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Prepping: Getting Started-Food Pantry

The basics to getting started on your journey to preparedness.

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Prepping: Getting Started-Food Pantry

Postby ReadyMom » Tue Jul 20, 2010 10:48 pm

Image Prepping: Getting Started-Food Pantry
(Photo by Suzba, flickr.com;
http://www.flickr.com/photos/barracloug ... 0/sizes/s/ )


Preparing to increase your home food storage is a critical part of preparedness. Read this from the American Trucking Associations:

When Trucks Stop America Stops

Significant shortages will occur in as little as three days, especially for perishable items following a national emergency and a ban on truck traffic. Minor shortages will occur within one to two days. At convenience stores and other small retailers with less inventory, shortages will occur much sooner.


Federal & Emergency agency recommendations are for a minimum of two (2) weeks. Read more HERE. Consider the possible response time of federal response agencies, the type of emergency situation that you are preparing for, your financial situation. Then consider preparing for a minimum of two (2) weeks and increasing your preparations as you are financially able.

The rule of thumb for food stocks is “Stock what you Eat. Eat what you Stock.” This will ensure that you are rotating foods that have a shorter shelf life than other foods in your storage. It will also help you maintain some semblence of ‘normal’ in a stressful situation.

From Food-Getting Started (GetPandemicReady.org):

How can I ever do this? Start NOW, but don’t defeat yourself.
Break the task of stockpiling down into stages. Getting your pantry stocked for two weeks is a good initial goal. Simply write down what you eat over a two-week period. Then add a few extra items on each shopping trip. Look for specials and bulk purchases. Remember to add lunches for children who are normally at school,
as well as infants and toddlers.

Once you’ve reached this goal, go for four weeks of food, then eight, and then twelve. In a few months, you will have a full pantry full of you kind of food.


Remember, the idea is NOT to always have gourmet meals, but to feed your family and keep them sustained as long as you possibly can, using the financial resources that you have available to you during the shopping you will be starting, now. So, where to start?

FIRST, to jump start your Emergency Food Pantry:

    Consider ‘Stretching Staples’ for your first purchase in your basic emergency stockpile for your pantry. Include: rice, beans, noodles and canned soups. When you add these 'stretching staples' together (Rice & Beans, Soup & Noodles) or add them to other food prep items you will get through a longer period of time. Add noodle or rice to your cans of meat.

    Then:

    Canned goods store for a long, long time! Manufacture dates stamped on cans are a guide. They are not always set in stone for expiration. You can find out more HERE and HERE

    Buy a Little at a Time. If you are in a financial bind, purchasing one or two of something each time you shop will help you faster than you think. It builds up quick.

    USE Store COUPONS! Take advantage of 10/$10 deals (just get 1 or 2, if the sale allows). Get the 'BOGO' ('Buy One-Get One') specials. Look for specials & bulk dry goods.

    Use the Dollar Store! There are a lot of great deals at the dollar store and food discount stores. If you are not familiar with a product. Buy one and try it first. Watch your prices, compare to local grocery prices to insure you’re getting a good deal.

    Consider food allergies and dislikes. If your emergency situation is that you are unemployed and financially strapped, and you need to use your food preps, medical costs to treat an allergy may be out of the question. If it's a large scale emergency where getting to a doctor, pharmacy or medical facility is difficult or impossible, you don't want to be sick. When you are stressed you want foods you like, if you can get them.

    Some basic guidance for starting your food supply preparations include (from ReadyMoms Alliance, Live Ready; pdf):

      • consider foods with a long shelf life (cooking time remains a consideration).

      • Experiment with meals that can be made from pantry items.

      • Buy canned food in sizes that make the most sense. Consider how much you will use at once. Does the leftover product have to be refrigerated? Will food go to waste if the power’s off?

      • (For Non-Food Items)Buy extra of ordinary items you use from week to week, so that you are not caught short - i.e., paper products, feminine hygiene products, baby needs, shaving cream, soap, shampoo, toothpaste, etc.

One document that I have offered at community preparedness events is a guide to getting started over a six-week period of time. You can find it here: Handout-Basics in Six Weeks .

A great source of basic water information can be found on the GetPandemicReady website. Although the info was written for pandemic preparation ... it's good for any disaster preparation! (disclosure: I am a co-founder of the GPR site). Here are the two pages that you will find helpful in organizing your Emergency Food Pantry preparation needs:
Food-Getting Started
Food-Options

Pantry Preparation = Peace of Mind!

