The 7 Day Challenge: DAY 7 (SUNDAY)

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.

day1title

Truckers across the nation are striking and it looks like it will last for at least several months. No food or fuel items will be coming into your town at all in the near future. It’s time to get organized, assess your supplies, and make a game plan for the next few months.
Goal: Do a food storage inventory and make a future plan

Today’s Tasks:

  • Organize your kitchen pantry and any food storage areas in your home
  • Inventory your long term food storage items (you may use our calculator)
  • Inventory your three month supply items (you may use our worksheet)
  • Determine how long you will be able to survive without buying more food
  • Make a complete list of what you would still need to buy (long term AND three month supply) to complete your storage goals
  • Take a look at your supply of non-food items, how long would your toilet paper, laundry detergent, toothpaste, deodorant, etc. last. Make a list of all the items you buy on a regular basis at the store and tally it up. Use your daily report card to make lists of what you want to stock up on and how much you would need
  • SHARING TIME: Take before and after pictures of your pantry or food storage room and share them on our Facebook page or on Instagram (use tags @foodstoragemadeeasy and #FSME7daychallenge) or write up a summary of your activities in the blog comments or on our Facebook discussion thread today.

Today’s Limitations:

  • For this day, and ALL days of the challenge: no spending money, no going to stores, and no restaurants … UNTIL YOU ARE FINISHED!

Advanced Tasks:

  • Make cute labels for your buckets, shelves, etc. (label tutorial | bucket labels)
  • Review all of your week’s report cards and compile them into one list of future things to do/buy


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.

DAILY GIVEAWAY

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 info@foodstoragemadeeasy.net

day6prize

TODAY’S PRIZE
2 Cansolidator Pantry Organizers from Thrive Life (great for organization and rotation in your pantry)

TODAY’S WINNER: AB , who commented this on the blog

Uncle! I saw this challange and thought, great I already inventoried my long term storage and organized my pantry just recently, this should be easy. I started inventorying my regular pantry at about 8:30 it’s now ten of 4 and I’m about half way done. (Ok I could be done if I wasn’t trying to mark down expiration dates, but then it’s less useful.) I’m going to cheat and go for a latte while my cell phone recharges. (I am using a free app to do the inventory.) On the bright side several about to expire items have determined what we are having for dinner. My husband is being his usual button pushing self and said he removed 5 items from the pantry and I have to guess which ones. I think our storage is at about 6-9 months depending on calorie requirements. Thanks for the challenge. Hopefully I will do better next year.

Please email us to make arrangements to get your prize at info @ foodstoragemadeeasy .net

  • syndie

    I did not do the challenge. But have been following it. Thanks for all the good ideas everyone. My Husband and I are both federal employees and have both been furloughed. This is where my challenge starts! No more spending money, living off of food storage, . Last time it was 21 days. You guys have tought me to start now and not waste one moment. Thanks for making me stronger. I know I can do this.

    • http://foodstoragemadeeasy.net Jodi and Julie

      Good luck Syndie! Thoughts and prayers with you both.

  • Margie

    We have been on a mini vacation this week but will be working on the challenge later this month. I know we are ok in food for several months as I have been working on it this past year. Water is my big issue, but I’m working on it. I look forward each time to these and the experiences. We were camping and had a “oh man the batteries are no good!” experience. Great time to check and replace all batteries. Even our stored ones in the camper had corroded, my husband thinks because they had been in there last winter when it froze. Lesson learned. Back up lights are a must with a toddler in the house. Don’t forget the sweets! Thanks again.

