Wow! Thank you so much for these replies. You've all given me a lot to think about. I believe that I can take a bit from all of your stocking styles.
From Jori - The stocking to be able to help others hasn't really been on my radar. Hubby comes from a very large family and he has 11 living siblings( and their families) in the surrounding area. I have my parents and two siblings (and their families). My sisters prep in varying degrees for convenience and my parents have always kept about a 9 month supply of food in the house, or at least that would be my best guess. The idea of trying to prep for all of hubby's relatives seems pretty daunting, but I know that it would be difficult for hubby to abandon them here in the city to bug out to the country if he didn't feel that we were able to give them SOMETHING to help them out.There is no possibility of them being able to bug out with us. So... Maybe, we could buy some extra cheap foods, like beans and rice so that we have enought to share. It might not be what they actually wantto eat, but it would help them to survive.
From Turtlemama - I will have to put some consideration into how I will rotate all of this. While my house is large, it is cut up in a very strange fashion. I will need to do some serious rearranging and develop a better organizational system to manage the stash.
From Nichole - We had planned to NOT plant any more long-term food plants/bushes/trees, since we don't plan to stay here permanently. We wanted to wait until we moved before getting things like apple or pear trees. However, maybe we can identify something else that isn't so difficult to move. We do garden and we have raspberries and strawberries,...Maybe we should get more strawberries, since those could be moved easily and they would be already established. I have a lot of seed catalogs to go through. If not strawberries, then maybe I can identify something else.
From Deerslayer - Unfortunately, it sounds as though we live in places that are polar oppposites of eachother! However, I could build another quail cage and increase the flock. It wouldn't really cost anything because we have leftover wire and scrap lumber. Fertile eggs are free when you already have a flock and I do have two incubators. I could hatch them as soon as the weather breaks, maybe in early April. This go around, I will get in the habit of freezing extra eggs to ensure that I don't end up without when the chickens decide to moult!
From CrabgrassAcres - I am in awe of your goal of 7 years for two people!
We don't buy all of those freeze dried items, either. I do dehydrate my own stuff, though. What I'm sensing is that while we've endeavored to stock up on foodstuffs, we've neglected to stock up on lifestuff. We have sewing needles and crochet hooks, but I'm not too sure as to how much yarn, fabric etc... we actually have on hand to manufacture anything out of. This is a whole other category that we have yet to address. I will be on the lookout for yarn and such at yard sales. We are a little light on the livestock feed, but I hate the idea of stocking actual milled feed since it can lose the nutritional value. A few weeks ago, birdseed was on sale at Aldis. We bought a bag, but money was tight. we should have purchased at least 12. The quail and chickens can both eat the kinds with the really small seeds, so it would be a good prep item to have on hand with no worry about it losing the nutritional value since the seeds are whole grains. We are also med-free but we do use some supplements like fish oil, glucosamine and melatonin.
From AnitaPreciousPearl - Oh my goodness... A family of 9!!! :faint3:How do you do it??!! Like you, I had been only thinking in terms of boxes and cans. Maybe I should reconsider my stance and at least get a few things like wheat and a grain mill. I've never even priced one out. Once we move, we should be able to do anything that we want. We decided that we weren't willing to settle for a property if it wouldn't enable us to do the things that we want to do now and allow for some growth. Besides, I hate the moving process. I do need to re-learn how to pressure can and buy a pressure canner. The pressure canner would allow me to can more than just the acidic foods that we do in the waterbath canner.
From Cootie - 'It is never enough'...Yep, that's what I was afraid of! I guess that I fear becoming a hoarder. I don't mind hanging onto something if I think that it could be useful, but I'm not sure that I'd know how to draw the line. As large as my house is, I'm always surprised that we've managed to fill it up in fewer than 20 years of owning it. Part of it is the odd configuration of the rooms, but how many rooms in a house can you devote to storage? Maybe that is the question that I need answered...