As a young college couple, I knew we should have food storage, but how? We didn’t have a wheat grinder, didn’t have storage space, and had very little extra money. I was prompted to think outside of the box. We could survive if we had oatmeal every morning, skipped lunch, and had a simple evening meal. So I made a plan of six of meals that require no fresh ingredients and could be cooked on a gas stove. I made a list of all the ingredients and, over time, bought what was needed to make each of those meals 15 times. Then we had a three month supply of dinner meals (6 x 15 = 90 meals 🙂 ). You might think I am unusual, but I put the ingredients in a big box in our apartment closet. I shut the box and wrote down the expiration date of the first item in the box to expire. Then I wouldn’t be tempted to use up the storage. When the time came I replaced the items that were about to expire. That way I was never out of the items needed to make my three month supply of dinners. You can decide on your own meals, but here is a super simple framework of ideas to get you going:
Sauce: 1 can cream of chicken soup and ½ can milk (use powdered milk and water)
Stir together and heat.
Rice: Put 2 cups rice, 4 cups water, and a dash of salt in a sauce pan. Heat to boiling. Stir. Reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 20-22 minutes. Rice is best if you don’t take off the lid during the simmering time.
Serve the rice topped with the sauce.
You may also want to store canned peas or pineapple to go with this meal.
3 cups elbow macaroni, cooked
2 eight ounce cans tomato sauce
2 cups water
chili powder to taste
Cook macaroni, drain, and then add the rest of the ingredients. Heat and serve.
Tortillas and Refried Beans
1 can refried beans
Make the tortillas according to the recipe and top them with refried beans.
Chicken Noodle Soup
4 cups water
4 tsp or cubes bouillon
3 cups elbow macaroni
Mix the bouillon into the water and bring to a boil. Add the macaroni and boil until tender. You may add canned potatoes, canned carrots, canned chicken, etc. or eat it as is.
Stew Over Mashed Potatoes
One can beef stew
Cornstarch to thicken the stew into a gravy
Instant potatoes fixed according to package directions.
A can of green beans could be served as a side dish.
2 eight ounce cans tomato sauce with salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning added. Heat until warm.
Spaghetti cooked according to package directions.
A can of corn could be served as a side dish.
And lastly, it may be wise to add a container of multiple vitamins to your storage. These meals aren’t meant to be spectacular…but they are meant to help you get by. Years later we now have a wheat grinder, and wheat, and beans, and cornmeal, and pasta, and rice…but when I try to think through what I would actually do with my food storage in an emergency, I find myself going back to my simple plan from long ago. May you prepare and have peace.
Items needed to make the example meals:
cream of chicken soup
peas or pineapple (optional)
chicken bouillon granules or cubes
canned chicken (optional)
green beans (optional)
oats —for an oatmeal breakfast each day
(Rice, oats, powdered milk, elbow macaroni, potato flakes, and spaghetti can be purchased from the LDS Church Home Storage Centers in number 10 cans that can store for 20-30 years.)