Food Storage Secrets You Need To Know

  •  
  •  
  • 351
  •  
  •  
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

I’m sharing some food storage secrets you need to know before you go crazy buying food for your pantry. I’m talking about long-term food storage. Let me say one thing, I don’t look at the calories in the #10 cans I purchase because I don’t count calories in the food I’m eating today.

I probably should, but I don’t. This is how I see food storage for Mark and me, the food I purchase we must both like eating. Sure, I can hear some of you say, you will eat whatever if you are starving. Yes, I’m sure that may be true.

I updated this post today, for several reasons. First of all, right now I struggle recommending any long-term food storage. The prices are way too high for my budget. If the prices at the grocery store are too expensive then the #10 cans are as well.

Then we have to factor in the shortages of the cans and lack of employees, the prices skyrocket. We have to ask ourselves, do I really need ONE #10 can of chicken or beef that currently costs $93.00? I think not.

I’m not sure I will ever buy #10 cans again unless things change. The prices are way too expensive right now. I want you to think about why you may want to buy #10 cans for your storage. I used to buy them to put on my pantry shelves to use in case of emergency.

I know some people use the cans every day and try to go to the grocery store as seldom as possible. Mark and I can’t afford to do that. Those cans are not always full to the top, and some companies’ products weigh more or less compared to other brands. Just because it’s a #10 can it doesn’t mean that the can is filled to the brim, in most cases, it is not.

If there was ever time you needed to start a garden it is this year. If you live near a Farmer’s Market, you are so lucky, as long as you buy their products! Not everyone has land to grow food, I get it.

Please make a plan to try and purchase more locally grown and produced food products. If you live in more of a rural area, it’s critical we know who our local Farmers are, what they grow for sale, and then let’s buy local when we can. If you can have chickens or animals on your property, or know people who do who might share, it is possible the time will come that you’ll need them to supplement your own food storage to survive.

Food Storage Secrets You Need To Know

I Don’t Buy Meals

Here’s the deal, I do not buy those “meals” you see stacked on pallets at the store. Nope, I will not. I cook from scratch and I don’t like some of the stuff listed on the packaged “meals” sold for long-term storage purposes.

I may have told you before, I don’t eat out very often. It’s not just the cost to do so, but also because the food at restaurants is often cooked with lots of salt and butter. I love the flavor that butter gives to recipes, but it’s called fat calories and they are expensive calories.

That’s why people think it tastes so yummy. But when you’re used to cooking from scratch, you are prone to get sick from all the butter and salt when you eat out. I’m not talking about just fast food places, I’m talking about your typical sit-down restaurants and even some fancy eating places too!

Buckets With Meals

I have been at Costco or similar large box stores, and they have these buckets with small packages of food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner that are designed for emergency meals. I understand it may be easier for you to just pick up a bucket, take it home, and set it on your pantry shelf for use later, and it makes you feel comfortable that you’ve done your part to be “prepared.”

Yes, that is very easy and it’s better than not having any food storage. You can see the calories listed, the serving sizes, etc. Good grief, Mark would be starving if he had the breakfasts shown on a bucket I saw.

Read More of My Articles  Building A Get-Home Bag

No-Name Bucket Contents-Price $90.00 with 52 Servings

Recently, I looked at a bucket of food storage products at a local grocery store so I could give you an idea of what may be in the container. This is not 52 meals, it is 52 servings, there’s a big difference. One of these servings may be fine for a toddler or a child, but may not be sufficient for an adult.

  • 4 Servings: Creamy Pasta Dish
  • 4 Servings: Creamy Stroganoff
  • 4 Servings: Tomato Basil Soup w/Pasta
  • 4 servings: Beans and Rice
  • 4 Servings: Maple Brown Sugar Cereal
  • 4 Servings: Apple Cinnamon Cereal
  • 16 Servings: Orange Drink Mix
  • 12 Servings: Whey Milk Alternative drink

You can see that more than half of the food bucket’s contents are drink mixtures. The serving sizes are very small, especially for an adult. Please look at all the meals, calories, and serving sizes before you buy to make sure they will suit your family’s needs.

Cook From Scratch For Breakfast

I would much rather make my own pancakes from scratch or oatmeal for breakfast, with or without syrup or jam. My point is this, some of those pre-packaged meals have ingredients you can’t pronounce, so you really don’t know all that you’re eating.

