Getting Started

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 29 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #547
    IceFire
    Moderator

    Some people who are new to “prepping” get overwhelmed and think that they need to spend a fortune on huge “packages” of long-term storage foods to get “up to speed”. This is NOT necessary. You can get started easily, and WITHOUT blowing the family budget. Here is a simple, cost effective method:

    Focus on foods that your family eats normally.
    When doing your regular grocery shopping, take advantage of sales, and buy a little extra, even if it is only a few cans/packages of things that you normally use.
    Make a list of the “staples” in your pantry (flour, sugar, salt, rice, spices, etc.) When you shop, buy a package of your “staples”, even if you don’t need it “right then”. These extras will go into a “rotation” to use as needed, but you can build up a “stockpile” of staples this way.
    When you shop, look at the “use by” or “expiration” dates, and buy the one that is furthest out. When you get home, mark the dates on the front of the package, and put these things into a rotation, by “use by” dates–ones with the earliest dates in front, latest dates in the back.
    If you have a vacuum sealer, use it to seal “dry” goods–flour, rice, sugar, etc. This will seal out air, moisture, and pests–the primary causes of food spoilage–and extend the “shelf life”.
    Use sales to stock up on things such as detergents, soaps, toiletries, paper goods (TP, tissues, etc.) feminie hygiene supplies, OTC medications, etc. or buy a package, even if you don’t need it “right then”.
    DON’T try to buy all of one particular item all at once–not only will your pantry lack variety, but all of that item will hit it’s “expiration date” all at once. Much better to acquire a variety of things over time, and use them on a rotational basis, reducing loss.
    If you have prescription medicines that you take on a regular basis, get your refills as early as possible…this will allow you to build up a surplus, so that you have on hand it if for some reason you are unable to get refills down the road. THIS WILL TAKE TIME…your “surplus” will build up at a rate of a few doses per month, but over time you can build up a pretty decent supply. As with food, put your medications into a rotation.

    Building up your “preps” this way, although more gradual, will not strain your budget, and you will be surprised at how quickly your “preps” can grow. Not only that, but by using this method, you won’t find yourself running out of essential ingredients when you are in the middle of preparing a meal, and if the stores run out of a particular item that you use regularly, you will have what you need on hand, and can wait until the stores are able to re-stock.

    #53589
    kymber
    Member

    i can only say that i agree – this is the way that we started too….at first it was just a couple of cans on a big shelf in the basement…i was quite embarrassed by it…but i stuck to the plan and kept adding bit by bit and pretty soon – BLAMMO! food preps that any harcore prepper would be proud of!

    it really can be done!

    and to anyone who is just starting and might be a little shy to ask questions – don’t be shy! there are some people in these networks who have incredible experience in prepping/homesteading/survival/gardening/canning/dehydrating, etc. – and they will answer everyone’s questions!!!

    #53590
    Gabbyhase
    Member

    Yes, that is some good adice.
    One of the things ‘ve been doing is e-mailing different companies and asking them what the shelf life of their foods are. For instance I e-mailed Hormel and asked them how long Canned Spam last. They wrote back and told me that Canned Spam should be used within 3 years, but after 3 years it’s still safe to eat although the flavor will gradually decline.
    I also purchased a basic 1 year supply ( 6 months for the 2 of us , one meal a day each ) of Freeze dried mountain House foods. Freeze dried foods will last between 25 to 30 years, so it was a good investment for us. Now we are backing this food supply with canned goods and other things we need. I also live in an area where wild game is still pretty abundant so if I have to I can also hunt some of the meat I need.
    I’ve also been stock piling my medications by sometimes skipping a dose here and there and stashing it away for emergencies and we have been building up our first aid supplys as well.
    I have 4 Sweedish military stoves/ mess kits. These are alcohol stoves with “NO Moving parts” so there is nothing to break on them. You can use Grain Alcohol, Rubbing Alcohol, Denatured alcohol, the yellow bottles of heat you put in your gas tank in your car and more to fuel these stoves or you can use the mess kits over an open flame to cook with, so they are very handy in an emergency.
    I have also purchased Water filters/purifiers for my 7 gallon water jugs, each filter will purify up to 200 gallons of water, so if I have to I can go down the street to the creek to fill my water jugs. ( although we do have stored bottles of drinking water in the house ).
    We also have a truck camper that we can live in should we ever have to leave home and are building up a small supply of gas just in case.

    #53591
    IceFire
    Moderator

    Just be sure that when you are storing gas:

    Add a fuel stabilizer unless the gas will be used within a couple of months.
    Keep your gas rotated, just like your food preps.
    Store the gas AWAY from your house/garage…preferrably in an outbuilding/storage shed.

    I try to keep a minimum of 25 gallons on hand, not counting what is in the vehicles/equipment.

    #53592
    ReadyMom
    Moderator

    There is some GREAT information here: http://www.GetPandemicReady.org” onclick=”window.open(this.href);return false . I hope you find it useful. Feel free to download, copy and share, share, share! 😀

    The GPR site was launched nationwide just about 2 years ago. The first week we were live, it was a featured link on the CIDRAP website! I think that means we “got it right”, lol! -k

    #53593
    roolu
    Participant

    I’d have to add that you should also stock up on first aid supplies. Since I live on a tight budget I rotate each week what area I will stock up on, ie week one – canned goods, week two – baking needs, week three – first aid, etc etc. This has worked out well for me. Living in a small rental I have also re-worked all my cabinets to make room for these supplies. Anything fancy (like my good serving sets and china) that I don’t use all the time goes into a storage tub then into the closet. This way I can see my supplies and no where I need to focus.

