The beginning of any preparations is FOOD.
If it was just me, I am pretty sure I could get away with only storing Nutella and microwave popcorn (heavily buttered)....it would give me the something salty, something sweet that I look for in my food groups - but alas, as with so many things, I have a family that does not appreciate these delicacies - Fun Suckers.....
To survive you need these things:
But would you want to? I mean - just off the top of your head, how many things could you make? Better yet, how many things could you make that your kids would eat day in and day out? If you want brutal honesty, I could only eat this for a day or 2 before the nether region of my digestive track put on a full on revolt - seriously.....
But you can get everything you need by diversifying what each of the above items bring to the palate and the nutritional table, so to speak.
Protein - beans, peanut butter, canned meats, frozen meats, canned nuts
Whole Grains - wheat, rice, cereals, potatoes, bread - fixed a million different ways
Dairy - powdered milk, milk, cheeses,
Sweetener - honey, sugar, syrup
Salt - You need it.... period.
Water - You need it....period.
Vitamins - canned items, fresh/frozen veggies and fruit, dried fruit, jellies, juice
So, now we have expanded what you will eat to just about everything ;) But you dont buy everything and you shouldnt. You wouldnt eat everything. Does anyone reading this have that can of beets in your pantry that has been there forever? I did and I have yet to figure out how they got there..... They would be worthless in a crisis because I am not going to eat them and neither is anyone else in my family.
So - whats a girl to do? You store what your family eats. You store items that can fill in and substitute into what your family already eats. Your family would have no idea that you used powdered milk or shelf stable milk in their mac and cheese. Or that you baked using honey and dried eggs. Or you threw in whole wheat in their pancakes, muffins, cookies.
Back to the spreadsheet (it always comes back to a spreadsheet or a list) :)
Did you go check out this link?
Go take inventory of everything you have in your house and enter it into this spreadsheet. This program also has a place for you to enter how many and ages of your peeps. After you have everything in the program you get an accurate picture of where you are.
I want to stop right here and tell you that once you have all your items in this program, dont run to the program to deduct anything you use - that would be a total pain! When you use something, add it to your grocery list and replenish at a convenient time. Keep your grocery list just until you get home so if you bought more than what was needed to replenish, you can deduct what you had to buy from the entire purchase so you know what to add to the inventory. Did that make sense to yall?
Work on the 3 month stash :) If after you enter what you have in your pantry, you are at 3 months, then move on to 6 months!
So - after you have gotten everything into your pantry that will keep you alive (yawn....) - we get to move onto the fun stuff!
I was raised in Texas and down there we dont eat to survive - we survive so that we can eat! We use food to celebrate - to comfort - to nest - to meet/greet - to say Im Sorry - to say I Love You - to grieve - to welcome a new baby..... You.Name.It - we take food to it!
All that said - I have given thought to my pantry in regards to things that make my family feel good. FEEL GOOD. I have the fixin's for my husband's favorite cobbler.....to my daughter's brownies......to the boys' favorite cookies. I have jello - pudding - snack stuffs.
So....if you got your binders or just some random piece of paper - brainstorm some of your family's favorite recipes......do you have the ingredients in your pantry? They need to go on your list....
What are some of your family's favorite snacks? Desserts? Yummies? Get those items as well - trust me - foods that bring comfort and make you family feel good will be worth their weight in gold during a time of high stress.
*** One more thing - if you are like me, you want a list to just go do - check off and be done.....it doesnt work that way (actually, you can find those lists, but it doesnt work well). Each family is unique - has their own likes and dislikes. Spend the time in thought and paying attention to what you already cook to give your family the best food storage pantry to meet its needs. Make your own list.... Doing so will go the farthest in preserving family funds - not wasting food or money - and give you the most return which is happy people!
Pray - Praise - Prepare