Recent global events have shown us that food supplies can be disrupted by the most unexpected circumstances. With a small amount of preparation, you can ensure that your family is kept safe, healthy and well-fed by ensuring that you have a 3 month food supply in your home.
Whether food supplies are disrupted or you simply aren’t able to leave your home to buy groceries, having a 3 month food supply will mean you won’t be caught off guard in care of an unexpected emergency.
We want to help you get prepped properly to keep you and your loved ones safe and healthy.
Check out this guide on the best type of foods, storage methods, quantity guides and ways to budget when building up your 3 month food supply.
What’s The Difference Between a 3 Month Food Supply and a Long Term Food Storage Supply?
The purpose of a 3-month food supply is to provide enough food to last for 3 months in the event of an unexpected food shortage.
Having this supply of food in your home provides you with a significant buffer to prevent you and your family from going hungry.
Your 3 month food supply may come in handy if a disaster occurs or you suffer an unexpected life event, such as a job loss or illness. Or even when a situation such as the Covid 19 pandemic arises where food supply chains are unexpectedly affected.
Long term food storage is different as it is designed to last years or even decades. Due to the length of time it is expected to last, the types of food included in a long term food storage plan tends to be largely military inspired MRE rations.
The food you’ll be storing in your 3 month food supply will be much more similar to the food that you currently eat. Unlike your Long Term food storage, your 3 month food supply is going to be designed on the basis that it may need to be eaten in the relatively near future.
In comparison to a long term food supply storage, you’ll be able to include lots of great tasting and nutritious options to ensure that you and your family remain safe and healthy regardless of what else is happening.
Creating A 3-Month Food Supply List For Your Family
When it comes to creating a 3 month food supply list for your family, it’s essential to get organized. You may want to shop for the items all in one go or choose to build up your supplies gradually – this will depend on your available budget and whether you have access to a vehicle to transport all the foods you intend to store.
Writing lists and creating spreadsheets is a smart way to ensure you jot down everything you need to buy and work out exactly how much of it you’ll need. You can even use a simple meal planner to start off.
You may prefer to work on a tablet and to create notes and sheets that you can share with your partner or members of your family as well. This process is also going to involve a bit of Math so it’s useful to have a calculator on hand if possible.
Quantity: How Much Food To Buy For a 3-Month Supply?
The process of figuring out quantities doesn’t need to be too complicated if you’re going to rely mostly on canned food.
The two main figures you’ll be considering are:
- The number of people to feed
- The number of meals to provide
The approximate number of meals you’ll need to provide for one person can be calculated like this:
90 x breakfast
90 x lunch
90 x dinner
90 x 1-2 snacks per day
You’ll then want to multiply this by the number of people you’re providing food for during the 90 day period.
Remember that variation will be key during this time and having a variety of meals is essential.
Eating identical breakfasts, lunches and dinners every day for 3 months will not only get extremely repetitive, but it could even lead to you missing out on vital nutrients and minerals.
You could choose to split your number of meals into a pattern such as:
30 x Breakfast Option 1
30x Breakfast Option 2
30 x Breakfast Option 3
You’d then multiply this for each person.
The way you calculate this will vary between individuals. Some people may be happy to have the same breakfast every day for the duration of the 3 month food supply but they may want to mix up their dinner options. Think about what will work best for you and your family.
Budgeting: How To Budget For Your 3-Month Food Supply
The best way to budget for your 3 month food supply will depend heavily on your individual circumstances.
Many preppers want to stock up immediately once they have decided to create a 3 month food supply. If this is the case, you’ll need to write or compile a full list of everything you need and then buy all your groceries in one go. This may mean renting or borrowing a car or vehicle to get all the heavy goods back from the grocery store in one go.
If you are unable to take the financial hit of purchasing a 3 month supply of food, you could always build up your stock gradually. You can do this by breaking down the list that you have and concentrating on one section or one type of item each week.
Give yourself a set time target of when you want to have the 3 month food supply ready in your home – then work backwards and divide up how much you’ll need to spend over the course of that time.
Best Foods To Include In Your 3-Month Food Supply
Now that you know how to calculate and store your 3 month food supply, let’s jump into finding the best foods you can get for your 90 day supply.
- Canned tomatoes (great for mixing with pasta or noodles as a sauce)
- Canned fruit (pineapple, mandarin, peach slices, pear)
- Canned vegetables (peas, sweetcorn, mushrooms, green beans)
- Canned beans (kidney beans, pinto beans, black beans)
- Canned meats and fish (beef, stew, spam, tuna)
- White or brown rice
- Baking Powder
- Powdered cake or pancake mix
- Powdered eggs
- Condiments such as salt and pepper or sugar – you can use small sachets to minimize wastage and for easier storage
Consider any jars or pre-made sauces you may want to include such as jelly, peanut butter or tomato sauce.
Batch cooked meals
- Lasagna – this can be made just with vegetables or with meat. You can easily portion it up and freeze it once it has cooled.
- Vegetable Pie – this is easy to cut into different size slices and the pastry will freeze easily.
