Food Storage Do-Over Week 7: Long Term Supply Planning

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We are excited to be starting week 6 of our Food Storage Do-Over 2015! Last week we saw more great progress from all those participating in the water do-over and we are excited to keep going. If you didn’t catch last week’s post on revisiting your 3 month supply you can see it here. Also Jodi did a post on how she revisited her 3 month plan here.

Remember this is a 17 week process that we will be going through together. If you want to join in with the group on Facebook click here. If you’d like to receive email notifications of each week’s do-over assignment you can join our mailing list here. Or you can always post in the blog comments with your progress as well! It is so much more fun and motivating doing it as a group so find a way to connect!


In BabyStep 4: Long Term Supply Planning we discuss the process of coming up with a plan for your long term storage. Whether you plan to purchase just-add water meals, get traditional long term food storage, or a combination it’s important to have a plan.

If you are new and haven’t started on your long term food storage yet, there are several tasks you’ll need to do to get ready for this. Don’t get overwhelmed, remember this week we are focusing on making our PLANS, not actually buying anything.

Determine which type of long term storage you want to purchase

Read our What Can You Do With YOUR Food Storage article for ideas of the kinds of foods you can make with traditional food storage (wheat, beans, rice, etc.). Then determine what is more your style for your family’s food storage plan.

Method 1: Traditional food storage (calculator-based)
This type of food storage includes a bulk of grains and legumes and other life-sustaining foods but can also be supplemented with fruits and vegetables, meats, etc. You store a certain quantity of food and learn how to cook with those types of foods. You don’t stress about having exact meals planned, you just have the core ingredients to make a variety of foods. It will be important to collect recipes and practice different cooking techniques for this method.

HELPFUL PRODUCT: Our Food Storage Made Easy eBook Set can help immensely with the traditional food storage approach. It walks you through your purchases and education in a series of 26 checklists. You can purchase it at a discounted price (just $14) during the Do-Over and use whatever parts are relevant for what we are working on.

Method 2: Traditional food storage (recipe-based)
This type of food storage is similar to above, except you use a simple meal plan using simple foods with a long shelf life and calculate out exactly how much to store based on your recipes. Many people will come up with a 7 day rotation and multiply that by 52 weeks. This gives you the confidence to know you have all the additional ingredients required to make complete recipes/meals. For example you don’t to store 300 pounds of wheat but none of the ingredients needed to make bread.

HELPFUL PRODUCT: Our cousin put together an entire Can’t Fail Food Storage Plan which includes shopping lists, meal plans, and recipes for a SIMPLE full year supply of basics. It takes the guess work out of creating your own plan. It’s exactly what I have wanted to make for years. I love it!

Method 3: Regular foods
Some people choose to just store extra of their regular foods rather than learn how to cook with traditional food storage. Instead of the typical 3 month’s worth of regular foods that we recommend, they would multiple that by 4 and not bother with wheat, legumes, etc. Shelf life will be a major concern with this method so rotation is critical.

HELPFUL PRODUCT: Our Meals-in-a-Jar eCookbook can give you some ideas of great shelf stable, kid-friendly, regular meals that could be incorporated into your plans. Since they are made using freeze-dried foods with a longer shelf life they can be great for this method of planning.

Method 4: Just add water meals
This food storage does not require a lot of education. These meals typically come in mylar pouches inside plastic buckets or in #10 cans. They have a long shelf life so rotation is not much of a concern. These meals are more expensive but also much more convenient. Taste and quality can vary widely between companies. You will need to store more water if you plan to use this method.

HELPFUL POST: There are a few different considerations when storing just add water meals. We created a post on What to Know When Buying Just Add Water Meals that may help you as you research this topic.

Calculate how much of each food you need for your family size

If you are Use method 1 or 2, our food storage calculator will help you to determine how much of the basic foods you need to store depending on your families needs and goals for long term food storage.

Excel Spreadsheet
Tutorial Video

The Food Storage Calculator is also available in printable pdf format

If you are using method 2 or 3, you may find our three month supply calculator helpful as it can help type in individual recipes and come up with a shopping list for all supplement ingredients, not just the basics.

To determine how much food you need for Method 4, we recommend you come up with a calorie goal per person per day and use that to determine how much to store. Many companies sell packages based on “servings” but servings are only 150-200 calories. So 3 servings a day could only be around 500 calories and would not be life sustaining.

Consider individual dietary needs

If you have food allergies in your family, you will need to modify your food storage plan to reflect your own needs. Read our post about Food Storage and Allergies for ideas on how to adjust your long term food storage to meet your needs.

Health concerns
For those interested in a more healthy food storage you may want to make adjustments to a traditional food storage plan as well. We have a whole section of the blog on healthy food storage which you can explore including alternative recommendations and some healthy recipes to try.

Personal Preferences
Do you have picky eaters in your family? We sure do! Make sure to make recipes in advance or try out “just add water” meals BEFORE you have an emergency. It won’t do much good to have tons of food that no one will eat.

Make a purchasing plan

Now that you know how much you will need to store, look at your family’s budget and determine how much you can set aside towards your long term storage goals each week/month. Make a goal to get a full 3 months worth, and then move up to 6, 9, and then a full 12. It’s better to have 3 months of everything than a full year supply of wheat and no salt, oil, or yeast to make bread with it.

Consider saving up and purchasing when there are big sales. Most food storage companies do large Black Friday sales and periodic smaller sales throughout the year. If you can stock up when items are at their cheapest it will be the most cost-effective way to buy all your food. Consider reading our post on Best Ways to Purchase Traditional Long Term Food Storage for more ideas.

Learn to use your long term food storage

There are lots of sources to go for great information and recipes on using your long term food storage. Make sure to review the “Helpful resources” section below for ideas.

Don’t forget to come over and share your progress in our Food Storage Do-Over Facebook Group!

If you already have a start on your long term storage but need to update it consider doing the following:

FREE checklists to make your life easier

Start today and get our 4 favorite downloads to help you build and use your food storage!