Off the shelf food items to stock up on?

Discussion in 'SHTF/Survival&Disaster Preparedness' started by kalford, Mar 28, 2011.

  1. kalford

    kalford XDTalk 100 Member

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    I have just recently begun getting ready for any disaster situation by stocking up on water ( one gallon bottles from Wal Mart). I have also but together basic medical kits in vehicles and house. My next purchase will be a water filter.

    After that I plan on stocking up on food. My goal would be cheap long lasting food that can hold up against the elements well ( I may put smaller portions in each vehicle). So far my mind is set on Ramen noodles and caned tuna. Any ideas, suggestions?
     
  2. lookout123

    lookout123 XDTalk 100 Member

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    With a little googling you'll find very comprehensive lists but for just starting off, remember to only buy things you'd normally eat anyway so you can rotate.

    canned veggies usually have @ 3 year shelf life printed on them (you'd survive if you had to eat them a ways past that date.

    canned fruits are usually 18-24 months

    canned chicken, tuna, salmon are all 3-6 years

    sugar and salt

    pasta

    cereal and the like will spoil unless you seal them so focus on the others first while you do some reading.

    Oh, and for your water, you'll get more bang for your buck if you skip the 1 gal bottles and go straight to the 2.5 gal or larger and they don't take up much more space. Also do your reading for what time of filtration system you want to purchase for the day your pre set stores run out.
     
  3. phil evans

    phil evans XDTalk Member

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    please remember that gallon and 2.5 gallon jugs have a fairly short shelf life of ~3 years - that is the plastic container will deteriorate and split.
     
  4. Gigantor

    Gigantor XDTalk 3K Member

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    Instead of canned tuna, go for the foil packets of tuna (StarKist Albacore, StarKist Tuna Salad)
    and foil packets of chicken (Tyson). Chicken of the Sea has foil packets of salmon.

    No refrigeration needed for any of the foil packets, no can opener needed, and they're easier to pack/weigh less than canned goods.

    The expiration / best by dates for most of the foil packets are 2-3 years out, so you can easily rotate them into/out of your supply.
     
  5. Gigantor

    Gigantor XDTalk 3K Member

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    Oh yeah, I was at Costco over the weekend and they had a 10-pack box of Mountain House for only $39.99.
    $3.99 for a Mountain House entree is pretty cheap considering they usually go for $5.95 to $6.95 each.

    The entrees included 4 flavors: Beef Stew, Beef Stroganoff, Chicken Teriyaki w/rice, and Lasagna w/meat.
    Two of the flavors had 2 packs each and the other two had 3 packs each. I don't recall which entrees had 3 packs and which had 2 packs.
     
  6. Ragnar

    Ragnar XDTalk 500 Member

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    I don't like telling other people what to stock up on because everyone is different but I'd stay clear of Ramen. Other than it's shelf life it has no redeeming qualities.

    Here are some things that I store and hopefully you can pick out a few that will work for you.

    I don't really have a dedicated bulk storage, pretty much everything stored gets used and I try to replace every used item with two like items so that it will continue grow.

    Canned Vegetables. I can my own carrots, green beans, tomatoes, and corn mostly because that's what we eat the most of. I make jams and an assortment of pickled vegetables and peppers.

    Dehydrated vegetables. I dehydrate these and store them in vacuum-sealed half gallon canning jars. Celery, onions, elephant garlic, jalapenos, shredded potatoes(Hash Browns), carrots, sweet potatoes, random fruits, and an assortment of herbs.

    Meats. Canned chicken is the big one for me because my wife is allergic to fish. I do have some canned tuna because I'm not and I like it. I've occasionally home canned chicken breasts if I find them for dirt cheap.

    Rice, beans, pasta, grits, oatmeal, flour, cornmeal, sugar, salt, and powdered milk I buy in the biggest package I can afford that day and then repackage them in half gallon canning jars that I vacuum seal.

    So far I have one blue 55 gallon water drum. I'd like to get a few more but they aren't cheap. I also keep a 2.5 gallon water jug in the trunk of each car.

    Fuel. I know that it isn't food but I have three 5 gallon cans with stabil in them. That's one full tank of gas for my car which would be very handy for something like a hurricane evacuation.

