Sara R at The Pantry Panel commented on the original three-month alternatives post (last Friday) and said that she inventories and plans her three-month supply annually, which allows her to include preserving garden vegetables in her plan. She indicated that she thinks through her three-month supply and longer-term supply simultaneously as an overall one-year's supply.
She wrote, "I made up a master list of ingredients and typed it on the computer. I started out with the ingredients I already had in my storage, and what I wanted to get. I looked at my recipes (we have a family cookbook of our favorite recipes) and added any "storable" ingredient. I also looked at other people's lists got some ideas from them.I guessed how much of each item to store. Sometimes I figured out how many cans of tomato sauce I would use in a week; other times I just guessed how much I would need. If I wasn't sure, I buy more than I think I need. Most items store longer than a year if you don't use it all.
"Once a year I walk around the pantry with my master list (printed from the computer) and count everything. I make a shopping list of the items that need replacing, and I place that in my household notebook. I look for those items over the next few months, trying to get a low price. But some items never go on sale, and eventually I give in and buy them. We aren't on a strict budget and we have a small savings account, so this works. We would have to figure out another method if we needed to be careful about spending even amounts each week."
Thanks for the great thoughts, Sara.