Certain companies make you set an appointment to have a salesman come to your home to purchase their food storage. Well, I’m not sure if they still do this, but I would feel compelled to buy some of their offerings.

I used to buy a few #10 cans every month or so. Right now, my budget can’t afford a large volume of food to be delivered to my home. When you have time, sign up for available newsletters from companies you like to use for your food storage goals. You will then receive emails when they have items on sale and you can make the best decisions of how much would be a good fit for your needs.

Please check the price per ounce because all those #10 cans are the same size, BUT again, they may differ greatly in weight and shipping costs. Believe me, there is a big difference in the amount of food in the cans. Just giving you the heads up here.

Food Storage Secrets You Need To Know

I totally get it when people say to me, “where do I start” when buying food storage. It goes back to this printout I use at every class where I teach about food storage: Where Do I Start by Food Storage Moms?

So before you buy, look at the sodium levels, look at all the ingredients to see what’s really in the can or package. I know the pictures look fabulous on the bucket, or those small packages, but the contents may not be so pleasing to see or eat. Please look at the serving sizes, it may be a toddler serving not an adult serving size.

Buy One And Try It

Before you buy several buckets, buy one ready-to-eat bucket and do a taste test with them at home. Go back and buy more if you or your family would enjoy eating them. Remember, if you won’t eat that stuff today, will you eat it next year?

Buy a few packages of those ready-to-eat bags where you only add hot water and see if you will like eating them for days or weeks. Please test them before you buy a LOT of them.

Simple Food Storage

I only buy #10 cans of fruits, vegetables, meats, milk, cheese, and I have a few cans of bacon. This bacon is really tasty, but remember it’s not the thick-sliced bacon most of us like with breakfast. But hey, I’ll take bacon any day after a disaster. Note that I found out that Yoder’s Bacon is no longer available.

Mark and I have yet to try any butter from any of the companies that offer it as a storage product. I just wouldn’t eat what I’ve seen if I was going to put it on a slice of bread. I will use powdered butter for cooking, but not for anything else. To me, most brands appear inedible, BUT I do like this brand: Red Feather Butter

Read More of My Articles  Food Storage Matters-We Must Be Self-Reliant

Watch for sales, it goes on sale a few times a year.

Food Storage Secrets You Need To Know

Thrive Life Can On The Left

I’m typing the statements from the cans above where the black arrows are: the can on the left is from Thrive Life and it says the ingredients are, “red peppers,” nothing else.

Honeyville Grain Can On The Right

The can on the right is from Honeyville Grain and it says the ingredients in the can are a “vegetable blend”, (freeze-dried corn, carrots, peas, red peppers, and tomatoes), nothing else. Great! SOLD!

This is where I buy freeze-dried fruits, freeze-dried vegetables, some dehydrated vegetables, and freeze-dried meats. I can make soups, casseroles, and stews with a combination of any of these.

Please remember, I also buy canned goods. If you missed the ones I stock up on, read this post from my archive: Canned Foods I Recommend You Store

And the bonus is their products store for 25 years, under optimal temperature conditions. Please don’t store your food storage in your garage if the temperatures go over 70 degrees.

What Temperature Is Best To Store My Food Storage?

This is where it gets interesting. You may think you can bring those #10 cans home and place them ever so neatly on your shelves, and you are good to go. But wait, what is the best temperature to store my food?

Well, the lower the temperature, such as 50-60 degrees, the longer your food will last. So, for instance, keeping our food at 75-80 degrees will definitely cut the 25-year shelf-life down considerably. The challenge is, most of us don’t have the option of storing at those low temps anywhere in our home or apartment. Some lucky families have a basement storage area, like under a porch without daylight, where the temperatures stay fairly cool pretty much the same all year long.

