As evening was falling and Jesus had been teaching the multitude through the day in the desert. His disciples wanted to send the crowd away to find food, but Jesus told the disciples: “…give them something to eat.” They spoke about trying to buy bread for the hungry group, but Jesus asked: “…How many loaves have ye? go and see. And when they knew, they say, Five, and two fishes.” (Mark 6:37-38) After he knew what he had to work with, he blessed the loaves and fishes and fed the multitude.
It can be overwhelming when you’re trying to create a family food storage plan for a month. How do you do that? You start by counting your loaves and fishes.
1. The first thing you need to do is figure out what you have. Look in your cupboards, fridge, and freezer. Make a list or inventory of what you have.
2. Track what your family eats in a month. For instance, you already know that your family eats two cans of soup when you make grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup. Then you know you’ll need 4 cans of tomato soup if you have grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup twice in a month (this is my go-to dinner on busy nights, so I always try and have lots of soup in the cupboard). You can create a grocery list for a future month because you know what your family eats in a typical month. Go ahead. Make your list.
Now you know what you have on hand, and you know what you need to buy in order to feed your family for a month. On to step 3.
3. Create a shopping list of the things you’ve put on your food storage ‘buy’ list. Decide how much extra you can budget for food storage each week and either put those items onto your weekly shopping list or take your master list with you and track totals so you stay within your budget. Now start buying. To stretch your budget, buy items on sale and in season. (Don’t buy something that’s on sale if your family won’t eat it. It doesn’t matter what a good buy cat food is if you don’t have a cat, unless you plan on pouring it in a bowl, dumping milk on it, and telling your children it’s their new cereal. No brainer, I know, but…I have bought hot cereal at an amazing price, but all the instructions were in Norwegian. The family didn’t like it. Duh.)
Counting what you have takes some of the overwhelm out of planning for food storage. Take a Saturday morning or free evening and enlist help from other family members to act as counters and/or scribes.
I urge you to start. Get counting, planning, and purchasing.
Onward & upward,