Recently we have been hearing more and more about the Lord hastening the work. We know that means we need to be more focused on missionary work, family history, and becoming a Zion people. It also means those things the scriptures warn are going to happen before the Savior comes are coming more quickly and times will continue to become more challenging. With that comes the question, “are we ready to care for our family?”
We have heard from prophets about, and discussed here at Meridian the Lord’s counsel to be temporally prepared. Most of us have not listened. Now is the time. The Church cannot support all the members of the Church with food and supplies when times get harder. They cannot, it is a fact. We must finally begin to listen.
The following plan is designed to enable you to accumulate a three month supply of the foods you normally eat. Do not ignore this method of storing food. There are good reasons to store the foods your family is accustomed to eating, during a crisis normal foods will be an enormous comfort, canned foods contain liquids which will increase your “water” storage (during almost every disaster water supply is interrupted), these are easily rotated thus you never throw them away and waste your money.
This system has you storing one food group each week, it cannot get more easy than that. We will also add desserts, condiments, and spices to enable you to create all your favorite recipes.
52 Weeks to a Three Month Supply
1.This is not your grandmother’s food storage plan. This plan is based on the food pyramid and the daily recommendations to maintian good health. By the end of the year you will have a three month supply of the foods your family normally eats. Each week a food item will be listed in the Sunday bulletin to purchase that week.
2.You will be guided to purchase foods by food group so you determine what foods your family likes and you can store those. For example, if you do not like wheat, do not know how to cook with wheat, or are allergic to wheat you do not have to store it. When there is a grain week you can store any grain(s) your family likes.
3.The amounts listed to atore are for one person. You will need to adjust the numbers based on the number you are planning to feed on a regular basis or during a time or crisis. I know it seems like a lot of food and normally you will not eat that much from your store in three months. In the event of an emergency when you are not able to purchase foods, or eat with friends you will need all that food. All the foods which you will be storing have a shelf life far longer than three months so if you rotate you will not be left with food that goes bad and needs to be discarded. Rotatiing will be simple as these will be the foods you normally eat.
4.Foods are listed during the months when you can get the best prices. You will note there are more fruits and veggies listed during the summer months when fresh is inexpensive and readily available to can or freeze.
5.Cans refer to 14-15oz. cans unless otherwise noted. If you have a large family and want to purchase the larger size can you may count those as two. If you wish to substitute frozen vegetables for canned a16 ounce package of frozen vegetables replaces 2 cans.
6.Protein is not just meat. There are many options left, meats, fish, nuts, nut butters, eggs, and beans are all great choices. Grains are not just wheat. Also consider; oats, pasta, rice, brown rice, wild rice, flour, couscous, crackers, amaranth, barley, cream of wheat, graham crackers, rye, millet, sorghum, triticale, and buckwheat. Now would be a great time to learn to use a variety of grains.
7.When stocking your in home General store with soups add varieties you eat as well as soups used as ingredients for sauces and casseroles.
8.There are a number of items that are not used up when we open the package, such as ketchup, spices, oil, TP, toothpaste, and cleaning supplies. A three month supply of these items will vary by family. You can determine how much you need by dating a bottle when it is opened and checking it in a month to see how much you have used. If you use one a month then you need to stock three, 2 per month,
Our goals are: a three-month supply of the food we eat and a plan for maintaining that supply. We will be saving money as well as preparing for emergencies. We shouild all go on to store a one-year supply but the items added to complete that goal will be slightly different than our basics for the three-month supply. For now the key is to stick with the plan.
Please don’t get anxious as you begin to see progress. Don’t fall into the trap of just buying so you can say you are done. Many people have been lured into buying tons of wheat and beans or dehydrated food, then a few years later, all the food is dumped. What a waste of money!
Go to your cupboards and pull out the items that are not used up after one use, like oil for example. With a permanent marker draw a line at the level of product remaining in the bottle and write the date on the bottle. When you need to replace those items, you will know how much you really use and how long it takes you to use it.
Storage charts that you find on the Internet, always have you store too much oil and they never tell you how much toothpaste you should store. Measuring your consumption is a great trick to use for your non-food items as well. Toilet paper is a difficult one since homes often have more than one bathroom and various people change the rolls. I suggest dating the wrapper when you start a new roll, then place the wrapper in a drawer. Do this each time you begin a new roll and at the end of two weeks collect all the wrappers and count. Multiply that number by six and you know how many you will need for three months.
Establish a Budget
You may want to begin with $100 investment and then move on to $10 per week or whatever works for your family. Think about food storage when you get that tax return or yearly bonus. The most important part of the plan is to be consistent. Slow and steady wins the race.
As you purchase storage each week, you may find there are not enough items on sale and you have money that you have not spent. Put it aside and spend it some week when several of the items you need are on sale.
Why Fruits and Vegetables?
Colorful fruits and vegetables provide vitamins, minerals, fiber, and chemicals your body uses to maintain energy levels, protect against the effects of aging, reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease, maintain good vision, build strong bones, keep the heart healthy, maintain a healthy immune system, and improve memory function.
No other nutrient plays as many different roles in keeping you healthy as protein. Protein is important for the growth and repair of your muscles, bones, skin, tendons, ligaments, hair, eyes, metabolism, and digestion. Protein helps create the antibodies your immune system needs to fight disease. If you are injured or ill, you may need more protein.
It is easiest to get protein from meat, poultry, fish, eggs and dairy foods. Meat, beans, peas and nuts have the most protein, but they are incomplete proteins, you must combine them with grain, fruits and vegetables for a more complete protein.
When we speak of grain we are really talking about carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are the body’s main source of fuel and are easily used by the body for energy. Carbohydrates are needed for the central nervous system, kidneys, brain, and muscles to function properly.
The best source of carbohydrates is grains; whole wheat, wheat flour, bulgar, oatmeal, cornmeal, rice (white, brown and wild), buckwheat, popcorn, rye flour, barley, pasta, pretzels, couscous, amaranth, millet, quinoa, sorghum, and triticale. You can also count muffin, corn bread and pancake mixes.
For a three-month supply, you should store only the grains you use or are learning to use. If you would like to expand your horizons, purchase a small amount of a new grain, try a few recipes and then purchase more once you know your family will eat it.
Diets rich in milk and other dairy products help build and maintain bone mass, reduce the risk of osteoporosis, build teeth, and help maintain a healthy blood pressure. Store canned and powdered milk, cheese and cheese products.
Each month I will publish the items to be purchased for the next month. Begin today.
Week 1: 6 lbs. Grains
Week 2: Herbal tea and Ginger Ale
Weeks 3: 10 Cans Vegetables
Weeks 4: 5 lbs. Protein
Week 5: 6 Cans Fruit
All these items should be stored per family member. Really, that means for a family of four you will store 24 pounds of grains.
Good luck and let me know if you have questions!
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Sara Chadwick-BrownFebruary 13, 2013
This is an excellent article and explained so much. I am a single woman (67) and live alone. You answered so many questions about protein and what they are and the different grains - such a help!! Thank you!