90-Day Challenge—Survive Solely on Food Storage and Garden

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The best way to measure your true level of preparedness is through mock drills. These are great opportunities to physically practice, assess your skills and supplies, and discover where you need to improve.

Our new challenge: Can The Provident Preppers really survive for 90 days without stocking up at the grocery store? It is time that we tested this theory. We have lived off of our food storage for many years but we always have been able to supplement our stores with regular trips to the grocery store. 

We called a family meeting and with a little persuasion got our children to agree to a challenge to live off just our food storage and garden produce for 90 days. Regular homemade bread was a big seller for Benjamin. Typical for teenage girls, our daughters were highly reluctant.

Reluctant teenagers agree to participate in a 90 day no shopping challenge

Now it is time to see if our stored foods and survival garden can really feed 2 adults and 3 teenagers for 3 months. After a bit of negotiation with Jonathan, we settled on these guidelines for our challenge.

90-Day “No Grocery Shopping” Challenge Rules

  1. No trips to the grocery store to purchase food
  2. Meals, snacks, and treats must be made from items in our personal food storage and garden produce
  3. Bartering and sharing is acceptable
  4. True emergency purchases may be made but must be disclosed, documented, and changes implemented to our storage plan
  5. Daily documentation of foods consumed and challenges faced
  6. The challenge will begin on July 21st and end on October 18th

Exceptions to the Rule

  1. Family vacations when it is impractical to bring food storage
  2. Social obligations (i.e. business meetings)

The exceptions are in place because the world around us will be functioning normally in spite of our little challenge. It will be nearly impossible to avoid purchasing food on our vacation.

We also have a few social engagements that would be difficult to gracefully back out of. The first of which is a bridal shower which I was asked to bring fresh fruit. I offered to bring cookies instead because fresh fruit would require a trip to the grocery store.

We have a family reunion that we are obligated to feed breakfast to 70 people. The rest of the meals during the week are provided for us. We changed the breakfast menu to do the best we can out of our food stores but it would be very disappointing to our relatives to be served only pancakes with syrup and fruit drink for breakfast. It is a bit of a competition to see who can make the best meal. I’m going to have to get very creative. We will keep you posted on how that turns out.

Jones Family Food Resources

We make a common rookie prepper mistake by revealing our resources to you. However, we just can’t do a good job of helping you learn from our challenge without doing so. Operational security has been severely compromised! These photos were all taken just before we started the 90 days.

We have a food storage room that is stocked with short-term everyday foods and long-term staples, so we know that we won’t starve to death. We have home bottled goods just waiting for us to enjoy.

Family food stores before beginning 90 Day No Shopping Challenge

Our garden is well on its way to full production and we have already begun to harvest berries and even some apricots. We have carrots, beets, and turnips from the spring garden and the summer crops should start producing soon.

Garden resources at the beginning of the 90 Day No Grocery Shopping Challenge

We have 13 laying hens and a rooster. They are a fantastic resource and will give us plenty of fresh organic eggs to eat and some leftover to perhaps barter for something we need.

Our hens free-range in our chicken orchard, which significantly reduces the amount of feed required to keep them healthy and laying. Click here to read about our successful survival food forest where the chickens do all the work.

Chicken and eggs

There is no starvation in our future, although the kids may think that going without pizza and ice cream is starving. We have plenty of staples that with some time and creativity can be turned into delicious meals and treats.

Foods We Will Miss

I think the things that we will miss most are fresh dairy items (milk, yogurt, cheese, sour cream, ice cream), bananas, watermelon, pineapple, lettuce (until it cools off and we can grow a fall crop), store-bought bread (because it is so fast and easy), tortillas, rotisserie chicken, and store-bought treats.

It will be interesting to report what we discover over the next 3 months. Jonathan is excited because he is the hard-core prepper “what-doesn’t-kill-us-makes-us-stronger” kind of guy.

He also is keenly aware of the money we will save both on gas and food. Perhaps he might not be calculating what going without is going to cost when this is all over. I just might have to make sure we NEVER run out of my favorite foods again.

