This article is for the newbies to Prepping for survival. I do not want to overwhelm you with everything at one time. Let's get organized and think logically. Don't go to the warehouse store and buy 500 lbs of rice and beans and nothing else because you run out of money. Let's start with looking at what your family likes to eat the most. Can you think about the regular meals you make every month or every other week? I will use my family as an example. We have 3 in our household and we have favorite foods and some meals that I make every week or two. You may have the same and probably have 14 meals that you could live with to have over and over again. The following is an example of dinner menus:
1. Spaghetti, garlic bread, green vegetable.
2. Beef Stroganoff, green or orange vegetable, dinner roll
3. Sweet and Sour chicken, rice
4. Chile with beans, mashed potatoes (family tradition from childhood), corn muffins
5. Beef Stew, dinner rolls or sliced homemade bread.
6. Tuna Noodle casserole, Peas, Fruit cocktail
7. Pork Curry with Apples, Rice
8. Pork Perlau, Spinach
9. Ham Scalloped Potatoes, Brocolli
10. Tacos or burritos, Spanish Rice
11. Homemade beef vegetable soup, peanut butter sandwiches
12. Homemade Chicken and dumplings or noodles
13. Homemade Sausage Pizza, Fruit compote
14. Salmon Cakes, noodles alfredo, lima beans
The above are not written in stone for us. We can switch out menus for similar menus like - making beef burgundy instead of stroganoff. Or chicken and rice casserole instead of sweet and sour chicken. You get the idea. I will have the same meats but fixed in a different way in case we tire of the same meal every 2 weeks. I may make enchilada casserole instead of taco's or burritos in the winter since I won't have fresh lettuce or tomatoes for them. Mexican lasagna is also an alternative. Tired of spaghetti? Try lasagna or stuffed shells. Want a meatless meal each week then have vegetable soup, spaghetti marinara, red beans and rice, or Boston baked beans and cornbread. The ideas are endless. Look through different cookbooks and find interesting recipes. Most recipes can be converted to food storage recipes. Deep fried chicken, med. rare steaks, and the like will be hard to get or make in post collapse because they require fresh meats and we are not going to worry about those things at this time. You may be able to raise chickens or rabbits where you live and then you can have the deep fried chicken or rabbit. I can raise rabbits but not chickens where I live so I will not get much fresh chicken post collapse. I also will not have fresh milk. I will have powdered milk so I will be making yogurt, yogurt cheese, cottage cheese, and fresh farmers style cheese from powdered milk. I will store parmesan for the first year and have some canned cheeses and powdered cheddar cheese for that first year as well. All these things we will attack later. Now lets make a menu for 7 breakfasts:
1. Pancakes with syrup and dried reconstituted fruit.
2. Scrambled eggs and toast with Orange Drink
3. Muffins, with orange julius
4. Sausage, cheese, omelet with toast
5. Oatmeal with apples and brown sugar and cinnamon
6. Sweet bread with preserves and Orange drink
7. Homemade granola with Orange drink
Now as far as the third meal of the day. We may be eating it at night because of lack of power. We will cook the large meal in a solar oven or solar Cookit. We will have a rocket stove or propane burner to hopefully fill in on bad weather days. We will do an article later about alternate cooking methods. Back to the light supper or lunch in the evening. (Think about it, this is the healthier way to eat anyway.) Leftovers will need to be eaten up in the evening because of poor or no refrigeration (if there is power outages).
1. Leftovers of what you had for you big meal or Dinner....
2. Tuna Sandwiches
3 Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches
4. Soup and crackers
5. Ham sandwiches
6. Chicken salad/sandwiches
7. In the summer if you can grow gardens this is when you should be eating salads with dried fruit and leftover meats or beans in them.
These are just some ideas. There are many others. You may want to make up some Sloppy Joe's for a treat or grill some vegetables to serve with cheese and bread. Your personal tastes and creativity are not limited to my ideas. Just start thinking every time you make a meal for your family, "Could I have made this with food storage?" You will start thinking about what you will need to start storing.
Now, Wendy Dewitt is where I have gotten the majority of my way of planning for storage. Next she teaches us to write out our recipes. Take those ingredient amounts and multiply times 8 for a 3 1/2 month supply of once per 2 weeks for that particular meal. Write those ingredients and amounts down in your list, notebook or wherever you will be keeping your info.
Example: For a 3 1/2 month supply take 8 times the amount of the item needed for that recipe because that will give you the amount you need to have for cooking it every 2 weeks.
Spaghetti - 1 pint of home canned ground beef, 8 pints
1 can of Hunt's mushroom spaghetti sauce, 8 cans
1 can of diced tomatoes 8 cans
1 teaspoon of garlic powder 8 tsp.
1 teaspoon of dried basil 8 tsp
4 tablespoons of parmesan cheese 32 tbsp.
String Beans 2/3 cup of dehydrated green beans 5 1/3 cups dried green beans
Now you do this with every recipe and then add up like ingredients and you will have what you need to buy or can or dry of your foods for your food storage. For instance I plan to use ground beef at least 3 times each 2 week period so I will need 24 pints of ground beef. I hope this is clear and understandable. Wendy Dewitt has equivalency charts to take your total tsps. or cups etc. of a particular item and make it into ozs. or cups or lbs. etc so you can figure what to buy. Happy Prepping! You are on your way to becoming self sufficient one step at a time!