For most preppers, safety and food security is of paramount importance. Having your own food supply during an emergency or crisis situation will keep you and your family self-sufficient even during the toughest times. How do you build your own stockpile for survival?
Here are 5 things you should know about buying food to stockpile.
- What Is Your Goal?
Before buying food to stockpile, you will need to set your goal. How much stock do you intend to buy? How long do you want the supplies to last? Ideally, your food and water supply should sustain you for at least 72 hours but for peace of mind during an emergency, go beyond the bare minimum.
Start by writing a list of foodstuff that can sustain you and your family for three days. Once you have achieved that goal, keep building until you have enough supplies to last a few months.
- Decide On A Stockpile Budget
When buying food to stockpile, it is important to have a budget from the beginning. Determine how much you can afford and how much money you can spare from your weekly shopping to buy food to stockpile.
Make your budget conservative and reasonable. Avoid getting into debt. Know when to stop. There are times when you will have to pass up a great deal to avoid wasting money. Remember to go over your budget before you start shopping. You can always take advantage of store sales and product rebate offers.
- Invest In Nutritionally Dense Foods
Sometimes, consuming food from a stockpile can get tiring and boring. This is why you will need to invest in a stock that includes nutritionally dense and tasty foods. Consider your family’s taste and make a list of ingredients they will enjoy. Some of the foods to buy include; multivitamins, dried fruits, cereal, canned meat and chicken, nuts and peanut butter.
Don’t buy food items that your family doesn’t eat. Don’t buy food that will go bad before you eat it. Check all the expiry dates and preservatives used to ensure that your food is safe for consumption for the entire period you will need it.
- Prioritize On Water
Water is life. Without it, our bodies cannot survive for more than three days. Buy enough water. You should stockpile and safely store at least two weeks supply of water for every individual in your house.
Commercially bottled water is the best choice since it is safe and does not require sanitizing or disinfecting any further. However, it is advisable to consume or replace the water every six months.
- Prepare Space For Your Stockpile
Stockpiling on food and water will take up a lot of space in your pantry. Before you head out shopping, ensure that you clean and prepare the space. If you intend to store the food in the basement, ensure that your basement is cool and dry.
Remember, seepage, mice or mold can make your entire stock of food unsafe. You can invest in additional storage shelving or identical boxes that take up minimum space.
According to a survey by the Food Marketing Institute, such confusion leads nine out of 10 Americans to needlessly throw away food. The survey found 90 percent of Americans “at least occasionally throw food away prematurely because they mistakenly interpret the date label to mean their food is unsafe” — and 25 percent say they always discard food on or before that date.
Related: Long Term Food Storage
The researchers blame “a lack of binding federal standards, and the resultant state and local variability in date labeling rules” for the inconsistency in date-labeling practices.”
In 2012, one national study estimated that 40 percent of the country’s food supply goes uneaten. The cost of that wasted food is about $165 billion, including $900 million in “expired” food.
A family of four, the study found, spends an average of $455 a year on food it doesn’t eat. The researchers recommend making “sell by” dates invisible to the consumer, and have the food industry establish a standard, uniform labeling system.
Types of FOOD dating
There are three types of dates on a food that is purchased. If the package says “Sell By,” be sure to purchase the food before the date listed. The “sell by” date tells the grocer how long to display the food. The food should remain good for a period of time once you get it home.
The “Best if Used By” is not a purchase or safety date. The date stamped after that term is the date the food should be used by for best flavor or quality. A “Use-By” date is the last date recommended for peak quality of the product.
All three terms are guides to help a purchaser determine the quality of the food. The food can be safe and of good quality after any of the three above open-dating terms are used.
This Infographic below explains a bit more:
Garlic may be the perfect survival tool.
Garlic has been used by mankind for over 7,000 years! Garlic tastes amazing, at least to us, but did you know just how powerful this herb is. It does more than just keep Vampires at bay.
Just some of the Uses of Garlic that have been claimed
- Athlete’s foot
- Blood thinning
- Cold sore treatment
- Cold prevention
- Cough syrup
- Weight Loss Aid
- Mosquito repellent
- Psoriasis relief
- Gas prevention
- Ear infections
- Splinter removal
- Facial Skin cleanser
- Yeast infections
- Parasite killer
- Fish bait
- Mole removal
- Hair loss help
- Reduces blood pressure
Did you know that with proper storage techniques, you can have a lifetime supply of certain foods? Certain foods can stand the test of time, and continue being a lifeline to the families that stored it. Knowing which foods last indefinitely and how to store them are you keys to success.