Food Storage Shelf-Life

I’ve listed below the normal average shelf-life for a number of foods we are likely to store for later consumption:

  • Whole Wheat Berries: Last Indefinitely
  • White flour: 12 – 18 months (#10 cans I have seen will store for 5 years unopened)
  • Instant Milk: (Thrive Live) Unopened 25 years, 2 years open
  • Salt: Lasts indefinitely (keep away from moisture)
  • Sugar: Lasts indefinitely (keep away from moisture)
  • Honey: Stores indefinitely, store in smaller containers: note thatit may (crystalize or harden-you can soften it outside in the sun)
  • Baking Powder: Often listed as Indefinitely, but I like mine to be as fresh as possible, (typically one year-we need our baking goods to rise, and fresh does it best)
  • Baking Soda: Two years unopened, 6 months opened
  • Cornstarch: Lasts indefinitely
  • Olive Oil: one to two years depending on the temperature where stored and the brand
  • Coconut Oil: One year, maybe two years depending on the brand
  • Vanilla Extract: 3 years
  • Vinegar: Indefinitely

Don’t Forget Your Water Storage

The American Red Cross recommends one gallon per day per person. I recommend four gallons of water per day per person. I get thirsty just thinking about the one gallon of water.

Please remember we need water to drink, cook with, for a mini bath, and wash our dishes. Hopefully, we will have enough water to wash our underwear from time to time.

Water Storage Containers I Use

Final Word

When it comes to purchasing your food storage, please read the cans, buckets, and packages and get a good understanding of what you are really buying for your family’s use. Thanks for taking the time to read this post about food storage secrets you need to know. Hopefully, it will give you some worthwhile guidelines before you order them for long-term food storage. Read the labels, and buy what works for your family. Thanks for being prepared for the unexpected. May God bless this world, Linda

44 thoughts on “Food Storage Secrets You Need To Know

  • September 8, 2019 at 7:46 am
    Permalink

    Thanks for naming your faves. I can’t afford to invest in something we won’t eat. I don’t buy buckets either; it’s easier & cheaper for me to buy individual items & create meals from them. Also the list of the lifespan of certain foods is very helpful. Great article!

    Reply
    • September 8, 2019 at 8:26 am
      Permalink

      Hi Linda, thank you for your kind words. I have learned over the years to only buy the ones that will work for my budget and palate. I used to get shipments every week from companies to try their meals. It was nice to try so many different companies. If I had to eat them I would, but 99% of them tasted like overcooked salted pasta. I was anxious to try them so I could tell my readers about them, which I did. Then I finally said “no more shipments as gifts”. I was lucky enough to have the companies send enough to me to invite neighbors over to try them. I no longer do that. The one thing I would really like is a good soup base to make in a hurry for crowds after a disaster. I have yet to find one that has a 25-year shelf life. I can make a white sauce but if butter is scarce I need a soup base to stretch meals. Thanks again, Linda

      Reply
  • September 8, 2019 at 9:22 am
    Permalink

    Linda, I would love to put together my own buckets, just a few of them, for grab and go circumstances. Line the bucket with Mylar and toss in O2 absorbers. Ie, I’d like to throw in 5 oatmeal packets and 5 ziplock bags of powdered milk…5 “something’s” for lunch and maybe 5 freeze dried dinners. Or beans and rice with lots of salt and spices too. I’m not sure 5 is the right number, maybe 7. Have you ever tried anything like that? Like you guys, it’s just me and the hubby. Toss in some TP and some hygiene products. In addition to being great for having to grab in a hurry, they’d also be great to give to someone down on their luck who just needed a temporary hand. Any thoughts on this? I figure if anyone has done this successfully, it’s probably you!

    Reply
    • September 8, 2019 at 10:27 am
      Permalink

      Hi Robin, I love this idea! It would be great to have some of these to hand out to people. You know I think I will write a post about doing this, great idea. I’m all about having something to hand out to people when needed. The powdered milk wouldn’t have a long life because it’s open. My Instant milk is two years from Thrive Life when opened. Here is how I store grab and go food. https://www.foodstoragemoms.com/my-72-hour-kits-today/ I need to fix up that post and share it again. You can see how I store my food for many years. Only a few have to be rotated. Linda

      Reply
  • September 8, 2019 at 8:49 pm
    Permalink

    Linda ~
    Great post. I have always said, “Try before you buy!” You don’t buy a car (normally) without test driving it! So, don’t buy a bunch of food for storage without test driving it! I have tried some long term food storage samples that were positively nasty! So, I stick with the ones I do like – Thrive Life is the main one.

    Also, I want to use what I already eat and in the realm of canned food, I store canned meats, veggies, and fruits. While I don’t always eat canned foods, I do purchase a number of them to keep on hand. As for beans, I prefer to use canned beans just because I know that if I used dried beans, I would always make way to many servings and since I am single, I cannot afford to waste this food. So, opening a can to add to my chili, soup, etc., is much more economical. That being said, I do have dried beans on hand.

