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As mentioned elsewhere on this site, I began devising the Excel spreadsheet for the Core Food Supply calculator because I was very dissatisfied with the other calculators and lists out there. I wanted a more balanced list of foods that would offer nutrition and a range of flavors and textures so that we could enjoy eating in an emergency scenario. This spreadsheet is to give you an idea of how much you need to buy in the categories of meat/proteins, dairy, grains, vegetables, and fruit. This core calculator does not include items like oil, sugar or spices which are in my opinion subject to each person’s preferences rather than necessary daily requirements. Such items can be found on a separate list on the “Other Food Items” page.
This calculator can be tweaked based on the number of people you’re prepping for, and then if you are familiar with Excel there is a wide range of other ways to customize this for your use (please only do that on your own personal copy, then direct anyone else who is interested to this website). If you really don’t want to deal with spreadsheets, I am offering some of it as a PDF list for one person.
There is also a web based calculator on this site so you can instantly and easily get this same information.
There is slightly less customization than with the Excel spreadsheet, but it’s more user friendly.
That calculator can be accessed here.
The Excel spreadsheet breaks it down for 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, 9 months, and 1 year. The PDFs show only the summary/explanation page and the 1 year list.
What if I just want to go stock up with lots of canned goods from my local grocery store instead of buying freeze dried?
The spreadsheet lists the total number of servings as well as how many servings approximately are in each #10 or pantry size can. So you can easily do half and half, or even entirely use those canned goods or other shelf stable items from the grocery store. Just be aware the shelf life of those items will be shorter.
Q. What if I don’t like to eat many grains or I’m gluten free? (Or dairy free, etc.)
There are a number of ways to tackle this. Easiest thing will be to use the Excel spreadsheet rather than the PDFs. If you go under the first tab, Assumptions, you can customize the number of servings in each category. You can change the number of servings under grains to less or even zero and increase other categories as desired for your own personal diet restrictions. The spreadsheet calculations will all update automatically. You can also use it as a placeholder for whatever other items you may substitute for it. For example, if you are dairy free, you can use the dairy category as a placeholder for dairy substitutes you typically use in your cooking or like to have as a snack.
Q. What if I have young children and they don’t eat much?
I think this question is less likely since kids grow out of these phases and it’s hard to predict when an emergency situation might occur, but if you just want a goal for the time being that you can add to later then here is an option: The spreadsheet does allow for decimals. If you have a young child that doesn’t eat much yet plus yourself and your spouse, you could enter “2.5” instead of having to choose “2” or “3.” This allows you to get a smaller portion for them than the other built in options without messing up the calculations for adults.
Q. What about things like sugar, salt, and oil?
As noted above, because these items depend so much on personal preference, I decided to put them in a separate list rather than determining X number of pounds of sugar as if every single person consumes the same. Those types of items can be found on the other food items page.
Q. Why can’t you just give me a list of how many pounds of wheat, rice, beans, and other things I need and call it a day?
There are lots of lists out there like that if they are more to your liking. This list is to provide another approach for those who want it.