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Online Discussion: Tracking new emerging diseases and the next pandemic.

Calculating preps for your family...

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worriedinMD View Drop Down
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    Posted: March 27 2006 at 5:50am
Hello all ~ I have been "lurking" here for quite a while, and this is my first post. I regularly (read: obsessively Wink) check this board for latest news and prep information.
 
Recent news from all over has me feeling that we are close to this all becoming a very unfortunate reality, and that has prompted me to take a HARD and REALISTIC look at my preps for my family.
 
To try to get a handle on how much food we will need, and to help focus on this ENORMOUS task ahead of us, here is what we did:
 
My DH and I made up a very simple menu for four days (to at least try to avoid eating tuna and powdered milk every day). I then used a spreadsheet to calculate how much of each item I need to have in order to feed our family (10 people) for those four days.
 
Once we came up with the four day totals, it was then very easy to multiply those totals to see how much we need for 30 days, 90 days, etc.
 
What I found really shocked me! I thought we were well prepared, but in fact I have VASTLY underestimated how much food we will use each day.
 
We were really conservative (IMO) planning the meals, and kept it super simple.
 
Sample Menu for one day:
Breakfast ~ one granola bar, 1 tbsp of peanut butter, 1/2 cup of canned fruit.
 
Lunch ~ 1/2 box of mac and cheese, and 1/2 can of veggies.
 
Dinner ~ 1/2 can of chunky soup.
 
Also 1 cup of milk per day, per person.
 
We tried to keep three meals each day, thinking that for the kids (and adults who may act like kids Wink), keeping the routine of breakfast, lunch, and dinner would be nice if possible.
 
For example, in our four days of menus, we have planned on 1/2 can of tuna fish per person, for two different meals. So for 10 people, we need 10 cans of tuna fish every four days! This turns into 250 cans of tuna fish for 100 days (approx 3 months). If we plan on 10 people eating 1 can of fruit per day, then we need 1000 cans of fruit just to get through 3 months! At last count, we only have about 250 cans. YIKES!
 
Yet another thing I underestimated was rice. I just did the math, and one pound of rice will make approx 10 cups of cooked rice. So if we plan on having one cup of rice per day for 10 people, then we need 1 pound of rice PER DAY. Our 50 pounds of rice will not last very long with 10 hungry people in our house.
 
I thought I was doing well with the tons of stuff already in the basement ~ now I have MAJOR shopping to do to even be remotely prepared for even 3 months. AND to make matters worse, I now believe we should really be prepared for 6 months at a minimum, one year to be comfortable.
 
This has really been eye opening for me and my DH. We used the same formulas to calculate rolls of toilet paper (one for each person every four days, or 250 rolls for 100 days), and all other items we think we will need.
 
It does help me to have REAL numbers to use to prep ~ now I will KNOW how many boxes of mac and cheese (800 for those that are wondering Wink) I need to have in my basement to even begin to feel ready for what is coming. My DH thinks that as we approach those numbers, my anxiety will ease off ~ but I have my doubts.
 
I would be happy to help anyone figure out the totals they need for their family if necessary, or provide you with our sample menus. I think the only way we will get through this is to help each other as much as possible, and this is the least I can do for any and all of you who have opened my eyes to the reality of what is to come.
 
Now we are off to the store...
 
 
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Thomas Angel View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Thomas Angel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 27 2006 at 5:58am
The minimum daily caloric intake should be about 3500 calories.  Adjust your planning.
I LIKE SCARY RIDES
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worriedinMD View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote worriedinMD Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 27 2006 at 6:05am
3500 calories!?!? WOW that changes things even more.
 
If you don't mind me asking, why 3500? I have a murky memory (from years of yo-yo dieting) that you need 10 calories per pound to mantain your current body weight. So a 150 pound person would need 1500 calories per day. Heavy activity or exercise requires additional calories per day.
 
If we need 3500 calories per day, for 10 people, for 6-12 months... my basement is simply not big enough. Cry
 
Thanks!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote oknut Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 27 2006 at 6:08am
Worriedin MD - your sample menu idea is great. I think we need to try that out and see where we really stand too.