Edited for content and additional links-07.21.10
Last edited by ReadyMom on Thu Aug 23, 2012 9:12 am, edited 6 times in total.
Reason: Updated Link-GPR site changed servers
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Re: Prepping: Getting Started-Food Pantry

Postby Alaska Rose » Tue Jul 20, 2010 11:30 pm

Damn, you are good. That is excellent advice given in a clear, concise manner. Yay and way to go.
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Re: Prepping: Getting Started-Food Pantry

Postby Lynda » Wed Jul 21, 2010 6:37 am

Loved this blog. That picture is very similar to my shelving system in my basement. Plust, I've added two large plastic cabinets(from Lowe's) to store pharmacy and personal hygiene products and cleaning materials.

Large plastic storage bins with snap on lids can be used to store pasta, rices, other dried food. Cheap at Wal-Mart.

One thing we have done is invested in a dehumidifier to keep the basement cool and dry, especially during summer months.
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Re: Prepping: Getting Started-Food Pantry

Postby lghb » Wed Jul 21, 2010 7:57 am

A great post.
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Re: Prepping: Getting Started-Food Pantry

Postby Atreus » Wed Jul 21, 2010 10:12 am

Thanks. I copied and pasted your suggestions to a Microsoft Works file to look at later when I get ready to do more shopping.
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Re: Prepping: Getting Started-Food Pantry

Postby ReadyMom » Wed Jul 21, 2010 11:46 am

Prepping: Getting Started-Storage Solutions is next. -k
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Re: Prepping: Getting Started-Food Pantry

Postby SciFiChick » Fri Jul 23, 2010 2:40 pm

ReadyMom I am SO glad that you have done this. We have been needing this thread for a long time! Keep up the good work. :thumbsup:
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Re: Prepping: Getting Started-Food Pantry

Postby Empress » Fri Jul 23, 2010 5:15 pm

PLease do the storage solutions. :) I've got tons of stuff, and No shelving etc to put in in in this new house. I keep looking for the "perfect" system. I know it's not really going to happen, but my stuff is still in boxes and impossible to get to (can't rotate, and I keep buying new "X" 'cause I can't find mine)
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Re: Prepping: Getting Started-Food Pantry

Postby Ravenwood1950 » Sat Jul 24, 2010 10:24 am

Ready Mom, is there anyway we can keep these threads together for reference and easy of location? Newbies would benefit from this as well. Sometimes we all just need to go back and review and work the basic steps to be sure we are on track. Thanks!!
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Re: Prepping: Getting Started-Food Pantry

Postby ReadyMom » Sat Jul 24, 2010 10:35 am

Ravenwood1950 wrote:Ready Mom, is there anyway we can keep these threads together for reference and easy of location? Newbies would benefit from this as well. Sometimes we all just need to go back and review and work the basic steps to be sure we are on track. Thanks!!
Ravenwood


Yup! :D They are all in the very first forum listed on the front page: New Members - Check In Here First -> -> -> How To Start Prepping (The Basics)!
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Re: Prepping: Getting Started-Food Pantry

Postby okie B » Wed Sep 22, 2010 6:08 pm

Thought I would throw this out here for anyone wanting to get started, but still wondering about the whole though process.

I found myself with $50 extra this week based on budgeted expenses that did not materialize as expected. What to do with it? Well, I could have stuck it in my wallet and frittered it away on a soda here, a lunch out there, a quick trip to the store, or I could have paid a little extra on my student loans or mortgage, or I could have bought one of those little non-electric washing machine thingies (okay, I know you can do it in a bucket with a plunger, but that little washer thing is just cool). But when I thought about it some more, I figured I had better go ahead and use the money to add to food inventory because prices keep going up and they aren’t projected to get better anytime soon.

Once that decision was made, I had to think about where our inventory levels are on different foods. We have quite a bit of flour (hubby gets a deal on it at work, so I actually have more flour than wheat even though I do have some wheat also), and I just replenished our rice last month. We just got more cooking oil, and we’re doing pretty good on fresh, dehydrated, frozen, and canned fruits and vegetables. I decided to focus mostly on shelf-stable (read canned) proteins.

At the grocery store, I bought 10 cans of Spam, 6 cans of chicken noodle soup, four cans of chickpeas, four cans of ham, one can of roast beef hash, one can of chicken and dumplings, salt, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and ground beef. Now for the WHY I bought those things…

Hubby and I don’t eat Spam every week, but we do eat it often enough that we know that we like it and will eat it. We will not eat Treet, even though it is much cheaper. Spam was on sale for 50 cents off the normal price. Ten cans of Spam will fit in the box that my books order from Amazon was shipped in, and that box will fit under my bed. Many boxes will not fit under my bed, so to utilize that storage space, I have to find a box that will fit and items that will fit in that box. Ergo, ten cans of Spam. I have several recipes and different dinner options for Spam, and I know we will eat at least ten cans of Spam within a one year time frame. I also checked the dates on the cans, and they each have a best-by date of about two years out. So, it fit what I was looking for (protein), it was on sale (expense), it fit in the box that fits under my bed (storage), I know we will eat it, I have recipes for it, it can be eaten hot or cold, and it will keep for quite a while.

