food storage shelves

You have spent a long time acquiring your extra food (and other supplies). You did this because it seemed like a wise thing to do. Being prepared to an extent. Just in case.

Being smart, many of you rotate through your extra foods so they don’t all sit there and eventually “go bad”. But this can be a challenge, and some foods are meant for “long term” storage – only accessed if and when it becomes necessary.

None of us wanted a situation to arise where we actually “needed” to dip into our food storage out of necessity. Well, here we are… This invisible virus called COVID-19 Coronavirus. The WuFlu. Whatever you want to call it. It’s an official pandemic. And most states have implemented stay-at-home “orders”.

Though there’s still food in the grocery stores, it’s limited depending on one’s location. However the bigger issue is the risk itself of going out to these stores and getting more supplies. The virus could be right there – just waiting to infect you. So why put yourself at risk? Answer: many of us are not. Because we’re sufficiently supplied to survive for months or longer.

Recently Mrs.J and I took a broad categorical food inventory of our food stores here at home. Although I have various inventories, lists, and even spreadsheets, I wanted to get a visual. A “feel” for the high level categories of food types that we have with regard to the quantities and caloric content.

In other words, since we are now restricting ourselves to our own food storage, I want to consume them in a balanced way. One day we’ll eat “this type” and the next day “another type”. For example, maybe it’s pasta & sauce for dinner tonight and then rice & beans with home canned chicken the next. (Rather than eating more of one category than another – perhaps because we like “it” better). Instead we want to draw down the inventory in a balanced way.

So, what are my own high level food categories that we’re attempting to evenly utilize?

Main Food Categories

We have lots of “little things”. But our objective was to look at foods that we have lots of — those which might be part of what you might call “staples”. The essentials that will provide significant contribution to our meals in general.

After identifying these staple groups, we will do our best to regularly consume them on a rotation plan throughout a given week or weeks. These are the general categories of foods that we came up with after looking at our food storage yet again…

WHEAT / RYE (breads, dough for ‘whatever’ pizza crusts!)
OATS / OATMEAL / GRITS / PANCAKE MIX (breakfasts)
RICE & Beans w/ canned “Cream of’s…”
BEANS & Rice w/ lots of things!…
NUTS (wide variety – snacks)

PASTA (variety of types)
SAUCE (home canned & store-bought)

BEEF (canned & freezer fresh)
CHICKEN (canned & freezer fresh)
PORK (canned & freezer fresh)
TUNA (canned) sandwich, tuna salad
SPAM & DAK HAMS

CANNED
– Vegetables
– Soups & Stews
– Ravioli varieties
– Beans
– Potatoes
– Hash

FROZEN VEGETABLES
– variety in the chest freezers

POWDERED MILK
BUTTER (frozen bulk quantities)

#10 CANS
– Meats freeze dried
– FD vegetables (variety)
– Fruits
– FD tomato powder (great for pizza sauces)
– powdered potatoes

READY MADE FOOD KIT BUCKETS
– variety of meals, pouches, long term packaged foods

SWEETS
– Cake mixes (yay!)
– Stuff to make cookies (yay!)
– Pie mixes (yay!)

COFFEE
– can’t forget that!
– and Mrs.J’s daily tea or two…

The Takeaway

We generally identified the food categories above as those which there are plenty. There’s lots more of things like condiments, spices, oils — all that complimentary stuff that tends to fill up shelves. But I was looking for big categories which we could then begin to utilize in a logical evenly distributed consumption.

Then we think of those foods in terms of planning breakfast, lunch, dinner. Although for us, we generally just do two meals a day – brunch, dinner. With a mid-afternoon snack (I like a handful of nuts). And of course the occasional “sweet” after dinner. Oh, and the intermittent evening vodka or bourbon 😉

If you are fortunate to have a large food storage inventory, you might look at it as we did. Many of you are presumably using your food storage during this time of pandemic. Just don’t consume all your “favorite” stuff first!

Hopefully this helps some of you as you dig into your preps…