20 Items to Kick Start Your Food Storage Plan

By on June 24, 2013
pantry tall

No matter how many times I write about food, there is always something new to consider or a new and different way to present the same old information in a more useful manner.  With that in mind, today I would like to share a method for getting started with your food storage program in an easy, step by step, and cost effective manner.

To be truthful, my initial goal with this article was to respond to readers who were just getting started and wanted a shopping list of things to buy for their food storage pantry.  I also wanted to compile a checklist that more experienced preppers could use to compare what they had to what they needed.  My goal can pretty much be summed up by saying that I wanted to write about getting started with food storage the easy way.  No frills, no fluff – just a common sense list of food items to get you started.

With that goal in mind, let me say this:  this is not a list of items intended for deep storage. Nor is it a list of items packaged so that they have a 25 year shelf life.  (And in reality, do you really need your stored food to last that long?)  I am also not going to list items that might be foreign to your palate, difficult to find, or too costly to absorb into your weekly shopping budget.

What you are going to get is a list of 20 items that can easily be purchased at your local grocery store, warehouse club and surprisingly, even online at Amazon.  They can be purchased in one shot, all at once, or you can pick up one item from the list each week over a period of twenty weeks.  The choice is yours.  All I ask is that you consider getting each of the items on the list and that you also consider getting started sooner rather than later.  I promise you that this will be easy.

I am going to include quantities that require no extra thought, no calculator and no formula for determining servings or overall quantities.  Like I said.  This is going to be EASY!

20  ITEMS TO KICK START YOUR FOOD STORAGE PLAN

1.  20 pounds of Rice.  As boring as it may sound, rice is one of the backbones of every food storage plan.  It is filling, nutritious  and with the use of  varied seasonings and condiments, highly adaptable in a variety of tasty meals.  The choice of white, brown or a combination of the two is up to you.  White rice has a longer shelf life but brown rice has more nutritional benefits.  In my own household, I like to combine the two along with some Jasmine, Basmati and Calrose sticky rice.

29 Jan 2007 (Rice,rice,rice)

2.  20 pounds of Pinto Beans.   Like rice, beans are the backbone to every food storage plan.  You may substitute white, kidney or other types of dried beans but honestly, pintos are one of the least expensive dried beans and in my opinion, one of the tastiest.  Need help cooking beans? when you are done here be sure to read Survival Woman Learns to Cook Dried Beans and you should too and  Respect for the Lowly Pinto Bean.

3.  20 cans of Vegetables.  Green beans, peas, corn and canned tomatoes are good choices.  Let your taste and budget guide you.  Buy what you currently eat and enjoy.

4.  20 cans of Fruit.  Peaches, pears, pineapple, fruit cocktail – again, this is your choice.  Fruits add a nice sweetness to life and these days we all could use more of that.

5.  20 cans of Meat.  Chicken, tuna, shrimp, salmon, Vienna sausages, beef stew and yes, even the ubiquitous Spam will satisfy this requirement.  Did you know that you can even purchase canned roast beef? Again, let your taste and budget guide you – there is lots to choose from.

Spam

6.  4 pounds Oats.  Remember when you were little and Mom warmed your tummy with a nice comforting bowl of oatmeal?  That is what we are talking about here.  A bowl of oatmeal topped with canned fruit can be enjoyed for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

7.  2 large jars of Peanut Butter.  Peanut butter is an excellent source of protein, with plenty of calories for energy and sustenance.  Besides, who can resist the taste of a gooey spoonful of luscious peanut butter?

8.  2 large jars of Tang or other powdered drink mix.  The only requirement here is get something you like and something fortified with Vitamin C.  I am not going to preach and tell you to avoid artificial sweeteners.  If Crystal Lite works for you in normal times, go for it.

9.  5 pounds of Powdered Milk.  Milk is a great source of protein and other nutrients.  In addition it is filling and can be used to top your oatmeal cereal or stirred into your coffee as a flavor enhancer.

10.  5 pounds of Salt.  It goes without saying that salt is an essential for survival plus it has a lot of uses other than as an enhancement for food. That said, our bodies need salt to survive.  Read more about salt in the article Reasons You Need Salt in the Prepper Pantry.

