Just Survive or Live Close to Normal?
That is one of the first questions you need to answer before you begin putting back supplies. There are drastic differences between putting back supplies to survive and supplies to live close to normal. Here are few that come to mind:
- Are you going to put back raw foods or prepared foods?
- Are you going to put back Meals Ready to Eat (MRE) or canned food?
- What kitchen facilities will you have?
- Will you be living the life of a Nomad or have a building to call home?
- Are you bugging out to a remote location or sheltering in place.
These questions and more will determine the type of supplies that you are going to put back.
Making The Decision
Think about the people you are putting supplies back for.
- What age group? Kids, teenagers and adults each have their own dietary needs and likes/dislike. You will need to plan for each group.
- Any health or diet concerns (diabetes, heart, etc)? Diabetics require a low carb diet. Heart patients can eat carbs but need to watch what type of proteins they eat. You will need to carefully watch caloric intake for the people you are planning for.
- Dietary likes and dislikes. Even if dieing of hunger, people won’t eat what they don’t like. Crazy as it sounds, this is true. Think of foods that you can’t stand to eat or even smell. Would you pass on these in a time of disaster?
Another consideration is whether you are going to integrate your supplies into your everyday life. For instance, if you are going to focus your food storage on MRE’s you probably do not intend on serving them as part of your regular meal preparation. I also don’t see you serving MRE’s to guests at a dinner. However, if you are storing food that your family eats on a regular basis you should rotate these supplies into your normal eating habits.
How Much Is Enough?
How long do you plan to live off of your supplies? Beyond food and water, what else are you going to need? How many people are you planning for? These are important considerations that must be thought out before you get too far into executing your plan.
To begin, determine the length of time you are going to plan for. Do you wish to stop after you have your 72 hour kit? Not smart but at least you have a goal. For us, we settled on 1 year of supplies. We then multiplied the number of days/meals that we needed and we had our goal.
Use the following chart to help guide you to how many meals and jars you will need to create a 1 year supply of food.
We also looked at our current consumption of key supplies such as paper products, soap and other hygiene products. We looked at our consumption for a month and then multiplied by 12 to estimate what we needed for a year. A simple approach that resulted in a good estimate to use in our planning.
Creating a Plan That Works for YOU
If you plan on buying MRE’s for your supplies then you will be done much quicker and possibly much cheaper than what we decided to do. I have friends who have opted for the route of pre-packaged supplies. They quickly put back a year’s worth and are now working on year two. I commend them for their decision to prepare and for how quick they were able to put back their supplies.
For me and mine we have opted to go the route of preparing our meals ahead of time in vacuum sealed jars. These meals only require us to either open a jar and eat or, at most add water and eat. Some call this method “Meals in a Jar“.
So, this site will teach you the concept of Meals in a Jar and how we prepare our meals for our family. For us, we just do not look forward to eating emergency rations 3 meals a day for 365 days. We are going to enjoy meals that we normally eat such as spaghetti with meat sauce, beef tips with gravy over rice, or even fresh vegetables such as white corn, green beans, black eyed peas and potatoes and my favorite breakfast…Captain Crunch cereal.
Click here for some great tasting recipes we use in our daily meals and our long-term food storage.