    Something that I want to try soon is cooking dried beans and then dehydrating them. I would store them in mason jars with an oxygen absorber. I really want to see if they re-hydrate more easily as that would make cooking with those beans in a stressful situation much easier. I also want to try cooking rice and doing the same – sort of a homemade minute rice!!

    Anyway, to end this, I do encourage people to search out companies who offer samples of their foods to try first.

    Reply
    • September 8, 2019 at 9:52 pm
      Permalink

      Hi Leanne, I would love it if companies would give out samples to try their food. If there is an Expo, they hand out samples which are great. I have a few bags of dried beans but I store mainly my favorite beans in the smaller cans. They work best for me too. Linda

      Reply
    • December 31, 2021 at 3:09 pm
      Permalink

      Leanne, this is coming a few years after your comment…But as far as dehydrating beans…I dehydrated some beans several years ago (to use on a backpacking trip). I used canned beans, rinsed them and dehydrated them. They re-hydrated very quickly in a soup broth. They become ‘crumbly’, but even the powdered beans can be useful…In fact, I heard – YEARS ago – that powdered beans can be used to thicken soups; instead of using a fat. (I believe it was from Rita Bingham’s book ‘Country Beans”).

      Reply
      • December 31, 2021 at 3:16 pm
        Permalink

        Hi Margene, that’s a great tip from you and Leanne about dehydrating beans! I love it! Like you said even if they crumble they will thicken a soup! Love it! Linda

        Reply
        • January 1, 2022 at 7:40 am
          Permalink

          Greetings Linda!
          I do agree: no premixed meals in #10 cans for us!! I have tried a few and the taste is just okay.
          The buckets of meals sold like at Costco and 4Patriots are really way overpriced.
          I’m sticking with making meals from the basic food storage items such as wheat, rice, beans, lentils, etc.
          We bought a few freeze-dried meats for longer term storage before the price went to absolutely outrageous. Now I’ll only buy canned meat and bottle my own. We have some bottled deer meat that I bottled in beef broth, and some bottled chicken breast: both still good at 9 years now (usually put about a 10 year shelf life on meats bottled at home).

          Reply
          • January 1, 2022 at 8:39 am
            Permalink

            Hi Janet, I’m with you cooking from scratch beats any pre-packaged meals. It’s so nice to have bottles of meat we can ourselves. I buy cans of meat as well. Can you believe the cost of meat in those #10 cans? I refuse to buy them. Luckily we bought some before the crazy prices. Linda

  • October 11, 2019 at 5:54 pm
    Permalink

    Greet post, thank you!
    I so agree with you, Linda. We do not buy the storage meals or bucket meals…a waste of good money. I did buy samples here and there to try: a huge NO on every one we tried. With my years of experience and teaching, there’s so much that can be made from basic storage items and different spices/herbs etc. Also, wheat, whole grains, beans/lentils are healthy food items.

    Reply
    • October 11, 2019 at 6:39 pm
      Permalink

      Hi Janet, great to hear from you! Thanks for thinking the same way I do. I really want to help people buy the right food for their budget and their tastes. Linda

      Reply
  • April 6, 2020 at 6:22 pm
    Permalink

    Good article. I agree with you. Cook from scratch & rarely eat out. I expect this “shelter in place” will show “holes” in our food storage but so far so good. I only had one fresh green pepper and only a small amount frozen. I guess I will remedy later with more frozen, dry some or invest in freeze dried ($$$).

    Reply
    • April 6, 2020 at 6:51 pm
      Permalink

      Hi Diana, I’m hoping a few families will learn to cook from scratch with this “shelter in place”. It is interesting to see what we need more of when we can’t get it. This is a real learning curve for many people, let’s hope they stock for the next disaster. Stay well, Linda

      Reply
  • January 30, 2021 at 12:38 am
    Permalink

    Hi Linda,

    I have a question about storing pasta. Right now I have them in the box they came in with their expiration date. I keep them in my Prep Closet not in my pantry. Is this ok? Should I buy sealed pasta containers to put them in? And if so, what type of container would you recommend?

