Prep 101 -Stockpiling Bulk Items
If you are new to prepping, this is a great place to start. This prep 101 food storage guide is perfect for those just getting their feet wet, as we focus more on what to get started with as opposed to say, a 5 year supply. At first, just having a solid 30-day stockpile is not only easy but this will give you a better insight on how much or how far you want to go with your stock. Imagine if you were snowed in for a week? Or if a 3-day power outage were to occur? It doesn’t sound to detrimental to your lively hood, but this amount of time is a good allotment to try to prepare for.
With long term food storage, there’s no immediate need to hoard a year’s worth of food right now – and that would just be a massive headache when the delivery truck arrives – just by simply buying an extra can of tuna or beans when shopping can help your stockpile can grow pretty quickly. This way helps you gauge how and what you need gradually.
Here are a few key points to keep in mind when getting started:
* Determine how long you want to be self-sustainable (30 days -90 days – 1 year etc.)
* Calculate the amount of food/calories – based from the number of family members – for daily usage
* How and Where to store your stockpile (types of storage containers)
* Meal plan
When it comes to food storage, there are four main categories that sit atop most lists: Rice – Beans – Meat – Veggies/Fruit. These items can be stored easy, contain vital calories and nutrients, and are relatively inexpensive. Stay away from junk food, but make sure to mix it up a little; (eating rice for a week straight simply won’t give you what you need nutritionally wise and could possibly make you sick). And of course, make sure you rotate your stock according to its expiration date – so don’t be afraid to eat from your stockpile from time to time.
TEN FOOD ITEMS TO GET YOUR STOCKPILE OFF TO A GOOD START
- Canned Fish – Alaskan Salmon (Protein rich – Healthy Fats)
- Beans – Black beans/Lima beans etc. ( Most beans are high in calories/vitamins)
- Rice – Cheap and Long lasting ( High in carbohydrates )
- Canned Fruit & Vegetables ( Obvious reasons for these – keyword “canned” to ensure longer shelf life)
- Pasta – Inexpensive and light-weight ( High in carbohydrates )
- Peanut Butter – Long shelf-life (Packed with fatty acids/copper/iron)
- Salt – great for flavoring and many uses
- Sugar (white)/Honey – lasts 10+yrs (Flavor and vital calories)
- Bulk Nuts/Trail Mix (Covers many “simple” sugar and multi-vitamin needs)
- Dried Milk – Versatile/good shelf life
Storing Your Food
Most foods listed above can simply be stored in 5-gallon buckets inside your prepper pantry, and don’t cost much. Moisture is your biggest enemy – try to keep your stock off the floor – pallets can come in handy with this. For more detailed storage tips and tricks, click here.
Freeze-Dried Food Storage
If you find yourself not wanting to put a ton of time and energy into getting a good stockpile of food established via bulk items, freeze dried food storage may be more your style. Not that you can’t do both! You can, but buying pre-packed freeze-dried foods is far more easy, especially when getting started. I found that starting with freeze-dried was less time-consuming but I eventually caught myself moving towards the bulk item stocking (above) more and more, mostly because I was more comfortable in my storing capabilities, and I had a better idea of what exactly my family needed.
TOP 4 Emergency Food Suppliers
1. Wise Food Storage Kits ( Wide variety of flavors + gluten free packs) Be sure to check out their “Food Supply Calculator”.
2. Ready Store Storage ( The largest catalog of food types and brands) Prepping food the easiest way – EasyPrep
3. BuyEmergencyFoods (Best Pricing per Pound)
4. eFoodsDirect (Everything from Protein shakes to tropical fruit medleys)