11.  10 pounds of Pancake Mix.  An all in one pancake mix (such as Krusteaz) only requires the addition of water to make up a batch of batter.  As with oatmeal, a big plate of pancakes, perhaps with some honey or jam, will make a satisfying meal that can be eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

12.  2 pounds of Honey and 2 large jars of Jam.  We all need some sweetness in our life, even with Mother Nature or life deals us a blow.  I choose honey and jam over sugar but at the end of the day, you can make a substitution or simply mix and match.

13.  10 pounds of Pasta.  Pasta is familiar and easy to fix.  Pasta is a dense form of wheat but so much easier to deal with when you are first starting out.  Besides, it is a fabulous comfort food.

14.  10 cans or jars of Spaghetti Sauce.  Cheap yet satisfying, canned pasta sauce on a bed of pasta creates a satisfying meal that can be put together in minutes.

15. 20 cans of Soup or Broth. The beauty of canned soups and canned broth is that they are a budget friendly.  Soups are an all-in-one meal solution. All you need is a can opener and a spoon and you have a meal ready to go.  For an extra satisfying meal, try using a can of soup as part of the cooking water for your rice.  Yummy!

16.  One large jug of Oil. Choose olive oil, coconut oil or some other cooking oil, but definitely get some.  Oil is essential for good health, fueling our energy stores and providing support for fat-soluble vitamins and nutrients as they work their way through our system. Not only that, but a bit of fat in your diet adds flavor and makes you feel satisfied when you are done eating.

17. Spices and Condiments. Adding some spices and condiments to your food storage pantry will allow you to vary the taste of your storage foods, thus mitigating some of the boredom that is likely to occur over time.  The exact mix of spices and condiments is up to you but some suggestions include  garlic, chili, Tabasco (hot sauce), salsa, oregano, thyme and black pepper.

18.  5 pounds of Coffee or 100 Tea Bags.  There are those that will say that life without coffee is not life at all.  Whole bean (assuming you have a hand grinder), ground or instant – take your choice.  Or substitute tea.  Green tea and many herbal teas are quite therapeutic so if you like tea, this may be a good way to go.

19. 2 large bags of Hard Candies.  Hard candy can go a long way toward making an unpleasant situation bearable.  Butterscotch drops, peppermints and even lemon drops are good.  Have fun with this and pick up a couple of bags of your favorites!

20.  Mini LED Flashlight and Extra Batteries.  Okay, this is a cheater item.  It is not food but it is all important and so it will not hurt to stash a miniature flashlight or two along with the edibles in your food storage pantry.  My top pick of the moment in the Blocklite.  This thing just goes and goes and goes plus, it does not take up any storage space.

BUT THERE IS NO WHEAT AND NO FLOUR ON THIS LIST!

So you noticed!

There are no wheat berries or other whole grains (other than oats/oatmeal) on this list and there is also no flour.  While there is a place for these items in a long term storage plan, I consider them part of the second phase of food storage.

The truth is that many preppers would not have a clue as to what to do with wheat, so why push the envelope?

The same goes with flour.  To make flour usable, you also need yeast and baking powder plus the skill and know-how to bake. Not only that, you most likely will need an outdoor oven of sorts – especially if the grid is down post disaster.   That, and more, will come later, but for now, while covering the basics, it is much simpler and far more practical to stick with easy to cook foods that can be combined into interesting meals without the need for much experience other than opening a can or a package.

THE FINAL WORD

As you read though this list, I hope you can visualize the number and variety of meals that can be made by mixing and matching the items listed in the kick-start plan.  How about some rice, salsa and canned chicken cooked into a casserole in your cast iron skillet?  Or pancakes topped with canned peaches and honey?  Then there are pinto beans, combined with rice and corn and topped with a bit of Tabasco for a fiesta-style meal.

Well okay, perhaps these are not gourmet delights but with the added condiments, they will taste good and be as healthy as you can expect food to be when fresh meats and produce or unavailable.

