Basic prep questions

Discussion in 'General Preparedness Discussion' started by skandranon, Mar 29, 2011.

  1. skandranon

    skandranon New Member

    I am preping on a ultra low budget. Working on basics. Water, food, home defence.

    Learned over the past weeks a couple of ways to store rice long term.

    I got a 50# bag to start and tomorrow I am going out to get some 5 gallon buckets from a nice lady on craigslist.

    I plan on using the dry ice method for most items.

    I also have 3 5# bags of factory vacuum sealed organic rice. I wasnt going to put these in buckets, they seem well sealed already. Then I learned that all rice you buy comes with weevils and what nought, and you need to "deep freeze" it to kill them.

    Couple of questions. I dont have a stand alone freezer, all I have is my fridge. Is that freezer going to get cold enough?
    How long should I freeze each, 3 days or 3 weeks? (I have seen both recommended)
    I currently have one bag in the freezer. It seems like it sucked up some freezer burn from my crapy fridge. Now I am worried about taking it out of the freezer and it ending up wet. Any ideas on this?

    Any one on here that has personally done the dry ice / bucket storage?
    Wondering if this will work for items such as powdered milk, salt, and sugar?

    Anyone got a link to a guide for minimal budget preping recommendations? Basicly I am wondering how much of what staples I should be storing for two people for say six months.

    Thanks for any help! I have been spending all my free time learning for the past few months. So much info, feel so behind. Never thought about "preping" before and now I really wish I had done so sooner.
  2. BizzyB

    BizzyB BucketHunter

    I've had good luck with no weevils/buggies in rice, so ymmv. Take whatever precautions you deem appropriate. I like the mylar bag + O2 absorber combo. Partly because dry ice makes me nervous but mostly because I package everything in the smaller bags so that there are only ever small quantities open at any one time.

    As far as how much, it depends on the resources you have handy and the type of hardship you anticipate. Rice is nice, but in a short-term, acute emergency where you might not have electric/gas to run your range, instant rice would be a better choice than old-fashioned long-grain that has to cook for 30 minutes. Easier yet would be some of the pre-cooked rice packets. They're tasty and easy to rotate in and out of storage. Downside is that they are expensive. Maybe have some of each?

    I have a notebook filled with little recipes that I multiply out by an anticipated preparation rate. Example: Chicken-n-rice casserole. Assume 0.5 c dry rice per person (this cooks up to 1.5 cups), 0.25 can cream o' chicken soup, 0.25 c dehydrated veggies, 0.5 can chicken, then a single meal for four would be 2 c dry rice, 1 can soup, 1 c veggies, and 2 cans of chicken. Plus salt-n-pepper to taste Multiply all that out by 52 (assuming you have this once a week) and you start to get a sense of what six months' or a year's worth of food looks like. (104 c of rice is a little less than 50 lbs, or two 5-gal buckets).

    I'm rambling. My advice is to get a notebook and keep copious notes so that you don't have to try to hold all this new info in your head all at once. I was in your shoes five months ago. The learning curve is a wild ride!

  3. lotsoflead

    lotsoflead Well-Known Member

    the rice from the store is probably bug free, it may have a few eggs in it, but doubtful if you're in America, but if you're going to store it in air tight mylar bads, you won't need to freeze it, just being without air will keep anything from living.
  4. ReadyMom

    ReadyMom Well-Known Member

    RE Rice Storage;

    It is recommended that you freeze your grains (including rice) for minimum of 3 days in your freezer. A regular household freezer is fine. Better safe than sorry for long-term storage.

    Then, take your grain out of the freezer, and let stand at room temp for a couple of days, to make sure that is does not mold because it has some moisture from thawing when you stored/sealed it right away.

    Lots of options for storage. A couple were mentioned above. You can also find out MORE about storage of rice here: Food Item: Rice

    It's really safer to put whatever you can in some type of pest/rodent free container, even though they look 'well sealed'. These critters can sniff out food and come out of nowhere!

    There are a lot of different viewpoints on what and how much you should store. You need to take into account your individual family members and what they like to eat, finances, and storage time you are contemplating. Not to mention space that you have available for storage.

    Storage space is especially important, since you will not only be storing food items, but medical, cleaning, sanitation, water and other alternate forms of lighting & cooking (to mention a few).

    Try this link to see what you can find that will suit your needs: Preparation Guidelines It includes topics like:
    • How to Prepare in 6 weeks: A Basic Pantry Guide
    • Preparing with a Limited Income
    • Monthly Food Storage Purchasing Calendar-LDS Church
    • Build Food Storage on $5/Week
    • How to Calculate Food Storage

    You may also find some useful information here: Prepping: Getting Started-Food Pantry

    The important thing to remember is do NOT get OVERWHELMED, even if you are NEW to prepping. I've been prepping for over 5 years, and have felt like 'this is it' several times and here we are, more aware, but still oke. Current events certainly warrant people to get more focused on prepping and that makes you yards ahead of most others. So, take a breath, and calmly move forward. You'll be fine! -k
  5. skandranon

    skandranon New Member

    Thanks for the answers guys!

    This is a great post! Thanks for the info.

    I am going to be storing in 5 gallon buckets, with the o2 removed via dry ice. Was trying to avoid putting the presealed bags in, but I think I will now.

    I know that the bag I have in the freezer is going to come out a least a lil bit moist. I checked it and I am afraid to take it out now. I am working on moving from where we live, because we have learned this building has a bad mold problem. With that in mind, just letting the rice sit out after it comes out of the freezer is a bad idea. Not sure how to get the moister back out however. Any ideas?

    Thanks for the comments about not getting overwhelmed! I have been feeling that way.
  6. WeThePrepared

    WeThePrepared Member

    If you have a firehouse subs near you, they sell their pickle buckets and the money goes to charities for firemen. This is where we get them because they're cheap and the money goes to a good cause.
  7. horseman09

    horseman09 Well-Known Member

    scandronon, as per advice above, you might find using O2 absorbers more economical, more convenient and a more efficient than CO2. The zero O2 environment effectively eliminates bug issues.