If you are new to prepping these are my thoughts on food prepping quickly and cheaply.
a. Plan for at least three months and hope that it is overkill.
b. No refrigeration.
c. No power or gas.
d. Cooking secrecy is all important.
e. You will be in a group with others.
f. You can't afford wastage.
g. Eating beans and rice within eight hours of each other
h. The goal is to survive, not to eat well or keep your current
i. You will still have the food in your kitchen cabinets to
j. Rice and Pasta will be stomach fillers.
2. Quantity Needed.
Our group uses six cubic feet of food for each adult and half that per child.
This is a stack 1 foot by 2 feet stacked 3 feet tall. It is about 8 – 10 cases of cans; or about $100 to $150 in Sam's or Costco.
3. Target Meals.
We will eat as a community two days and the third day members will prepare food for themselves in small groups for variation, morale and privacy.
Most of the community meals will be soup as there is no wastage, anything can go in the pot, and the food volume to water ratio can be controlled. This can be done inside and consumes the least amount of energy.
Condiments, soda, chips, cookies and sugar. Remember that white flour and snack cakes or anything else made from refined flour only has a few months nourishment life.
5. Target Foods.
* #10 Cans of Vegetables. They are almost half price for the volume and
can be opened and stored overnight without refrigeration.
* Canned Tuna, Chicken and Spam.
* Pasta, Roman noodles and lots of tomato and spaghetti sauce.
* 50 Lb bags of Rice. $15 each. Can be stored in the original bag for 18
months. Each bag is 500 servings.
NOTE: Never Rense as it will remove the supplements sprayed on it.
* Large bags of Dried Beans. I am told that Costco has the 50 lb bags for
about $20, 3 different types of beans.
* Cans of Beanie Weenies, Canned Fruits, Dried Fruits.
* Corn Meal in sealed plastic containers. Multi-year storage.
* Whole Grain Flour (longer life) Store in plastic containers.
* Spices (optional). Salt, pepper, onion, garlic, oregano.
* Bullion cubes - Lots and lots.
* Canned Armour Lard. It will add needed fat and flavouring to soups.
* Salt Block (deer lick) from Tractor Supply. 40 cents per pound. Salt is salt.
* Deer Corn from Tractor Supply. (40 lb) They are the only one to have
deer corn without the fungicide that is harmful for a human. But the corn
is super cheap: $9 to $14.
Assuming that you have your stored prepper's food complete, now we need to supplement with fresh foods to make it fun. When you feel TSHTF coming on, go grocery shopping before everybody else does.
Produce: Potatoes, Onions, Carrots, Cabbage, Garlic. Apples and other fruits.
Bread – Whole Wheat only (Nutritious and long lasting);
More Bottled Water and powdered GatorAde.
If after a few days you still feel it is eminent, go grocery shopping again. If it is that close, put everything in the cart and on a credit card.
Cheap Food Supply
In baseball or football, the only thing that counts is points on the scoreboard, At the end of the game, nothing else matters. In Prepping for food, 2,000 calories per day is all that matters. Little else counts. Appearance, taste, all vitamins & minerals, variety or freshness does not count. When you move down to less than 1,500 calories per day, starvation begins. This is the area where dysentery, depression, confusion, lack of energy, thinking irrationally, etc. come into play, thus endangering you more in an already bad situation.
What we discovered at our bug out retreat is what half the inhabitants on earth already know – rice is king. If we purchase from Sams Wholesale House, this is what we get in order to purchase 2,000 calories per day for 90 days per adult:
a. Non-Rice foods: $270, or
b. Rice Only: $30 (Two 50 lb bags @ $15 each)
Benefits of Rice:
Easy to Prepare; Energy efficient cooking; simple in soups; long storage life; when eaten with or within eight hours, with peas or beans, it produces protein.
Storage: Stores in the shipping bag. In the heat and humidity of the South, we get two years before spoilage concerns. You can seal in Mylar bags or place two 50 lb bags in a food grade barrel ($30) for up to 10 years. But for us, it's cheaper just to store as is and add to out existing inventory every two years.