    Oh yeah, in my 3 day bag I have some energy bars that I picked up from the sports nutrition section at walmart. I think they are called big10, idk, they are in a red box. They are over 400 calories per bar and have about a one year shelf life. I also have some single serving gatorade packets, store bought banana chips (one year shelf life) and some pouches of heat and serve Mexican food, I can't remember the brand name on those but they were also rated for a year.

    Hope some of that helped. My advice is to buy whatever you normally buy but get the next size up on things that can be stored long term and then store half of it.

    Also if you haven't tried home canning you may want to look into it, I enjoy it and once you get your equipment it's very inexpensive. You can get a pressure canner and a dozen pint jars for under $100, then head down to the local farmer's market. after that first week you'll have canned vegetables without a single preservative and taste better than store bought.
     
  7. Ragnar

    Ragnar XDTalk 500 Member

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    By the way, if anyone wants to troubleshoot my list I'm always open for suggestions and constructive criticism so feel free.
     
  8. lookout123

    lookout123 XDTalk 100 Member

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    Point taken but again, my philosophy is to only stock items I use currently (with a few exceptions) I currently have 25 of those 2.5 gallon jugs on hand and none are more than a year old because we take them to Mexico, Flagstaff... just about any trip really.

    Same with the canned tuna. I eat tuna sandwiches, tuna casserole, and tuna quesadillas regularly.

    Canned chicken, ranch, jalepeno peppers, and cheese between 2 tortillas a great easy meal. I love 'em.

    We only buy white meat stored in water as well.
     
  9. ubergeek

    ubergeek XDTalk 100 Member

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    @Ragnar where did you pick up your 55gal water drum at I am looking for a few
     
  10. Ragnar

    Ragnar XDTalk 500 Member

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    Was either ebay or amazon, I've had it for a couple years. I do remember that it was $75+shipping. I think about that every time I see one being used as a trashcan.

    When I buy another I'm going to try to find one local, perhaps even used, then clean sterilize it.
     
  11. Groo

    Groo XDTalk 10K Member

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    Nobody remembers Honey. Honey NEVER goes bad. Never.
     
  12. Ragnar

    Ragnar XDTalk 500 Member

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    Good call. Of course neither does sugar.

    I'm going to plant some stevia this year and see how it goes. I don't know much about it so it'll be a learning experience for me.
     
  13. spoolup

    spoolup XDTalk 1K Member

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    I have a pretty stocked pantry. I would estimated 500 cans of various stuff from veggies, to fruit, to meats (DAK ham is good and cheap by itself or as a filler to many many dishes, also spam, chicken, corned beef, etc), chilli (which my last trip to buy some ended in 90 something cans at under $1.00 a piece for stagg sweet pepper, the cashier thought I was nuts), beans, etc. Then I keep at least 10 bottles of spaghetti sauce, a few dozen pounds of noodles, a full shelf of spices, another shelf of others to include vinegar, hot sauces, Worchester sauce and oils. I also keep 20-30 lbs of sugar, salt, honey, beans, and rice one cupboard. Instant taters and oatmeal is some of those things that provide carbs, store well, is CHEAP, last a good while, and easy to make, just add boiling water, and last, can be found just about anywhere.

    The last few years I have been expanding food stores due to a bad shitstorm forecast. I still see it coming as do many others who have finally started opening their eyes. Proof in out, try to find any freeze dried foods right now, or what is the number 2 subject on the news FINANCE.


    Anyways, tin foil hat off, I have a VERY large collection of freeze dried foods and food in buckets that either I or others have packed. Looking at my long term food inventory sheet, I have 156 #10 cans and 13 buckets in my place and 108 cans and 26 buckets in the family cabin. No Im not saying I have mountain house food, okay I have a few, 17 in the house 19 in the cabin, but most are what I call addins. Meats, and dairy mostly, but a selection of veggies, fruits, grains, eggs etc. I have 37 cans of just FD meats, pork chops, roast beef, sausage etc in the cabin, almost that here, plus 22 cans of morning moo milk at each place. Add that to the hundreds of pounds of rice, wheat (which FYI sprouted wheat berries, sausage piece, and tomatoes is VERY tasty and notice, the bulk of this recipe is from food stores), sugar, salt, oats, beans, and lentils. Then the toss in MREs, canned butter, cheese, bacon and the like. Im not sweating the food too much, it’s the water. The cabin is the best off with many streams, lakes, and plenty of snow, okay, A LOT of snow. There can still snow on the ground in June. But I have a few Berkey units, spare filters, multiple backcountry filters (being an avid hiker these get dual use), and the like, but stored water is king. I keep a few 55 gallon drums empty in the cabin and can fill them in a day if needed, but at home I keep atleast 14 cases of water bottles, my berkey light, and 20 USGI water cans ready to go which get switched out the water every 6 months, I do not add bleach to the water however since I make a good deal of bread regularly, but I do sanitize the containers with it and keep a few gallons around for emergencies and cleaning.

