need help just starting food prep

Discussion in 'General Preparedness Discussion' started by reaper6606, Oct 9, 2010.

  1. reaper6606

    reaper6606 Member

    Hello there everyone. just getting started on my food prep ive been canning for a while but my problem is this there are 4 of us 2 adults 1 girl 16 and 1 boy 4 just wondering where to start with all this i have already got my 72 hour emergancy kit set up. any help with what to stock up on as i went to the stor today and got some dry goods and can goods such as soup ramen noodles , just need a bit of help to get started.
    again thanks in advance
    kris :dunno:
  2. ajsmith

    ajsmith Well-Known Member

    Hey welcome to the forum. There are others here that can give better advice than me as I'm still new and learning. One of the best things I learned here was to start with stocking up extras of the things you normally eat. If the SHTF, you don't need the added stress of changing your diet to survival food. Stock extra of what you and your family like. If its boxed mac & cheese, don't keep the usual 4 boxes, get 10 or 20 and so on and so on........that's where I'm starting
    P.S. If you want to stock up on survival food at least add it to your normal diet once a week so your used to it and can weed out the things you don't like. If you already new this maybe it will help the next newbe.....

  3. The_Blob

    The_Blob performing monkey

    I'm pretty certain all of the online calculators available rank anyone over 8-years as an adult for calculation/storage purposes.

    there are many threads with calculator storage links on here already, I'm sure you'll find one you like.

    good luck & :welcome: to the forum :congrat:
  4. NaeKid

    NaeKid YourAdministrator, eh?

    The best advice I can give you is to "Stretch that dollar". Find warehouse stores that you can purchase in large bulk quantities without raising an eyebrow and purchase by the case of stuff that you normally eat (critical wording there). Stay away from prepackaged foods that are high in salt or MSG. Frozen-food is good as a short-term addition to your long-term-storage foods, but, freeze-dried, canned and bottled would be better.

    Common foods that I like are Campbell's soups that just need to be warmed up on a small portable propane stove (right-in-the-can) or maybe pork-n-beans - again a great single-meal in a can that can be warmed up with no fan-faire.

    Expand on that a little bit by getting freeze-dried potatoes (cubed) that when re-hydrated can be a quick way to make hashbrowns and then layed out on a plate and covered with thin-sliced chinese-sausage (warmed up) and pork-n-beans .. a meal fit for a king!

    Having a "secure" place to store your food is critical. A dry cool basement with little chance of bugs / rodents infiltrating is required. A way to rotate your stocks (moving old to the front and putting new purchases at the rear) will be required. Having tin or wood shelves that you can reach to the back of to pull-forward makes things easier....

    There are lots of ideas in many threads here ... go ahead and read through them and if you have questions about something discussed, go ahead and reply-back to it (quoting the original message helps too) ...

  5. goose

    goose Active Member

    Think of this as a process, not a destination. If you focus on the process, the destination will take care of itself.

    When I started prepping (more recently than many here), I focused on staples and meal stretchers: rice, beans, wheat. If I were you, I'd focus on buying rice in bulk (Sam's Club has it that way), beans in bulk, and dried milk (for the 4-year old). I'd also ensure i had sources of calcium for both children.

    Rice and beans form a complete meal, which is why I chose them as a staple.

    Now I'm in the process of supplementing that. I've added wheat berries and a mill to grind it into flour. I've added canned goods, canned meats, and just learned how to can (you're way ahead of me there!). And I've got a lot more to do.

    One way people approach this is to first try to get a week's worth of food, then a month, then three months, six months, or more.

    Good luck, and remember it's a process.
  6. dosadi

    dosadi Member

    Ok, this is my opinion, and like everyone else YMMV.

    First you just add a little extra for staples every chance you get at the grocery store, such as buy 4 cans instead of 2 of beans etc.

    Learn about FIFO (FIRST IN FIRST OUT) which means "rotate your inventory"
    just get a grease crayon and date your cans and stuff and use the oldest first so it doesen't go out of date.

    Buy things that you eat, waiting for grubby times to find out that that case of cans is something you just cannot stomach is a bit to late.

    practice cooking with the things you plan on survival with.

    Now for a quick years basic emergency you can begin with the basic four:

    powdered milk

    Here is the breakdown for one person for one year.
    (Note please I am not a Morman, but they advocate every family having a years worth of stores at a minimum and this is from one of their suggestions. The web is covered with references to this and a lot of reciepies etc. Again practice using what you buy or it is mostly a waste.

