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Food Storage, Right Now, On a Budget

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Posted on : 1:32 PM | By : Nic | In : , ,

John and are watching the stock market plummet, and rise a little bit, and plummet again today.  It's sort of like watching a sinking boat... there's not much you can do once you call the Coast Guard, but you can't help but watch.


It's really motivated us to build up our food storage again.  When we moved we kind of ate through it and it's time to get it back to a nice safe amount.  But suppose you want a food storage, right away, and you don't have much money?  The other issue is that a food storage can't just be food... people need to store knowledge, survival gear and tools as well.  Although this is a major topic of my book( see that one in the top right corner?), this is a little guide to what you need and how to get it. One thing that I think people also fail to consider is what they would do if they had to leave their home.  There are many situations that you would need a food storage and also need to get out of there fast.

Your food storage should be based on a simple diet that your family would be willing to eat long term. This means that you should stop depending on microwavable food right now, stop eating cookies, stop going out to eat.  If you feel that someday you really will be dependent on your food storage, you need to eat a diet that is very similar to what you will have to eat.  Getting used to it and learning how to cook that way is half the battle, especially with children.

You also need to have a good idea of how much you eat.  Many food storage calculators have massive wheat requirements: 25 pounds of white flour, and 200 pounds of wheat per adult per year.  This is based on an American diet dependent on mostly bread.  You could get used to making tortillas, go the pioneer way with biscuits and flapjacks, or depend on a more Asian diet of seafood and rice.  The smartest survivalist will take into account where they live and try to gather food from nature before chomping through a food storage.  What can you get where you live, and how can you change your diet to be healthier and use less of your food storage?

Once you have outlined what you want to get, and how much of it, you need to make a weekly food budget.  For a family of four we spend about $100 a week.  We eat a very simple diet of soup, bread, sandwiches, chicken, peanut butter and vegetables.  Our snacks are bulk nuts.  Now we will increase our weekly budget to $150... and $50 will go towards food storage.  We will buy large cans of vegetables and beans, buy plastic food bins for rice and dried peas and beans and flour, and other storable foods.  The reason I don't buy sealed food storage type buckets of flour is because I use it constantly.  It does not get put in a dark room somewhere, but is constantly in rotation.

You also need to know how to:
Make jerky - Make lots at home, but you also need to know how to make sun-dried jerky and pemmican.
Make sourdough - You can eliminate the need to store yeast and not rely so much on baking powder if you have a crock of sourdough starter.
Can - If you can buy bulk amounts of veggies and fruit and know how to can them you can save lots on canned goods.  However, in a survival situation without electricity you would have an added bonus if you can can over a fire.  You may find yourself having to empty your freezer quickly too.

So on our extra $50 a week it takes about 2 weeks to buy a month's worth of food, giving us a 6 months supply in 3 months.  It's also very important to get extra things like candles, toilet paper and first aid supplies, which need to be budgeted in. But 6 months supply is pretty good.  The other reason that you should slim down your food storage ideas (do you really need gallons and gallons of salad dressing), is if you need to leave.  Every family should have an escape plan.  How do you get out of your city if you need to, what can fit in your vehicle, and where would you go?  You need to be able to bring as much of your food storage as possible, so keep it organized in easy-to-carry crates or boxes.  You also need to be able to carry your survival and camping gear.  Write this information down and keep it with your food storage or other logical place.

You may never use any of it, but you'll certainly have the peace of mind knowing that you have it all ready.  There seems to be an attitude among people that preparedness=paranoia.  In the last century it was considered foolhardy and idiotic to not have some preparedness measures in place, and to not have the skills to survive in the wilderness.  Most people could set out and end up in the middle of nowhere and consider that a matter of course.  What has happened to that attitude of self-reliance?

Comments (3)

I agree! I just did a post on a how much a years worth of food really is.

Great post. I have found that www.shelfreliance.com is a great website for those looking to work on their food storage.

I put out there a bare bones budget for a family at peoplepowergranny.blogspot.com. This kind of thinking has helped me as I raised my family of five kids over a period of some 40 years on a limited income. I think most Americans spend way too much on wants that they think are needs. Readers can also vote in my poll on how their families could cut back even more to prepare for uncertain times ahead.