Long-term food storage and preparedness don’t come easy. And when you have a large family with more than 4 members, long-term food storage is affected by several factors such as gender, age, lifestyle preferences, and more.
Are you wondering how you can create an effective long-term food storage plan for your large family? Sure, you might already know that you need to buy food-grade buckets and Mylar bags for storing different food items, but where do you begin? How do you customize your food storage plan so that it can fulfill the individual needs of your large family?
Don’t worry, eager prepper! We will answer your questions and provide you with some more information that will ease your prepper anxiety and set you on the right path.
Store a Year’s Worth of Food Supply
Let’s be honest! With the pandemic, political and societal unrest, and natural disasters, we all need to begin taking long-term food storage seriously. After all, we all want to survive!
This is why we suggest that you store at least a year’s worth of food supply for your family. Now, there is no one-size-fits-all strategy for long-term food storage, as each family is different and has different needs. Hence, you must consider your family’s unique needs while creating your personalized long-term food storage plan.
However, we can help you come to understand the entire process and offer you some tips and tricks to develop a customized long-term food storage plan.
Tips to Start Your First Year of Long-Term Food Storage
- Start small— if you have never prepped before, don’t go big! You should start by storing enough food to last you 1 month, and then you can build out your pantry from there.
- Always keep a record of how much storage space you have and your food inventory.
- Start by choosing a few key ingredients and buying them in bulk. Once you are comfortable with them, move on to the next set of ingredients.
- When you are in the early phases of long-term food storage, don’t rely on home-preserved food entirely, especially if you are new to prepping.
- Buy in-season fresh produce to reduce costs.
- Create a long-term food storage plan! (Jump to the next section to learn more).
How Can You Create a Long-Term Food Storage Plan for your Large Family?
As mentioned above, each family is different. In turn, every family naturally has different needs and preferences— your long-term food storage plan must consider this. You can read our tips to create a long-term food storage plan for your family below.
- Determine Actionable Goals
In order to make an effective plan, you need to determine your goals and create your own a plan of action. You need to develop a clear idea of why you are doing this; are you storing food to ensure food security for your family? Are you storing food to tackle a potential, major emergency? Are you storing food because you and your family live somewhere that is prone to hurricanes or other natural disasters? Or is there another reason that you can define? Whatever your reasoning might be, you should have a clear understanding of why you are prepping.
- Determine What Your Family Eats
You don’t want to store food ingredients that your family won’t even eat. So, take the time to determine what your family eats on a daily basis. You should consider sensitivities, nutrition, as well as their food likes and dislikes. This will give you a rough list of food items that you can store.
- Determine Your Storage Space
When storing food for your large family, you need to determine how much storage space you already have, as this will affect the amount of food you can store in a single go. However, you should also be doing your best to find ways to create additional storage space. Look at your space realistically— can you store large food-grade buckets lined with Mylar food storage bags right now? Or do you need to store food in smaller bags?
- Check Your Pantry and Freezer
Long-term food storage should start with taking inventory! You need to check your pantry and freezer to determine what items you already have on hand. Then you should be asking yourself, how much do I have of each given food item? Is it enough to last my large family in the event of an emergency, or do I need to buy more? If you do not have enough food on hand now, how much more do you need to buy if you are shopping for a full year’s worth of food?
- Homegrown or Store-Bought?
You can do either or both! It all depends on what is easily accessible and fulfills your family's needs. If you feel store-bought items make it easier for you to store as they come in a sealed package already, go for it!
If you have the time and space for homegrown and preserved food, you can choose that as well! Or you can mix and match by purchasing a few items from the store while also having some homegrown foods.
Methods to Determine How Much Food You Need to Store
- Breakdown of the Recipes
This is one of the easiest ways to determine how much food you need to store for your family. There are probably several recipes that your family loves to eat in a month. Pick the most basic version of the recipe, start breaking it down, and multiply it by 12.
For example, Spaghetti Bolognese. Usually, you would need a 16 oz spaghetti noodles box, a jar of sauce, about 1lb of ground beef, and 1 loaf of bread. You should multiply these ingredients by 12 if you want to eat this meal once per month in the event of an emergency.
So, to make spaghetti Bolognese once a month for the whole year, you will need 12 boxes of 16oz spaghetti noodles, 12 jars of sauce, 12lb ground beef, and 12 loaves of bread. If you eat this dish multiple times a week or even just a few times a month, you need to consider that too.
- Food Per Person
Another way that you can determine the amount of food you need for storage is to find out how much each family member truly eats on an average day. Usually, an adult needs about 2,000 calories a day and 1 gallon of water per day. This can be your base value to build your weekly, monthly, and yearly food plan.
- Batch Cooking
You can also prepare food in bulk and store them in containers either by canning or freezing. The best way to start is by batch cooking food for a week and then building up from there.
It is crucial to break down the recipes when you are making batches of your favorite meals, snacks, and food items.
Long-term food storage for a large family can be both daunting and confusing, yet with proper planning and the right methods, you can easily determine the amount that you need to store for at least a year’s worth of food.
All of us here at Wallaby are happy to be a part of your journey! With our collection of high-quality and sturdy 5 - 7.5 Mil thick Mylar bags for food storage, premium oxygen absorbers, and more, you can start your prepper journey off on the right foot.
We never want to leave you in the dark, which is why we suggest that you read more of our long-term food storage advice on our website. You can also contact our expert staff with any questions about your family’s needs for long-term food storage.