The best way to store food for the long term is by using a multi-barrier system. This system protects the food from natural elements such as moisture and sunlight, as well as from insect infestations.
Typically, those who store bulk foods look for inexpensive items that have multi-purposes and will last long term. Listed below are 11 food items that are not only multi-purpose preps, but they can last a lifetime!
Honey never really goes bad. In a tomb in Egypt 3,000 years ago, honey was found and was still edible. If there are temperature fluctuations and sunlight, then the consistency and color can change. Many honey harvesters say that when honey crystallizes, then it can be re-heated and used just like fresh honey. Because of honey’s low water content, microorganisms do not like the environment.
Uses: curing, baking, medicinal, wine (mead)
Although salt is prone to absorbing moisture, it’s shelf life is indefinite. This indispensable mineral will be a valuable commodity in a long term disaster and will be a essential bartering item.
Uses: curing, preservative, cooking, cleaning, medicinal, tanning hides
Life would be so boring without sugar. Much like salt, sugar is also prone to absorbing moisture, but this problem can be eradicated by adding some rice granules into the storage container.
Uses: sweetener for beverages, breads, cakes, preservative, curing, gardening, insecticide (equal parts of sugar and baking powder will kill cockroaches).
Wheat is a major part of the diet for over 1/3 of the world. This popular staple supplies 20% of daily calories to a majority of the world population. Besides being a high carbohydrate food, wheat contains valuable protein, minerals, and vitamins. Wheat protein, when balanced by other foods that supply certain amino acids such as lysine, is an efficient source of protein.
Uses: baking, making alcohol, livestock feed, leavening agent
Essentially, dried corn can be substituted for any recipe that calls for fresh corn. Our ancestors began drying corn because of it’s short lived season. To extend the shelf life of corn, it has to be preserved by drying it out so it can be used later in the year.
Uses: soups, cornmeal, livestock feed, hominy and grits, heating source (do a search for corn burning fireplaces).
This multi-purpose prep is a must have for long term storage.
Uses: teeth cleaner, household cleaner, dish cleaner, laundry detergent booster, leavening agent for baked goods, tarnish remover
Instant coffee, tea, and cocoa
Adding these to your long term storage will not only add a variety to just drinking water, but will also lift morale. Instant coffee is high vacuum freeze dried. So, as long as it is not introduced to moisture, then it will last. Storage life for all teas and cocoas can be extended by using desiccant packets or oxygen absorbing packets, and by repackaging the items with a vacuum sealing.
Uses: beverages, flavor additions to baked goods
Non-carbonated soft drinks
Although many of us prefer carbonated beverages, over time the sugars break down and the drink flavor is altered. Non-carbonated beverages stand a longer test of time. And, as long as the bottles are stored in optimum conditions, they will last. Non-carbonated beverages include: vitamin water, Gatorade, juices, bottled water.
Uses: beverages, flavor additions to baked goods
White rice is a major staple item that preppers like to put away because it’s a great source for calories, cheap and has a long shelf life. If properly stored this popular food staple can last 30 years or more.
Uses: breakfast meal, addition to soups, side dishes, alternative to wheat flour
Because bouillon products contain large amounts of salt, the product is preserved. However, over time, the taste of the bouillon could be altered. If storing bouillon cubes, it would be best repackage them using a food sealer or sealed in mylar bags.
Uses: flavoring dishes
Powdered milk – in nitrogen packed cans
Powdered milk can last indefinitely, however, it is advised to prolong it’s shelf life by either repackaging it for longer term storage, or placing it in the freezer. If the powdered milk developes an odor or has turned a yellowish tint, it’s time to discard.
Uses: beverage, dessert, ingredient for certain breads, addition to soup and baked goods.
Author: Tess Pennington
Web Site: http://www.ReadyNutrition.com/
Emergencies can take many forms, from storms to power outages. Keeping long term food items on hand for emergencies protects you in the same way as insurance on your home or auto – insures that you are ready for the unexpected.
With our freeze dried foods in your food reserve, you can be ready for just about any unexpected crisis. Imagine, for instance, what a lifesaver these foods can be when your electric power is knocked out for several days by a storm. With our long term food items and products on hand plus a one-burner stove or candle to heat water (cold water can be used in a pinch), you can still enjoy a hot, satisfying meal in less than 10 minutes.
Having a private food reserve makes a lot of sense. Good sense for both financial and security reasons. Use pouches for limited short-term emergencies. Use cans for potential extended emergencies, or an emergency situation affecting a lot of people. Mix and match your short term & long term food items.