New preppers can often feel overwhelmed when it comes to which foods to buy and the storage of those foods. Hopefully, this guide will help you take the first steps to preparedness when it comes to food.
The first step when storing food is actually to store water. Make sure you’ve got some water bricks or large storage containers (preferably BPA-free) to keep enough water for at least a month for your entire family. Often, cooking food is difficult and all but impossible without at least some water. You’ll also need something to drink, wash with, and clean your cooking and eating utensils. If you don’t have a well and some kind of system in place to retrieve water without electricity, you’ll want to start with your water storage first. Once that’s taken care of, you can move onto storing food for a long term emergency.
When you begin to think about which foods to store, you will want to consider longevity. You’ll stock up on freeze-dried foods, dehydrated foods (which is why water is a must), MREs, and food ration bars and more. I personally like the Augason Farms brand of emergency food. These buckets are stackable and come in enough options it kind of takes the guesswork out of food storage. These are obviously not your only options, but having bulk food you can store for a long time is necessary.
Next, you will need things like cooking oil and vinegar. Cooking oil won’t last forever, so make sure you have plans to use it as fuel if it goes rancid. Grab some pickling vinegar if you plan to can anything after the SHTF. But you can use apple cider vinegar for things like dressings and sauces to add some acidic flavor to your food. Stock up on salt and pepper and even some Lowry’s seasoning salt or garlic salt. It’ll keep you from eating food that’s really boring and flavorless.
Ready to eat meals, and canned goods can be bought in bulk too. Just don’t store anything you don’t like or you won’t want to eat it. DOn’t store it because someone else said to. A little personal responsibility will go a long way here. If you hate tuna, don’t buy $600 worth of it to store. It’s just a waste unless you plan to barter it. Even then, just store foods you like to eat.
Remember, this is just the beginning. When you first start, shoot for enough food and water to get you through 72 hours of an emergency. Think short term: like a blizzard causes a blackout and you are unable to get to the grocery store. Once you’ve gotten that done, bump your food supply up to a month’s worth. Once you have that, work up to 6 months or a year. As you go and continue to prepare, you’ll eventually be able to realize what else could be needed.
Oh! And don’t forget a can opener!