Understand what you need to include in a family food supply and get started on creating your own family food storage today!
Having a solid food supply is important, no matter the world situation. Even if everything in the world was completely normal, you could still benefit from a family food supply during a job loss, extended illness, or natural disaster.
You may not really know how to get started, but it's actually pretty simple! Start with a 4 week food supply with a mix of dry, frozen, and canned goods, and then grow from there!
Creating a Food Storage Supply
Double check your food supplies for the following and make sure you have enough to get your family through at least a 4 week period (more if you can):
***All amounts are minimum survival amounts per person per day
- Protein (4oz)
- Vegetables (1 cup)
- Fruit (1 cup)
- Grains (1lb)
- Water (1 gallon)
***Items to consider based on your consumption and in no particular order
- Milk (we freeze our extra milk)
- Cooking Spices
- Chocolate (or cocoa powder)
- Sugar (or honey/maple syrup...)
- Juice / Soda / Alcohol... any non-water beverage you want
- Toilet Paper
- Baggies (if you use them)
- Wax Paper / Cling Wrap / Parchment Paper (if you use them)
- Condiments (ketchup, mustard...)
- Medicines and Prescriptions
- Supplements you like to have on hand
- First Aid Supplies
- Feminine Hygiene Items
- Laundry Soap
- Dish Soap
- Supplies for animals you have
... anything else your family needs during a 4 week period
Be sure to remove any items from the list that you produce on your homestead or already have on hand. We grow a lot of our own produce and during gardening season we generally know what to expect for harvests each week.
After gardening season, we inventory our home canned goods and purchase anything we were able to get from the garden that year.
How to Save Money on Your Food Supply
If you are buying most (or really ANY) of your food storage, then it's important to know how to save money when purchasing from the store.
Not everything is a good deal, especially when buying in bulk. Make sure that you know exactly how to budget and get the most food for your dollars!
I've written up EXACTLY how we save money when buying food for our family - without any coupons!
READ: Take Control of Your Food Budget (for daily or bulk buying)!
How to Preserve Your Food Supply
Now, more than ever in recent history, it's important to be in control of your food supply. Gardening is the best way to do this, of course... but not everyone has that opportunity.
So, buying food in bulk and preserving it is the next best thing! I like to buy things on sale at the grocery store and can/freeze/dry them for later!
Here are a few food preservation methods to get you started:
WATER BATH CANNING
This is perfect for fruits and high acids foods such as pickles and tomato products! There is no need for special equipment, so once you have jars, you likely have everything you need to get started!
Another canning method, but this is for low acid foods such as meat, vegetables, broth, and more! It does require a presser CANNER (not cooker), but it is an amazing way to store food without the need for electricity (unlike freezing).
For fruit leather, beef jerky, herbs, and more - dehydration is a wonderful preservation method. If you are looking for a great dehydrator, here are my thoughts of a few different models!
Most of us have freezers, so freezing food would seem like a no-brainer option for food preservation. However, with limited space and the need for electricity, it's a little bit limited for long-term storage.
Even still, there are many wonderful things you can freeze!
Obviously not a "use what you have on hand" method, this does require a freeze dryer. BUT, since it removes all water, maintains 99.7% of nutrients, and gives properly processed foods a 15-25 shelf life, it's a GREAT option to invest in!