared and ready to go in the pantry.

      • Rhiannon Ceilidh Rees

        I miss butter already!

  • Jennie Cooper

    Our food security plan involves livestock, so we have fresh eggs and milk coming in every day, and also plenty of meat. Lots is frozen, but we have chickens and rabbits that could be killed for same-day meals if the freezers were not usable. At least half of the family members, too, are capable of milking the cows and/or harvesting a fresh chicken, as well as preparing meals, running the household and taking care of younger siblings. Both my husband and I could step out right now for a week – or more! – and everything would run like clockwork. The only potential hardship in this “hard times” scenario for us would maybe be purchasing livestock feed, but all the animals could also live well off the surplus milk for a while, in addition to what they could forage. The cows would need supplementary hay to keep up their production, but we stockpile that in May and have plenty. So, basically, I could step out on short notice with zero prep and life would go on with no changes!

    • alaska_carol

      We have critters as well. If we didn’t use the fresh milk and eat the eggs… they would quickly go bad and possibly cause illness if eaten. I am trying to find creative ways to save surplus milk for our goat’s dry period.

      • Jennie Cooper

        Eggs last for at least two weeks without refrigeration, and I’ve read about a way to safely pressure can milk, but I haven’t tried it. Anyway, if you don’t have electricity to power the fridge for more than a few days, chances are the whole area is in a bad way, and your surplus, if it wasn’t feeding other livestock, could be used as charity or for barter. The only really practical way I know of to preserve milk sans refrigeration, though, is to make cheese. 🙂

        • alaska_carol

          We have just started to learn to do that … early experiments have been quite tasty! I want to order some of the culture to give the cheese the fabulous taste of cheddar or Gouda or other yuminess 🙂

          In the event of a long term power out scenario – I hope to trade the spare milk and eggs for other needed items.

  • Guest

    So, I thought I read somewhere “gourmet” storage was off limits; is that correct? Or can we use already prepared dry mixes, boxed items, and things like Mountain House for some of the meals? Just want to make sure I am understanding the restrictions and following accordingly.

    • Susan L

      My understanding is that those are off limits. I think the “ready to cook” meals includes just adds water meals.

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