Your Cost: If each adult, each week, skips ordering out once and skips purchasing 2 bags of potato chips per week, in ten days you can save the $30 and sustain your life for three months in a crisis!
Math: Calories per pound of uncooked rice: 1,600
Cups of uncooked rice per pound: 2.5
Calories per cup of uncooked rice: 650
2,000 calorie days per 100 lbs: 80 days
1,800 calorie days per 100 lbs 90 days
1,500 calorie days per 100 lbs.
(just above starvation) 106 days
NOTE: NEVER rinse the rice prior to cooking as it will remove the sprayed on vitamin and mineral supplements.
Imagination: Throwing green beans or other vegetables or sauces on it will only increase the calories as well as tastes and vitamins and minerals plus prolonging survival days.
Feed One Adult For $20 per Month
The Protein in Rice & Beans This article suggests for protein needs, eat 6 cups of beans weekly. When combined with rice, perfect protein is yielded, which equates to a half of a 16 oz can of beans daily, or 15 cans per month per adult.
Facts / Assumptions:
* Can of Black Black Beans if 15 ounces; cost: 65 cents; Contains 2.25 cups.
* 50 Lb Bag of uncooked rice: Cost: $15 at Sam’s Club; Yields 300 cups of Cooked Rice.
* Calories per Cup of:
Beans - 192 (Black, Pinto, Red, etc., all fully cooked)
Cooked Rice: 213
Beans per day: 192 1 cup
Rice Per day: 1,278 6 cups
Total Daily Calories: 1,470
(Note: Less than 1,200 calories per day is considered starving;
Ideal would be 2,000 calories per day)
One Month Cost of Beans & Rice:
Beans (½ cup/can per Day) Cost: $10
Rice (6 cups per day) 9 (1 lb uncooked rice per day)
Monthly Cost: $20
If you shelter in place with close and hungry neighbors, you may have serious competition for your cooking. Because of it, I seriously doubt that you will want to slip a few steaks on the ole barbie. In fact, my advice is to turn the barbie over in the front yard to signal all that you have nothing to put on one.
When people are starving Mother Nature enhances their sense of smell. If you have close neighbors you probably will do all cooking inside. Consider cooking at 9:00 PM or 4:00 AM for secrecy. Forget about roasting that meat. Conceal it in soup. Otherwise it will be like climbing on the roof and hollering, “Free cold beer here!”
Make, or have the kids make, a rocket stove out of old tin cans. Use cat litter in the bottom and sides to keep the bottom cool so it can be used inside, although that room must be ventilated. The advantage of the stove is that it is 100% energy efficient and can use just a few twigs, paper or even cow pies as fuel. It is also smokeless. The last advantage is that it causes one-pot cooking; perfect for a large soup pot. With one-pot cooking you can cook the rice or noodles in with the soup or gravy. Be sure to keep the pot covered so that it will cook faster. Cook in the fireplace or a room the farthest away from your nearest neighbor.
Before you run out and purchase a lot of MREs consider these pointers on Meals Ready To Eat. They were created to feed troops carrying 60 lbs all day long without the use of a cook fire to reveal their locations. The normal adult requires 2,000 calories per day; troopers require 3,000. Therefore, each MRE is 1,000 calories each.
Three Day Limit: Military MREs and freeze dried foods are designed to be eaten for no more than three consecutive days, after that your bowels lock up. Cut the constipation by serving a one person meal to two people by putting it over rice, beans or pasta. This will allow you to “go” daily with the dry meals; or every other day serve canned or boxed fruit such as peaches or prunes; or every third day serve canned vegetables and non-dried foods; or check to see if a daily serving of cooking oil might be in order.
Military MREs Are Expensive: The traditional military MRE is terribly expensive. All sent into the field must be sold off as surplus. The problem is if they sat out in the hot sun they could be bad. There is a small possibility that it could make you sick instead of sustaining you. I recently purchased factory fresh military MREs for $12 per meal. If you intend to provide 3,000 calories per day, that is $36 per day! If you reduce to 2,000 calories per day, that is a cost of $24 per day.