Is this a complete list of everything you will need to be fully prepared food-wise?  Heck no.  Are the quantities adequate to feed a family for a month, three months or longer?  Perhaps a month but not much longer.  Truthfully, for long term storage you need more food and more variety as well as some packaging methods (Mylar bags or buckets plus oxygen absorbers) to insure that your will food stay viable and pest free for years to come.

But for now we are more focused on either getting started our rounding out our basic survival pantry.   And for that, these 20 items will do just fine.

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Gaye Levy

About Gaye Levy

Gaye Levy started her website, Backdoor Survival, so that she could share her angst and concern about our deteriorating economy and its impact on ordinary, middle-class folks. She also wanted to become a prepper of the highest order and to share her knowledge as she learned it along the way. On Backdoor Survival you will find survival and preparedness tools and tips for creating a self-reliant lifestyle through thoughtful prepping and optimism. To read more from Gaye, visit her website, Backdoor Survival Backdoor Survival. You can also follow Gaye on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest or purchase her eBook, The Prepper's Guide to Food Storage on Amazon.com.

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43 Comments

  1. Schneewitchen

    One suggestion under the heading of “Pasta”, is to buy Tortellini or Tortelloni. They are a meal in itself, add sauce and they are really good. The dry cheese in the middle adds to flavor and protein!

    • I wouldn’t store a lot food that requires water , like beans, to make because any water I have us for drinking because this could go on for s long time and if it doesn’t rain or if the sir is contaminated we will need all water or juices from canned veg or fruit we can live longer with liquid and little to eat but we can hunt animals to eat but if atmosphere us contamited then we can’t catch rain or dew so we need water u can store lots in even empty jars store under sinks in bath cabinets. Plus buy water but don’t store lots if stuff that takes water to cook!

      • RLF

        If the water from the atmosphere is contaminated you can’t hunt either based on the premise that the animals drink what falls from the sky therefore they are contaminated too! Basically the rule is: if 1 is bad they both are in this situation.

        Lets hope we never have to worry about such a thing here at home!

  2. gena

    For people who live in the southwest, a good choice if you prefer breakfast tacos to pancakes, is to buy a few bags of tortilla mix that only requires the addition of water, pat it down, cook it on a tortilla pan or even a skillet, and add some of those beans, preferably refried or a variety of other breakfast taco fillers. Also tortillas make a good alternative, easy to make bread replacement. You can just mix and cook up what you want when you want it. I had never tried it, although dated guys in my youth whose mothers fixed them, and bought a tortilla pan at the local grocery store for $2 and found the mix also at the local grocery stores, I think it is called Masa Harina, and it is cheap, has everything in it already but the water.
    Also did not see canned chili in your list of meats, I love chili, mother used to tell me I liked Mexican food so much that we must have some Mexican heritage in the family tree she was unaware of.
    I would advise if you buy canned fruit, get it in natural juices rather than high fructose corn syrup, that stuff is really bad for you and made from GMO corn, a double whammy to your health.
    As for flashlights, I have bought a couple moderately priced rechargeable lanterns, and a small Goal Zero solar charger to recharge them should the grid go down. That way I don’t have to worry so much about when the batteries run out. And by having two or more of those, one can be recharging while you use the other.
    I think I already have everything on the list other than enough canned fruit, which I hate, and enough canned veggies. I have a moderate sized garden, and a huge number of tomatoes and just bought a pressure cooker and if I don’t blow the house away doing so, plan to can some of the excess tomatoes and peppers. Also have a large herb garden and am planning on drying and preserving as much of the herbs as I can.
    One thing missing from your list is to stock up on pet food if you have pets unless you plan to feed them from the foods you are buying for the family.
    One more point, you can buy ready-to-eat tuna salad real cheap, that comes with crackers and a spoon for dishing out onto the crackers. One can is just right for a small sandwich if you have any bread on hand, but does just great on the crackers. If keeps for well over a year, has everything in it, you do not have to have mayo on hand to add. I also recently found a road side stand operated by a young Christian couple that sells pickled eggs the wife makes herself. they are great and have a pretty good storage life. But once opened you have to eat them pretty quick, so small jars would be better than large jars of them if you anticipate being without power. She uses quail eggs, which don’t taste that different from chicken eggs. I have tried them and they are GOOD. I also read that if one does buy flour for home storage a good thing to do when you get home is throw the flour in your freezer for at least 48 hours and you will eliminate the chance that any weevil eggs that are inside will hatch in the future. Then you can move it into a more permanent storage method.
    Also, if you buy #10 cans and don’t want to gobble all of it at once, if you have a food saver, and you can buy small battery operated ones, you can reseal the rest if you add a new oxygen absorber in the new package or buy the smaller 2.5 cans if you are feeding a smaller number of people. Costs more for the same total weight purchased, but less waste.