  • Amber

    Wow this would really affect my workplace. Like a lot of people I have no idea how long our food would last us. Just taking stock of what we have on hand for a week of shelf stable foods was an eye opener and so I am redoing my 3 month food storage plan. I just plugged in my one week plan of shelf stable foods into it. we weren’t far off from our original plan but this made me realize that I while I did pick foods we will all eat I need to make sure I have foods that we regularly eat so these items are more likely to be be in our pantry in an emergency and are easier to rotate through. Also when I went through last winter and typed up the three month food plan I was trying not to repeat items to avoid getting tired of the same ole same ole. I realized that right now I need to be more realistic as it is okay to do some repeating here and there. ( I just can’t have the same thing planned two days back to back as my husband gets repeat food exhaustion fasts where as I grew up with the same thing for breakfast 5 days a week until I was 18.) I also realized that i got burned out just trying to get the menu down and never typed up the ingredient list to go with it. So I am doing that for the first week worth of meals. I had to have some repeats, and since we have been very busy and have let our food storage slip but there is a decent variety. As far as inventor I have tried this in the past and always have gotten burned out in a few hours before i can even finish. Does anyone have any suggestions on this?

  • Jamie Sanborn

    Ok for 3months still need to work farther out. But didn’t realize how lacking on nonfood like tp & other items. Need to change short term plans

  • Jackie

    Interesting about the trucker strike in Oct.Where did you hear this? I hope everyone knows the stores only have a 3 day inventory. I heard on the news something about a power grid test by the end of the year in Texas.Thanks so much for the work ya’ll have done to help others. I need to figure a way to keep up with what I have in stock. I will be working on this next week.
    I would not mind doing this 2 times a year!

    • Trisa

      I wouldn’t mind a mini challenge once a month. Some sort of task to just help keep me on track.

  • RebeccaP

    Being in the military with a weight limit we have in the past tried to minimize our food storage so when we moved we weren’t packing up tons of food. We found that we weren’t happy with how we felt, sort of like we were using moving as an excuse. We always had at least a 3 month supply but not a year. Since then, we have just stocked up and feel blessed to have never surpassed our weight limit for moving. In assessing our supply I found that dairy is the area we struggle with most to store. I know we should store what we eat, but the idea of powdered milk, butter, etc. is unappealing. I guess I just have to remind myself if the worst happened it would be darn tasty. Thanks ladies for the challenges and how they made me reassess and ponder more our preparedness.

  • Gendot

    Thanks to Jodi and Julie for helping us assess our preps. Thanks to everyone who gave suggestions, which helps us all.
    One thing I have to suggest is to store electrolyte replacement ingredients with your bottled water, or stored water. There are several recipes on the internet, with most trying to copy Gatorade or pedialyte. Most have b. soda, salt, sugar, and a flavor adjuster, like
    honey, agave, jello, etc. I had originally put a small baggie with ingredients taped to bottled water, but in moving things around on the shelves these can get knocked off. I think it is better to mix ingredients together in a jar or Tupperware and put the ratio/recipe on the container. If you store regular Gatorade and are using it for a sick child be sure to start out with half G or G2, and half water, and feed in 1 oz per 15 minutes increments so that you lessen the chances of triggering more vomiting. Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, etc, so do what is right for your family.

    • Judy

      Here’s an oral rehydration recipe that I have in my survival notebook:
      Store 1 box of common table salt (sodium chloride), 2 containers of Lite salt (potassium chloride), 1 large box of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate), a set of measuring spoons, 18 lbs. white granulated sugar and 60 packets of an “invisible” flavor unsweetened Kool-Aid like lemon-lime, lemonade, etc. (do not use any Kool-Aid that’s colored red as it may show a false positive later in a bowel movement testing….note: I don’t know that this would matter in a survival situation!)
      FYI: Pedialyte has a shelf life of two years but the ingredients mentioned above will store indefinitely.
      To make the formula, add 1/2 tsp. table salt, 1/2 tsp. lite salt, 1/2 tsp. baking soda, 5 Tbsp. sugar, and 1/2 envelope of unsweetened Kool-Aid (to improve flavor) to 2 quarts of potable water and mix well. Measure ingredients carefully as too much sugar can make symptoms worse and too much salt can be harmful…if you are going to err, err on the side of less, not more. The water must be clean and free from contamination. Only make enough solution to last 24 hours at a time.