Military surplus MREs run about $7.50 each, but again, some may make you ill. New non-military MREs (with heaters too) run the same $7.50 each, with a three year shelf life.
Homemade MRE's can be made for as little as $3 per meal with a three year life.
Therefore, a 2,000 calorie man day can cost from $24 to $6 depending on your needs and choices.
Determine Your Needs: Here are the times you may need a Meal Ready To Eat:
A) You are on foot, weight matters and there will be no fire.
B) You are on foot, weight matters and there will be fire.
C) ************, weight does not matter and there will be no fire,
D) ************, weight does not matter and there will be fire.
Note: If you are not carrying 60 lbs then a can of Beenie Weenies, fruit cocktail etc. will do for $3.
If weight matters but there will be a fire, a homemade Hikers meal can be made for $4.
If you are stationary but in a non-fire situation, then $3 canned meals are appropriate.
Also Note: Ramon Noodles are fully cooked and can be eaten dry as are Hormel
MRE heaters can be purchased for $1.25 each.
You can make a flameless and smokeless Rocket Heater for free and cook before sundown.
Google: Homemade MRE or Hikers MRE, or cold camp meals.
Conclusion: Determine how many of the high end meals you may need, then improvise your own for the rest of your true MRE needs.
The number one Prepper's problem would totally disappear if the FDA would approve the new dehydrated water but they won't. So the wet stuff is still our number one problem. We each need 3 gallons of it per day; three days without it and you are in serious trouble. If the grid goes down water will be our main focus. You will need to do a lot of planning and research in this area. I will only gloss over a few concepts here, but you still need to do the research.
Leveraged Alchemy: Make a little go a long way. Use the little saliva in your mouth to help swallow your pride – and stop flushing the toilet immediately when water stops flowing. Switch to composting toilets. This will cut your water problem in half! This means having a $25 toilet pre-built or at least having two covered 5 gallon buckets available. See: Sanitary Shit
Bathtub Gin: Line the bathtub with a plastic sheet or the shower curtain. If the curtain won't fit then put junk in the end so the curtain now fits. Do this the minute you think the grid may go down. Use this to flush with and refill the tub daily to keep the chlorine active. When the water stops this is your drinking water, not flushing water.
Rain Catchment: Plan on it. Purchase $25 plastic barrels, Purchase rain gutters. Buy a dolly to move it. Even plan on holding tarps to flow into barrels if necessary, but do what you have to do. Once the rain stops transfer the water inside before your neighbors see it.
Bleached Blond: Do not send the bleached blond to purchase the bleach as she will come back with the scented stuff. Go yourself and get the unscented. You may have to look for it. If they only thought to make a rum flavored one. Otherwise have a few grains of lemonade or other powered drink to kill the bleach taste. Dose: ¼ Teaspoon per gallon. Other Doses Only purify drinking, cooking and medical water.
Old Bleach: Old bleach quickly looses its strength. I do not know the deterioration rate, but to avoid it purchase a 1 lb. bag of pool shock (about $30) as it lasts forever until used and will purify about 10,000 gallons of water. Dose: 1 Heaping teaspoon to 2 gallons of water, yielding 2 gallons of bleach to be used 1/4 teaspoon per gallon of dirty water.
The above formula is for a 100% calcium hypochlorite (pool shock). If using about 70% shock, use 1.5 heaping teaspoons per 2 gallons. If you can taste the chlorine then pour the water from one container into another until some of the chlorine evaporates.
Storage: If you go outside to get water you may die. Purchase food grade 30 gallon blue barrels for $25, add bleach and cover. The water can last for years. You can also purchase a 300 gallon 4 foot plastic cube, food grade, for $100. See picture.
Filters: You can use these to drink the nastiest water on earth. They come in straw models to 5 gallon ones, or you can make your own.
Purified Water: Save it for drinking only. This is your absolute emergency supply!
Neighborhood: Note the location of swimming pools, creeks, drainage ditches, etc. Consider visiting them at night only.