    For 55 gallon water containers look here, shipping is also very reasonable.
    http://beprepared.com/product.asp_Q_pn_E_WS%20B700_A_name_E_Water%20Barrel%20-%2055%20Gallon%20Drum

    In the end it comes down to 4 things.
    -Time, sorry but your already running short on it, but starting is great. Maybe my tin foil hat is too tight, who knows, but I worry for what is about to come.
    -Money, and it does not take a lot to get started, next time you’re at the store, pick up a few cans of this and that which you use regularly, keep doing each payday and you will get a foot in the door.
    -Space, well… this one sucks. Im always thinking of new places and ways to store stuff. But on top of storing it, you need to inventory it and use it, most dates are “best buy” not “expires” dates. Ive ate food years past the date marked and been fine, well lets just say Im not sick or have a hand growing out the back of my head.
    -And last ability to use, lose power one night and try to cook dinner. A lot of folks cant. We have wood burning stoves, coleman stove’s (my last is great and only for $15 with 2 gallons of white fuel from an online classified!) Solar ovens or what I call nature slow cookers, basically anything you can do in a slow cooker can be done in these even in the winter. Dutch ovens, backpacking stoves which again being a hiker, I have a few to choose from, etc. Worse comes to worse, Ill power up the Honda and use the microwave, done that before.

    Really it comes down to planning, flexibility, use-ability and knowledge learned. I really wish I would have been older and wiser when my grandma was still alive, she canned till the day she died and had a nice root cellar, most of this knowledge is a lost art, having someone to help guide you really does make it easier and safer to learn.
     
  14. Radio Relay

    Radio Relay XDTalk 4K Member

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    ^^^ Awesome post ^^^

    Honey does go bad. Not that you can't eat it, but it turns to sugar if left over time.
     
  15. Thunder71

    Thunder71 XDTalk 2K Member

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    Beef jerky, lots of beef jerky.

    And yes, I've seen honey go to an unpourable state.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  16. Poink88

    Poink88 XDTalk 1K Member

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    I think it is more because some honey manufacturers "cheat" and use sugar solution and you see it crystallize (water evaporates) if you store it over time. ;)
     
  17. spoolup

    spoolup XDTalk 1K Member

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    Thanks radio, also if honey does crystalize on you, put the bottle/ jar in a pot of hot water will usually help. Even if it is crystalized, you can still use it in cooked dishes as is. My favorite carrot dish is carrots cut into disks (think pennies here) then toss into a SS skillet or everyday pan, it has to been wide, not deep, add enough water to just barely cover carrots, 1-1.5 cups, add a squirt of honey, a tablespoon or 2 of butter, and a half teaspoon or so of chilli powder. Turn to med high and cook until water is gone, then fry carrots in oil left over from butter. Yummy stuff. Honey is great. Its also great in hudson bay bread, oatmeal, 9grain cereal, tea, PB and honey sandwichs, thats my 5 year olds favorite right there, homemade yogurt, etc. I use the stuff alot.
     
  18. Radio Relay

    Radio Relay XDTalk 4K Member

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    Sweet ... :D

    Thanks for the info .. I'll try some of that.
     
  19. ForTehNguyen

    ForTehNguyen XDTalk 5K Member Founding Member

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    canned food from walmart is very inexpensive. Chef Boyardee cans for 86 cents here, larger Great Value ravioli cans for 1.22 (same stuff as Chef Boyardee).
     
  20. spoolup

    spoolup XDTalk 1K Member

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    Its good, oh figured I should add this since I dont ever include it in my recipes since its a no brainer for me. Add a good pinch of salt and a few grinds or pepper while cooking...
     

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