Prepping strategies for larger families

Alot of prepping advice is based on the number of people you are prepping for…”save X amount of rice/water/supplies for each person in the family.” This is pretty manageable if you have a small household, but what do you do when you have a bigger family, with constantly shifting nutritional needs and preferences?

Right now I have 3 kids under 5, which means they don’t eat all that much now, but they will in a few years. Their preferences also bounce around like crazy – one week they LOVE a certain food or snack, and the next week they won’t touch it. We are also considering adding a 4th child at some point, so it is possible we will end up with a family of 6 to prep for. Right now I don’t have the space, mental bandwidth, or finances to stock up on a full supply of food for 5-6 people that will last a year, especially when half my family is guaranteed to refuse a bunch of it at some point.

To date, my strategy is to simply stock up on the items I know I’ll definitely use, and to prioritize items that have longer shelf lives: rice, pasta, sauces, canned tomatoes, baking supplies, specific snack items, peanut butter and jelly. I’m less about aiming for a certain amount on hand per person, and more about making sure I have enough to get us through the next 3-6 months if these items disappeared from the stores tomorrow. Any other tips on how to approach prepping for bigger families?


  • Comments (6)

    • 6

      I don’t have any direct experience with it but this is where investing in chickens and gardening could be a good idea so that you can add to your food preps from a source you have more control over. Is that a possibility for your situation?

      • 4

        We actually already do quite a bit of homesteading – we have chickens, a summer kitchen garden, and fruit plants. The trouble is, even with experience, it is extremely difficult to product amounts large enough to sustain a family – what we produce is more of a substantial supplement/compliment than the bulk of our nutritional needs. Far better than nothing, but far short of what we would need in a severe food shortage.

    • 9

      for the picky eaters, have you thought about stocking up on saltines? i didn’t love a lot of foods growing up but i would usually get down a fair amt when my parents put it on crackers. ritz too. so that may help you use the food that they normally wouldn’t eat.

      • 6

        We have a ton of ritz crackers on hand for this very reason!

      • 5

        i wonder if there’s a shortage on things like that. haven’t noticed but i haven’t been looking specifically. good reminder!

    • 7

      I have four kids and have found that their tastes have widened over time to include most foods so there is hope at the end of the tunnel!  My suggestion would be to stock up on a variety of foods and things that could be broken down into parts.  So in a survival situation, you wouldn’t be serving the same things everyday for weeks which is good advice all around.  When my kids were young, they wouldn’t touch a casserole with a ten foot pole, but they would eat the individual parts if served seperately.  Also, hunger makes the best sauce!