Monday, December 6, 2010

Three-Month Supply Menus

Three months of meals from your pantry
Food storage can seem really intimidating when you're getting started, especially if you start off with the notion that you need a full year's supply of food, stat! I think the way the LDS Church recommends their members go about establishing their food storage makes a lot of sense.
  1. Make a 72-hour emergency kit. Have enough food, water, etc. on hand to get you through a short-term emergency and be ready to get out of dodge, if necessary. In other words, create a bug-out bag. See how I made ours here. I would do things a bit differently now that I know more about it, but they are not a bad start.   
  2. Build up a store of three month's worth of your regular, everyday foods.
  3. Get one year's worth of long term storage items such as wheat, oats, beans, etc.
Today I'm going to share our family's plan for our three months of "regular" meals. To do create our plan, I used Food Storage Made Easy's Excel document. I also did a lot of Internet research. The sites I found most helpful were Prepared LDS Family (check our her Three Month Supply Menus) and Everything Under the Sun. Hopefully it will help you all with your food storage plans if I share an outline of our plan here on my blog. First, my requirements:
  1. It must be completely shelf-stable. Nothing frozen or fresh allowed. Most people count frozen foods towards their three month supply, but I felt like I had to make everything shelf-stable. I spent a lot of time collecting shelf-stable food storage recipes from a variety of sources. The majority of these recipes do not require an oven, so I can cook them on my gas stove, on a grill, over a fire, or whatever I have during a grid-down scenario.
  2. They must use common storage foods. Lots of rice, beans, and lentils. Nothing terribly exotic. All meats are either canned, freeze-dried, or home canned. (I'll be posting about more about my canning adventures later this month.)
  3. Meals must resemble food we would eat. To be honest, very few of the meals I have planned out below are exactly what I would normally serve my family. I use a ton of fresh and frozen ingredients and like to have a wide variety of sides,etc. served with my meals. But I did take into consideration my family's habits and tastes. For example, the only thing we eat for breakfast at our house is cold cereal. I would be lying to myself if I planned all of our breakfasts to be oatmeal. My menu may not consist entirely of "regular, everyday" food, but it's all stuff that's not too far from what we normally eat.
  4. We need variety. I don't want to repeat the same seven meals over and over.
So, with these things in mind, here are my menus. Each category should add up to 90 days of food.

Breakfast Menus

• 69 x Cold Cereal, Reconstituted Dry Milk, Carnation Instant Breakfast with Reconstituted Dry Milk
• 9 x Oatmeal made with dry milk, rolled oats and raisins, Carnation Instant Breakfast with Reconstituted Dry Milk
• 6 x Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Muffins, Carnation Instant Breakfast with Reconstituted Dry Milk
• 6 x Apple Spice Muffins, Carnation Instant Breakfast with Reconstituted Dry Milk

Lunch Menus

• 12 x Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches, Canned Fruit
• 6 x Macaroni and Cheese, Canned Fruit
• 9 x Canned Vegetable Soup, Bread and Butter
• 9 x Canned Chicken and Noodle Soup, Bread and Butter
• 6 x Rice Salad, Canned Fruit
• 6 x Cream Red Beans and Pasta Salad, Canned Fruit
• 6 x Lentil Stew, Fruit
• 9 x Pancakes
• 9 x Cowboy Delight, Fruit
• 6 x Chicken Salad Sandwiches, Fruit
• 6 x Indian Lentils, Rice, Fruit
• 6 x Spaghettios

Dinner Menus

• 3 x Fried Rice, Fruit
• 9 x Spaghetti, corn
• 3 x Quick Beef Chili and Corn, Biscuits
• 3 x Beans and Rice with a Bam, Green Beans
• 3 x Pineapple Chicken, Rice
• 3 x Chicken a la Queen, Corn
• 3 x Chili Mac, Green Beans
• 3 x Curry Beef on Rice
• 3 x Chicken Creole, Fruit
• 3 x Chicken Corn Soup, Bread and Butter
• 3 x Vegetarian Chili, Corn
• 3 x Italian Chicken and Bean Soup
• 3 x Chicken Alfredo
• 3 x Puerto Rican Beans and Rice
• 3 x Beef Stew, Biscuits
• 3 x Chicken Delight
• 3 x Chicken and Rice Casserole
• 3 x Chicken Fricassee
• 3 x Goulash, green beans
• 3 x Beef and Beans, Biscuits
• 3 x Homemade Rice-a-Roni, Fruit
• 3 x Shepherd’s Pie
• 3 x Taco Soup, Bread and Butter
• 3 x Tamale Pie
• 3 x Bean and Lentil Pilaf, Fruit
• 3 x Chicken Little Soup
• 3 x 15 Bean Soup
• 3 x Beef Soup


• 9 x Granola Bars
• 6 x Fruit snacks
• 6 x Graham crackers
• 6 x Hot Cocoa
• 6 x Popcorn
• 6 x Brownies from mix
• 6 x Chocolate chip cookies
• 6 x Oatmeal cookies
• 6 x Apple Crisp
• 9 x Crackers
• 3 x Homemade Wheat Thins
• 3 x Skookie
• 6 x Pudding or Apple Sauce Cup
• 9 x Dried Fruit
• 3 x Snickerdoodles

Served with
• 48 x Fruit Drink (ie. Tang-like substances)
• 36 x Apple Juice

My Three-Month Supply menus can easily be sized up so that I have a year's worth of menus. Here are the changes I'll make:
  • I will rely more freeze-dried/dehydrated foods to avoid the shelf-life/rotation issues of canned food. Use freeze-dried corn, green beans, chicken, etc.
  • My three month supply uses a lot of meat. I may have to eliminate some of the chicken meals in favor of more rice and beans.
  • I don't plan on storing 1 year's worth of cereal, crackers, etc. 
  • Storing survival seeds are a must! We'll need to grow our own food for long-term survival as well as to break up the monotony of our diet.  
So there it is! I hope this is helpful and I welcome your questions and comments.


  1. Love this idea. I am just beginning my storage and preparedness journey. Deciding what to buy to store was a hard for me to do. This is a great list!!!!

  2. I also am having a hard time deciding what to store, since I hate to cook and don't really have any "regular" meals that I consider favorites. I like your list of meals...easy meals that don't require fancy ingredients. I think for the meat issue for long term storage I would store #10 cans of flavored TVP.

  3. How do you store your cold cereal since you have so much of it? Do you store it in the original boxes? Any problems with bugs getting into it?

  4. Glad this was helpful to both of you.

    Oldbones929 - I'm not going to store any TVP because I know my family won't eat it. I am gradually adding to my supply of home-canned meats and will also buy some freeze-dried meat. I am still in the process of buying all my food, so I only have a a few weeks of cold cereal stored. Everything is in its original box and we rotate through it pretty quickly. I have a lot of cabinet space in my kitchen, but once I've filled that, I plan on putting the rest of the cereal in plastic storage bins in my basement storeroom. Bugs/rodents could get in, but at least I'll make them work for it.

  5. Thanks for this. What a lot of work and a great starting place for us newbies! THanks for the helpful links as well!