This month begin building a three-month supply of foods your family routinely eats. This is not the kind of long-term food storage that preppers have stored in their basement. The kind of long-term food supply is food that will store for decades–things like wheat, beans, rice, powdered milk and freeze-dried foods.
No, this three-month supply is a supply of foods that your family eats ever day. And there are many good reasons to have a three-month supply of foods your family eats every day.
Why have a three-month food supply?
Think about it: a 3-month supply of food is your best insurance policy in case you become ill, have unexpected expenses, lose income or your job. Many financial advisors (like this one) say you should have a 3-moth supply of food as a part of healthy financial planning.
Even if you never face any kind of financial set-back, a 3-month reserve is a good thing. It’s convenient for times you’re unable to go shopping or have unexpected guests. It helps stabilize your food expenses–you never have to buy something unless it’s on sale and then you buy enough of it to last you 2-3 months. It’s where you start learning the art of keeping an inventory and rotating your food, another way to help manage household expenses.
Keep it up to date
Once you have your food supply, develop a routine for replacing what you use every week so that you always have a three-month supply. There are a number of food tracking or inventory programs that might be helpful. Or you can just make Master LIst and make tally marks when you remove an ingredient from that list. Make sure to transfer those tally marks to your weekly shopping list.
There are lots of sources online for spreadsheets and programs that can help you manage and monitor your inventory. Here are a couple:
Track My Food Storage. The basic program is free or you can pay for annual programs that offer more features. This site also has links to good articles covering other aspects of food storage. Be sure to check them out.
Deals to Meals. Click “Food Storage 101” for how to get started and click “Free Downloads” for lots of great help. Also sign up to findout what the grocery store deals are in your area.
Once you’ve acquired your three-month supply of food, it’s really just a matter of mastering the twin skills of rotating and keeping inventory up-to-date. With a well-stocked pantry, you will find taily meal prep is easier and your food budget is more manageable.