    Reply
    • January 30, 2021 at 5:58 am
      Permalink

      Hi Ruthie, the only worry I have for the pasta stored in the boxes is the glue that seals the boxes. Mice and pantry moths love that stuff. I store stuff that comes in bags inside Rubbermaid Containers. But my pasta, I remove from the boxes. Here is a link that shows the containers I use for all my food storage. I will add a picture of how I store my pasta today in that post. Look at the one that says lentils-pasta-quinoa. I always worry about mice and cockroaches (I live in the desert). We spray but I’m still very cautious. Linda

      Reply
    • December 31, 2021 at 7:55 am
      Permalink

      Ruthie..I don’t know the rules about storage, there are so many. Over 10 years ago, I stored my spaghetti pasta and macaroni in 5 gallon buckets. I just replaced a pasta spaghetti bucket last month.(got 50¢ on sale boxes luckily)
      I removed the pasta and macaroni from the boxes to get more in the buckets and added nothing. In the ten years, I have
      I noticed no strange taste or texture. Hope this gives you a time frame of how long these staples last in a bucket.
      I use sharpie for writing all my dates on the buckets.

      Reply
  • December 31, 2021 at 7:34 am
    Permalink

    do I really need ONE #10 can of chicken or beef that currently costs $93.00?

    Just as a comparison–and I don’t know how many servings that# 10 has—I can buy 93 small canned chicken.
    DG increased their price by 30¢, but I bought 24 cans from Amazon for $24 and free shipping. Brand??//Sweet Sue.

    Reply
    • December 31, 2021 at 7:53 am
      Permalink

      Hi JayJay, my thoughts exactly!!!!! Thank you for sharing you can buy 93 small cans of chicken! You know I LOVE LOVE LOVE your comment!! Linda

      Reply
    • December 31, 2021 at 7:57 am
      Permalink

      Thank you Linda and Jay Jay for the discussion on #10 cans. I am not sure what I would do with that much food once it had been opened. Now that our kids are growing up and living on their own, the very thought of eating green beans for the next week is off putting. And how do you keep it fresh if there is a situation with no power for refrigeration? I think that I will stick with the smaller cans. More affordable and portioned for a smaller group.

      Reply
      • December 31, 2021 at 8:13 am
        Permalink

        Hi Aimee, it’s interesting if we step back and think about the #10 cans. They are way too expensive right now. We do not have to buy them, right? We don’t need to, there are other options. Smaller cans work, I totally agree. Linda

        Reply
      • January 5, 2022 at 9:43 am
        Permalink

        Many years ago if I saw a great price on #10 cans of ‘anything’, I’d buy then make and freeze casseroles (think tuna or chicken casseroles, lasagna, chili Mac, goulash…). I had school age boys at that time. With family/lifestyle changes, I make far smaller meals so just keeping a lot of regular size canned foods makes more sense. I even cut my roasts in half, pre-cook and put in food saver bags, then freeze. Lol, I often bake 6 big roasts all at once (so 12 meals).

        Reply
  • December 31, 2021 at 9:25 am
    Permalink

    Hey Linda
    I too have stopped buying a lot of long-term can stuff. The prices have put them out of reach (for everyone but the elite, IMHO)
    I totally agree with you on the “meals”. Even the backpacking pouches, which is how I get a taste before buying more or bigger. Oh good lord! may as well belly up to a block salt lick 😛 Maybe dirt, sticks and compost taste better with half pound of salt on it? Been mostly cooking from scratch (if I say decades, will I date myself? LOL) I use minimal salt in cooking, watched people for a long time and most don’t even taste it before blasting it with the salt shaker. Easy to add at the table, hell to remove if the cook over did it! Another BIG bonus – I know what’s in it. I’m not one of those ‘organic’ only divas. Once I learned what it takes to be considered ‘organic’ or ‘all natural’ seeing that on label was so much LESS impressive.
    Those that say things like “you’ll eat anything if you’re hungry enough” have obviously NEVER been hungry enough. Some years back, due to poor choices I lived in a box and ate out of dumpsters behind restaurants… NO you won’t eat anything!

