19 October 2010

Living off of food storage: Meal planning, part 1

Okay, I talked last time about why I stockpiled food. Now I want to talk about what food to store. There are generally two ways to look at it. You can store things that will last a lifetime - an "in case of emergency" food supply, like my mother's fake meat. Or, there's the store what you eat mindset, where you buy a few extra items that you usually buy while at the grocery store. That one never works for me because I forget to easily, or I don't restock as I use it.

My plan was inspired by a woman from the Everything Under the Sun blog, although I didn't find her blog until after I had heard her plan. What she suggests is selecting 7 breakfasts and 7 dinners that you like and then figuring out how much of each ingredient you need for each meal and then multiply that by 52. Just like that, you know how much food to store for the entire year.

A nice idea in concept, but I don't want to eat the same food every week of the entire year. I've done that with frozen pot pies and it gets really old. I decided to write down every dinner that we like. It came out to be well over a month's worth of meals. It just seemed like a good idea to implement the weekly food idea as a 6 week meal idea.

I went to work scrawling out amounts. Had I followed her advice about writing each of those meals down on a note card, my life would have been easier. However, I seem to need to do things the hard way first. That's just the way I am. I wrote on my recipes, multiplying everything by 13 (threw that extra month in, just in case). Then I had to try to pull all those amounts together.
This is what I ended up with...

This is just one page. The scanner is so smart, it automatically crops the ugly edges off, so you can't see the other 5 pages stacked behind this one. This page is amazingly neat. Did I mention, I did this the hard way?

Finally, I got everything tallied and since we had a good 8 months till we would leave for school, I decided to start doing the meal rotation right away, and I'm glad I did because I found a flaw in my reasoning. This is where those note cards would have come in especially handy.

In the planning, I figured on using each meal about once a month. It seemed simple enough that way, but I found that some meals just don't want to be made that often. Like lasagna, or crepes. I ended up re-evaluating my meals and I came up with a system that I am pretty happy with. I'll let you in on it in my next food storage post, so you can hopefully learn from my mistakes.


  1. Sounds like a good idea, wouldn't work for me, of course, because sometimes, it's just me - and you KNOW that I am not going to cook a meal for one and I hate eating leftovers 3 days in a row. But for a family with children - sounds like a plan!

  2. looking forward to it...and, i love the new look/banner of your blog. Good job!

  3. Thanks Polly. I'm not done yet, but I just run out of time to do the things I want to.