    #53594
    Gabbyhase
    Member

    @IceFire wrote:

    Just be sure that when you are storing gas:

    Add a fuel stabilizer unless the gas will be used within a couple of months.
    Keep your gas rotated, just like your food preps.
    Store the gas AWAY from your house/garage…preferrably in an outbuilding/storage shed.

    I try to keep a minimum of 25 gallons on hand, not counting what is in the vehicles/equipment.

    I always add Sta-Bil to all my gas. Sea Foam is also good but cost a lot more than Sta-Bil . Yes, gas should always be rotated just like food. Good tips 😀

    #53595
    IceFire
    Moderator

    I kind of lumped the first aid supplies in with the OTC meds. I keep several first aid kits handy…one in each vehicle (to include a slightly smaller one in the saddle bag of my motorcycle), my “main” first aid kit for the house, one in each “Bug-out” bag for family members, and a generous supply of additional first aid supplies, to include suture kits (and yes, I know how to use them, and have done so in the past). I also maintain a veterinary first aid kit specifically for the animals.

    #53596
    ReadyMom
    Moderator

    I’ve been giving a lot of public presentation on Pandemic Preparedness for the past 3 years. One of the handouts that I give is called ‘Basics in Six Weeks’. It’s here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/24627189/Handout-Basics-in-Six-Weeks” onclick=”window.open(this.href);return false -k

    #53597

    Hey Folks,
    Now this is something I need a LOT of help with.. I have the storage area and started a few things, but I am as green as Leaves when it comes to this. You would think with growing up with a mom and dad that did this I would know something! I grow some of my own food, and I can forage foods, but live in a city so will have to buy meats etc..

    #53598
    sbsion
    Member

    excellent, with possibly only a few years left (at the most), expiration dates and storage type may not be that important, we should have a years supply of any and all canned and packaged foods we normally eat……even frozen foods

    #53599
    Gabbyhase
    Member

    @cityhomesteader wrote:

    Hey Folks,
    Now this is something I need a LOT of help with.. I have the storage area and started a few things, but I am as green as Leaves when it comes to this. You would think with growing up with a mom and dad that did this I would know something! I grow some of my own food, and I can forage foods, but live in a city so will have to buy meats etc..

    There are meats in the City. Pigeon and squirrel are just a couple examples. If you don’t have a 22 long Rifle to shoot them with or don’t want to use one because of the range and niose of a 22 LR then think about buying a 22 cal. Pellet Rifle, it will take down most small game and is quiet. I have a few Leg Hold animal traps I keep just for emergencies.
    Your on the right track though, keep storing Food, water and emergency supplys. Maybe you could grow some foods in buckets ???

    #53600

    Hi Gabbyhase ,

    Oh I have a HUGE garden .. well huge as far as I am concerned at 56 years old. I grow intensively in raised beds. I have not reached the full potential of what I can grow here. I am hoping me health holds out so that I can push the envelope come spring time. I’m ordering seeds this week.. Also I’m installing a small hoop house and will be attempting salad greens over winter. Read Elliot Colmans books all fall and think I can do it or close enough to make do. The wife is growing tiny experimental pots of lettuce, spinach, and I’m growing celery, broccoli, and Egyptian onions.. We made Jam from our own Black Cap Raspberries this year and froze Carrots, peas, Snap peas, Snow Peas, Parsnips etc.. Will be doing more canning, drying, and freezing in 2010 Lord willing…

    #53601
    IceFire
    Moderator

    If you have room for a garden (I take it that you have a yard?), then for meat, perhaps you could raise rabbits. They don’t take up much room, are quiet, and best of all, you can use their “droppings” for fertilizer, and you don’t even need to compost it first. Rabbit poo is the ONLY manure that you can use directly on your plants without worrying about burning them.

    #53602
    buginout
    Member

    Lots of great info here! thanks everyone. A couple of thing to consider…vitamins are something to have a decent supply of as well. most have a decent shelf life and its pretty easy to determine the needs for your family based on the usual one a day dose but something to consider is that if your diet should become less nutritious you may want to increase the daily does to ensure good health. The most important prep we can do is stay healthy (physically mentally and spiritually).

    One area the we decided to spend a little extra was a good dehydrator. There is tons of great info online about how to. We use this to take advantage of sales on meats and veggies. Dehydrating extents shelf life quiet a bit if done right. One of the things we have found that works for our family is buy the bags of frozen veggies on sale then dry them. You can then put all the ingredients into a canning jar or vacuum sealed bag with all the spices for a good veggie soup. add hot water and you have a quick and easy healthy meal that will store well. for more protein you can add some dried meat. we have been trying different combos to see what we enjoy.

    One last thing we are trying to do more of is spending time with our kids identifying local edible plants. We picked up a great book on the subject that shows us what they look like where to find them and what time of year to harvest and then we make a game out of it with the kids. fun education that can really help us put fresh nutritious food on the table FREE!!!

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 29 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.
American Preppers Network Forum