I’ve been bulking up my food storage at higher rate than usual over the past few months. The drought conditions over the last growing season is going to drive up the price of grains and grain-derived products over the next year, and I wanted to shore up my supplies before that happened. However, it’s started to get tough to keep track of what I have and what I still want to buy. I made a giant Excel spreadsheet, but it quickly got oversized and out of hand. Luckily, I came across the Emergency Essentials food storage calculator last week. I gave it a try and decided to tell you what I thought – the good and the bad.
To use the tool, go to the calculator at FoodStorageAnalyzer.com, and click “New Guest” at the top of the page. You can register for an account or test the analyzer without entering your information. I decided to make an account so that I could save my results.
You are asked to input data about your family regardless of whether your register or visit as a guest. All you have to enter are the ages and genders of your family members. There are spaces for their names as well, but that is optional information and I left it blank. The analyzer calculates the daily caloric requirements for each member of your family and shows you the individual and total numbers. For example, a young couple would have to store 4,600 calories per day, but a family of four with two teenaged boys would have to store nearly 10,000 calories per day. This information is used to calculate how many days you could live off of your food storage.
The main page shows three tabs, “Food Storage Products,” “Have You Noticed…” and “My Pantry.” I started out in “Food Storage Products.” This is where you’ll enter the items that you currently have AND the products that you plan to order in the near future. You can add food from several categories: Freeze-dried and dehydrated foods, Mountain House, MREs, and grocery store canned foods. You also have the option to add your own items if you can’t find a good representation of a food within the other categories.
I thought it would be difficult to add all of my foods to the analyzer, but it was surprisingly simple. I like the category breakdowns – it was easy to find things, but there weren’t so many options that I became overwhelmed. I had to approximate in some places, but overall I think I was able to enter a pretty accurate list of my storage.
Your results are shown on the right hand side of every page, and they are automatically updated as you add foods to your list. I don’t need to explain this in great detail, because the “understanding your results” button is extremely thorough. Clicking “view all details” gives you an expanded view of your results with further explanations
Other food storage calculators that I’ve tried have only counted calories, but this analyzed kept track of nutrients as well. This is SO important to me – I always worry about my vitamin consumption post-SHTF. On that note, the “Have you noticed…” tab was awesome, and completely unexpected.
Opening this tab displayed a message that told me that my food storage doesn’t include a lot of calcium. Not only that, but a list of calcium-rich foods was displayed so that I could think about what I wanted to add to my shopping list in the future. This feature was incredibly helpful. There was also a menu at the bottom of every page that helps you look for foods high in the nutrients that are often forgotten when people plan their long term storage.
The “My Pantry” tab shows you a list of which foods you’ve entered into the Analyzer, which foods that you placed in your next order and a “wish list.” You can quickly add or remove items from all lists as you use them up or purchase more.
I love that there’s a print option, and I plan to print out my current food storage list and keep it somewhere in my kitchen or pantry. Then, when I use something up, I can alter my list accordingly and update my Food Storage Analyzer account later on, when it’s convenient.
The only problem that I encountered while using the analyzer was that the page crashed twice during the time I was on the site. Aggravating though it was, my information was saved. I definitely recommend creating account for this reason, if nothing else.
Overall, I was pleasantly surprised with the quality of the Food Storage Analyzer. It had some features that I haven’t encountered before in other calculators and analyzers, and I could actually see myself continuing to use it in the future. If you’re a blogger, Emergency Essentials will send you a $10 gift card for testing out the Food Storage Analyzer (of course, the opinions expressed above are entirely my own). I had a great experience with the analyzer, and I’d encourage you to check it out if you are struggling to manage your food storage or are looking for a thorough way to track your nutrients and plan your purchases.