LDS Food Storage Calculator

I'll be honest, I don't know a whole lot about the Mormons. But, one thing I do know is this — they basically wrote the book on long-term food storage plans. One of their beliefs is that every family should have stored enough food to last at least one full year.

To figure out just how much food this is, they've developed a handy little calculator. You just put in the number of people in your family and click Calculate. Then, scroll down a bit and you’ll find a number of charts detailing how much of each type of food you need for a year.

YIKES! That’s a lot of food, isn't it? Plus, it does assume you'll know how to use all that stuff since there isn't much in the way of convenience foods listed.

Here are a few suggestions I would make if you choose to follow their guidelines.

1) Learn how to prepare these types of foods and get your family accustomed to eating it. While most of us probably eat rice or beans on occasion, taking wheat and making something tasty from it takes a bit of work.

2) The sheer amount of food recommended can be overwhelming. Break it down a bit to make things easier. Divide those numbers by four to get a three month supply. Or go even further and divide it by twelve to get a one month amount.

3) Don’t buy stuff you know most or all of your family members just won’t eat. If none of you like peas, don’t buy the split peas and just bulk up elsewhere. It doesn’t make any sense to buy stuff you won’t ever use.

4) Don’t forget about spices, condiments, and comfort foods. Many people believe you can improve just about anything by adding hot sauce, right? Comfort foods include things like popcorn, chocolate, hard candy, and other things that might not have much in the way of nutritional value but just taste oh so good! For me, one of those things is instant mashed potatoes. While there’s little comparison between instant and “real,” they’ll do in a pinch. I’ll make some at least once a week because I just dearly love my ‘taters!

As with any food storage plan, you need to start somewhere and adjust for your own family. The LDS calculator is a great starting point.