Making a plan for what to store in your 3 month supply of food can be challenging and overwhelming. We both have very different styles of planning and cooking so we understand that there isn’t a perfect solution that fits every personality, and cooking type. Julie doesn’t cook with recipes all that often and likes to have lots of ingredients in her storage then she just creates. Jodi prefers to have a very detailed plan with each meal planned.
Whatever your style, make sure you check out our BabyStep 3 Page: 3 month supply. We have a spreadsheet that can help you plan your meals, and then it automatically populates an inventory list and takes the guess work out of figuring out what to buy. Before you start on the spreadsheet, ask yourself these five three month supply questions to help you get started with the planning process.
Well this weekend on our Facebook page we had one of our readers share something about her 3 month planning that was FABULOUS and we thought everyone needed to hear about it. If you’re not on our Facebook page, make sure you join because it’s AWESOME. We learn so much from our readers, and we feel so great when we see you all helping each other out on questions. Even if you don’t HAVE Facebook, you can see the discussions and learn if you type this in your browser:
So here is the little gem of knowledge we learned while talking about our Shelf Stable Saturdays this weekend from Kim S. on Facebook:
Jodi, Julie + all… My DD & I have SO many recipes to share, but I’d really like to tell you WHY we have them! March ’09, inspired by YOU, we took your 3 month food supply EXCEL spreadsheet (baby step 3) & worked out 30 dinner recipes (br…kfst & lunches were a bit more repetitive). We really wanted to work with meals we are used to, family favs, etc., so we worked pretty hard at this, converting them :-), not just to food storage ingredients, but also to serving sizes for each of our families.
Taking ingredients for one recipe at a time + multiple bowls spread out on the counter, to each, we added all the dry ingredients that would be in that recipe (if something needed pre-soaking, or pre-prep, we put THAT ingredient folded into wax paper, to keep it separate, ie peas or beans). We ordered mylar bags & oxygen absorbers, but vacuum sealed bags should work, just as well.
Note that mylar bags are quite large – but – if you cut them in quarters, edges can be carefully sealed w/ a flat iron for hair (I bought a small one for $4 at discount store). These are the 11 x 13 mylar bags from the LDS distribution center’s online store.
Into each of our now-resized mylar bags went the the dry ingredients + an oxygen absorber. Sealed them up w/ the flat iron, added sticky labels to the front w/ Recipe name, ingredients to be added at time of making (water, canned ingr., etc.), instructions, and “serve with”.
The “serve with” became important when we were planning, not just the main entree, but what we were going to have WITH it! This way, our food storage inventory could be complete w/ what to have on hand for sides, etc., and to plan *variety*.
Because they are uniform 1/4 sized mylar bags (large families – go w/ a 1/2 bag), they stand up nicely in a shoe box. When it’s a “what can I make tonight?” night, those “space food” mylar bags get whipped out! I’ve just sent the scalloped potatoes & hams recipe to you, but have Chicken Scallopine, Creamy Italian Chicken, Cajun Pork, etc., as well. (think canned meat subbed for roasts or chicken breasts – and yes, we buy on sale and can our own). This is not ALL our food storage, but if using food storage became necessary, food prep time might be precious.
I know this got long, and debated whether an email would be better, but figured this could be shared. This all came about because you inspired us, so THANK YOU! Much work over one week, but soooo worth it!
Kim even shared some pictures of this awesome idea on our Facebook wall. Kim was right- this was a great thing to share and we’re glad she let us share her personal plan with all our readers on the blog! We’re sure this will give you all some inspiration and motivation to get cracking on your three month supply!
This concept reminded us about a book we reviewed: “Dinner in a Jar”. For the full review click here. The book is full of recipes that can be stored either in mylar bags or in quart-sized canning jars. We loved seeing one of our readers really use some of the tools she had available to make and follow through on her own plan.
If you have a unique plan or photos of something fun in your storage come on over to Facebook and share today!
-Jodi Weiss Schroeder