Got a Question? Ask The Survival Mom!
I am new to prepping, and my stockpile is rather small so far, but regardless, I am running into organization problems. I know to rotate through the pile to put the oldest ones first and whatnot, but I am more having a different problem. Because of my bipolar disorder, it really helps me to have structure and lists. So I have started taking inventory of what I have. However. I am not sure how to really tell how many meals I have for my family. (Do I go by serving size on the back of the food, or what?)
Also, How do I keep track of the food on the list? I find that the list is really cluttered and I have to read through the whole list to see if I have something. So should I split my list up my full meals? Should I split it in accordance to the food pyramid? Maybe alphabetical? Or perhaps by nutritional value?
Making a list will also tell me what I still need to get, so this is pretty important to my future prep shopping :3 Any help and advice would be appreciated.
Normality is Overrated
I would suggest using an Excel spreadsheet, if you can use Excel. You can group the foods a couple of different ways. If it is easier to alphabetize, that is one way. Another way is to group them you would find them grouped on a shopping list.
How do you have your food stored? I'm a librarian, so I have devised my own system w/regards to where I put the cans on the shelves (don't ask lol)
We use an Excel spreadsheet as well in alphabetical order. We have devised a plan for 12 people at 2400 calories per day per person. We started in Sept 2011 and we now have 6 months worth of food, supplies and ammo stored away for the future. We continue to build on it every day. also a huge researcher, naturalist, gardener, mother and all around smart gal. I also am ontaining all our medical supplies, resources, books, antibiotics, vitamins, minerals.....etc. I am also obtaining and learning about foraging for natural plants in our local areas. And so much more. It does get overwhelming at times cause you feel like your not doing enough and what if it all came crashing down tomorrow....... stop yourself and say I'm doing all I can and at least I have this much done.
If you use the search function of this forum (usually on the left sidebar - you'll have to scroll a bit) and search for 'inventory' & "list" and paw through the results you'll see that several members have posted links to download copies of their own inventory lists. Which I found VERY handy when I was starting out as it show me not what to get and how much but it was all done for me - all I had to do was indicated how much I had in storage.
Since I just looked and couldn't find it - I will upload it again, but it is not my work and I can't remember who first posted it. Don't try to open it in word - open it in EXCEL only
I use a spreadsheet too and keep a paper copy on hand. Making up menus worked best for me.
-Make up two or three weeks of menus (breakfast, lunch, and dinner). You’ll want some variety if the SHTF and don’t forget to add at least one fruit and dessert each week. Choose easy to make menus that incorporate long term type foods.
-Write down the ingredients for each meal and how much of each item you’ll need.
(It’s easier to total using 1.0 for 1 cup, .5 for ½ cup, .25 for ¼ cup, etc)
-When you’re done, add or sum in excel the column for each ingredient to determine the total inventory you need.
-Don’t forget to estimate spices, oils, sugar, grains for bread and baked goods, etc.
My shelves are organized by category, meats, entrees, soup, beans, vegetables, grain & pasta, fruit, drinks, desserts, breakfast foods, pets, condiments, baking supplies, and spices.
My prepping has already paid off. Where I live, the price of all Campbell’s soups rose $.44 last week. I have 108 cans on my shelf so, in a way, I’ve saved at least $47.52 by stocking up in advance. By buying ‘Buy one get one free’ and using coupons, I’ve actually saved a lot more than that. To me that’s pretty exciting. Good luck with your organization.
Your list is cool and thanks for the search tip.
"I yield to no man in sympathy for the gallant men under my command; but I am obliged to sweat them tonight, so that I may save their blood tomorrow."
~ General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson-
In the beginning of a change, the patriot is a scarce man, and brave, and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot. ~ Mark Twain, Notebook, 1935
I used the meal set-up to determine where to start my inventory and to keep my storage from getting lopsided.
1. Make up a daily menu with one breakfast, lunch, dinner and whatever snacks you normally eat.
2. Repeat for a weeks worth of menus, with a variety of meals.
3. Make another week of just lunch and dinner menus with different dishes. I find breakfast can be rotated weekly without too much appetite fatigue, but lunches and dinners work best with at least a 2 week rotation.
4. Break down the meals by recipes into ingredients. Add up how much you need of each item (how many cups of flour, how many pounds or ounces of meat, etc). This is the tedious part, but you can break it down. I did one meal at a time. For things like bread count the slices, then add them into loaves which are the commonly used unit.
