We survived the Stockpile Challenge and my confidence in my preps has increased dramatically.
I wish I’d begun recording what we ate as soon as I started this challenge, but it didn’t occur to me until my friend asked me, a week or so into it. The numbers are extrapolated from my last inventory minus my current inventory. They may not be 100% accurate, but should be a close reflection on what we ate. This is for a family of 2, and adult and a child.
What we used for the month of January
- 37 gallons of water (for drinking and cooking)
- 4 cans of apple juice
- 6 quarts of apple sauce
- 8 quarts of peaches
- 2 pints of Mandarin oranges
- 2 pints of home-canned cranberry sauce
- 20 pints of green beans
- 6 pounds of frozen Brussels sprouts
- 8 pints of carrots
- 1 pound of frozen cauliflower
- 2 pounds of frozen broccoli
- 2 pounds of frozen yellow bean/carrot mix
- 2 quarts of pumpkin
- 2 pints of pickled cauliflower
- 2 pounds of cheddar cheese
- 5 gallons of milk
- 14 pounds of white flour
- 15 pounds of wheat berries
- 2 pounds of chocolate chips
- 1/2 pounds of raisins
- 2 jars of yeast
- 1 pound of almonds
- 1 quart jar of brown rice
- 2 boxes of spaghetti
- 1 box of macaroni
- 1/2 canister of Parmesan cheese
- 1-1/2 pounds of peanuts
- 7-1/2 boxes of saltine crackers
- 2 jars of peanut butter
- 1/2 pound of cocoa
- 2 pounds of coffee
- 2 boxes of green tea
- 1 frozen beef roast
- 1 frozen turkey
- 2 frozen chickens
- 3 pounds of frozen chicken breasts
- 4 pounds of frozen ground beef
- 4 pounds of frozen bacon
- 2 pounds of sausage
- 4 quarts of spaghetti sauce with meatballs
- 6 quarts of home canned tomatoes
- 7 quarts of home canned broth
- 4 cups of powdered milk
- 3 pouches of instant mashed potatoes
- 6 cups of freeze-dried hash brown potatoes
- 1 quart of olive oil
- 1 box of cereal
- 2 pints of jam
- 1/2 quart of honey
- 1 pint of maple syrup
- 4 pounds of oatmeal
- 3 pounds of cornmeal
- 2 pounds of popcorn
- 2 pounds of muscovado sugar
- 3 pounds of turbinado sugar
- 1 pound of barley
- 6 cups of dried beans
- 1 dozen eggs
- 2 pints of taco sauce
- 1 quart of salsa
- 17 quarts of homemade soups/stews
- 9 quarts of home canned meats (beef, chicken and ham)
- 3 pounds of coconut oil
- 1 pound of butter
- 2 pounds of onions
- 7 heads of garlic
- 1 quart of home dried mushrooms
- 1-1/2 quarts of home dried bell peppers
- 1/2 quart of home dried onions
- 2 bags of soft tortillas
- 2 bags of kettle style potato chips
The totals do not include the odds and ends that were in my refrigerator from when I started the challenge. I had a few apples and oranges, some supplies for salad, and some leftovers.
I still have quite a bit of food on the shelves, which makes me really happy. We could, if we chose, go for several more months and still have substantial variety and nutrition. I’m planning later to multiply by 12 and work out how this compares to the standard preparedness charts.
This was a great learning experience. I think the only way to predict whether or not your preps will suffice is to put yourself in the situation and practice. You can assume all you want about your preparations but until you have put them to the test, you’re only guessing. I think that the lives of our families are far too important for guesswork.
This will be the “easy” week for most people, preppers and non-preppers alike. This is the week where you use up all of your fresh goods, like meat, produce, milk and eggs. Sure, there might be a couple of things you want, but most households (especially those who read prepping sites!) should be just fine for the first week.
During Week 1 I realized that I was going to be really bummed out about running out of cheese and would have to modify my cooking accordingly. We finished up the milk in the fridge and moved on to the milk in the freezer for drinking and powdered milk for cooking. We rarely have purchased bread, so it was no real change to make our own bread and baked goods.
This is the week that will separate the prepared from the unprepared. While you might not have everything you want, if you are a prepper, you likely still have everything you need. You will almost assuredly run out of “fresh” refrigerator items during the course of this week. If you do not already make your own bread and baked goods, you’ll probably have to start, as anything not pre-frozen will be getting moldy by now.
During Week 2, we finished off the last of our apples and oranges from the fridge. The cheese was gone so we made homemade cottage cheese (yummy!). We began to rely on soups that had been canned previously for quick lunches. It was moderately challenging to come up with ideas for my daughter’s school lunches. I ate a lot of peanut butter and crackers for a quick “grab it” breakfast and sent the same in Rosie’s lunch box. (Thank goodness her school isn’t peanut free). We discovered we really really don’t like canned carrots and in an effort to get more veggies into the kiddo, I began to puree them to add to sauces and baked goods.
Week 3 became easier and I think this would probably be the turning point for most folks. This would be the point at which people might begin to cobble together odd meals out of the random items in their cupboards. There were absolutely no fresh items left aside from some garlic and a couple of onions which were sprouting on one end.
I would have like to have begun sprouting veggies, but our house simply doesn’t stay warm enough at night when the fire dies down. This is the week I sincerely regretted not having a root cellar. I really missed fresh (and even frozen) fruits and veggies. We eat a diet very high in produce, so the rest of the month was a big change for us dietarily. This is the week that I realized our version of a “serving” of vegetables is very different from the servings on the prepper charts.
The light at the end of the tunnel! Visions of vegetables danced in my head and I actually became sick of homemade cookies! Aside from that, this week went very smoothly. There was still nothing I needed that I didn’t have. I ran out of store-bought flour this week and had to rely strictly on the flour I grind myself from wheat berries – a little more work but not a major issue. A little girl with a tummy bug sent me going to my shelves to pull out the turkey in broth and make soup for her. I started rationing the saltines as we broke into the 8th and final box in our food storage. I discovered (the hard yucky way) that some almonds we had stored away had become rancid.
What I learned…
While I was overall really pleased with the condition of our stockpile, there are definitely changes that I’m going to make to our food storage.
- This summer, I’m going to make a root cellar.
- I’m going to add a great many root vegetables and winter squashes to my garden.
- I’m ordering or making some powdered cheese.
- I need to keep working on my not-so-great yogurt making skills.
- I need to double up on the produce we put away this summer.
- Never again am I canning carrots. Nor am I pickling cauliflower. In the pickled cauliflower’s defense, a lot of people like it, but Rosie and I had to choke it down.
- I’m going to invest more heavily in frozen vegetables, with the knowledge that I could can them before they spoil if we lost the grid.
- Last summer I grew 10 Roma tomato plants for sauces, salsa, and soup base – this year I’m going to double that.
- Home canned chicken breast is so incredibly delicious!
- Cookies made from wheat germ are only fit for the dog.
- Commercial flour, if available, gets used up first because it’s easy. I’m going to pre-grind and sift some wheat and have it in a jar so that I begin to rely on this more nutritious option.
- I’m working on constructing an indoor green house for my chilly home so that I can at least successfully do some sprouting when fresh veggies are not available.
- Learning to pressure can is the best thing I ever did for our family’s nutritional preparedness. It is so nice to have something healthy and delicious that only requires warming!
How did you do?
So, did you guys make it to the end? What did you learn and are there any changes that you will make to your own preparedness plans?
Today’s treat! ^^^ I spent a fortune on out-of-season fruits!