Simplify Your Family's Emergency Preparedness

Short-Term Food Storage Basics: Part 2 – How Much Food do You Use?

3 easy ways to determine how quickly your family goes through food

short term food storage basics part two

How much food do I need to store?

First – remember my #1 tip from my last post on getting started with short term food storage? Just START! Do not overcomplicate it.

Start out with enough of everything for two weeks and build from there. One month of several items is better than one year of one item.

Set incremental goals. Two weeks is a good goal if you’re just starting out (3 meals a day plus snacks). Then try to double that, so you have a month. Then go for 2 months, and so on.

Whatever you have is going to be better than nothing. Don’t stress about having the perfect amount of every single thing you use. ESPECIALLY at the beginning.

As time goes on, you can be more intentional.

There are 3 methods to estimate how quickly you go through something on a regular basis in your home, so let’s get to it.

3 Ways to figure out how quickly you burn through things

#1 - Estimate

Quick estimations of how often you go through items are usually going to be adequate to estimate what your goals should be.


About how often do you find yourself needing to go to the store for that item?

#2 - Calculate

If you typically have rice 3 nights a week, and you make 2 cups of rice each of those nights, that’s 6 cups of rice per week.

Most boxes of food list the weight of the food, rather than the amount of cups, so you might have to do a little math to see how much is actually in a box.

how to calculate how much food you need using food labels

#3 - Record Dates

When you open a new can/jar/box of something, use a sharpie to write the date you open it on the bottom of the container.


Then when you throw it away, check the date on the bottom, and that’s how long it lasted you.


BOOM! Easy!


This also works great with non-food items (like toiletries, baby items, etc).


Well? What do you think? Easy enough?


Remember, these are ESTIMATES! You don’t need to be super crazy accurate with this stuff. The goal is to get a good idea of about how much of _____ you’re going to need for _____ amount of time.


It’s just information to help you be smart about where your money would have the biggest impact.


Are you starting to freak out about where you’re going to put all of this stuff? Go on to Part 3 of Short-Term Food Storage where I address space as well as expiration and rotation.

Related Posts:

5 simple things you can do to get your family prepared if you don't have thousands of dollars or hundreds of hours


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