Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Three Month Supply of Dinners

Angie and I have both been working on menus for a three-month supply of everyday foods. The idea is to have on hand all the ingredients you would need to fully feed your family for at least 90 days. My first task was to plan dinners (then I'd do the same for breakfast and lunch).

Recipes: I've been collecting and trying different dinner recipes that are comprised of ingredients that are easily stored. I decided on 15 dinner recipes, with the idea that I'd cook each dinner 7 times. Yes, I know that 15 X 7 = 103 meals (I like to be extra prepared!) Basically I figured we'd eat the same thing twice a month.

Calculations: Next, I went through each of the 15 recipes and wrote down all the ingredients (including spices) and how much I'd need. Then I multiplied the amounts to figure how much I'd need of each ingredient if I were to make the recipe 7 times. Next I determined what I already had stored and what I need to buy.

Organization: I've decided to photocopy each of my 15 recipes and put them together in one binder along with the calculation/ingredient list.

Discoveries: What I learned was that I need a lot more of some items than I previously thought. For example, I'm short on chicken bullion, diced canned tomatoes, and chicken breasts. Calculating it out helped me to see that we use a lot of some items.

Limitations: The recipes I have chosen do require electricity for keeping the frozens frozen and fuel for cooking. I have considered modifying my list to include some menu items that are ready-made and could be used with little preparation should cooking be an issue. I'm still thinking that one through. Any ideas?

Dinner Ideas: Here is my list of 15 dinners. I picked these recipes because my family will eat them. I also selected these recipes because they use canned goods, grains, lean meats, and legumes. I'd like to hear your dinner ideas, too!

Chicken Tortilla Soup
Taco Soup
Soft Tacos with Tortillas & refried beans
Chicken Noodle Soup
Cream of chicken soup mixed with veggies & Chicken over rice
Chicken pot pie
Hamburger Veggie Soup
Spaghetti with Alfredo Sauce
Chicken, Lentil, and Barley Soup
Shepherd's Pie
Chili with potatoes & peas
Beef Stew
Beef Barley Soup
White Chicken Chili


  1. Have you posted your recipe for white chicken chili? Sounds good. And I hope you don't mind a bit of levity...I'm REALLY glad you posted something new...the title Tuna melt for more than a week on my blog list was starting to scare me. ;)

  2. Kat: Okay, the answer to your question isn't a short one. I got my white chicken chili recipe from this link.

    I tried it and hated it (the beans were too hard; my fault). But the kids and Dave liked the taste of it (and so did I once I forced myself to ignore the hard beans), so I've decided to pursue it because it isn't often I can find a recipe everyone will eat.

    My other hang-up with the recipe is that it calls for a jar of salsa, which I sort of deemed an expensive item (not to mention a labor-intensive item when it is bottled at home). So, the long and short of it is that this recipe is on my list of things to modify to see if I can't substitute bottled tomatoes in place of the salsa. Maybe I'll just break down and use the salsa.

    So, that's the story. I do have several other variations of the recipe (one of which my mom says is good), but none have been posted yet.

    So, white chicken chili is still a work in progress for me.

  3. Kat: Oh, yeah, I was starting to worry about the long reign of the tuna recipe too. Trust me, I was hunting for something to post!

  4. I love your ideas for planning out a 3 month supply! Have you heard of the Bag Meal idea? It doesn't work for every meal, but it sure helps keep all the ingredients on hand for several meals. Check out our blog at in the handout section for some bag meal recipes. The December archive explains the Bag Meal concept.

  5. Tammy, thanks for link and the Bag Meal idea. I'm going to check out your site as soon as I finish this comment.