When figuring out how much of a particular item you will need for your family for a year’s time, I have heard of many methods, but I’ll tell you the one that is the easiest for me to use. When I get my groceries in from the store, I have a Sharpie marker and I just write on all the non-perishable items the date I bought them. I do that as I am putting them away, so it takes no extra time at all. You’ll forget from one trip to the next what day you bought what, so it is easiest to do on the day you bought them.
For example, if I bought four cans of tomato sauce, I’d write the date I bought them on each can. Then, as I used the last can, I’d note the date I used it. If it was twelve days after I bought the cans, that is four cans over the course of twelve days, or one can every three days. That means this item has a relative turnover of three days.
You can see from there it will be easy to enter that on my long-term stockpile sheet, now that I know the turnover. Those of you who were at the meeting have a blank sheet that you can use and an example of my own stockpile (and some things I’m really low on!) to help you figure out how many of each item you’ll need for a year. I’d recommend make a lot of copies of the blank one, you’ll probably have a bit of trial and error trying to refine your list.
You do need to do some basic math – there are 365 days in a year, so your formula is (365) divided by (Turnover in Days) = (Quantity you’ll need for a year).
There might be some things that are obvious to you, that you know you use every week, or every day, but I think many things you’ll be surprised. I hadn’t paid attention before how long it takes to go through a stick of deodorant, or contact lens solution, or hand soap. Those things get USED every day, but I hadn’t noticed at what rate they are used up and replaced. Marking on them really gave me a time frame to understand and putting it on a chart helped me figure out how many I’d need in a year.