As you may know, the big news of late has been about the Corona Virus – aka COVID-19. For many of us, we have a lot more questions than we do answers with the primary question being, “Am I at risk?”. Other questions may include, “Do I have enough food and supplies in the house?” or “How long is this going to last?” or “When will the stores have toilet paper again?” Unfortunately, we do not really have any real answers right now – or worse, the answers keep changing! With this in mind, let’s answer some questions for ourselves.
Knowledge is power! If you do not know what supplies and resources you have on hand, it is difficult to make decisions for the future. Conversely, if you have an understanding of what you have, you will also have an understanding of what you need. You will feel a lot better if you know your current situation so your starting-point is taking a complete inventory of your home – from the freezer to the refrigerator, to the pantry, toiletry items, medicines and vitamins. Oh, and do not forget to inventory the snack drawer! It is important you know everything you have on-hand.
Now, let me tell you, taking a complete inventory of your home is no small task so get the entire family involved. For those of you with school-aged children at home, this is a great way to get them away from their electronic devices for a while and get them doing some math. For the older children, let them set up and enter the information into a spreadsheet. Make sure to include columns for the following information:
- Category (e.g., frozen meat, pantry, vitamins)
- Quantity / # of pieces
- Pounds / Ounces (e.g., 2 lbs, 10 oz)
- Item Description (e.g., Vitamin C, toilet paper)
- # of days (yes, you will have to do some math! — e.g., 1.5 lbs of ground beef = 1 day of protein for a family of 4)
- Items used
Add other columns as you see fit.
Now, if you do not have access to a spreadsheet application (like Microsoft Excel), you do have some free options:
- Google Sheets
- Apple Numbers
If you do not want to utilize one of these free options, you can always go Olde Skool and use pen and paper.
With this information, you can calculate how many days the food and other supplies you have will last. This will also give you a clear picture of where you have a shortage and where you have excess. If you find yourself with an excess of something, perhaps consider helping out a close friend, neighbor or a family member who may have a shortage. As we have seen recently, people tend to hoard things during times of stress and while I understand the desire to hoard, this is not really the time for it. We are all stronger when we help each other so let’s be generous with our excess. Who knows? Someday you may be the one in need and praying for someone to help you!
Now, the next question I hear you asking is, “How do I know how many ounces of meat to calculate for my family per day?” A general guideline for daily food portions, per person, is below:
- 6 oz of meat / protein
- 1-2 oz of nuts or chips for snacking
- 1/2 cup of cereal, cooked pasta or rice
- 1 cup of raw veggie or 1/2 cup cooked veggies
- 1-2 pieces of fruit
I also want to share a few links:
- This link will help you with food portions if you do not have a kitchen scale. If you do have a kitchen scale, get it out and use it!
- This link with help you convert ounces to pounds
Remember, we are here to answer any of your questions.
Lastly, everyone please stay safe and healthy!