    HAHAHA the serving size/number per container 😀
    I’m with Mark, starvation would be imminent! I think that is a trick they use to make the nutrition numbers look better. (also how to avoid having to list some things on package, because it is below an arbitrary threshold some agency (FDA?) set for the need to list it (research things like ‘trans-fats’ and prepare to be unhappy with the subversion and trickery! A turd by any other name… still a turd. Macaroni & cheese – ¾ cup? hahahahaha even the kids ate more than that! But it makes the sodium, empty carbs, bad fats seem more reasonable. Same for froze pizza… one of my vices 😉 5 servings? bahahaha the wife and I split one – making it 2 servings. So do the math and figure out what you’re really eating.
    If you are spending the days laying on a cot in a bunker… might be enough. But after a day of WORK it is most assuredly a slow death from starvation o.O

    Never heard of Honeyville Grain, I will investigate them further.

    Good read Linda! Thanks!
    B

    Reply
    • December 31, 2021 at 10:30 am
      Permalink

      Hi Bruce, oh my gosh, I LOVE LOVE LOVE your comment! Every.Single.Thing. you said is so true! I really enjoyed reading your comment, my friend! Linda

      Reply
  • December 31, 2021 at 9:26 am
    Permalink

    Great article Linda! The last time I bought any #10 cans was a couple of years ago right before the pandemic and I bought milk. I use it to cook with and I like to drink it too. I’ve got a couple of cans left and hope prices go down at some point so I can buy more. We keep our storage in a cold room in our basement which stays at 65 degrees in the summer and is colder than that in the winter. I also have a kitchen pantry for the food I will be using in the next month or so because it is warmer. I’m thankful for what I have and that I can feed family and friends on a moment’s notice.

    Reply
    • December 31, 2021 at 10:33 am
      Permalink

      Hi Paula, great comment. The last thing I bought was milk as well. I may have bought them in pantry cans, everything is in storage right now. I’ll be glad when our house is finished. You are so lucky to have a cool basement, that is awesome! Thank goodness we have what we have to feed family and friends. Linda

      Reply
  • December 31, 2021 at 10:23 am
    Permalink

    I don’t like to eat out much either. The food just doesn’t taste as good as home cooked. The only #10 cans I have bought the last few years have been from online LDS store’s beans, rice, oats and milk. Their prices have gone up, but a case of oats is still about $34. Instead of buying canned meat, I buy fresh and can myself. I worry about all the additives that are being added to our food.

    Reply
    • December 31, 2021 at 10:34 am
      Permalink

      Hi Linda, The LDS online store has some great buys. Canning your meat is so smart! Good job, Linda

      Reply
  • December 31, 2021 at 10:27 am
    Permalink

    I have several buckets of dried foods. I’ve tried them and like the food. Depending on what I’m trying I usually add different seasonings or tossing in an extra can of something. I have a big family and many friends that don’t prep at all. I couldn’t stand the idea that they may need food in an emergency and not able to help in some way. Now I can at least feed them and have water to share. At my age, when winter comes and I can’t get out, I don’t have to!

    Reply
    • December 31, 2021 at 10:39 am
      Permalink

      Hi Kim, what a blessing those buckets are to your family and friends. We all need to be prepared and you for sure. I’m like you in the winter I stay home if the roads are bad. What a great feeling that you can cook meals for other people. Linda

      Reply
  • December 31, 2021 at 1:37 pm
    Permalink

    Linda:

    I think everyone should learn what you wrote in this article. I had been getting emails from one company that offered food for storage but they have stopped contacting me because I pic their products to pieces. There is no need for sulfate, Sulfites or sulfonamides in Food. All they do is cause allergies. I am allergic to Sulfa also Sulfites, Sulfates and Sulfonamides and people can tell me all day long they are not all related to Sulfa but I know better. I had a doctor who was Japanese and her father was a holistic doctor in Japan. He taught her well. When she learned I was allergic to sulfa she told me to not touch ANYTHING with the prefix with Sulf because they were derivatives of Sulfa. I even had someone from one of those companies argue with me that they were not related for half a hour and I finally just hung up on him. I prefer to buy can’s of what we will use and know that they will not hurt our health. That is why I stopped using Campbell soups because they started using GMO products in them. Now I don’t know if all their products Have GMO products in them but I am not going chance them. They claim it makes the soups cheaper to make but I would rather pay a little bit more for something than find out that something they use can kill me.