As you constant bring things home and prepare them for storage, it feels like you have enough to last for a very long time. I may be wrong about our preps too.
Thanks for sharing that idea.
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roxy View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote roxy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 27 2006 at 7:43am
 hi to all don't foget the mayo,onions and what ever else you put in your tuna, i thought i was doing pretty good with 6 extra jars of mayo to start with , guess not and looking at your meal plans, its good ,but can you stick with that? no snacks , people eat more if they are stuck in the house,or in my case stressed out, what about crackers for the peanut butter and the soup and you don't have bread on the list , i might add ,you could make some plain white rice to add to the soup to make it more filling, can do trhis also with can stew       thanks for the infro, more to think about and more to spend     roxy
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oknut View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote oknut Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 27 2006 at 7:52am
Mayo - I have a few jars but was concerned about lack of electricity to keep opened jars cool
Yesterday I found a site that sells individual packets of mayo and jelly as well as containers of gravy mix, soup base and bouillon. They accept PayPal too. Not sure how competitive the prices are, but the shipping was reasonable for the weight of my order.
http://www.spiceplace.com/
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worriedinMD View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote worriedinMD Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 27 2006 at 8:04am

Already even more to think about! Smile

We are considering mayo too - just a note, we bought a box of mayo packets a long time ago for something else, and after about a year I went to use them and they had gone bad. Don't know for sure how long they will last.
 
I was thinking that small jars of mayo would be best, as they will stay ok until opened, and you can use up a smaller jar much faster.
 
We have been thinking about ways to make bread. Tortillas are easy to make, and cook on a flat griddle. You only need a few ingredients that are pretty stable. My husband makes them all the time and they are way better than store bought versions. My kids will wrap just about anything in a tortilla, including peanut butter and jelly!
 
Any other ideas on bread making / baking if there is no electricity?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote oknut Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 27 2006 at 8:13am
worriedinMD - I hope my mayo packets hold up long enough. I've been thinking about bread too. Our range is gas so we'd be able to cook inside as long as we had gas service. There's a thread started by Penham about solar ovens that is fascinating. I plan to build a couple of the cheap units using reflective sunshades and turkey sized oven bags. Maybe I could bake bread in those if I had to. I'm ready to try making our own torillas too. We love tortillas and you're right - you can put almost anything on or in them.
We have a very old frig in the garage that has a bottom freezer we seldom use for anything other than extra ice cube trays. I'm planning to pick up many 5# bags of flour and store them in there. Figure they'll get frozen to debug them and can just stay there until needed if the power goes out. Planning to store the cheap boxes of cornbread mix in there too.

I suppose we could make tortillas on the grill with a cast iron griddle or fry pan. Right now I'm thinking about the possibility of using a large, old enamelware roaster inside of an oven bag with the solar oven to bake small loaves of bread or cornbread.
Check out that thread on solar ovens.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote roxy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 27 2006 at 8:18am
 hi to all, the mayo problem, some body posted here a web site to long term boating at sea, they never put the dirty knife back in the mayo jar,thus avoiding contamination,and it lasted a few days,but in the winter,it won't be a problem a cooler outside, in the summer i think the coolest part of the house will be in the basement , with that many people a medium jar of mayo will go fast if you plan meals around it, potatoe , tuna noodle, ham,turky, salads  or buy small jars for smaller groups roxy
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote roxy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 27 2006 at 8:23am
 hi to all, coleman makes  an out door oven i brought after 911, can be usede on the grill ect., never had to use it but if i had to could make small amounts of muffins,bread. check it out , would need small baking pans and lightweight pans roxy
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Hello WorriedMd,

Thanks for the posting, the information is appreciated.

    
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Ironstone View Drop Down
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Mayo in a glass jar stored in a "dark, cool place" will last forever unopened and about 10 days opened (my 80 year old mom has never put it in the fridge).  Starches and fats are very important in planning.  Don't put the meals at 1,500 calories, you will be hungry all the time USDA says 2,000-2,500 for the average adult. 
 
I have peanut, olive and corn oil in preps but my largest amount is lard.  The other oils will go bad in a short time (8 months to about a year) lard keeps forever if stored right.  I melted mine and then ladled it into sterilized canning jars that were heated in the oven to 250 and then put on simmering lids.  They sealed immediately.  Just fill them to about 1/21-1/4 inches from the top of the rim.  Lard has a bad reputation but it is animal product and better for you than some of the other oils.  It has the added value of being satisfying to the stomach and will hep fill up the family.  Of all the oils (except bacon grease) it is the best tasting in a pot of dry beans.  
 
