When most people think of Prepper food, they immediately start thinking of dehydrated milk, MRE’s and jerky. While that is not a bad thing, there is no reason to start out with these types of supplies. With a little planning, you can start your Prepper pantry off with food differing very little from what you might eat now.
The other night the wife and I were in the mood to BBQ, so we went by the grocery store to do some quick shopping. As I often do, I stopped every now and then to look at expiration dates for certain canned foods. I picked up a can of chili and noticed the expiration was three years away. The can costs a couple of dollars. I have seen chili MRE’s going for $5 each. The can also had a larger portion than the MRE. Sure, the MRE has a longer shelf life, but I guarantee you it did not taste anywhere near as good as the Stag brand chili with chunks of steak.
You don’t have to use canned food exclusively. Dried fruit or vegetables or uncooked pasta, when packed and stored properly, can also last for years. So it is a good idea to have some of these. Remember, though, most canned food doesn’t absolutely have to be cooked. It might taste better cooked, but you can pop open a can of chili or ravioli and eat it right then. Or let it sit on your windowsill for a while and it will heat up enough to melt any grease.
So here is the plan. Buy a can or two of canned foods each time you go to the store. Make it meal sized. Chili, stew, soup, beans, and anything else you can find with at least a two year shelf life is preferred, but even a year will work. Put a nice, big label on the front with the expiration month and year so you can see it easily. Organize it so the cans closest to expiring are always in the front. When the food is close to expiring, use it. Eat it. Give it away. Then replace it.
Storing the food in a suitable place is essential. Too cold or too hot and your food will not last as long. The garage is a bad place in general to store any kind of food. Dry basements work well. A dry root cellar is even better. You can also store food in a closet or pantry or even under the bed.
Remember our goal. Start with three days of food and water, then a week, then two weeks, then a month. From there, everything else is a bonus.
Start stacking those cans, my friends. And don’t forget the fruits and veggies.