Friday, March 20, 2009

Prepare: Budget Survival Food List

I have made similar entries on this topic before, but it comes up frequently in conversations with others unfamiliar or new to preparing.

Food. We take for granted that the grocers will be open twenty four by seven down the street or that Costco will have pallets of food always available. The reality is, we have it good with the amount and supply of food in our stores. It was not always that way.

"The First Things To Go After A Crisis"

Two generations ago, the standard grocery store was a corner Piggly Wiggly not much bigger than a 7-11. It was dominated by canned goods and staples like flour and sugar. Produce was out front in barrows for passersby to examine and purchase. A butcher stood at the back of the store and cut steaks and chops to order. There was no plastic wrapped meat and shoppers had a limited, but fresh choice of meats.

A generation before that, we had open markets with butchers, green grocers and the like often time hawking still living animals like chickens, geese and ducks. Eggs sat in baskets next to metal covered cans of milk.

And here we are today. With massive warehouses of food minutes away from home. Walmart, Sams, Costco and he numerous supermarkets as well.

Food, comparatively speaking to earlier generations, is still cheap. Those oranges from Brazil, coconuts and bananas from the Pacific, limes from Mexico were unheard of in our grandparents time. And the cost back then would have been a working man's wages for a handful or bananas or lemons.

However, at the same time that food is available and cheap, it is also a blink away from being gone. For instance, what happens when gasoline is no longer available for shipping? Or if civil war breaks out in Mexico? Or a virus or bug affects crops in Florida or North Dakota?

We depend so much upon healthy water, air, conditions, weather, relations with other countries and fuel that any of these factors or a combination of them could disrupt our food supplies in just a few days.

Fortunately for you and me, most of our fellow citizens are still scarfing down a) fast food, b) to go meals from restaurants, c) prepared foods from the gourmet grocers, d) frozen meals and e) a pre-packaged diet plan advertised by a middle aged celebrity which means..

There is plenty of food for us today and tomorrow to stock up on. Regular things like produce, meat, canned and packaged food, and frozen staples. That means we can stock up now and go back for more tomorrow before it is all gone.

With the diminishing power of the dollar, how long before Mexico, Chile or Brazil decide they aren't going to send any more lemons, limes, oranges or bananas our way?

Or what if the Middle East goes nuclear bonkers (five minutes away any day) and oil shoots to 200.00 a barrel? Nearly everything in the store will be in short supply or so high priced your mortgage payment will look like a deal compared to food.

With money tight, what can you do today?

First, stock up on things which can make meals for several days and months. Not a frozen "hot pocket pizza" but real food.

Suggestions -

- Rice
- Dried beans
- Powdered milk
- oil and cooking lard
- canned vegetables and fruit
- canned meats like tuna and salmon.
- Sugar, syrup and honey.
- spices
- salt
- canned soups
- flour, baking powder and baking soda

All of these foods will keep for months if not years. And when combined together, can make healthy and filling foods.

This will work as long as water and power are available. For water, start storing water now and have a plan to get more. Even rain water can be filtered and boiled and drunk. Further power can come from a hot plate attached to a car battery if need be.

Best of all, budget and money. These foods above are relatively inexpensive. Unlike Long Term Foods like MRE, these ingredients can be combined to make many meals over a long period of time. MRE and the like are good for short term, on the move meals and worse of all, are very expensive.

So, save some money, make a list and start stockpiling these foods now. One more piece of advice, augment your stored food with a decent garden. Seeds are real cheap and available right now.

1 comment:

Bitmap said...

Good basic list that anyone can (and everyone should) buy.

A couple of items to think about are peanut butter and jelly. They store pretty well and have lots of calories. Every kid loves them which can be important.

Another item is pasta.

Another item is jerky. You can buy the commercial kind that is already vacuum sealed, but I haven't bought any in a long time so I'm not up on the prices. You can make your own fairly inexpensively from beef or wild game, seal it with a Foodsaver, and freeze it. When sealed and frozen it will last a long time. Even at room temperature it will last a while and it will mix well with the pasta or rice.

Get a water filter to help with the water supply.

Keep the good info coming.

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