Food and shelter are the items people spend most money on. So what does a typical prepper store…
- MRE – meal ready to eat. It was designed for military personnel, but nowadays the preppers have been buying these meals in bulk.
- Freeze dried food. My absolute favorite. It is light in weight and easy to prepare. This way almost anything can be stored.
- Dehydrated food. Almost anything from eggs to instant chocolate pudding. Why not treat yourself with something delicious in times of distress?
- Water. Essential to have a bottled water and a water purifier because the water will run out eventually.
- Beans (can be stored for a long time both canned and noncanned)
- Pasta (easy to cook, lot’s of calories, great for long-term storage)
- Honey (good for everything)
- Powdered milk
- Tomato soups and tomato sauces – long shelf life, easy to prepare
- Canned fruit – lots of carbs and delicious. Only disadvantage is the rather medium shelf life.
- Canned meat. I suggest buying the industrial ones to avoid botulism. Or if you cook yourself, then follow the recipes to the letter and do proper sterilizing.
It is really up to you – there is no need to rush to the store and buy a fancy food supply worth thousands of dollars, if you can make much cheaper and reasonable food supplies yourself. Leave the expensive freeze dried food for those supplies you cannot prepare yourself.
- Canned vegetables
- Canned tuna
- Cooking oil
- Peanut butter
- Jams (great for longer storage, in case you can cook, you can make them yourself with wild berries and sugar).
- Energy bars, nutribars etc. These have little shelve time, so keep them on rotation. Great to keep them in the small go-bag.
- Tea, coffee ( you can do without it actually, but if the storage space allows it, order them up).
- Snacks and treats – really go to the freeze dried or dehydrated food providers and buy whatever you like
- Spices (salt, pepper etc., whatever spices you like). Don’t forget such things as cooking powder if you have facility to bake bread.
- Vitamins and food supplements they will not take much shelve space and can be handy
- Alcohol – good for disinfection, trade and for sad evenings when you feel like crying. This is actually a prep you should have stored up enough.
- Baking soda (great for cleaning too)
- Can openers. Opening a can with an axe would be fun, but two can openers will do the job efficiently
- Plates, knives, spoons and other kitchen utensils etc. No need to go caveman.
The list is informative only – you know better what you need and what you like. So use this as a basis to make your own list. Maybe you are crazy on broccoli – go ahead and include the broccoli in the list.
You should keep a good record what is in your food storage. Keep an inventory list. Label all products carefully with dates of purchase/date of cooking and expiration. Rotate – use the FIFO principle – first in first out. You should keep everything organized and fresh as possible. And hidden too, your bedroom does not count. If you think you are so smart and have a gun, guess what – there will be other people with guns who feel equally smart and can outnumber you. So hide your stash.
I suggest using plastic jars and containers. Glass is great if you have made really strong and protected shelves, otherwise if it falls, your stored food is gone. For those who live in seismic activity zones it is insane to keep all food in glass bottles or containers. Plastic is easy to maintain and also easier to transport (if you have to move). Take plastic soda bottles, wash them carefully and fill with rice or corn or whatever and store them in cool and dry place.
Don’t keep all food in one place. Have at least two different storage spaces in case one gets compromised.
If you have a pet, plan some food for it too, unless you plan to eat it during apocalypse.
Have also little extra of everything. Call it a charity supply or the “in-laws I’d rather not see turn onto your doorstep”. Your spouse might have the soft spot or feeling of guilt for a friend or relative you have not included in your plans. You will also feel less guilty yourself when turning away someone if you give them some food.
You can buy the supplies and can the food yourself or order packages for month or year’s supply online. It is essential to learn the basic cooking, preservation and canning techniques as they are required for long-term survival.