Chicken noodle soup was also on sale, and we go through quite a bit of it around here, especially in the winter months, but in the winter, it doesn’t go on sale quite so often or for such a good price. Buy it now, store it, eat it when we want.

I am a very picky eater when it comes to beans. Chickpeas are one of the few types of beans that I will eat on a consistent basis. I tend to go through two or more cans a week anyway, so why not grab a few extra for back-up since I had the “extra” money today?

My husband refuses to eat canned ham – even though he gladly eats Spam. I don’t know why. He grew up eating country ham with red eye gravy and greens, and he says there is just something inherently WRONG with canned ham. Now, I grew up eating DAK hams. Well, the Hormel brand canned hams (the size of a can of tuna, so smaller portion) were on sale, and that is a good portion size for just me, so I got myself some.

I have never tried roast beef hash or this particular brand of chicken and dumplings before, so I just bought one of each to give them a try. I love the corned beef hash made by the same company, so I figure the roast beef hash is probably a safe bet, but rather than make an expensive bet on something I might not like after all, I bought a test can. I also have tried canned chicken and dumplings before, but not this brand. This can is almost twice the size of what I used to get and costs less than half of what I was paying, so if I like how it tastes – SCORE! It also has a longer shelf life than the brand I used to get, so even better if it works.

The ground beef will be made into beef jerky in my dehydrator. I am a dehydrator junkie. I love that little machine. Besides, homemade beef jerky is GOOD and costs less than the stuff sold at the grocery store.

As for the salt, sugar, baking powder, and baking soda – we do a lot of baking at our house, and I hate the idea of running out of or low on staples like that. Especially since my niece is going to be moving in with us in a few weeks, and she is planning on going to a local culinary school to get a degree in pastry arts – well, I have a feeling our use of baking supplies is about to increase exponentially (as is my waistline…). They store well and have an infinite number of uses both in the kitchen and around the house.

So there you have a real-world experience on what to do to add to your supplies. I thought about what I had and identified an area (or two) that we needed to increase – proteins and general baking supplies. I thought about where those items could be or would be stored. I considered what we typically use and what variations we could make with those items. I found items on sale. I also found items that store well . All of the things I bought are things that we will consume EVENTUALLY, and most of them have some potential as barter items if TSHTF.

Hope this helps.
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Re: Prepping: Getting Started-Food Pantry

Postby ReadyMom » Wed Sep 22, 2010 6:30 pm

okie B, you mentioned 'shelf life' a few times, in your considering certain items. Many canned goods last MUCH longer than the RECOMMENDED dates printed on cans (including Hormel products!). Here are some links that may be helpful for those considering filling their pantry with canned goods:

From our APN site:

Shelf Life Of Food

Shelf-stable cheese?

Shelf life of powdered milk
================================

And MORE information can be found here: Food: Family Food Storage and Emergency Preparedness
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Re: Prepping: Getting Started-Food Pantry

Postby okie B » Wed Sep 22, 2010 6:41 pm

LOL! I've always considered use-by dates to be more along the lines of a...recommendation...rather than a rule, but something that has a two-year listed shelf life versus something that only has a four or six month listed shelf life seems to me to be more...valuable (I'm really searching for the term I'm thinking of here)...in my long term plans, if that makes sense.
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Re: Prepping: Getting Started-Food Pantry

Postby EvilSB » Sat Sep 25, 2010 10:18 am

has anyone tried the powdered eggs you can find in a can and have anything to say about them? I'm wondering if this might be a good thing to add to the pantry...

thanks much -

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Re: Prepping: Getting Started-Food Pantry

Postby paladin » Sat Sep 25, 2010 2:14 pm

okie B wrote:My husband refuses to eat canned ham – even though he gladly eats Spam. I don’t know why. He grew up eating country ham with red eye gravy and greens, and he says there is just something inherently WRONG with canned ham. Now, I grew up eating DAK hams. Well, the Hormel brand canned hams (the size of a can of tuna, so smaller portion) were on sale, and that is a good portion size for just me, so I got myself some.




LOL sounds like you two are from different parts of the country! I grew up in Tennessee and grandpa had hogs... and a smoke house... I remember him leaving the hams hanging and cuttin 'em when they had green mold on 'em... salty and strong... had to soak the meat and then cook and that red eye gravy.... and homemade biscuits... yum...

canned ham.... yuck.... it is boiled and boned and remolded into a resemblance of a ham shaped can... :shock:

I do like the hamburger jerky... MUCH CHEAPER than using sliced beef - thanks for reminding me about that.. so now is time for making jerky...

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