I have been working on this article for about two years, it was just not ready to be published, then this week Price Cutter had canned veggies for 29 cents a can. Harter House used to weekly have them for 39 cents, now I noticed they are up to 49 cents.
With that in mind, here are my ideas on stocking up on food, the EASY and INEXPENSIVE way to do it.There are more than a few articles about food for long and mid-term. Some say to buy it all at once, others give a list of what to buy every week. Many are based on ‘dry’ goods (beans and rice) only or refer you to MRE’s or premade freeze dried foods. While all these are ‘good’ articles, you should get food you will actually and ‘normally’ eat as a part of the solution.
Instead of feeling like you must run out and buy all you need at once, I suggest you simply buy a couple of items every trip to the grocery store.
I have written previously about water: http://www.the22man.com/2015/09/having-enough-water-and-long-term-storage/
Securing your home and ammo purchasing: http://www.the22man.com/2016/03/start-your-physical-security-on-a-budget/ If you buy groceries at Walmart, once a month buy a box of ammo for the firearms you have.
Every trip to grocery store:
1 extra can of canned veggies, 1 extra can of pasta (ravioli), 1 extra can of “meat” (tuna/ SPAM..) do this for 3 months or until you have enough canned food to fill your normal needs for 2 weeks (i.e. if you eat a total of 8 cans EACH of canned veggies a week you need 16 cans EACH in your emergency supply). 1 can of soup, one you and your family will eat.
DON’T buy bent or damages cans! It is my understanding, and I have physically checked cans after opening them, that the inside is coated to prevent the liquids / juices from touching the metal and causing rust inside the can. When a can is bent / dented, they thin layer of coating is broken, this leads to the cans contents and fluids touching the metal and rust / contamination occurs. So you don’t save with “damaged” cans.
This is directly from the USDA web site: “Is it safe to use food from dented cans? If a can containing food has a small dent, but is otherwise in good shape, the food should be safe to eat. Discard deeply dented cans. A deep dent is one that you can lay your finger into. Deep dents often have sharp points. A sharp dent on either the top or side seam can damage the seam and allow bacteria to enter the can. Discard any can with a deep dent on any seam.” http://tinyurl.com/hxjyuea
Buy 1 extra packet of pasta or rice do this for 3 months or until you have enough food to fill your normal needs for 1 month (i.e. if you eat a total of 2 packages of rice or pasta a week you need 8 packages in your emergency supply).
Buy 1 extra can of pasta sauce do this for 3 months or until you have enough pasta sauce to fill your normal needs for 1 month (i.e. if you eat a total of 1 can of sauce a week you need 4 cans in your emergency supply).
Buy 1 case of water per month (see my article on water) http://www.the22man.com/2015/09/having-enough-water-and-long-term-storage/
Next time you need pasta, sugar, salt, or flour buy 2 of the normal size you buy if it takes you 6 months or more to consume it, if you consume what your normally buy in less than 6 months, on your next shopping trip buy 1 more and the next trip another. In theory you will have 3 full containers and one open one if you consume the product (pasta) in 6 months or less, only 1 new one and one open one if you consume it in more than 6 months.
Rotate the one you buy this trip with the emergency one. FIFO (First In – First Out – use the ‘oldest’ first), that way it will have the later expiration data. Same with sugar and flower, rubbing alcohol, Band-Aids, bleach (Gallon plain, no smelling / scent).
With all that said, stocking up on canned food, Dehydrated food, MRE’s is all relatively short term, I don’t believe you as an individual or as part of a small group (see www.PatriotFireTeam.com for an example of that) can store enough to last for years. You need to learn how to garden, which means you need a piece of land you can cultivate and protect and of course you need seeds!
Your seeds need to be a mixture of year around foods. Statistically you won’t have enough land to grow for one season and then can your food for year around. You need to also be buying seeds for foods you actually will eat.
We have a very small garden, we test different foods to see what we can grow and will eat. We do some very basic canning and pickling of foods. It is practice and you need to do that, actually try growing cultivating and keeping up with a garden. Besides humans you have bugs, snails, small and large animals along with birds that will be attempting to eat your food.
There are plenty of web sites you should go to and learn about gardening.
In my next segment on this topic I will go into storage of food, which is just as important as having it.
Until we meet again, keep your booger hooker off the bang switch until on target and ready to fire.