Mormon Channel Blog

    How to Begin a 3-12 Month Food Supply

    January 17, 2015


    Is one of your New Year’s goals to get more on top of your food storage situation? Every Saturday this month we will be sharing tips and tricks with you on how to do this. This week, we’ve consulted food storage blogger, Valerie Albrechtsen, for some of her expert tips on getting started with a 3-12 month food supply. First, watch this helpful video to get started.

    Gathering food storage and emergency supplies can be simplified by using 12 monthly emergency prep lists (see below for an example). With different monthly goals, these lists can put you on autopilot and help you establish a habit of gathering year-round while you regularly shop.

    Although these lists are based on seasonal sales in Utah, anyone with a desire to become self-reliant can use them. Each list suggests monthly goals for one adult, but you can multiply food and water amounts by family members, increase or decrease amounts, modify food choices, and create a list that’s perfect for you.

    These lists incorporate the four steps found in “All is Safely Gathered In: Home Storage” a pamphlet prepared by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and additional home storage goals, emergency equipment goals, and preparedness goals you can work on as a family.

    Instead of burying food in your basement to use only during emergencies, learn to “store what you eat, and eat what you store” so when emergencies come your children can actually eat food they are accustomed to. (There will be another post on this next Saturday on the Mormon Channel Blog).

    Work on the first three steps: gather a three-month supply of food, emergency drinking water, and a financial reserve (see the post from last Saturday on short-term food storage). Then gather long-term foods, home storage supplies, and emergency equipment.

    So, how do you begin?

    1. Take an inventory of all the canned, bagged, boxed, and packaged foods your family regularly eats. Check out this suggested three-month food storage list for a little inspiration. You may already be further along than you think! If you are a fresh or frozen food person, remember: the shelves in your favorite store will be empty during a disaster. You must figure out something to store.

    2. Take an inventory of your long-term foods with a 20–30 year shelf life, such as wheat, rice, and beans.

    3. Decide on a food storage budget, such as 20–30 dollars a month per person. If you live in a small apartment or are on a limited budget, start with a one-month supply of food. You CAN do this too! If you are single or a student, here is a helpful list to get you started.

    Learn to gather patiently. Don’t panic and rush to the store. Just gather monthly as this will help with rotation of food and your budget. Keep an inventory sheet on a cupboard door to track how much you want to store and what you use. Hang your grocery list next to it and write down what to buy next time you shop.

    Anything you do to help yourself become self-reliant is a step in the right direction. I know this to be true, because I live this way every day. And you can too, one can or bag of food at a time.

    12 Monthly Emergency Prep Lists

    January: Water, Beverages, and Water Storage

    (more on this later this month on the Mormon Channel Blog)

    February: Breakfast Foods and Communication

    March: Tomatoes, Pasta, and First Aid

    April: Soup, Fish, Beans, and Sanitation

    May: Condiments, Spices, and Emergency Cooking

    June: Grains, Vitamins, and Bread Making

    July: Summer Foods, Emergency Drills, and Canning

    August: Fruits, Vegetables, Shelter, and Bedding

    September: Meat, Potatoes, and Earthquake Prep

    October: Oils, Fats, and Fire Safety

    November: Holiday Baking, Emergency Heat, and Clothing

    December: Baking Basics, Power and Light Sources

    For more ideas on how to being your food storage and path to self reliance, visit