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Thread: Family Preparedness: Stockpiling Supplies

  1. #1
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    Family Preparedness: Stockpiling Supplies

    I did a quick search and didn't find any recent threads - thought I'd share some research I have been doing. Couldn't readily find it in this form. I have a spreadsheet that goes with it - little rough but be glad to post it if anyone is interested.

    Whether you buy into the potential for economic collapse, live in hurricaine territory or watch too much Glenn Beck, stockpiling some food is probably a good idea.

    With that in mind, and being an engineer - let's talk numbers.

    COUNT YOUR CALORIES
    An adult needs roughly 1500 calories and up depending on age, size, activity level etc. per day. For purposes of my excercise I used 2000 calories for each adult (we can stand to loose a few pounds anyway!).

    Once you have that number target an initial supply: multiply the people you are responsible for times the number of days of supply. Many people are using 6 months these days, not a bad idea to start with a month and work your way up.

    Not really any right answer here, it's what you can afford and what gives you comfort. Only wrong answer is to not store anything.

    STORAGE FOOD TYPES, STORAGE LIFE, COST PER CALORIE
    I looked at three classes of "storage foods"

    Freeze dried "emergency foods", originally sold to backpackers
    Cost per calorie $0.0139 for basic mix of various #10 cans
    In #10 cans, shelf life of 30 years, 7 years in pouches - add water and heat ready to eat, highest cost per calorie. This is in the buy it and forget it category, no need to rotate stock or make part of your routine, just need to try what you store to make sure it is edible. I have been using Mountain House products - not bad but again, expensive.

    Canned, jarred and bottled foods
    Cost per calorie $0.0042 for a mix of what we eat (third the cost of freeze dried)
    Call it two years shelf life, but can actually hold nutritional value long after that at the expense of taste. Not unheard of for canned foods properly stored to be ok to consume 7 years later. 100 year old canned peaches from shipwrecks, although not visually appealing or tasting were found to be ok to eat. This category is your middle of the road. If you want to ensure you don't waste money, you need to either buy what you use or begin using what you buy to keep stock rotated. Don't waste your time buying spaghetti-o's, or other highly prepared food (less bang for the buck) or something you don't normally eat.

    Bulk Whole grains
    Cost per calorie $0.0027 roughly half the cost of canned and one fifth the cost of freeze dried.
    In 6 gallon 45 pound pails represent your biggest bang for the buck.
    Whole grain stored in these food grade sealed pails with oxygen removed will last 15 years
    Does require purchase of a grain mill to make flour, and work to make food!
    Not for everyone, but a good option for folks who don't mind the work or dont have the money.

    TIPS
    1. Get a mix of all three balanced for your family, lifestyle and pocketbook. For a family of four, if you can afford to order a truckload of mountain house products for 10 grand, have at it. Other wise, you can get a months worth of canned goods and grains for about the price of a nice revolver ($750)

    2. Buy what you eat and eat what you buy (except freeze dried)

    3. For freeze dried, #10 cans are cheaper, but buy and try a pouch of what you intend to store

    4. Don't forget water!

    5. amazon.com has "subscription" options for canned foods so you don't need to rent a truck to do this; cans come well packaged and in an outside box that doesn't announce to the UPS man or the neighborhood that you are storing food. Compared to local prices, there were many items that were significantly less expensive than what we could buy locally. We live in a high cost area so YMMV.

    6. Keep it quiet - if you want to show off your food storage, better count the person you show it to under the calorie count above. Your math isn't going to work if you prepare for a family of four but wind up with 8 other hungry people on your doorstep. Your choice here is to carefully educate the people close to you so they too are prepared preferably without exposing your security blanket.

    I hope you are never in a situation where you need it. But if you are, I hope you have enough.

    Best of luck to you and your family in these trying times.

  2. #2
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    Three points:

    1. I like and I watch Glenn, but he is 20 or more years late on storing food.
    2. "Use by" dates on most WalMart canned goods is well into 2013.
    3. Every eater should also be a shooter. Just as important as water.

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    I have been intrigued by the canned cheese and butter products available online. The common brands have a market in areas where refrigeration is scarce. A bit pricey here in the US, but they do have a long shelf life.

    http://www.internet-grocer.net/butter.htm

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    I've never been in the habit of counting calories but I had to look up how many a person like myself needed to be healthy after my sister made several comments on how much I ate. I found that I need close to 3000 calories per day. I'm 6'5" tall and (while my BMI says I'm "overweight") I still get "skinny" jokes. If the "average" adult needs 1500 calories per day then I need to count myself as two people when I read the serving numbers when shopping for food.

    I've thought about storing up food but money has been tight lately. I foresee my financial situation improving and so I've given more thought in the best way to spend my money. Glenn Beck has been talking about foodinsurance.com on his radio show. Anyone have experience with them? Any suggestions on where to buy long shelf life food?

    I like to drink milk. Lots of it. Not that skim stuff, WHOLE milk. The shelf life on milk is very poor and the powdered milk is skim. I thought that perhaps I could can milk. Does that sound like a crazy idea? Has anyone else thought of this? The only milk I've seen in a can is sweetened and condensed which might work for my purposes but I prefer the real thing. If I can't find unmodified milk in a can then I might make it myself.
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    From the math I did foodinsurance.com was expensive and I read somewhere they use lesser quality freeze dried food vs Mountain House. Might be convenient to buy a quickie kit from them but I think you'd do better on your own. Also not descriptive with respect to describing the food. I'd need to know a little more before plunking down a few grand on a "kit".

    Amazon sells mountain house, not all the prices are good so compare vs Mountain house list prices. Don't buy from third party sellers. Some are over list price .

    I have ordered grains, canned butter and canned cheese from these guys but only recently and for the first time. Bought it local otherwise. I can tell you more after the shipment arrives.

    http://www.pleasanthillgrain.com

    As for the milk, I think you are stuck with the sweet stuff. I don't think you could safely store it yourself . . . . if you figure it out though please share.

    I don't want this thread to go off topic but it says a lot that we have a few folks having a quiet and hopefully useful conversation on .us and the as the first post I made on .org in a very long time, this very same topic was closed immediately as off topic. Guess I remember why I stopped participating there.

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    Best place to keep milk is in the cow. If you're an Iowa farmboy you shouldn't have any trouble with that :-)

    I think everyone should be prepared to the tune of a month or so. Stocking a years' supply while you live in the middle of a city doesn't make sense, but if you live out nowhere it does (if you're the only family in the city with food, how long can you hide from the zombies?)
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    Parents' Corner - Discuss the best ways to introduce children to firearms. Kids learn best in a safe, responsible and fun environment. Providing that is up to us.
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