  3. gena

    Another good pleasure food is to buy popcorn as long as you also buy a popcorn popper which can be used with a fireplace or external fire source. They are cheap also if you check the right places. A little cooking oil, popcorn and a fire and you can enjoy some popcorn which beats hard candy as far as I’m concerned, although I already have several bags of hard candies – both the butterscotch and peppermint hard candies you spoke of.

  4. gena

    I think it is Jiffy Brand, not totally sure off hand, makes both regular peanut butter and chocolate peanut butter cups in single serving size, nice to throw a few in a go-bag and you can either eat it on crackers, a sandwich, or dip things into them. Around here, at the dollar stores, you can buy a box of three cups for around a dollar.

  5. gena

    If you have a dehydrator you can dehydrate fruit or veggies ahead of time to make your own trail mix or to hydrate when you want them or just buy bags of dehydrated fruit or veggies to rehydrate when wanted. Plus don’t forget raisins or prunes or cranberries. Lasts a long time, and often beats canned fruits unless you like things really syrupy sweet.

  6. Del

    If you start with ready-to-eat soup and add a can of water, once you bring it to a boil you add a can of quick (or Minute) rice and you have a tasty, filling meal that can feed one very hungry or two hungry people. If you start with condensed soup you need to add an additional can of water beyond what the instructions for the soup itself call for. If you use regular rice you have to add water in the correct ratio for however much rice you want to add.

  7. JJM

    Do you really want “2 large jars of Jam” that need to be refrigerated after opening?? Though larger jars work better in my ‘everyday’ diet for rotation, I prefer the variety of many small jars OR restaurant single servings packets.

  8. TPLadany

    I am a diabetic–most of these recommended foods are not for me-what foods do you suggest that I store.

    • Ruth

      So am I.(60 years) Rice and pasta are good for the family, but I like to stay away from it. Tuna in water. Peanut butter (Protein) Beans (especially Lima/Butter beans) dehydrated veggies (green beans, beets, tomatoes, eggplant, sweet potato, squash, etc.) and plenty of bullion cubes…chicken, beef AND tomato. Honey is good to have on hand if sugar gets too low, PLUS it’s an anti-biotic and stomach//pretty much everything soother. Mix w/a little apple cider vinegar and warm water. Good medicine. Do you need insulin? If so, you may want to check out “FRIO” bags that you soak in water to keep insulin at the right temp to keep it good. By the way, Insulin is good up to 5 yrs after date posted…JUST KEEP IT COOL!!!!!!! Hope this helps.

    • Trevor

      I have a type one daughter and a grid down situation is a nightmare when considering her. You really want to figure out a way to have extra insulin and a means to keep it as cold as you can (basement, root celler, etc). Even a diabetic is going to need some carb food but you might want to do some extra nuts, jerky, and canned meats so that you can stretch your insulin by doing higher protein and less carbs. You might want to look for some “gluten free” options which will be lower in carbs and some high fiber products since that lowers your amount of insulin. You will also want to have extra liquids (water,etc) that don’t add to your blood sugar and the liquid (body hydration) helps keep your blood sugars lower.I have found you can mix egg powder and protein powders into the pancake mixes and the taste and consitency are not altered too much but you lower the carb content considerably. Diabetics are going to have a rough go in a grid down situation. Good luck.