  • JM

    What a great capstone challenge for the week! First let me say THANK YOU both so much for running these challenges and for all the help you give us on your blog! You are changing lives for the better every day, which you might not realize. :)

    For our family – today’s challenge is a work in progress – I will email you the “before” pictures and will have to follow up with the “after” when we get done – bottom line: we have 3 months stored for 2 people, and are working to get that up to 6 months and then a year. We just added (yesterday) a 6 shelf chrome shelving unit to our spare bedroom to store solar oven, canning jars (and home-canned goods), freeze dried foods, wheat grinder, pressure canner, etc. Storage is a wonderful thing! I read your handout on small spaces (we live in a small house) so I cleaned out a coat closet last week and just this morning hubby got the table saw out and cut shelves and supports for us to repurpose that closet into food storage/grab and go storage. I just need to paint the shelves and supports, we will install them this week – yippee! I’ve saved your inventory worksheets and label tutorial/bucket labels and will be using them to label everything.

    This has been a great week of challenges for both hubby and I – we have talked through them every day and evening, he has helped do what he can to help, provide ideas and identify gaps, and it has not only been fun, but brought us closer too. :)

    Thanks again – can’t wait for next year! :)

  • AB

    Uncle! I saw this challange and thought, great I already inventoried my long term storage and organized my pantry just recently, this should be easy. I started inventorying my regular pantry at about 8:30 it’s now ten of 4 and I’m about half way done. (Ok I could be done if I wasn’t trying to mark down expiration dates, but then it’s less useful.) I’m going to cheat and go for a latte while my cell phone recharges. (I am using a free app to do the inventory.) On the bright side several about to expire items have determined what we are having for dinner. My husband is being his usual button pushing self and said he removed 5 items from the pantry and I have to guess which ones. I think our storage is at about 6-9 months depending on calorie requirements. Thanks for the challenge. Hopefully I will do better next year.

    • Jackie

      where did you get the free app?

  • frenchparents

    Yesterday we lived a real “emergency times”. Here in the Pacific Northwest we have had a big storm blow in. We checked the stream across from our home.The waters started to rise, thankfully we still have a pile of sand bags (just in case)

    Pulled out our emergency binder.

    My hubby and I brought in the box labeled light, just in case.

    We went over the contents with the kids, passed out flashlights.

    Sons brought in wood to last overnight for the fireplace. Husband checked generator and fuel, everything ok.Checked the bbq propane level.

    Threw some meat in the oven to cook, and a couple loaves of banana bread and a pan of cinnamon roll.

    Called mom and dad , they are ok and prepared.

    Pulled on rain boots and checked with neighbors. Took candles and matches with me for anyone who didn’t have any.

    Storm got worse,raining so bad the sidewalks disappeared and our lawn looked like a lake. The power went out.

    We ate roast sandwiches in front of the fire. Had hot chocolate and cinnamon rolls before bed. Everyone read books by firelight and flashlight and we went to bed. Luckily the power was on this morning, the water had receded a bit.Another storm is hitting us again to night.

    Very thankful we have planned and prepared. We can handle an emergency so much better if you know where everything is,its labeled and ready to get at, a checklist of what to do so you are not running around crazy..

    Gotta go cooking a chicken and baking bread. I’m thinking fresh bread with honey butter tonight, YUM!

    • Judy

      Eating the sandwiches in front of the fire, having hot chocolate and cinnamon rolls before bed, and reading by firelight sounds kind of fun! Stay safe!

  • Judy

    I’m wondering if there is a more accurate way to determine how much food you need. According to the standard in the calculator, my husband and I would need the same amount. He outweighs me by about 75 lbs. and eats quite a bit more than I do. Is there any calculator that bases this on weight or calories rather than just “adult” and “child”? I’m guessing we have about a year’s worth of food storage but I’m not really sure. I’m thinking about just taking 2/3 of the adult recommendation for myself but my husband just said that our 5 year old eats as much as I do. I don’t know.

