Getting Food Supplies

  1. Kaytastrophy
    Let's explore how to feed our family on a tight budget for
    several reasons but foremost so we can have money to buy food for our family
    preparedness. I decided to write an
    article on the topic of thrift, stretching your food budget and also learning
    to cook the things we will have to be eating after an economic collapse or a
    disaster of any kind happens.

    When we buy a larger quantity than we need for the week then
    we can spread it over another week or two for a meal here and there. I will have some of the chicken I bought this
    week for $5.90 for 10 lbs. left over for the following week. If you are super thrifty you will de-bone
    some of your chicken and take some of the skin, bones, and a few drumsticks and
    boil them for awhile with some onion and salt and pepper and make a rich
    broth. Cool the broth and bones after
    removing the skin. Then remove the meat
    from your broth and set aside, then strain the broth and liquefied fat into a
    bowl and refrigerate. After the fat
    congeals scrape it off and put into another dish. Add your meat back to your broth and you have
    the basis for a delicious chicken soup.
    The fat should be kept covered and refrigerated. Use the fat to sauté your skinless boneless
    chicken in to add flavor and to give you a base for making gravy with your
    drippings and fat. It only takes flour
    and water added to it and simmered for 2 minutes to make a delicious
    gravy. Your chicken fat should last in
    the fridge for at least a week and if you can't use it all in a week you can
    freeze it.

    If you want to be thrifty with your ground beef there is
    something similar that can be done with a little different results and is a
    healthy way to eat beef. When you open
    your 5 lb. roll or package of ground beef, break it up and put into a Dutch
    oven. Season with salt and pepper and
    finely chopped onion. Simmer with water
    to the top of the beef and cook until it loses its pink color. Strain the beef into a colander which is
    placed over another pot or bowl. Package
    your cooked ground beef into meal size portions such as a 3/4 cup for a
    spaghetti or chili dinner or for tacos or burritos. Freeze your portions until needed. Leave about 3/4 cup of beef to add back to the
    broth after you skim the fat from the cold broth. You can save this fat to be used later with
    your cooked ground beef if you want to brown it for use in burritos because the
    boiled beef isn't quite as good a texture as the browned beef is for dishes
    like this. The broth that has been
    skimmed and the 3/4 cup of ground beef and some more onion, carrots and any
    other vegetables you have on hand such as celery, beans, corn, herbs etc. and a
    can of some tomato product such as tomato paste, whole tomatoes, diced
    tomatoes, puree, sauce or anything you have in the tomato range. I have even used catsup before to give the
    tomato flavor. This makes a delicious
    beef vegetable soup. You have stretched
    the ground beef to at least 7 meals out of that 5 lbs of ground beef. By the way if you have leftover ground beef
    from tacos or leftover spaghetti or chili you can add this to your soup to
    stretch your soup to 2 meals that will taste different from the first time you
    served it at the beginning of the week.
    You rename the soup to minestrone soup or Mexican soup. Everyone will think you made them a real

    Now let's talk about
    real thrift! Rice and beans! With
    preparedness such a hot topic because of our economy being so weak at the
    moment and so many people out of work and fears of the future with the price of
    food skyrocketing let's look at what we can prepare inexpensively and still eat
    well. You can buy Rice and Beans in
    bulk to make them the cheapest items in your food storage as far as being
    nutritionally dense for the money. My
    suggestion though is to buy some 1 lb. packages of a variety of beans to try
    lots of recipes with and find your families favorite varieties before investing
    in 25 or 50 lb. bags of beans. Most
    people love refried beans and the pinto bean is what they are usually made of
    and pinto's are a very versatile bean to use.
    They can be used in place of kidney beans in chili and added to soups
    and used for beans and rice. So I
    suggest if you like them in those things then buy them, not to discount the
    fact that they are one of the cheapest beans on the market and they come in
    bulk sizes in many stores such as Wal-Mart, Sam's Club, Costco, etc. The great thing you can do with beans is to
    soak and cook enough beans for a few meals at one time. It takes the same amount of energy to cook
    1/2 lb of beans or 2 lbs. of beans. You
    can bag up your extra cooked beans to make refried beans or to just throw into
    your other meals for extra nutrition and cut back on the amount of meat you use
    in your dishes. My second suggestion is
    to take a look at the garbanzo beans which you can make delicious soups or add
    them to salads or even make a snack out of the cooked beans rinsed and then baked
    with seasoning to have like nuts. Also
    hummus is made from garbanzo's which is a great dip or sandwich spread. My third suggestion would be butter beans if
    you usually use limas or butter beans for side dishes or main dishes with rice
    then this is a really great bean to keep on hand. Growing up my Mother would could up a pot of
    butter beans with a little ham or bacon in it and serve it with corn bread and
    the second day she would add rice and make a casserole from the leftovers. I loved it as long as I had catsup to put on
    them. (Yes, I know, it is my little
    quirk for that particular bean.) I also
    like black beans to add to many dishes such as chili, stews, soups, and bean
    burgers. Bean burgers and lentil burgers
    are usually made from well done beans or lentils added to rice and an egg to
    make a passable burger. If you use the
    same condiments you do with a beef burger it is a really surprising treat. My husband didn't even realize until I told
    him that he ate a bean burger instead of a beef burger. You can add some bread crumbs to make it mold
    into a burger a little easier.