  9. val

    If you know how to bake outdoors using a dutch oven (or even just a covered roasting pan might work), all-purpose baking mix (think Bisquick or a generic brand) could help fill in for bread, as can crackers (saltines taste great with any filling you can think of). I agree with dehydrating what you can, just be sure you have plenty of water for rehydrating on top of the water for simply drinking. Don’t forget some kind of water filtration (ie. ceramic, gravity fed, etc) for water (it will still need to be boiled after if there are worries about bacteria) and locate sources of water near you for filtering (or get a hand-crank for your well water, get a rain barrel, etc).

    Also consider some cheap solar lights for around your house. You can mount them up high to help illuminate your house in the dark. It won’t completely deter a thief, but they would rather hit your neighbor’s house that doesn’t have light than yours that does. Consider a few extra bags of dog food to offer to your neighbors. Keeping them and their dogs on your side could definitely help in a crisis.

    Extra bags of coffee for barter or just “sweetening” up the neighbors also helps keep your neighborhood working a bit more together than against one another. Community would be very important in a crisis.

    Consider a few “comfort food” items like containers of Pringles chips, pop tars (which can be eaten without heating up and store a pretty long time), Twinkies (they’re making them again! They store for years, and have no nutritional value but your kids will love you for it), also some baby formula as another milk source. It doesn’t taste fantastic, but has lots of nutrients in it and can be poured over cereal, oatmeal, or into soups to thicken them, used to moisten pancake mix, etc. Jars of baby food (most adult thieves would pass that by, not realizing the source of food and nutrition within).

    • There is also a dry bread/cracker called Pilot Bread. We in Alaska use a lot of it as it is a forever item. Fishermen especially like this because when out on the waters, the Pilot Bread does not spoil. Even makes good little individual pizzas for the kids. Spread some tomato sauce or soup, maybe some baloney, salami, and cheese on top and heat in portable oven, camp stove, or however you can heat to melt cheese, and you have pizza.

  10. glenbo

    JJM is correct about large jars of jam, and same goes for peanut butter. It can go rancid fast, so why not buy several small jars? They’re easier to pack and move if that need arises, too.

    • Hipockets

      I buy Large jars of Jif,have for many years,and never put them in the refrig,in the cupboard so it spreads easy. It does’nt say on the
      jar to regrigerate,so I never have’ I’ve survived doing this for over 20 yrs’But everyone to their own thing’

      • Kris

        I agree. I have all my adult life kept peanut butter in the cupboard and unless it was one of the ‘organic’ kinds, it never even separates, let alone goes bad. When my grand kids left 3 yrs ago I had a partial jar of Skippy. It took the whole 3 yrs for us to finish it off, and it was still fine!

        • Valerie

          I agree Ive never put peanut butter in the fridge nor jam/jelly as that is already preserved in sugar and wont go off. Just make sure they your knife is clean of bread crumbs when dipping in :D

  11. Karen

    Those of us who know how to cook over a fire store flour, baking powder, corn meal – I can make either biscuits or corn bread in an iron skillet over a fire. Powdered milk, if you don’t have access to fresh milk; powdered eggs, if you don’t have chickens… I saw someone mention diabetics…beans and brown rice, together, make a complete protein (diabetics should not eat white rice).
    No matter what, you need good water. Buy a GOOD water filtration system, even if you have a well with good water, or use a public water source, just in case! We have one that even takes out bacteria and will filter any water other than salt water. That way, you can even use creek water if you have to. People who use public water sources can also store water in case of emergency as public water sources often become contaminated after bad storms, earthquakes, etc. Even though we have a generator, a well, and a filtration system that works anywhere, I keep some water on hand just for brief power outages, etc. You need to be able to flush the toilet, no matter what!!
    And you can pop corn in any pan that has a lid. Just shake it over the fire. You don’t need a popcorn popper!

    • Valerie

      I agree.. My daughter makes some lovely drop biscuits with just flour water and fries it. She puts dried fruit in sometimes when she wants something sweet. There are many recipes that you can make with flour and not have a oven. So that advice about flour isnt really correct.

