You know that the future is uncertain. You read the headlines and see the signs around you. You want to prepare for the future and know that food is the most important area of any preparedness plan. The only problem is, like most working-class Americans, you don’t have a lot of extra cash to invest in a food storage stash. The cost of pre-made long term storable food systems can be discouraging to the new prepper. The good news is that you don’t have to be wealthy to store food for the future.
Yes, the cost of a pre-made “year’s supply of food” system is expensive. Most people don’t have a couple thousand dollars laying around to spend on such a thing, whether they want to or not. This is why a person needs to check their budget and see how much money they can invest in food security. Then use that money every week to slowly build a reserve.
Here Is A Good Example, Building a Soup Bean Stockpile
One food item that is high in protein, stores well, and is easy to prepare is beans. Now buying a bulk supply of beans all at once might be out of your economic reach, but there is no reason you can’t build a stockpile of beans. Say you have an extra $10 a week to invest in food. When you are doing your regular grocery shopping swing by the soup bean isle. Here you will find 1 lb bags of every kind of bean you can think of. Pick a couple different kinds of beans (variety is the spice of life… even after the SHTF). Say the bags average $2 a piece, you can add 5 lbs of soup beans to your stockpile this week. When you get home throw them in an empty 5 gallon pail. In no time at all you will have a bucket full of beans. Not only will you have a bucket full of beans, you will have a nice variety of beans already separated in their own plastic bags! Navy, pinto, black beans, kidney beans, the possibilities are endless. Now that have a bucket full, you can go the extra mile and put them in a mylar bag with an oxygen absorber and install a gamma seal lid. Now that you have a bucket full of beans you can move on to something else, like rice.
Dry Your Own Food
Dried foods are lightweight, don’t take up much space, and are fairly shelf stable. You can save lots of money by simply buying fruits and vegetables in season and drying them yourself. Produce auctions and large farmer’s markets are great places to buy inexpensive bulk produce. We dry our food with an Excalibur 9 tray dehydrator, which in my opinion is the very best dehydrator on the market and is worth the extra money. You can store your properly dried foods using a vacuum sealer. Dehydrated foods are one of my favorites because they are real space savers. A bushel of bell peppers can be stored in a couple of quart sized containers! They also require no grid electricity to keep them preserved, unlike freezing.
Can Your Own Meats
Meats can add a lot of cost to a food storage stash if you are buying pre-assembled systems. An investment in a good pressure canner and reusable lids gives you the flexibility of being able to buy meat when it is on sale and process it yourself for long term storage. Beef, chicken, turkey, pork, rabbit, and wild game can all be canned at home. This meat requires no refrigeration and will last for years on the shelf. I highly recommend the The All American Pressure Canner because it doesn’t have any rubber gasket that wears out and needs replacing. We have several of them and they are low maintenance workhorses.
We live in a “I want it NOW!” age of instant everything. Instant gratification carries with it a price. While there is a certain degree of urgency, you don’t need to assemble your whole food supply tomorrow. Even if you aren’t interested in doing the work involved in some of the above suggestions, you can still take the slow and steady approach to food storage. Buying smaller 1 or 2 month supplies from a reputable storable food company every month won’t tax your budget as hard as buying it all at once.
The Important Thing Is To Get Started…
Whatever you decide to do the most important thing is to DO SOMETHING. Get started, even if it’s just 2 lbs of beans this week. In time, you will have a food stockpile that will be an important insurance policy for an uncertain future.
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