Sunday, February 17, 2013

The Super Seven

I overheard a conversation recently where someone was talking about how overwhelmed they were about the idea of food storage.  They had a list of tons of grains they were trying to figure out how to buy and where to store, and the comment was made, "I need more recipes to figure out how to use this stuff!"  This is a sentiment I have been hearing for years and it seems, to me, to be the wrong way to go about food storage, honestly.  My most recent motivation has been based around this particular thought...

"Instead of learning to USE what we usually STORE, we should be learning to STORE what we usually USE"!

Wendy Dewitt brings up a really good point in her food storage seminar (which you can watch here).  She asks "What are you going to do with 100's of pounds of grains and nothing else" Are you going to chew on your wheat and oats and hope for the best?  She brags that she will be eating Chicken Alfredo and other scrumptious meals with her food storage.  Honestly her way is very detailed and precise and if you go to her blog above and e-mail and ask her for her e-book, she will send it to you for free (really...NO STRINGS ATTACHED!) She is amazing and she has spent a lot of time perfecting her system.

But in a nutshell I will tell you what I have taken from it and what I am doing with the knowledge.

I call it "The Super Seven" 
Seven WHAT, you may ask?  
7 Breakfasts and 7 Dinners

Yup, it's that simple.  If you can sit down and write out the recipes for 7 breakfasts and 7 dinners that your family already eats, and the amounts it takes to feed you then you are 1/2 way there!  Okay not really halfway- but it's a great start.  You do have to make sure that your recipes include only items that can be stored long-term.  And that can get tricky as I have learned (see my post about canning cheese) but it can be done!  You might not be able to use the healthiest organic options out there- but people...we are talking about saving your life, not about perfection in your diet- and you'd be surprised how healthy eating from your food storage can be! Test out each recipe to make sure you are preparing the amount your family actually eats and not tons of leftovers, as you can't anticipate having a way to store leftover food.  I had no idea that I was cooking enough for 2 families at nearly every meal (we waste a LOT of leftovers) until we started writing out our recipes.

So when you have your Super Seven written out- you just get out that handy dandy calculator (or use my spreadsheet) and multiply.  Take pasta for example.  Lets say you need pasta for meals #4 and #5 of your Super Seven.
6 oz pasta x 52 weeks = 312 oz --- meal #4
8 oz pasta x 52 weeks = 416 oz -- Meal #5
Total Pasta needed = 728 oz............
Pasta comes in 16 oz packages so
728oz \ 16 = 45.5 packages   
So you would need just 45.5 1lb packages of pasta to feed your family for 1 year.  Thats about 60 dollars worth.  NOT BAD!
You do this for each ingredient (use the spreadsheets) and when you are done you will know EXACTLY how much food you need to feed your family.  I recommend starting with a 3 month supply.  Once you have that, you can change your calculations to 6 months etc etc etc.
3 month supply- Multiply by 13
6 month Supply - Multiply by 26
12 Month Supply- Multiply by 52

I was honestly surprised by how many things I was storing WAAAAY too much of (like wheat, rice, and beans) and how many things I had WAAAY to little of, like milk, oil, and vegetables.

Get started today!  Write out your super seven and spend the next 7 days testing out your recipes!

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