This evening, after procrastinating for entirely too long, I finally completed an inventory of my family's long-term food storage. All I can say is ... WOW!
Every month I have been continuing to invest in a variety of items (wheat, beans, rice, oats) ... with very little method to my madness. I have been very loosely keeping track of my purchases, using the "if there's space in the closet, we'd better add more food" methodology. After this weekend's bean-buying spree (and the resulting house-wide chaos), I realized that I could no longer procrastinate implementing some sort of inventory system. With the "willing" help of my family members, we organized and counted, tallied and recorded. When all was said and done, I uploaded the data into an Excel database (similar to this one).
I am beyond thrilled ... particularly because I included only unopened, long-term food items. If I were to calculate all the edibles in my kitchen and pantry, I am certain that we have food to last for more than 6 months. I am delighted that we have accomplished so much in such a relatively short time ... while simultaneously becoming debt-free and doing some home renovations! I don't know why it took me so many years to make a correlation between following a budget and not feeling poor ...
Not only has the inventory shown me that we're well on our way to a one-year supply ... but (duh!) I can now see what we need to add (wheat) and where we're set (beans ... we already own 116% of a year's supply for the entire family!).
In other news: I was able to borrow the dry pack canner from my local LDS storehouse. Oh glory ... I think I have a new hobby!
So long, crumply mylar bags, hello bright-and-shiny cans that sit so pretty in my pantry! A girlfriend came over today so we could can up some powdered milk. We were embarrassingly giddy about the whole event. When we ran out of food, I actually considered sealing up an empty can just because it was so fun! We have big plans to get together for another canning party next month ... and thanks to my newfangled inventory, I know just what I'll purchase.