    • Paul

      Not that I have ever seen. Don’t look at it as man vs woman or weight. In a crisis situation men and women will be burning calories about the same regardless of physical size. As for kids the rule of thumb is age 7. Less than 7 treat as a child and more than 7 treat as an adult. Kids will burn as much or even more calories than we do. Besides.. even if you have extra food from the calculators is that really a bad thing?

    • Amber

      When you are figuring long term food storage, keep in mind that the 300lbs of grains per adult and 60lbs of beans/legumes per adult for one year is ONLY THE BARE MINIMUM TO SURVIVE!! It is not to get full, or even stay the most healthy. It is to sustain life. If you break it down, 300lbs/365 days = a TOTAL of 0.82lbs of grains for the whole day per person. And 60lbs/365 days = a TOTAL of 0.164lbs of beans/legumes per person for the whole day. Most people eat more than that in a day. If your body needs more than that, then you will need to store more than that per your families needs. When figuring my children I just count them as adults, because before you know it they will be eating more, and it is better to store to much than not enough. I for sure would not store less than the recommended amounts per person as these numbers are just to sustain life. If you store more variety like milk, eggs, meats, fruits, vegetables, etc. It will make your food stretch and/or help you to have a complete and healthy diet. Also a side note I learned this week, is that one pound of dry beans is equal to 4-5 cans of 14-14.5oz canned beans. Glad to learn that, and just thought I would share….Hope this all helps :)

  • rachael wilkinson

    I have just compiled the list of all the secret stashes in the house. Non food storage we are good and food is 5 months! Yes! Thanks for the oppertunity to step up my preparedness with this week. It was an eye opener.

  • Trisa

    I will be late with inventory. It’s Sunday, church day. Because I teach, I am at church from 9:30-1:00. I get a few hours for lunch and family time, then turn around and go back to church at 5:00. Not nearly enough time to complete today’s tasks. But the organizing agenda is to steam clean the carpets in the extra room, and move shelving into the room so that food storage can be consolidated into one area. Currently it’s scattered in the garage, kitchen, dining, hall closet, master bedroom, closets and linen closet. It will be interesting to get it all in one place and see all that we truly have. I couldn’t guess at the amount of time we could live on our storage, although we’d like to have a year’s worth as a cushion should the garden fail to come in.

    While the challenge has been going, I have had to work around restrictions to preserve a bunch of produce we got from the high school. We’ve dehydrated jalapenos and pineapples, mangoes probably will get done tomorrow. And we’ve canned strawberry jam, amber pears (which taste like pear honey), pickled jalapenos and made tomato sauce. I still have apples, cantaloupe, watermelon, carrots, onions and potatoes to work with.

    Looking forward to next year’s challenge and being more prepared than this year!

  • Lin

    I heard there is a good chance there will be a truckers’ strike in mid October. I can last for three months, but I need to store more food for my dog and cat. Paper products okay, but may need some cleaning supplies. More water, too.

    • Paul

      I saw this too. In theory 11-13 October is the dates but we’ll see..

      • Jackie

        Where did you see this?

        • Paul

          Just google 2013 trucking strike. You’ll find several sources on it.

  • Dorothy

    As far as food goes we have our 2 year food storage in for the two of us. But are lacking in a few of the other things like TP and other paper supplies, but have a big package of cleaning rags that I got from Cosco and don’t plan to try to stock paper towels for long term.Actually they are just like the counter cloths we used to use in the cafe. Have lots of shampoo and bath soup on hand, might be a little short on the laundry soap. However my little hand oprated washing machine doesn’t take very much per load so it will last a good long time. I have been writing up a list of all the meals I can make with my food storage and it is absolutely amazing how many different ways you can cook beans and rice and oatmeal when you have home canned fruits and veggies to use with. and Also have canned meats. I also found that it really helps to have LOTs of hashbrown type potatoes on hand. They can be used so many different ways. Lots of pasta too since I have all that homemade speghetti sauce and tomato sauce. I started my list of meals and then just leave the tablet out on my desk and add to it as i think of new ones. I separate them into breakfast and dinner. I like to try new recipes too and if I make a new dish that we really like and find I don’t have a certain item in my storage it goes on the grocery list for that week. I always try to stay one year ahead on my canning so I have a good suppley to fall back on in case of a crop failure or worse yet for some reason I can’t do the canning that year. For instance we are starting to eat the food canned in 2012 now and the food canned in 2013 will be there for later use. My whole basement, which isn’t really all that big, is used for storage. My canned stuff is on shelves and my #10 cans are in a rack my hubby built, the buckets and other large containers are on racks on the floor. Sure is nice to go to your own “store” when you need something. lol

