A beginner’s guide to short-term food storage and the differences between short-term and long-term food storage.
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
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.
#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.
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.
Answers to some of your most asked questions about long-term food storage, including the difference between dehydrated and freeze dried food.
My absolute favorite food storage organizer While Thrive does offer a few different options for can rotators, this Variety Can System is hands-down my favorite.