  12. Lt of good ideas– just need to exicute

  13. william

    Instead of table salt, you should get sea salt. Morton’s sea salt is only about 3x the cost and 100x the nutrition.
    Peanut butter should be the non-hydrogenated oil type.
    Jelly should be the natural sugar type, not high fructose corn syrup.
    If you have a propane grill, buy a couple of extra cans of gas. Store safely.

  14. Rick

    Ramen noodles can be experimented with. I like with a can of ham or chicken, any veggy you want, and a little soy sauce. Bullion cubes are good also.

    Powdered potatoes,like Idahoan, with a can or two of roast beef and gravy, is a good meal for two.

    I make these regularly, but keep trying other recipies. Try things out before you buy quantities for storage. And don’t forget to rotate your stock.

  15. D Bro

    I wanted to make a number by number comment but what is more important is the day you break into your long term food, better be the day you start replacing it with the start of a garden or the green house your didn’t build yet. Start eating lambs quarter or any local wild vegetable that you will need some getting use to, or raising a goat, rabbits, chickens for meat. Wow! I have all this food but how can I replace it if the system breaks down? A country boy will survive-Hank Williams Jr..

  16. Patti

    So I am a newbie and for me this is a fantastic article. I am printing it out and saving it for my next grocery run. I also found the comments to be helpful. Just one problem with the list, just a personal problem. I HATE powdered drink mixes. Never drank koolade as a child, can’t do gatorade, they all make me nauseous. Unsweetened tea for me!
    I would like to know where I can find canned roast beef. I grew up on a farm and my folks canned many quarts of beef. It was a family favorite. Maybe an Amish store? Thanks, Patti

    • Hipockets

      Use to get canned Beef as Commodities,but no more. I have seen it mainly in surplus groceries stores. Very rare at local or big box stores’If
      you hunt,you can, can your own Deer,Elk etc. Becomming a lost art,but better for you then Beef’

    • Carol

      You can buy a package of 6 12-oz cans of roast beef at Costco. It is their Kirkland brand.

    • Trevor

      Costco has a canned roast beef that is a decent price and tasty.

    • lee

      you can buy canned roast beef at the Dollar General Store, $3.99 a can. Used it for years, with noodles. I used to buy it at the grocery, but they don’t carry it anymore.

    • Kris

      If you’re game, can your own. I do. I can beef, chicken, pork, fish, shrimp, hamburger. Just watch for sales, buy it as cheap as you can, and unless you will be feeding a big family, can in it pints. One pint jar = 1 lb of meat. its AWESOME to cook with, and it smells and tastes so good! Just watch what you buy. I only get grass fed beef and pork, free range chicken, etc. don’t get any farm raised fish ever! You can buy this stuff canned up, I see it at Sams all the time, but it is SOOOO expensive!! The work you put into canning your own is so worth it.

  17. chris g.

    In our humidity we store powdered products only in small sizes…once opened it starts to moisten then solidify. We store condensed (store bought) milk and home canned goats milk…looks iffy but works well in cooking. You possible to “Oven can” dry powdered products into smaller jars, for easier use.

    • Kris

      Or, if you have or can get a food saver, they have an attachment on them to seal stuff in jars. put your dried stuff, powdered stuff, etc, in jars, and the attachment pulls all the air out. I have half gallon jars full of all sorts of dried/powdered stuff, and then use smaller jars, pints or half pints, for what I use on a reg basis.

  18. da

    I tend to disagree with placing flour on the “second tier.” True, baking most stuff is complicated. However, few things are easier than making drop biscuits. Flour, water, baking powder, shortening, salt, milk can make a helluva lot of biscuits. They are filling and can be used in place of bread.

    Also — beans do not have that long of a storage life. They still need to be “alive” inside when they are cooked.

    • Ruth

      I had some pinto beans that I had in a jar for 20 years…they sprouted! Have to cook and soak them a lot longer though…

  19. My husband has kidney failure & is on dialysis. He cannot eat any beans,(except green beans) ham, brown rice, whole grains of any kind except oatmeal. Many canned fruits and vegetables are off limits as well. No potatoes or tomatoes allowed. Any ideas for us? Or for him especially? No chocolate anything allowed either. He also must limit his fluid intake and cannot have many dairy products at all. We are in a very humid climate and do have some power outages as well as hurricanes periodically.

