Thursday, September 25, 2008

SHTF: Survival Foods on a budget

Remember the TV show "Jericho"? If you recall, the story centered around a sudden nuclear attack on the United States which left the country fractured and disorganized. Food shipments stop and within a few months the town is existing on rice rations and trying to grow turnips and carrots in their backyards.

I don't ever want to be in that sort of jam and for several years have been into preparedness. Most of my preparedness plans however, have centered around food - where to get it, how much on hand, etc.

With those two things in mind, there are several types of "preppers". Most can be broken down into one of two groups: Those who have been doing it for years and those who are new. The newcomer camp is getting stronger because of the recent financial news, gasoline shortages and hurricanes.

If you are a new prepper and found this site while searching the internet and just received your golden parachute payment from AIG, Lehman Brothers or Bear Stearns, please go to either the Ultimate Family Preparedness Pak link above or the Mountain House link on the right and get a year or more supply of food.

If you are a new prepper and recently watched your net worth drop to pocket change but still want to build a supply of survival foods for the coming months and years, I can help you there.

When building your survival pantry, you must remember the goal; do not starve. Often, newcomers get caught up in the "eat what you normally do" philosophy and quickly realize they don't have the money or space for several cases of Slimfast, Stouffers frozen dinners or McDonald's (or 365 lattes from Starbucks) nor to mention the means of keeping such fare fresh and edible.

Rather, plan on building a "just in case, budget survival food system for the end of the world".

Welcome to the Frugal End of the World Restaurant. Here are the specials...

Oatmeal -

Healthy and filling, oatmeal is cheap and easy to make. Go to the grocery store or better yet, warehouse club and purchase 10 or more big containers of instant oats. No, not the little packets, but the big 3 Minute Oat canisters.

You will be eating a cup of this a day. It is easy to make and can make itself by adding boiling water and leaving in a thermos or closed pot for 15 minutes. You will need one cup of water for each bowl of oatmeal, so store an equivalent amount of water now. Water comes from the tap in your home or apartment and is less expensive than the bottled stuff. Put water in large sealed container and it will last a long time.

Price: Large containers with multiple servings = less than $5.00

Ramen Noodles -

Ramen Noodles are the cheapest food known to man. Exaggeration, but nearly true. They sell Ramen by the case, but individual packets are usually .10 or .15 each. My warehouse store sells a case of 40 or 50 packets for less than 7 bucks each. Buy as many cases as possible and stick them under the bed.

Another cup of water should be stored for each packet purchased.

Price: Case of 24 to 72 from different retailers = less than $5.00

Vitamins -
A good multi vitamin to replace nutrients missed due to lack of variety and fresh foods. Buy a generic rather than a One-A-Day type product. Get at least 500 tablets, more if you can afford them.

Price: Large bottle of generic vitamins = $10.00 or less

Tea -
Coffee is too expensive and sodas won't keep long. Your body will want caffeine once you drop the daily Starbucks habit post-TEOTWAWKI. Tea bags are cheap, cheap, cheap, especially the store brands. Get a few hundred and add to your stores.

Water again, one cup per tea bag.

Price: 100 count box of generic tea bags at my local market = $2.99

Bisquick -

You may prefer another type of product, but I like Bisquick for preparing easy pancakes and biscuits. Bread is a comfort food and people like it.

Many Bisquick recipes call for milk or eggs. Let me tell you from my poor lifestyle past experience, you can get by with water in many cases and it works.

Bisquick comes in really big boxes at warehouse stores they sell to organizations which host pancake breakfasts and what not. You can generally get a big box for less that $5.00.

Price - Big box with multiple servings = $5.00

Rice -
Rice has gone up in price, but has stabilized lately and is readily available again. Start with a 25 or 50 lb bag and build a supply from there. Put it in a bucket with lid to keep the bugs and water out.

Again, cup water for each cup (actually two, but you get my drift).

50 lb bag at warehouse store - $20.00

Extras -
Buy some large bags of generic sugar, flour, and salt. Garlic powder and pepper are nice to have as well.

Extras - $2.99 - 11.99 per bag.

That's it.

What about protein? Guess what? In a survival situation, you can survive without it. For the big meat eaters out there, it will take some getting used to, but if you are man enough for the new world, you will deal with it.

(If you really are a baby, buy a case of Vienna sausages or Spam. Treat yourself to a can once a week for Sunday dinner. Odds are you will gobble the whole case down the first week so this is a moot point).

What about variety? There won't be much, but for a couple of hundred dollars, you can easily put together a 1-3 month food supply. And with the food suggestions above, you can estimate how much water will be needed and start storing that as well (it is found in the tap in the kitchen, again).

Budget a hundred dollars this month and next (that's 22 Starbucks visits) and you can build a fast supply of foods which incidentally, will last for several months if not longer.

Repackage most of the above products in water proof buckets and store under the bed or back of closet.

When the poop hits the fan and your cupboards are running bare, you have a supply of food that most of your neighbors will be envious of. (Might want to take some of those food savings and make a tangible investment with Remington, Winchester or Ruger).

1 comment:

HiTekVagabond said...

A couple of suggestions to add to your list:
1) Beans, lentils, reds ...
2) You need fat to cook and bake things. Fat is a much neeed macro nutrient.
3) Tang - a good powdered mix for the vitamin C and flavoring water
4) Canned vegetables - Green vegetables are the most important - spinach, turnip, mustard, collards, and kale. Add corn and carrots for color.
5) Live Carrots, onions and potatoes - if it ets real bad, you can grow more
6) Dry Milk
7) Tuna
8) Powdered eggs
9) Jarred spaghetti sauce

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