Don’t Fear the Unknown! Get Prepared!
Food isn’t as important as one might think, at first. I say at first because most healthy people can go a while without eating. Now, I’ve never tried going more than three days without food, but I’ve always heard that you can go much longer than that. Although you will have diminished energy, you won’t die! But there is a psychological aspect to food that might mean more to you and your family in a survival situation than just putting nutrients in your body. Having food and a food storage solution is important for survival. And, I’m going to share with you how you can accomplish this without breaking your budget!
Food and the Psyche
But first, let’s explore this psychological aspect of food just a little.
Have you ever decided to go on a diet? Immediately you might feel your stomach growling or you might feel hungry. Your brain doesn’t like to think about not eating. Couple not eating with being in a survival situation and looking at your kids, who are looking at you for the next step or the next meal. You don’t want to be in that situation and be empty handed. Or should I say, have an empty pantry?
If you think about it, many people come together around food. When you invite people over to your house, you usually sit around and eat. Food brings people together. And, it can also encourage and help you to feel better about your situation. Have you ever eaten a great meal and just sat back feeling full and satisfied? There is something powerful about sitting down and eating a hot meal. And like I mentioned earlier, this is even more important when you consider the stress of a survival situation or crisis, whatever that might be.
Why People Don’t Have Food Storage
Having a food storage solution can seem like a daunting task. When you think about having a year’s supply or more for your family, it can seem overwhelming and the feeling makes many not even start. Another factor that causes others to not want to prep their pantry is that it can get expensive! Yes, it can get expensive if you go out and buy a year’s worth of freeze-dried food all in one purchase.
The good news is that you don’t have to spend a ton of money on freeze-dried food. In fact, I would recommend not making freeze-dried food your first purchase. Why? People who tend to make a purchase like that put the food up in a closet and then forget about it. They don’t build the basics of preparedness into their life.
I’m going to describe how you can start your food storage pantry easily and inexpensively. If you follow these steps and use the FREE download [Dropbox Link], you can have a decent food storage pantry in no time!
Starting Your Food Storage Pantry
The easiest way to start your food storage is with canned goods! There, that was easy!
Canned goods are already packaged for the long term. Dates on cans are usually “best used by” dates. Best used by dates are just dates the food company has decided to stamp on their cans to guarantee freshness. And expiration dates are just another term for “best used by” dates.
Think about this. If you have a can of soup and it says, “expires on January 21, 2018,” does that mean that when the clock turns midnight on January 22, 2018, that the food in the can all of the sudden goes bad? Of course not!
Check out this explanation from Food Reference (as sourced from my friend Chris @ Prepared Christian)…
“Canned food has a shelf life of at least two years from the date of processing. Canned food retains its safety and nutritional value well beyond two years, but it may have some variation in quality, such as a change of color and texture. Canning is a high-heat process that renders the food commercially sterile. Food safety is not an issue in products kept on the shelf or in the pantry for long periods of time. In fact, canned food has an almost indefinite shelf life at moderate temperatures (75° F and below). Canned food as old as 100 years has been found in sunken ships and it is still microbiologically safe! We don’t recommend keeping canned food for 100 years, but if the can is intact, not dented or bulging, it is edible.” – Source
Now, you do want to make sure that the cans that you are storing are not dented, bulging or rusting in any way. If they are, you need to toss them. But besides that, canned food from the grocery store is the perfect starting point for anyone wanting to start their food storage pantry!
Step by Step Your Food Storage Solution
Like I said at the beginning of this series, you need to start with a plan! You don’t want to to go to the grocery store and start tossing a bunch of cans in your cart.
Let’s start with what your family eats. What are the recipes that you know your family will sit down to eat? Do you have at least 5-7 meals you can name off? If not, you can use meals consisting of canned food like Chunky Soup and Mini-Raviolis. Some of the varieties of Chunky Soup over rice (to stretch it) make a hearty meal. Add a canned vegetable to Mini-Ravioli and you are good to go. You see, I just gave you two meals there. This is easy!
Now, think about the 5-7 meals you listed. You will need to make sure that all the ingredients are canned goods or that canned goods can be substituted. You can also use some dried goods, like pasta, beans and the rice I mentioned above, but you will need to package it for the long term. This isn’t hard to do.
Packaging dried goods for the long term is a little bit more advanced than buying cans, but it is not that big of a deal. And, you might not even have to do this. It depends on how many days or weeks of food storage you want. If you are wanting to package some dried goods, you can check out this post that has a ton of resources. Don’t get overwhelmed! If you find yourself overwhelmed by the sheer amount of information, just forgo the packaging of dried goods at this time.
Back to the canned goods.
So the important thing is to start with a plan, or in this case, prepare a menu. In the FREE download, I make it easy for you to list out your menu and then list out the items you need to purchase. After you have one week planned out, then multiply it by 2 to have two weeks of food storage. Then, when you can, multiply it by 4 to have one month of food storage.
You’ll want to add different menus and items as you go. You don’t want your family to get bored with the same meals every week if you can help it! Another article that might be helpful here is, “Anyone Can Do it! Fool-Proof Food Storage!“
Food Storage You Will Use
Let me briefly talk about a big food storage mistake.
One of the big mistakes you can make when it comes to food storage is putting up your food for a “rainy day” and not using it. The best practice would be to use the FIFO method. FIFO stands for “First In – First Out.” This means that the items you put in your pantry first, are the first to come out when you start cooking. This will take a little discipline at first. But basically, imagine looking into your pantry. You just bought another week worth of green beans. Instead of putting the cans towards the front of your pantry, hopefully, you have some sort of systems where all of the green beans are lined up, you move the green beans that are there forward and then place the newly purchased green beans at the back of your green beans storage. In order to make this easier, some utilize a can storage system like this. Or, if you are a DIY’er, you can make one out of cardboard like in the video below.
When you are dealing with canned foods, you will have to consider extra sodium and other ingredients you might try to avoid. Every food storage solution, unless you make your own, is going to have some give and take. But for the Common Man or Woman starting out, this is a frugal place to start.
Your family and loved ones are counting on you! Like the water storage that I mentioned in a previous article, this isn’t something you want to delay. Food means a lot to us now and will even more so in a survival situation.
Survival for the Common Man is a series of articles for those who are new to prepping or those who never really felt they had a good foundation to start.
Why Survival for the Common Man? I love to gain experiences in wilderness survival, bushcraft, homesteading and “tactical” preparedness. But the truth is, most preppers are regular, everyday people (the common man). We live in the suburbs, go to our day jobs, and attend school and family events. But we also see the world around us and see the need to be prepared, to make sure our family is safe and able to thrive in times of uncertainty. There are more of us than you might realize! This series is for you!
If you enjoyed the article, please vote for the site at Top Prepper Websites.
Copyright – Content on Ed That Matters (unless the work of a Third-Party) may be reproduced in part or whole with attribution through a link to www.edthatmatters.com. If you are interested in a Third Party article, please contact the author for permission.