  7. nevster

    nevster Member

    I agree it's a process over time. After listening to Alex Jones for a while we finally bit the bullet and spent the money from Efoods Direct. IMO they have the best survival food on the market. It's freshly packed, date stamped and very tasty. Since that purchase we stocked up on powdered milk, canned goods and dried noodles but the long lasting dehydrated food is the best.
  8. SaskBound

    SaskBound Well-Known Member

    I've spent some time eating out of my survival pantry during extended periods of unemployment, and I would emphasize variety. Rice and beans are boooorrrrriiiing if you have to eat them twice a day for a month or two. Beans are also a pain to soak, and take too long to cook if you are trying to do it with no gas / power or with limited fuel. There are cheap ways to add real variety to the pantry - pasta, oatmeal, sugar, molasses, spices like chili powder and cinnamon, cocoa, and cases of canned stuff...

    If I were starting over from scratch, now, I'd begin with a bag each of rice and beans (boring food, but cheap and filling), ten pounds each of flour and sugar, a pound of salt, a jar of instant yeast, a case each of canned tomato sauce, pineapples, and corn, a big bag of oatmeal, some powdered milk, a container of vegetable oil, and a ton of spices. Then I would start adding some of each thing as I could afford to, and adding as much variety as possible through canned fruit, pie filling, dehydrated veggies, canned meats, different types of canned and dried beans, coconut milk, dried fruit like apricots and cranberries, cocoa powder...all the stuff you need to make real food that tastes good.

    One idea I've seen is to come up with three breakfasts you like, three lunches, and three dinners, and try to stock up the ingredients you would need to make those things. For instance, we like oatmeal with applesauce, cinnamon, and maple syrup as a breakfast. So we make sure to keep lots of those things around. It's also handy because if you are stockpiling the stuff you like to eat, it gets rotated better.

    I think there is a real place for freeze-dried and pre-made food, but it is so expensive that we would only use it as a way to increase the variety of stuff on hand. You'd have to be pretty rich to afford a year's supply of freeze-dried stuff for 4 people. We do, however, occasionally buy two-serving freeze-dried camping meals for use when the power is out (takes less fuel to boil a couple of cups of water than to cook a full meal from scratch) - at $6-10 (Canadian) they are a bit pricey, but they are certainly convenient, and we sometimes use them instead of going out and eating at a restaurant. Backpacker's Pantry brand is our favorite so far.

    One of the best things you can do to prepare, food-wise, is to learn to cook from scratch. I'm talking bread, porridge, chili, roasts, soups, cookies...all of it. Then you can store ingredients, which are substantially cheaper than pre-packaged stuff. If you don't already cook a lot of your family's meals, it can also save you quite a bit of money, which you can put into getting more supplies. There's not much point in having lots of beans around if you don't know what to do with them, or discover that your family won't eat them.

    Also, test stuff. Some people can't stand powdered milk, some can't tell the difference. It's worth taking the time to make sure you like a type of food before you invest a ton of money in stocking it.

    We save money by canning a lot of our own fruit - we buy it by the case in season, go to u-pick orchards, or grow it (we have apple trees), then can it in jars we (mostly) bought at garage sales. Canning fruit is unbelievably easy - it's a bit time consuming, but not at all difficult. It's cheap to get into, as well - outside of the jars, you can get the canning pot and a utensil set for under $30. We usually pay around $1 to 2 per box of quart or pint jars at yard sales.

    It's a steep learning curve, but once you figure out a few basic tricks, it's easy to maintain a nice pantry...
  9. anna40

    anna40 New Member

    i started prepping less than a year ago. I now have enough food for a year for 10 people. Yes, i did it faster than most, and it was a bit overwhelming, but there is a peace that comes with preparation. Let me share some things i have learned.

    Its true, only buy what you eat. My first purchase was canned corn beef and spam. I realize i hate the stuff and might eat in an emergency but sure wouldnt want to. I came up with 7 dinners and 7 breakfasts that i know my family would eat. Also, use recipes that arent difficult to make or call for too many ingredients. I would need 52 of each dinner and breakfast to make 365 for a year.

    One dinner that was easy to buy and store was spagetti. Pasta last 2-3 years and if stored properly can last up to 30 years. If we eat two pounds of spagetti noodles and 2 jars of pasta sauce for 1 dinner, then we would need 104 pounds of spagetti and 104 jars of pasta sauce. The noodles take up very little space but i was findind the jars of spagetti sauce were taking up quite a bit. So, though i have some jars of sauce, I bought the powdered pakages of spagetti sauce that you mix with water and a small can of tomato paste. It takes up much less room. I also have a couple of easy soup recipes, enchalada pie, tacos and other recipes my family eats regularly.

