How do you calculate your food preps?

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How do you calculate your food preps?

Post by aikorob » Sun Feb 14, 2016 6:26 pm

Just like the title says---I am looking for a formula/method/rule of thumb on figuring when the can mountain is high enough (never probably)
Mrs. came home from the bent can store the other day, and after putting everything away, she long will this last? I have no idea.
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Re: How do you calculate your food preps?

Post by TacAir » Sun Feb 14, 2016 7:34 pm

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Re: How do you calculate your food preps?

Post by 00dlez » Tue Aug 23, 2016 9:35 am

1 can of meat protein per person per day - Pouch or can of tuna, half a large can (25 oz) can of chicken, etc
1.5 cans of veggies per person per day - typical 10oz size, half a larger can
~1/4 lb of "dry staple" per person per day - assorted beans, rice, lentils, barley... we have a variety
1.5 serving of fruit per person per day - typical 10oz can, half a larger can, lunch size applesauce thing, etc

That's the base line, and only about 1,000 calories a day, but if I have 2 weeks for 2 people on hand, that is the "minimum" and fluctuates above that depending on the last time I restocked, what we've eaten through lately, etc.

I also have a reasonable pile of "extras" - peanut butter, nutella, honey, ramen, tortillas, jam/jelly, dried fruit, granola, cliff/energy/protein bars, jerky, nuts and so on that I don't track as closely but certainly maintain enough on hand to get the calories up. Maybe not the food pyramid but it works for us and we certainly can cycle through it easily enough without holding our noses. For the two of us, it doesn't take long at all to count the cans and pounds of staples.
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Re: How do you calculate your food preps?

Post by majorhavoc » Tue Aug 23, 2016 10:30 am

Some will argue it's almost impossible to store too much food, or that most preppers don't store near enough to last through a truly major disaster.

Another way to come at it is if your food preps consist partially or exclusively of common-but-longer-shelf-life food items that you normally eat anyway, then a maximum quantity you can store is that amount which you can have on hand at any one time and still rotate out/consume before any of it exceeds it's useful life.

E.G. Assume canned tuna keeps for one year (it's good for much longer, but this example is for illustration purposes). The maximum you can store is that amount you would consume in normal (as distinct from emergency) circumstances. So if you go through 40 cans a year, that's the maximum you can store at any one time (constantly rotating/consuming your supply) without having to throw anything away.

From a risk management perspective, it may be worth it to you to store more than you will use, and just deal with tossing some it every year as part of the cost of prepping.

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Re: How do you calculate your food preps?

Post by Stercutus » Tue Aug 23, 2016 12:00 pm

You don't need to toss food near it's expiration. You donate it somewhere before it expires.

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Re: How do you calculate your food preps?

Post by Close_enough » Wed Aug 24, 2016 4:58 pm

Three meals per day + snacks as needed.
Breakfast: Quick oats with honey or sugar, coffee: 500 Kcal
Lunch: Dried fruit, granola bars, nuts, anything wrapped in a tortilla: 500-600 Kcal.
Dinner: Freeze dried entrée supplemented with instant rice or couscous, beans,and vegetables. Some form of rice gruel is common if I'm only feeding myself. Family size, prepacked dry meals, if I'm feeding others: 700+ Kcal
Snacks: Simple carbohydrates (dried fruit, pretzels, etc). No heavy proteins or snacks: 250 Kcal each.

In short: plan on 2000-3000 Kcal/day for an adult and 1500-2000 Kcal/day for a kid for long term sustainability. Also, watch your sodium intake with a lot of the canned food.

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Re: How do you calculate your food preps?

Post by quazi » Wed Aug 24, 2016 6:04 pm

aikorob wrote:Just like the title says---I am looking for a formula/method/rule of thumb on figuring when the can mountain is high enough (never probably)
There are a lot of different numbers and formulas that people use. I don't think there is one right answer. Most of the strategies make sense, if you understand the rationale behind them.

You just have to pick the right one for you and make it work. What makes sense for you depends on a lot of factors. Here are some off the top of my head:
How many people are you preparing to feed?
How long do you want to be prepared for?
What are your individual caloric and nutritional needs?
What is your budget/timeframe for making the purchases?
What is your storage situation? (Shelf space, temperatures, root cellar, off-grid power, etc.)
What kind of access to water do you have?
What are your options for cooking when the grid is down?
How organized are you?
(I'm sure there are other considerations that I'm forgetting, these are just a few that jumped to my mind as important.)

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Re: How do you calculate your food preps?

Post by Zimmy » Thu Aug 25, 2016 11:58 am

I might have done it the wrong way, but here's how I did it.

I counted heads for how many people I wanted to feed.

Then I figured I would feed them 2000 calories a day at 800 cals of beans, 800 of rice, 200 of cornmeal/flour, and 100 of oil (crisco, canned lard, and olive oil) and 100 of sugar/honey

times X amount of days.

I bought that much of these staple really quickly. Food fatigue? Oh, you betcha! But nobody was going to starve.

Once I had my base I diversified and added canned, freeze dried, or dehydrated fruits, veggies, starches, and meats. I also put back a lot of whole wheat for grinding later once I got a few flour mills.
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Re: How do you calculate your food preps?

Post by duodecima » Thu Aug 25, 2016 11:24 pm

This is not as simple as a rule of thumb, but I used this spreadsheet, customized to what I actually do & don't store for staples : ... ulator.xls

It's from this website (page of food storage spreadsheets & other resources), which is one of what I call the "mormon mom blogs" about food storage.

It doesn't take into account a lot of my canned meat & veggies, just the staples.

ETA - and absolutely on donating vs. pitching things you didn't eat in rotation. Also, when you've failed rotation :oops: you get to post to this thread when you eat the things the food pantry won't take... viewtopic.php?f=32&t=46597
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