[If the link above doesn't work, go here and click on the worksheet graphic which will give you a picture file.]
This worksheet will help you make a plan for gathering one week's worth of food for your family. A step-by-step list of instructions is included on the worksheet. In a nutshell, make a menu plan for one week and determine which products you need to have on hand for those meals. Purchase a few extra items each time you go shopping. Pretty soon you'll have a one-week supply!
Once you've gathered one week's worth of meals, continue purchasing extra food. Repeat the worksheet four times for a one-month supply. Repeat 13 times for a full three-month supply. It's easier than you think!
[FAQs] Frequently Asked Questions:
How do I know which meals to include?
As you plan your menu, it is important that include meals that are a part of YOUR "normal, daily diet"1 (including canned and commercially packaged foods).2 This isn't the time to include someone else's recipes or plans. These don't have to be "food-storage foods." Store what YOU eat.
What if I have more meals that I want to include in my three-month plan?
Make several copies of the worksheet. Label each week as Menu A, Menu B, etc as desired. You can repeat your one-week plan thirteen times to achieve a three-month supply or you can create a variety of menus and repeat in order to have 13 weeks total.
What types of meals are easier to store?
It's almost easier to talk about which foods don't store easily. Most fresh fruits and vegetables perish quickly. Maybe you often have grapefruit for breakfast. Because grapefruit only lasts for a month or so in ideal conditions (and can't really be frozen, dehydrated, or bottled), this meal might not be a good candidate for three-month supply storage. (Regularly planting a garden is a good way to plan for fresh fruits and vegetables in your menu.) On the other hand, if you enjoy eating oatmeal for breakfast, the supplies necessary for preparing this meal can be stored for at least three months.
What about infants?
If your infant drinks formula, you'll want to include that in your plan.
Should my meals be easy to cook without electricity?
I have based this worksheet on The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' directions for a three-month supply. They have not indicated a need to store foods that can be cooked without electricity. You have to decide what is best for your family. Just remember that the meals you store should already be a part of your "normal, daily diet."1
Can I plan to store things in my freezer?
There are foods that can be easily stored in your freezer and rotated into your three month supply. If you are concerned about not having electricity, see the question and answer above.
Should I include water?
Water is essential to survival. Water storage is one of the four major components found in the new recommendations for family home storage from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.1 Though it is not specifically included in this worksheet, it is important that your family also store water. Water can easily be stored in soda bottles that have been washed out and sanitized with a combination of a little bleach and water.
What about toiletries?
The main purpose of this worksheet is to help you store food that is a part of your normal, daily diet. If you feel like you would like to also store things such as toilet paper, toothpaste and shampoo for your family, that would be fantastic - but again, it is not the focus of this worksheet.
What if my diet is only fresh fruits and vegetables?
This question is the most difficult that I've had so far. If your normal, daily diet only includes fresh fruits and vegetables, then I would strongly suggest that you plant a garden. A garden would enable you to supplement those fruits and vegetables for much of the year (maybe even year round depending upon the climate). If you are open to dehydrated or home canned produce, you can store your own fresh fruits and vegetables year round.
In order to store a three-month supply, you may have to highly scrutinize your menu and look for any items that can be stored and rotated. It might be more difficult, but it isn't impossible. You might choose to store foods/meals that would be acceptable in tight circumstances. Then, plan to donate any stored items that you haven't used to the food banks in your area prior to expiration dates.
Sources:1 - The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Safely Gathered In, Three-Month Supply. (Text; PDF; Multiple Languages)
2 - The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Provident Living, FAQs
Copyright - 2010. You may make copies of the "Gathering Your Three-Month Supply" worksheet for your own personal use or for church use. If you link to this worksheet on your website or blog, please also include the link for this post on iPrepared and give appropriate credit. Link: http://iprepared.blogspot.com/2010/06/three-month-supply-worksheet.html