  • Gabby

    This one was needed since we had been eating quite a bit out of our storage this week. So that was good timing. Our stores are not all in once place, so what we have at our shelter in place home is about 6 months and that is encouraging. Our goal is to have 12 months so we are getting there. Thank you so much for all the challenges. It has been very eye opening and helpful. Funny little things and some big glaring ones. I look forward to doing it again next year….hopefully it will not be for real between times.

  • brendainminnesota

    A trucker’s strike is a very possible scenario. A little easier thinking of months of no incoming supplies if we have water and power. We would do pretty well except for canned meats which I have let dwindle and toilet paper! We love the 7 day challenge!! Thank you so much!

  • Vicki Ann Synovitz

    I have not posted daily but followed through with the challenge each day. My summary is that for my immediate family, overall, we can/will be in great shape if/when any of the scenarios present themselves with the exception of our water storage “crisis”…which we are correcting now. Even our 2 grandchildren supported the challenge…and our grandson is quite an old-soul pioneer! Our granddaughter commented that she was a little “done” with rice & beans for a while (with a grin). They both understand the value of being prepared for any situation.

    Thank you ladies for the great week of challenges…looking forward to next year’s!

  • Allison

    Our family has enjoyed What we’ve learned with these challenges. My daughter’s would ask every morning before school what the challenge was for that day. It helped us all think about possible scenarios and plan for them. For today’s challenge, I have an excel file that I print and update on hand quantities for each month. It shows what I have and what I need as the sales happen for that month. I also update the prices on those items once a year at Wal-Mart, costco and Sam’s club so that I have an idea on the best place to buy certain items as well as knowing if a sale item really is a good deal or not.

  • Tracie

    Thanks for running this week! Hubby actually said that he was glad that I had signed us up for it. He thought we were doing well on being prepared but this week has really shown us some gaps that need to be worked on. I asked the kids a few questions during breakfast like the best part, worst, things learned, what would have made some of the challenges easier for them and ways they thought we could do better. It was great to have their feedback too. As for todays challenge where did all the chocolate go? During my pantry inventory I found out that one of the many chocoholics in this family had eaten the stash (Ida Know and Not Me are alive and well at my house). So a Costco run is definitely on for the coming week. I had gotten lazy about my inventory so ongoing organizing is something I really need to address and design a better tracking system for all of us. Thanks again for doing this it’s been a real eye opener and given us a renewed focus on being prepared.

  • Beachy1mom

    I think we did real well with this years challenge. We decided to spend one day a month going through our food storage to see what it is we’re lacking. Starting the first of next month we will be storing more grains and bean type food storage. With learned a lot about different recipes to use with and without meat. Also foods that we can prepare rapidly. I think our food storage next year’s going to be a whole lot better than it’s been this year. We’re going to be more ready for next year’s food storage challenge then we were this year. Especially with bathing!

  • april hill

    Ive actually bwen working on oyrs fir a couple weeks. We lived on our storage so i def need to replenish just about everything!(and im celebrating by going out for breakfast lol)

  • Alicia

    We update our 3 month spreadsheet monthly and replenish accordingly. Thank you for sharing it, I love it!! With our current stores we have around 6 mos. of food on hand. We are going today after church to pick up our chicken coop. That’s our newest adventure on becoming self sustaining. We aren’t big bread eaters so I’m a bit stumped on the long term storage regarding grains. We have 45# of 7 grain mix and 45 # hard white wheat in buckets from 1999. We recently acquired a Country Living Mill and need to break that out and give it a try. Definitely need to figure out laundry supplies and paper needs.
    Thank you both so, so much for all the hard work you do! It is greatly appreciated.

