Investing in food is similar to investing in an insurance policy. Food storage, just like insurance plans, allow you to invest a little time and money each month, in order to fall back on a safety net when you need it the most. You might even say food storage is more fruitful, because you can reap the benefits of your food throughout the year. My family and I are still living off of dry goods that I first stored three years ago. Since that time, I have noticed food prices increase considerably and am thankful for the forethought in investing in my family’s well being. Did we have to sacrifice and forgo certain luxuries, yes. But that initial investment of food has paid off and gives me a sense of relief to know that I made a decision to benefit my family for years to come.
One of the golden rules of prepping is “it’s better to be over prepared than under prepared.” A great prep, therefore, would be to ensure your family has the right foods stored to maintain a healthy diet in an emergency. Stock up on food with essential nutrients to maintain body functions: proteins and carbohydrates, fats for energy, as well as foods that are not high in salt (the more salty your food is, the more water you will drink). To calculate how many calories you will need in your diet, click here .
Those who are thinking of solely investing in canned goods could be surprised at the amount needed and expense of such an investment. Keep in mind that on average, one person’s rations of canned goods for a month is equivalent to:
- 20 cans of canned meat
- 34 cans of canned vegetables
- 26 cans of canned fruit
Many of us do not have adequate storage space, therefore consider other foods that can help to supplement the dietary concerns of the family as well as provide variety. A food storage calculator  can be of help in this process. Take notice of the canned items or pre-packaged foods you typically buy and pick up a few extra the next time you are at the store. Stock the same food items you normally eat. Buying food you don’t normally consume is one of 8 Rookie Mistakes  made by preppers. To read more tips of which types of foods to purchase for your food pantry, consider reading the 10 food pantry considerations.
Since we are concentrating on preparing for extended emergencies, we must anticipate and prepare for the scenario that our stored food supplies could dwindle. This could occur from improper food storage calculations, survival garden difficulties, or dry good depletion over time. In Week 18  of this preparedness series, we started learning different skills to preserve your perishable food storage for future use. Food dehydration  happens to be one of the easiest ways to preserve food for long-term storage. Nutritious snacks can be made from dehydrating fruits, vegetables and meat. Dehydrated soup mixes  can also be made for families on-the-go or can be added to bug out bags  or emergency vehicle supplies . Canning foods is another suggestion to preserving food. Because the food is canned at the plants’ peak prime nutrient content, they will retain most of their nutritional content, if not gain more nutrients from the canning process. Canned food  will keep 12 months or longer in some cases. Start learning these essential skills today in order to be more self reliant in emergency situations. The more you practice, the more confident you will feel in your abilities.
Can you imagine the nightmare of living through an extended emergency? Being prepared can put you way ahead of the game. While many who are unprepared for disasters will be battling to find a way to meet their basic needs, being prepared can keep your mind on what matters most: your family’s well being.
Preps to Buy:
- Dehydrated vegetables and fruit
- High energy snacks (trail mixes, peanut butter, whole wheat crackers, etc.)
- 2-gallons cooking oil (plant based oils lasts longer)
- Bulk quantities of canned vegetables, fruit, meat and soups
- Monthly dry and packaged goods (pastas, pasta dinners, rice dinners, cereal, dry oats, etc.)
- Bulk quantities of baking goods such as baking powder, baking soda, yeast, salt, vinegar (white and cider vinegars), corn meal
- Tea and coffee – 1 box with 16 bags or 1 (2-ounce) jar instant coffee
- Drink mixes
- Emergency food bars
- Specialty foods for those with special diet concerns
- Pet food
- Begin practicing dehydrating different types of fruits, vegetables and meats to feel confidant in this skill set.
- Remember to take into account the calories and nutrients your food storage will provide you.
- Store any special diet needs along with your existing food supply.
- Don’t forget to include pet supplies to your emergency food storage. You’re furry friends want to eat too!