5. Add up the amounts of each item, then convert them to units as purchased. For example, flour is about 4 cups to the pound.
Look on the packages to figure them out - it will take a little math. A calculator helps big time.
6. Multiply breakfast ingredients (one weeks worth) by 52 (weeks in a year). Multiply lunch and dinner ingredients by 26 (2-week blocks in a year). Multiply a week of snack ingredients by 52. Add together for a grand total of yearly menu requirements.
7. Now you have an idea on how much to store IF you stick to your menus. I stocked the menu's requirements as a minimum, then added other foods as desired for variety, special desires, sale items, foraged or preserved items, etc. The menu list helps keep you from getting a lopsided supply (all ramen noodles and no dried eggs, for example).
This now needs to be rotated, so be sure to pick menus that you like and normally eat. Eat 1 'storage' meal a week and you will rotate the whole supply in a year.
If you like Campbells Cream of Tomato, and I love it, you can make your own pretty cheap.
Use one 6 ounce can of hunts Tomato paste, ad 18 ounces of milk, 6 ounces of cream, a pinch of salt and 1 tsp of sugar. Taste is just like Campbells.
Lostfalls I am having problems downloading the file. It says "Information
The selected attachment does not exist anymore.
The file ./../files/6573_4eb36a5ed6413cab41e8f1da93b28a9c does not exist."
Can someone post the file again.
If you have an iPhone get Prep and Pantry. It's $4.99 but worth every penny. You can scan your items and then enter experation date and location.
Yeah sure, no problem, that is so very odd. If anyone else is having problems with this one, send me a private message with your email I will send it you as an attachment. Again - this is an Excel Workbook - do not try to open this in Word, use Excel ONLY.
Team Kautz - I have that App too but stopped using it. Alot of my stuff wasn't found when I scanned it - regardless of the database I was searching, forcing me to input much of the information manually which on an iPhone is really time consuming. I wanted to be able to export my inventory to excel format, not text format, which at the time it did not do (don't know if that has changed?). I also wanted to be able to categorize my database a little differently and look over whole list on my phone according to those categories, not just via expiration date or alphabetically. And then we also can and dehydrate ALOT of our own food - and that also can't be scanned.
But, overall I think its a handy tool and I don't regret buying it at all - I may try it again later, I know its been updated alot since I bought it when it first came out. If most of your stock is store bought canned goods and freeze dried goods this a super great app for you. The bar code reader saves alot of time.
I have three Excel files in my records called Food, Medical, and Miscellaneous. The columns are then divided and named Comodity Name, Item, Container, Size, Have Quantity, Desired Quantity, and Notes. This layout also works well with my medical and miscellaneous files. You know where you are at in quantity with each line item and know where you want to be. My food file is just what it is. If you can't eat it or drink it, it's not there.
The medical files consists of everything from all bandages and cleaners, to medicated sprays and ointments, to vitamins, aspirin, advil, bathroom supplies, etc...
The miscellaneous file currently consists of everything from canning jars and pressure cookers, to lamps, lanterns, stoves, and heaters, to white gas, kerosene, propane, and charcoal, to all types of soaps, shoe laces, silver and gold, batteries, and everything else...
My guns and ammo are a whole separate Excel file with similar detail records.
I do not get too worry about items like garden tools, garage tools, engines, tractor and trucks, trailers, clothing, bedding, etc... At least not by having to create inventories in detail of these types of items.
As I learn more on this network and a few others sites my lists are adjusted as needed. When I go shopping the list is with me in hand. You can't afford to buy everything all at once but by mixing it up a bit, you get a little of everything as your desired quantities are eventually met.
I can't say enough good things about this website.
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"In Confusion There Is Profit"
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Downloaded from your recent post with no problems. Thanks!
SHEEPLE? Gold? FIAT currency? Economic collapse?
This well-researched documentary will likely surprise you and change your opinion about many things:
As I am looking over the inventory sheet some questions come to mind. Are the quantities of each item is what is needed for one year or is it every thing to make it a year?
At very top of the sheet - you may have to scroll it says the final quantities on that sheet are for 4 people for a year if every single item on that sheet is stocked to the maximum quantity. If you adjust that top number to 3 or to 5 for your own family the sheet will adjust the maximum final amounts automatically. Don't forget down below there is a 'household' tab....
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