    • Paul

      Grains don’t agree with everyone the same. I would suggest getting your hands on a variety of them and give it a try. Find the ones that agree with your body and store and learn to use those. We store hard red and white wheat, white and brown rice, rye, oats, barley and corn. Not crazy about the barley but the wife likes it. We can tolerate the wheats in small amounts whole but ground up in flour and mixed with bean flour makes them a whole lot more tolerable.
      Your best bet with long term storage items is learn what you can tolerate then acquire and store.
      We also use the country living mill and it works great. You get a much better appreciation for flour when you spend an hour grinding it by hand.
      If you live in an area where you will be competing with nature with those chickens you might want to think about an electric fence up front for them. Neighbor lost all of hers this summer to a bear.

      • Dan

        Yeah, electric fence is a must here, we get a bear, raccoon, or some other animal visiting our chickens almost every night, but have not lost one because of a predator thanks to the fence.

        • Alicia

          Hey Dan, thanks for your post. We can’t use an electric fence because of our grandsons but will certainly look at making the coop as secure as possible. I hadn’t thought of raccoons as predators. :/ We have a lot of them out here. We recently discovered some fox prints.

      • Alicia

        Thanks for the input, Paul. I don’t know why but when I think grain I always equate it with bread. We actually eat more oatmeal, grits, rice and such than wheat. I’d love to figure out how to make malt-o-meal. We plan to keep the chickens in the backyard. The coop is an A-frame where the bottom 18″ is open with chicken wire so they can be in the grass even though they are contained. There’s a door where they can get into the big yard but we will put them to bed each night. We will definitely make sure the doors on the coop are secure. We recently found some fox tracks.

  • Milenda

    Omg, still giggling here…

    I told my husband when I read the challenge for today that today was a trucking strike, not expected to end for several months. His response was that it doesn’t sound good. ( I think I should mention he is still half awake.)

    Well I was just lamenting to him that today’s challenge didn’t go to my mailbox, that I had to go to the blog to find it. his response ” so what is today’s challenge?” “I told you, the trucking strike” “Ooh! I thought that was real and on the news.” He was going to start calling some buddies to access how bad they thought it will affect homes!

    So very good and definitely applicable challenge today!

    • Paul

      Hmm.. I didn’t get todays email either. Thought it was just me.

      • http://foodstoragemadeeasy.net Jodi and Julie

        Sorry guys, there was a glitch with our email system last night and I didn’t realize it hadn’t sent before I went to bed. Should be in your mailboxes now :)

  • Paul

    We have about 1 years worth of food storage for two people. At least on paper! It covers a 36′ foot wall floor to ceiling and around the corner about 15′ in our basement. Always looking for more diversity on what we store. This is actually why we don’t normally plan meals. If we are in the mood for something and don’t have it on the shelf it goes on the list to acquire. Keep a spreadsheet of everything so I can track what still needs to be gotten. Also we have cases and cases of tp, paper towels and other disposables. Cases of caned cat food. Don’t forget your pets in this too! There is still plenty of non food items I want to get like extra boots, gloves shoe laces, knives, rope etc..
    Think today maybe i’ll take my spreadsheet and zero out the on hand quantities and do a physical inventory. I know we pull stuff that doesn’t get recorded so lets see where we actually stand today. Been needing to do this for a while so good challenge!

  • Helena Whitstine

    Thanks, for this challenge! It has been fun and keeping me on my toes. When you think you have everything planned out and can handle a major, whatever and then WHAM! You aren’t as ready as you though is some areas.
    I am challenging myself to do this again in 30 days to see if I have FIXED all the holes in my Food Storage, fuel, water, first aid.. In every area. I can fly with the best of them for a week or so, but What if, it was much longer. My food storage is in great shape.
    I really need to bring my children on board 100%. Ready or not.
    Have taken several ideas from many who submitted ideas.
    Thanks again for this pretend emergency.