My 90-Day Food Plan
Living Like My Grandparents
A new car and an island vacation may be the gold standard of success, but often at the expense of food, water, and shelter.
That has never made sense to me. That’s why I developed a 90-day food plan. That’s right. I always keep enough in the house to feed us for 90 days.
It’s a simple plan.
I wanted to stock my shelves and fridge. Rather than buy a lot of survival food or endless cans of beans, I planned my emergency supplies around food that I would eat even without an emergency.
I never liked the idea of throwing food out.
It feels too wasteful. Often what people stock on their emergency shelves is food they only plan to use in an emergency which means much of it will either expire or be completely forgotten about. I’m not talking about the survival food that is popular with preppers these days. You know, food that has a shelf life of twenty-five years.
I keep some of that around for camping and possible emergencies, but it’s not my favorite way to eat.
My 90-day food plan is centered around 12 favorite go-to meals. Things that we love to eat no matter what. Meals that we tend to have at least once a month, maybe oftener.
I make great enchiladas, for example.
We also love a good breakfast with pancakes and thick sliced bacon. I eat steel cut oats almost every day for my cholesterol. We love hamburgers. We buy Costco’s chicken masala and keep boxes of minute rice on hand. I love french fries prepared in my air fryer. We enjoy pasta and tortellini. I keep peanut butter and saltines on hand. We freeze humus. I have egg noodles as well as frozen chicken breasts for soup, boxes of broth, and canned crushed tomatoes.
Once my chest freezer is filled and my shelves are packed, I’m good for the next 90 days.
Then I go to the store twice a month for fresh vegetables and extra dry goods. It feels good to have plenty of food in the house. It’s also economically sound.
Three things make this plan even easier to carry out.
One, we rarely eat out. The price of a restaurant meal would buy me a lot more food if I’m willing to prepare it for myself. Two, I needed to purchase a small chest freezer to make this plan work. Three, because a lot of my food is frozen, I also own a battery power station in case we lose power. I can run my fridge and freezer until the power comes back on.
Americans have long embraced the consumer world.
Lots of stuff defines success. Their three bay garages are so full of stuff that they can’t park their cars inside them. The cupboards are bare, but the walls of every room sport a TV. They may be living from paycheck to paycheck, but their credit cards get them by at least temporarily.
Food, the most essential of our needs, is largely acquired the expensive way, by eating out. If there was a disruption in our food chain, they’d be scrounging for a slice of bread to pop in the toaster.
I think I always romanticized self-reliance, living off the land, and communing with nature. However, when I was quite young, early 20s, I met a much older couple who lived on the banks of the Ohio River who greatly influenced my life. I plan to write an article about these two amazing individuals and their self-sufficient lifestyle in an upcoming article.
Suffice it to say, I remain interested in gaining new skills in order to fend for myself.
I’ve published several articles about my developing backup emergency plans. In a world that is facing climate change, crumbling infrastructures, and power grids that struggle to meet demands, I’m expecting to experience more problems not fewer.
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Maybe modern humans have grown complacent.
My grandparents certainly were far more self-reliant than almost anyone I know today. They witnessed The Great Depression. Food was the single most important thing in their lives. More than cash, my grandparents treasured a full larder.
Once a person experiences hunger, it leaves a lasting mark.
My grandparents could teach us a lot today. They raised a huge garden, canned, bought a side of ham and hung it from their summer kitchen ceiling, raised chickens, had a milk cow, bought food in bulk when it was on sale, and rarely ate out. When they came to visit us, their car was packed with canned green beans, homemade sour kraut, home-baked goods, and their own jams and jellies.
The greatest gift they could imagine was food. FOOD! They gave to us what they treasured most. Isn’t that amazing?
Common sense is in short supply these days. I have a long way to go before I’m as self reliant as I want to be, but I’m grateful for the good example my grandparents set. I started with a 90-day food plan. That’s all. It really isn’t brain surgery.
It’s what we used to call being practical.
You don’t need to own a farm or live in the woods to practice a level of self reliance. My grandparents lived in a small ranch house most of their working lives. Their back yard had room for the garden, peach trees, and grape arbors. They pinched pennies even when they no longer had to do so. After they retired, they bought a small farm. It was a dream come true.
Theirs was a lifestyle based on common sense, a measure of frugality, and priorities centered around food, water, and shelter.
If you have any tips you’d like to share about your own personal journey to a more self-reliant lifestyle, please feel free. I welcome open, honest conversation. Let’s problem solve together.
Teresa is a retired educator, author, world traveler, and professional myth buster. You can find her books on Amazon.