    Vegetables, for example, went on sale for .48 cents a can. I bought a case of them when i went shopping. I try to only buy when things are on sale. If you use a jar of peanut butter in one month. Purchase 12 jars for the year and rotate.

    I went to the LDS cannery (no Im not a member) and purchased wheat, powdered milk, oats, rice and beans. Ive stored them properly to last at least 20 years. They are considered my long term storage. My house is a small 3 bedroom home. I have the food stored in 6 gallon buckets under a queen sized bed. My husband put a piece of plywood over the buckets, put the mattress on top, and no one would even no it is stored there.

    There is so much Ive learned from different websites and other preppers that has been very helpful. I wish i could write a book for you but this is getting long enough.

    Dont get too overwhelmed like I did and think you have to get it all done now. Its not practical. Come up with a plan, and do what you can, a little bit at a time. Good luck!:)
  10. Herbalpagan

    Herbalpagan Well-Known Member

    I have several "layers" to my food storage. I started with the idea of "store what you eat and eat what you store", rotating the food as I go. Then my next priority was to stock up on things I may not be able to get if tshtf or grow myself, such as sugar, flour, salt, coffee,dried milk and some fruits. Then I started on really long term food storage and added wheat, rice, beans.

    We are on a budget, use coupons, shop all kinds of different types of stores such as big box, warehouse, discount and regular...I've learned the price of most things by now and know when I see a good deal. For some items, I shop on line, especially for the longest term storage items. I also have checked into the LDS cannery and will be able to get some things from there.

    When people ask how to figure out what you need, I always suggest that they make up a months menu, list the ingredients needed to make those items and just get them. If a sale is on for pasta at 10/$10, then buy at least the 10 or even 20. Pasta lasts for a long time if you store it properly, so why not get as much as you can? I probably have enough to serve pasta for 6 months straight. lol
  11. Clarice

    Clarice Well-Known Member

    If it is on sale buy a case if you can. Do not buy things your family won't eat unless you think it will be a good barter item. Don't forget to stock up on personal and first aid items. Do you have pets? They need to eat also.
  12. 101airborne

    101airborne Well-Known Member

    Mountian house has a good variety of dehyd foods in #10 cans with a 20-30 year shelf life. Not the cheapest foods BUT per serving the price is okay. You can check them out at emergency essentials Emergency Essentials - Be Prepared Emergency Preparedness Food Storage for a list of those as well as lots of other prepping supplies you may not have thought of.
  13. reaper6606

    reaper6606 Member

    Thanks for all the good info guy keep it coming kris:congrat:
  14. ditzyjan56

    ditzyjan56 Well-Known Member

    getting started

    While getting started seems like an insurmountable rock wall. Where there is a will there is a way.

    food/what to eat/how to fix the food
    shelter/where will you be staying
    warmth/how to heat your home/what tools needed to heat your home
    protection/ how will you protect yourself and family

    Start small,while everyone has a way of doing things you will soon learn how to get the things you need too.

    Like a lot of people I just jumped right in and bought a lot of things on a list and then sat down and figured who I was feeding and how to feed them. Everyone is different, I have a grandson who almost died from eating a bite of peanut butter. So everything I buy has to be peanut, tree nut and pea free(peas are a legume just like peanuts go figure). Makes buying for 12 people a little more difficult. But it is all possible.

    I took a two week menu and started buying enough to make those meals for 4 weeks then kept adding to that. This way I at least had enough food to feed everyone if the electricity went out or snowed in for an extended period of time. Then once a month I go to Sam's Club and buy rice, sugar, flour, yeast, a few 10# cans of fruit. (6 grandkids under the age of 6, need to make sure I have enough vit c in their diet) Then the next month when I go to Sam's Club I buy oil, spagetti sauce, their large cans of tuna and other things I deem necessary for my family.

    I hit auctions for old fashion tools that will come in handy and hit yard sales too.

    I also go to the 2 local churches that give away free clothing twice a month and get clothes for the little ones for future use(next size up). My daughter was the easy one to convince of my plans but my son still thinks I'm crazy. All I can say is I may be crazy but I will be one of the survivors.

    I have a few candles and a few oil lamps, but figure we will just go to bed with the sun, and keep the lighting for when we need it.

