Thursday, April 21, 2011

Eat What You Store or Store What You Eat?

Trying to figure out how much food to store can be daunting.  I figure there are really two basic methods.  One is to store what you are supposed to store and then figure out how to use it.  The second is to figure out what you want to eat and then store it.

To Eat What You Store Use a Food Storage Calculator
     There are a number of online food storage calculators (or try the one you can download here) to help you figure out what you should be storing and how much.  Pros: This takes little effort to figure out what to store because most of these products are widely available and already prepackaged for long term storage.  Cons: You'll have to figure out what to do with all those beans and wheat; the amounts suggested may or may not be enough depending on your eating habits; some of the things the list includes may not be things you want to store or even eat (Is it possible to eat that much Jello in a year?); and worst of all, you get no guidance on how much to store of things that aren't on the list.

To Store What You Eat Convert a Recipe
     With this method you take a recipe, decide how often you might make it in a year and then calculate how much you would need to store.  Let's take the Swedish Pancake recipe, since we make that a lot.   We'll say I want to store enough to make pancakes twice a week for a year.

1/2 c. powdered eggs (or 4 eggs) x 104 weeks = 52 c. or 416 eggs, at 96 eggs per #10 can, I need 4.33 cans.

1 c. flour x 104 weeks = 104 c. flour, at 4 c. of flour to a pound, I need 26 pounds.

1 T. sugar x 104 weeks = 104 T. sugar, or 6.5 cups, at 2 c. per pound, I need 3.25 pounds of sugar.

1/3 c. powdered milk x 104 weeks = 34 2/3 c. of powdered milk, 12 c. per #10 can, I need about 3 cans.

1/2 t. salt x 104 weeks = 52 t. or 17 1/3 T. or 1 c. plus about 4 t. salt; there is approximately 1.88 cups in a pound of salt, so a pound would be plenty.

2 t. vanilla x 104 weeks = 208 t. or 36 T. or 2 1/4 c.; at 8 oz. to a cup, that's 18 oz. of vanilla.

You get the idea.  Pros: You can figure out exactly what you need to store for your favorite recipes.  Cons:  It's more work and takes a lot more time.  You also need to figure out how to store the ingredients you need if they are not suited to long term food storage, or how to convert the recipe to food storage ingredients.

I like both methods and think both can be used to plan for long term food storage.  You don't need to fall into one camp or the other.  If you want to convert your own recipes, the following might be helpful:

1 c. = 16 T. or 48 t. = 8 oz. liquid
1 T. = 3 t.
For the weights of sugar, flour and salt, I used google.
For the amounts in #10 cans I used the label on the cans I have.


  1. You have your new online business: converting favorite receipes into food storage. I'd pay for that!

  2. The real question is how much would you pay?



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