    • Tamara

      Potatoes are ok once a day when soaked and cooked properly. And canned vegetables and fruits are not ideal, but thoroughly rinsed veggies and drained fruits that are on the dialysis food list are acceptable in an emergency. Store unsalted crackers and proteins like chicken or roast beef. Again, draining and rinsing are key. A dialysis diet is boring at best, anyhow, so store lots of the allowed foods! Good luck!

  20. Judith

    Vinegar is cheap and can be used for medical and cleaning as well as food prep.

  21. Ruth

    My stash includes a large container of dehydrated onions (from Sam’s)
    and a four pound container of parmasean(also from Sam’s). These two can make anything edible and nourishing as well. Plus,I prefer canned tomatoes over canned spaghetti sauce..works well with pasta or rice.

    Also, don’t care for pinto beans..prefer baby limas. So, it’s important to try the different beans to find out which ones you like.

    I haven’t tried it yet but plan to get some Stevia seeds and grow my own so I can have something sweet once the sugar is gone. And I plan to use my dehydrator to dry some green pepper this summer..something else that goes a long way toward making things taste better.

    I have an apple tree and use my dehydrator to dry my apples. I eat them in the dried state..not necessary to add water. These dried apples will last a number of years just packaged in plastic bags(as long as rodents can’t get to them)

    I don’t like to use prepackaged foods because they always make me feel bad..the chemicals in them I guess. So, my stash includes flour and cornmeal and, of course, baking powder.

    Something that is easy is corn meal dumplings cooked with greens. I just mix corn meal, a little powdered milk, baking powder and enough hot water to make a mixture that will hold it’s shape. After the greens have cooked down but before they are done, add large spoonfuls of the corn meal mixture on top (above the water line) and cover. Let the greens continue cooking and, when done, you will have little corn pones to eat with your greens.

    When you get ready to fry your fish, you’ll be glad to have corn meal on hand. Corn meal can also be cooked in a little oil as flat patties like pancakes.

    And, to the person who was going to use her pressure canner to can her tomatoes, that isn’t necessary. Tomatoes have enough acid that they don’t require pressure. They can be canned with a water bath. Just to be on the safe side, add a tsp of salt and two tsps of lemon juice to each pint. They only have to boil about 10 minutes and can then be removed from the hot water bath. Quick and easy. Anything that is acid can be canned in the hot water bath instead of using pressure.

  22. Tamara

    I also store a lot of dried soup mix in #10 cans. Soup goes a long way in feeding your family or your hungry neighbors who didn’t plan as well!

  23. Leah

    20 years ago, I invested in a dehydrator because my cupboard space was limited and we had frequent power outages which made freezing a questionable venture. I dehydrate nearly everything, including frozen corn (which can be ground for meal if needed) canned spaghetti sauce (poured onto a cookie sheet, comes out like a fruit leather and can be stored easily) and home-made “jam” (pureed fruit with sugar to taste.) I buy potatoes on sale and make my own potato casseroles like you’d find on store shelves. I dry cooked chicken, turkey, beef, and pork for later use in casseroles. (A little extra care is required in drying meats for long-term storage) I make sure I have plenty of water on hand, and have back-up sources available. And, if SHTF, a simple dehydrator can be built using 1×2’s and window screening/hardware cloth, whatever you have on hand.

  24. We only eat low carbs here and that is what we store. I would not have a bit of energy if I was eating beans and rice in an emergency. We can our own vegetables, dry some to take in a back pack, can meats and main dish meals. Your list is good for someone who eats that type of food. I guess the best advice is the famous saying, “store what you eat.”

    Good post!

    • Valerie

      I only eat low carb ( high fat ) as well, No list seems OK to me. but I do store things for my family should they ever go short.

      I can butter,lard, preserve eggs and will be pressure canning meat and veg soon. so hopefully have a good stock of the foods I can eat.

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