I just like to have what I want when I want it. I enjoy the comforts of life. That’s why I prep. So I don’t have to do without and suffer. I am hoping this little challenge will help me understand a little better exactly where the holes are in my storage so that I can make sure I don’t have to suffer in the future. 

The kids are just resolved to the fact that their crazy parents have another “challenge” that they are going to have to endure yet again.

We have a tradition of spoiling the birthday child with all of their favorite foods. One of our 16-year old daughters was in tears when she learned that her birthday fell in the 90-day challenge. She refuses to celebrate her birthday with “rice and beans.” I think we can definitely do better than that. She may have to have her dream birthday foods at the conclusion of the challenge.

Our kids are so good to put up with us. Have no fear … they will be well taken care of.

Health Concerns

One concern that I have is that I am unable to eat gluten and refined sugar due to a chronic health condition. Fresh fruits and vegetables are my main food source. The garden will soon be producing in full swing but I am concerned about the “holes” this challenge will create in my diet and the effect it may have on my health.   

I know that I am not alone in my dietary restrictions. Perhaps we will discover some unique solutions to share with others who also deal with gluten intolerance.

Demands on Limited Time

We have the basic foods that we need to make it through this challenge and beyond. One of my big concerns is the amount of work that it takes to make everything from scratch. Even stepping up the garden to ensure that we have plenty of fresh food is going to take more time to both tend the garden and preserve the bounty.

I am hoping that this challenge will help me learn how to better manage my schedule so that I can continue working full-time without taking advantage of the wonderful world of convenience foods.

Join the Challenge

We invite you to join us for a challenge that is specially tailored to test your family food stores and see what holes you may have in your storage plan. Select the one that is right for you, then let us know how you did and what you found to be missing.

7-Day No Grocery Shopping Challenge

Can you make it for an entire week without going to the grocery store or eating out? Start today and discover where you are doing well and where you may need to improve.

14-Day No Grocery Shopping Challenge

Two weeks … can you do it? No grocery shopping or fast food for 14 days. You can’t stop at the convenience store when you fill up with fuel and get a morning coffee or a soda. This is an awesome way to be quickly motivated to build your family food stores.

21-Day No Grocery Shopping Challenge

This is a good challenge for most beginning preppers. It takes you to a place where you have to seriously think about what it is you are storing and be ready to survive without fresh dairy and fruits and vegetables.

30-Day No Grocery Shopping Challenge

The ability to make it through an entire month without picking up food from the market or going out to eat is a monumental achievement! Think of all of the bumps in the roads of life that you could navigate a bit more easily if you could make it without shopping for 30 days. Although this is a tough challenge, you can absolutely do it with a bit of planning and persistence.

Modified Personal Challenge

I have a friend who doesn’t currently have the ability to accept any of the above challenges. She is going to take on the challenge of organizing her food storage room in the next 30 days. She will evaluate her standing and create a detailed list of what she needs so she can take on the challenge another time.

Hard Core Crazy Prepper Challenge

Are you all in when it comes to prepping? Perhaps you are crazy enough to join us in our 90-day no grocery shopping challenge. Maybe you would like to take it one step further and go for 120 days. We would love for you to test the true level of your food storage preps and share what you learn with us.

Be sure to keep us posted on your progress by commenting below, on our YouTube video series on the 90 day challenge, or contact us directly.

Challenge Accepted

We started our challenge on Sunday, July 21st. This week should be fairly easy. I may need some cheering on to live without my favorite foods. Quite frankly, I am excited to see exactly where we stand and our level of preparedness. Join us for whatever challenge will test your level of preparedness.

Thanks for being part of the solution!

Jonathan and Kylene Jones

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Kylene

Kylene Jones is a blogger, content creator, published author, motivational speaker, homesteader, prepper, mother, and grandmother. She practices self-reliance, provident living, and emergency preparedness in her everyday life. She loves working with her husband, Jonathan, and is committed to helping our community be prepared to thrive during the challenges that lie in our future.