- Bolognese sauce – you can get a huge amount of vegetables into this sauce so it offers maximum nutrition in a small serving. Add to rice, potato or pasta.
- Dehydrated foods such as sliced apple rings, vegetable crisps or meat jerky
- Granola bars with fruit and nuts
- Protein bars
The most important drinks for your 3 month food supply will probably be water, followed by milk.
- Water can be stored in a number of ways (link to article here) but you can purchase large containers with easy to use faucets to prevent leaking. Be sure to store out of direct sunlight.
- Powdered milk or UHT milk is the key choice for you and will depend on personal preference.
Remember to also pack tea bags and instant coffee so that you can have hot drinks throughout the day. Having supplies of fruit cordial to dilute with water can help to encourage you to stay hydrated too.
Storage: How to Store Your 3-Month Food Supply
There’s going to be quite a large quantity of cans, packets and boxes once you’ve compiled your 3 month food supply. You may be concerned about how and where to store these supplies but don’t worry. We’ve got a few tips to help you with storing all of your emergency supplies. These are our top tips for storing your 3 month food supply in the most efficient ways possible:
These are easy to store and simply require a kitchen cupboard or pantry shelf. Try to keep them out of direct sunlight.
A great tip for cans is to write the name of the contents on the top and bottom of them using a Sharpie pen to make them easy to identify quickly and in case the label gets wet and peels off. This can also help prevent you from opening the wrong can and creating unwanted food wastage.
Batch cooked food
Try to portion this out as accurately as possible so that you minimize any food wastage. Use a food vacuum packer to vacuum pack meals to make them easier to store – this takes up much less space than using traditional tupperwares. You can freeze these easily into blocks and move them around to stack tightly packed in the freezer.
For frozen foods you may want to consider buying a cheap chest freezer if you don’t already have one. With a 3 month food supply, it’s likely that the quantities you’ll be keeping in your freezer will increase quite dramatically so you may need more space.
If you can’t afford to buy a new freezer, there are a few ways that you can maximize your current one. Defrosting your regularly will help it to function at its optimum and create space by ensuring that you don’t have large ice blocks building up. You can also keep your current freezer organized by adding in additional drawers.
For products such as oats, pasta and rice it’s really important that you use food safe containers. Large quantities of dried goods for your 3 month food supply will be best suited to store in food grade plastic buckets which should then be stacked carefully out of direct sunlight.
If you have a food dehydrator (link to article here) and know how to use it to dehydrate fruits, vegetables and other snacks such as meat or fish, you’ll want to make sure they are kept in optimal conditions to ensure their longevity. There’s nothing worse than not being able to consume food that you have prepped and planned in your 3 month food supply so always store dehydrated foods in suitable air tight containers. Glass jars are also ideal and can be easily sterilized. However, be sure to take care if you are going to be moving them around as they can break easily.
How Will A 3-Month Food Supply Help Your Family?
There are so many ways that having a 3 month food supply ready to go in your home can help your family.
Here are the key ways that a 3 month food supply can help your family:
There’s an initial investment of time that you’ll need to make into sitting down to organize your 3 month food supply. This will involve simple meal planning, writing shopping lists and working out quantities. Once you have completed your planning and preparing, you’ll be able to sit back and enjoy the endless hours of time you will have saved by getting ahead.
Buying food without proper planning can get expensive. If you add in the possibility that you may face a time when there are supply chain shortages and price surges on the rise, being unprepared could get even more expensive.
It’s much cheaper to plan out meals in advance to get groceries within your budget.
Prepping in advance so that you have a fully stocked 3 month food supply can save you a significant amount of money if you plan diligently. You’ll be extra grateful for this if you find yourself facing financial hardship after losing a job or struggling to pay bills.
Helps to ensure healthy eating
If you’re caught unprepared without a 3 month food supply, you could end up eating whatever you’re able to access. If access to food is severely limited you may even have to rely on energy bars or other snacks during these times. These do not provide you with the full range of vitamins and nutrients that you could get from pre-prepared food, and they also work out as a much more costly option.
This is especially worrying if you are a parent as you’dwant to ensure that your children eat as healthily as possible – especially if they are still growing and developing. By having a 3 month food supply, you are able to control how nutritious your meals are even during an emergency situation. Many parents like the fact that they can positively influence what their child eats by prepping a 3 month food supply in advance.
Gives peace of mind
There are lots of things to worry about in today’s world. Being prepped with a 3 month food supply will give you the ultimate peace of mind that whatever happens, you and your family will have a readily available supply of healthy nutritious food for a substantial amount of time even when SHTF.
There are so many benefits to having a 3 month food supply and it’s a fairly simple process to get it organized.
Take your time figuring out exactly how many supplies you’ll need and what type of foods you’ll want to focus on for your family. Personal preference and dietary requirements will be a big part of your planning process but following a general checklist will help you to stay on track and remind you of vital key ingredients you might have forgotten.
Having a 3 month food supply will help to give you a buffer to protect you and your family from going hungry. Whether it’s a global event such as the Covid 19 pandemic or a personal circumstance such as a job redundancy or sickness you’ll experience far less stress from knowing that you and your family have enough food to last you through.