The thought of being locked in-doors and making meals means many of us start to think about eating healthy foods and making healthy meals.  That's true but it is not the time to skimp on calories.  It will be hard enough living with one another without the aggravation of being hungry all the time.  In the quarantine enviroment meals are going to be the one thing we will have to look foreward to or dread.
 
Count your calories in each meal and plan accordingly. For breakfast i have oatmeal and pancakes with the needed items of syrup and such, once in a while we will get breakfast gravy.  I did look at the breakfast bars but the   shelf life seemed a bit short and i felt they would not "stick to the ribs" long enough.
 
I have a lot of starches, fats and things needing sugar in my preps.  Not things i normally eat but this will really be the house from Hell if we are confined and hungry.  Things like tuna sandwich with olives, pickles and chips may help people to feel more normal when eating and those condiments will last a few days opened with no refrigeration.
 
There is so much information on this site and on others that it is hard to read enough but keep reading and learing.  I learn something new almost every day.
 
Welcome to the board, i am also new to the board but have been prepping for months now and watching BF for over a year.  Some very nice people on this board.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote oknut Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 27 2006 at 9:28am
Ironstone - Thank you for all of that information.

I had no idea that you could use mayo beyond a few hours if not refrigerated. Could really kick myself in the butt now for buying those individual packets.

I will definately be canning some lard and really appreciate you posting the directions. I've put up some butter that way but hadn't thought of lard. It'll come in handy for making tortillas too. I was planning to buy more containers of crisco but will add lard instead.

Do you know if miracle whip/salad dressing keeps for days without refrigeration too?

Thanks
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ironstone Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 27 2006 at 9:48am
Oknut, I'm sorry but i don't  care for the taste of mirace whip and i have only one jar stored for my daughter, so i can't answer your question.  I do have crisco stored and it lasts a very long time if unopened but it also has additives.  I  canned bacon grease the same way as i did the lard.  Being a southener, life without bacon grease is unthinkable. 
 
I got some corn husks for making tomales...still have to ask my neighbor how to make them and the fillings but i know i will need lard.  Check out the mexican section of the grocery too...i got canned salsa and canned cheese there.  They may not be as good as fresh but they will have to do.  I looked up the directions for making sour cream on line too and am going to try that as well as cottage cheese.  Those last two items should add a lot to my meals in taste.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 27 2006 at 9:54am
Lable me confused: I thought Crisco was lard??
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote oknut Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 27 2006 at 9:54am
Thank you again! I have a container of bacon grease in my frig so I'l add that to some small canning jars too. Anything fried in bacon grease tastes good. I'm actually from Wisconsin, but moved south in '81. My grandmother (dairy farmer) fried everything in bacon grease. Fried carrots, fried potatoes, friend parsnips, bacon grease gravy - she called it milk gravy.
The hubby prefers mayo to miracle whip too so maybe I'll just pick up several small jars of mayo and be sure.
Guess I'd better get back to billable work.
Thanks again for all the great tips.
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Ironstone, I didn't bookmark the thing on marking sour cream. do you have the URL avaialble? TIA
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 27 2006 at 10:04am
WorriedinMD, since you have such a large family to feed, you might want to check out restaurant supply stores. Almost everything there is in larger containers and CHEAPER.
I went last weekend to our local one and was very pleasantly surprised. Even though I am only shopping for two, there were quite a few items, like seasoned dehydrated black beans (which I have been wanting forever) and a bunch of other goodies, which you normally can't find in a regular grocery store at all. Give it a try!
By the way, it's been raining here in Northern California for like forever, and there were pallets of charcoal!!! Hmmmm 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ironstone Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 27 2006 at 10:05am
Table-cream can be found in the Mexican section of the store, usually.  Powdered buttermilk is in the baking section.
 
 
Cottage cheese.
 
 
When canning or storing bacon grease make sure all the water has left it...when it stops steaming and becomes clear in the frying pan.
 
 
Femvet, Crisco is to lard what margarine is to butter.
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Heck, I forgot to add: If you go, look in the seasoning isle for a dark brown bottle made by MAGGI. It's a liquid seasoning that you can use in anything (sparingly!!), gives great flavor. It's important to remember things like spices, herbs, SALT, water enhancers etc.
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