    Reply
    • December 31, 2021 at 3:01 pm
      Permalink

      Hi Jackie, wow, that is really good to know. Our health is everything. I will have to check my Campbells cream of chicken, that’s my favorite. Thanks for the tip! Linda

      Reply
  • December 31, 2021 at 3:24 pm
    Permalink

    For those who may be interested in having a few meals for “Grab-and-Go” buckets/packs; and want the ability to use ONLY ingredients that are suited to you…may I recommend two websites. Both are geared to backpackers, but the advantages are: lower cost, ease of adjusting to user’s tastes, easy to /prepare/reheat (saves on fuel), and easy to try a small amount:
    https://www.backpackingchef.com/ and https://trailcooking.com/recipe-home/

    As far as what to store, my sister-in-law tried out several main meals, made with only shelf-stable ingredients; picked out 14 of them (the ones that the family liked best), determined the amounts needed to prepare the dish; and then multiplied that amount by 26. This gave her the amount of shelf-stable ingredients needed for a year’s supply. Each meal would rotate on a two-week basis.

    Reply
  • January 1, 2022 at 4:35 am
    Permalink

    Linda,

    Great article full of sage advice. I store lots of canned food, flour, rice, etc. The white flour I stored in mylar bags with O2 absorbers three years ago is still good. Jane used it for her Christmas cookies and pies this year and they were delicious.

    I like the freeze dried and dehydrated foods I’ve purchased from Thrive, Honeyville Grains, and Augason Farm. But I have also purchased freeze dried meals from Mountain House and Backpackers Pantry. The ones from Backpackers Pantry were actually a full size serving for a adult male. Mountain House was more like take the serving size times two for an adult male. Any such freeze dried meals are expensive though. I’ve also bought MRE”s. I like most of the “A” menus items but you have to watch the manufacture dates. They are good for at least five years if you get ones made recently. As always buy one package and try them before you buy in bulk.

    But my main advice to Preppers is learn how to garden and can your own vegetables and meats. I’ve eaten home canned chicken that was four years old with absolutely no ill effects or lack of flavor. I don’t recommend that practice and usually eat home canned meats within two years. I mostly buy chicken when it’s on sale cheap and fire up the pressure canner, though last year a large tree branch fell on my coop and killed six hens, so I dressed them out and canned them. Then I had to get some new chicks and start over raising my flock. Such is life.

    My wife and I have a freezer full of beef. We buy 1/2 a beef from a local rancher and use a local butcher to get the cuts we want. Last year it cost us $4.73 per dressed pound. That’s expensive for ground beef but cheap for steaks and roasts–especially now that beef prices have gone out of sight. We also buy ground chuck when it goes on sale and can some of it.

    I do have chickens for fresh eggs but sometimes in the winter they stop laying for a couple of months. This usually isn’t a problem since I can store enough eggs while they are laying to get my wife and I by until they start up again. The eggs store well because I leave the bloom on them and stick them in the fridge. I only wash the bloom off when I’m ready to cook the eggs. Also, fresh eggs don’t peel well when boiled, so letting them age in the fridge for a few weeks makes them more like the eggs you buy at the store, which are almost always at least three weeks old.

    Since your main duty is to protect and provide for your family, the important thing is to store some food and water for hard times and emergencies.

    Reply
    • January 1, 2022 at 6:14 am
      Permalink

      Hi Ray, I LOVE LOVE LOVE your comment!!! Isn’t it wonderful that we know how to store food and how to cook from scratch? As soon as we get settled in our new home I want to buy a 1/2 beef again. It feels so good knowing we have meat in the freezer on the pantry shelves. I have eaten canned peaches that were 4 years old, I know the USDA suggests one year. Well, you and I are not going to toss them when they are 366 days old! LOL! Life is so good when you have a garden, chickens, and food stocked. Stay safe and stay well. Linda

      Reply
  • January 5, 2022 at 10:57 am
    Permalink

    Lehman’s has bacon but it is out of stop right now. Always check back to see when it will be available. I just went on line to see and that is what they have posted.

    Reply
    • January 5, 2022 at 11:53 am
      Permalink

      Hi Cheryl, I went to Costco yesterday and my favorite Kirkland thick center-cut bacon was out of stock. I wonder if this is why we can’t get the Yoder’s Bacon, bacon is so expensive right now. Thanks for the tip on Lehman’s. Linda

      Reply
  • January 5, 2022 at 11:57 am
    Permalink

    I have had to go to Walmart to get mine. Even then it is spendy. I like the low salt variety, but I will take what I can get. The apple wood variety is good.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *