Many people have the mistaken idea that all they need to do is stockpile a bunch of food and they have it made. It doesn’t work like that. The first thing a new prepper needs to do is figure out what food habits exist in the household. While it is important to assess what kinds of foods the various family members eat, it is also important to keep grocery receipts and use them to better identify what you buy, how often you go to the store, and how much long term planning you do. How long your current supply of food will last is only as good as how you currently shop.
Prepping well will not only change the amount of food you store, but will also change your life.
Since your goal is to go grocery shopping once a month or less, you will spend less time in the grocery store. You will waste less money on items you shouldn’t be buying anyway. You will apply those savings towards your preps. Your family will eat and be healthier. You will have peace of mind that if anything should happen, you are ready.
Now that you know how often you shop and how you spend your grocery money, you are ready to move on to food planning.
If you are not in the habit of planning your menus, this would be a good time to start.
Planning menus can be challenging at first, but you can use any number of online menu planners or you can purchase a copy of MasterCook for about $20 or MealMaster for free. We use MasterCook because it has all the capabilities we need, we are not connected with the authors of MasterCook in any way. We just like it best. It keeps track of your pantry once you have entered your existing pantry items. You can create and print your own cookbooks based on your family’s preferences and needs. It will also keep track of pricing and dietary statistics. When you plan a meal you will know how many calories, grams of carbohydrates, fat and other important dietary information.
Knowing this information is important because you need to know how well nourished your family will be on a diet of your preps if SHTF. If you are including too many calories during a time when they are going to be sedentary, they will gain too much weight. If you don’t include enough calories during a time when they will be working harder than normal, they won’t have enough energy. It can be difficult to prepare for both scenarios, but we will tackle that at another time.
See you next time in the “Getting Prepared: A Primer for Beginners Series”.