    Thrifty ways to stretch your food includes your rice as
    well. Cook up a whole 1 lb. bag of rice
    at one time and then keep out what you need at that meal. Separate the rest into zipper bags to be used
    in other meals during the week. It will
    save you energy costs and make your meal preparations much quicker. You can serve your rice the first time with
    your sautéed chicken and gravy or you can make Spanish rice to serve with your
    burritos or to stretch your chili to serve more people if you have unexpected
    company. Rice can be fried with
    leftovers such as chicken or vegetables with a beaten egg added to make the
    oriental favorite fried rice by adding a few of those freebie soy sauce packets
    to give that flavor that is expected with fried rice. Curried Vegetables over rice is really a
    tasty and different meal. Why not play
    it up and make theme nights where you make one night Indian Curry night with
    curried garbanzo beans and vegetables over rice and the next night will be
    Mexican Fiesta night with refried bean burritos and Spanish rice. Then you have Cajun Country night with gumbo
    or red beans and rice (buy some of those Mardi Gras beads to share during the
    meal and then put away for the next time.)
    You can put on some Salsa Dance music to set the theme. Don't forget Salad night with your garden
    lettuces and tomatoes and throw on some kidney beans or garbanzo beans for your
    protein. A great way to serve beans in
    the summer. Another summer favorite is
    Three Bean Salad with green beans, wax beans and kidney beans dressed with a
    sweet and sour vinaigrette. Many casseroles have a rice base as well as salads.

    Did you know that you can make Rice Milk very easily and that Rice milk can be used for almost
    anything that regular cow's milk can be used for? Powdered milk is quite pricy and you can
    stretch the powdered milk in your long term storage by making rice milk to use
    either on its own or mixed half and half with cow's milk to cook with or to use
    on cereal or even to drink. Some people
    like the taste much better than powdered milk.
    There are YouTube videos and recipes online for Rice Milk. It is basically boiling your rice for about 3
    hours and then pouring through cloth and squeezing out the liquid. You can add a couple tablespoons of oatmeal
    to the rice when cooking to thicken the milk and giving it more body. You need
    to refrigerate rice milk just like regular milk so make smaller amount to last
    for no more than a couple of days without refrigeration unless of course it is
    used in baking. Now just think, Rice
    you can get for less than $20 for 50 lbs.
    I wonder how much milk 50 lbs. of rice would make? I am sure it would be a lot. So if you find you can't afford to stock up
    on powdered milk consider stocking 50 or 100 lbs. just for Rice Milk.

    Beans, beans and
    more beans.
    That is one
    of the staples and basic foods that all survivalists and prepper's talk about.
    I know most people don't each much in the way of beans anymore but take
    a gander at the price of meat out there today and take a second look at the
    great protein at such an inexpensive price .
    For instance most beans will give you 15 grams of protein per cup of the
    lowly bean. Add a cup of rice and you
    have an additional 4 grams of protein.
    My meager ability at math figures that at 19 grams of complete protein,
    it is low fat, no cholesterol, easy to prepare, and can be used in many recipes
    to hide the fact that it is beans and rice.
    Not that there is anything wrong with beans and rice. But......what about gumbo, bean soup, Spanish
    rice with garbanzo beans, vegetarian chili over rice, bean burritos, refried
    beans and Spanish rice, bean curry and yellow rice, and umpteen other dishes
    that can be made with the lowly bean.
    Don't forget the variety of beans out there. Black beans, garbanzo beans, red beans,
    kidney beans, navy beans, pinto beans, lima beans, black eyed peas, lentils, cranberry
    beans, split peas of yellow or green varieties, butter beans and great northern
    beans. There are more but these are the
    ones you can find in most grocery stores.
    All of these varieties are nutritious, delicious, and inexpensive
    compared to meat.

    Beans can also be used as an oil substitute in many
    recipes. Don't forget that you can grind
    beans into a flour and stretch your wheat flour in making your breads.

    Since most people don't partake in a lot of beans let me
    give some hints on cooking dried beans.

    Step 1 - Rinse and sort through your beans take out all
    pebbles and stems.

    Step 2 - Soak your beans overnight in water.

    Step 3 - Drain your beans and rinse again. Place into fresh
    water with about an inch of water above beans.

    Step 4 - Cook for 1/2 hour and then drain and rinse
    again. Add 1 tsp. of baking soda and
    cook for another 1/2 hour then drain and
    rinse again.

    Step 5 - Cook with fresh water with your seasonings, meats
    if used and onion and vegetable if you need them for 1 more hour. You should have beans that will not give you
    much problem with gas or flatulence.
    After cooling you may separate your beans into separate zipper bags for
    different meals and refrigerate or freeze.

    Do not do this cooking method with lentils or split peas
    because they don't take but about 45 minutes to cook through. Follow the cooking directions on the
    packaging or your recipe book for these.

    PLEASE get your family used to eating meals with beans
    and rice on a fairly regular basis and find their favorite meals made with them
    Don't wait until the economy collapses and you can't buy meat anymore
    because of the price. I know most all
    preppers have a hundred or so pounds of beans and a couple of hundred pounds of
    rice. I also know that a lot of preppers
    have them packed in long term storage and they don't eat beans and rice hardly
    at all unless it comes from a package or can or a Mexican Restaurant and they
    don't really know how to make them taste good when cooking dried beans or maybe
    they don't even have a clue how to cook the long grain white rice they have
    stored. You may not have a rice steamer
    available to cook your rice. Learn now
    how to make rice with the 2 part water to 1 part rice and bring water to boil
    add rice and turn to low and cook for 20 minutes covered. If cooking over an open campfire pull the pot
    to the side of the coals or flame and turn your pot periodically to help cook
    more evenly.

    Good eating and have fun trying out different recipes and
    theme nights. Get your family on board
    and used to eating the lowly wonderful bean and you will have a much easier
    transition after the stuff hits the fan!

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