    My house is heated with a wood stove, also have an extra one I bought off of a friend for backup. The other house on my property has free gas, but who knows how long that would last.

    Well I'll stop for now. Good luck and God bless you and yours
  15. trishja

    trishja Member

    check your local LDS pantry and see if they sell to non members
    I located mine today after a weeks searcing in a random
    i plan to try them next week when places re open
  16. lanahi

    lanahi Well-Known Member

    I would buy bulk rice and beans for a start...not a year's worth, but just for a few months. Then make up recipes for rice and beans that fill the menus out so that you have a real variety...for instance, canned chicken and cream of chicken soup to go with the rice, stir fry ingredients to eat over rice, tortillas with bean and rice filling, canned ham for beans, casseroles, bean sprouts, soups, etc. You can go for another round of beans and rice later.

    The reason I'd start with those two...beans and that they are together more nutritionally complete and will go a long way, but also because bulk grains are the cheapest way to get a start. If you just get canned foods from the grocery, it will take longer to build up a long term storage. A couple of buckets of beans and rice gives you a real boost and just a quick start, so that if SHTF would hit the next day, you've already got a few months' worth of food. It's a difference between a couple of weeks of canned goods and a couple of months of food.

    Along with foods complimenting the beans and rice, I'd also store plenty of SALT because it is necessary for life and difficult to find naturally. I'd also store up plenty of the form of peanut butter, Crisco, oils, meats, etc. Fats and salt, two basic foods necessary for life.

    Wheat is the single best food to store but requires a grinder. A manually operated Back to Basics flour mill costs around $50 and is well worth it, so if you can afford a flour mill, store up a few buckets of wheat along with the beans and rice.

    Beyond that, store what you like to eat anyway from the supermarket.

    I'd plan two weeks of menus and repeat over a course of a year. This way, you will only be repeating a menu twice a month so you will not risk appetite fatigue. Don't forget spices! Try these menus out now to make sure you like them! Be sure to include some comfort foods once you've gotten past the basics.

    Most of the bulk grains and beans can be bought cheaply at a feed store. I've bought them for $8 for 50 pounds each. Ask for FEED quality, not for planting, although most grains can also be planted. These grains come from the same fields as what you can buy for human food. You can also buy them direct from farmers sometimes. You can buy oats, wheat, whole corn and other bulk grains there.
  17. 101airborne

    101airborne Well-Known Member

    There are lots of companies out there like mountian house, provident pantry and others. If you have deep pockets you can get a pre packaged years supply of food with a 20+ year shelf life for around $1,800 per person. (mountian house) However if you are like most of us you don't have that kind of extra money to lay out. The alternative is to get it one or two #10 cans at a time they cost between $22 and $38 a can. Another alternative is buy the cans of stuff like instant potatoes, dry milk and such at your local store. However the drawback to that is the shelf life is not as long. Usually unopened is around 5 years. With the exception of sealed cans ( metal) of coffee and from what I have researched last around 15 years.

    The best think IMO is when you grocery shop just buy an extra _________ or two that way you slowly build up more and more supplies, you are buying stuff you use daily and you rotate your stores as you use and replace items.

    Just don't make the mistake many novice preppers make and buy a lot of stuff to store because it's cheap and stores for a long time. An example is I have a neighbor who after being without power for several days due to bad weather decided to take my advice and stock up. The problem was he bought items that he didn't use normally. He found spam on sale for $1 a can and bought 3 cases of it for stores since it has a long shelf life and can be eaten straight from the can cold if need be. Well.... good idea BUT he found out when winter storms took out the power here for over a week and they were iced in. That he and his family hated spam. So all that he had bought of it was useless.

    My advice is sit down and make a list of what you eat on a regular basis and store these items. Because if you don't eat/use it diring normal times you sure don't want to have the extra stress in an emergency especially if you have children. While on that subject don't forget to include comfort foods in your stores. They can be of great help in an emergency to help have some tie to normality.

    In addition to food items don't overlook presonal items ( toothpaste, shampoo, etc.) Plus it doesn't hurt to have entertainment items as well stuff like playing cards, puzzle books, and the like don't forget stuff like crayons, coloring books, craft items and the like for kids.
  18. reaper6606

    reaper6606 Member

    Thanks for all of the good advice I feel that I'm now on the road to at least a years worth of food for my family. Buy the way leotard 10 for 10 really helps.
    Once again thanks for all of the great info . :2thumb: