Preparing for disasters such as economic collapse, civil unrest, natural or environmental disasters or chemical/biological threats can be challenging. Every day the chances of one (or more) of these disasters occurring seems to increase.The urgency to prepare seems to rise in proportion to the latest news stories.
Like I said in a previous hub, you must first determine the type of disaster you are planning for and adjust your provisions accordingly. This means you should already have an idea of what you are planning for. If you are storing food and preparing for a job market crash knowing that you could be out of work for an extended time, you'll prepare differently than if you were concerned with civil unrest.
Following the lead of the hub mentioned above, here are 10 foods that you can store that are relatively inexpensive. These are foods that anyone has access to and have a long shelf life.
Rice is a food that has been cultivated and eaten for thousands of years. It is still one of the most widely produced grains in the world. Rice is very inexpensive and easy to find. It is filling enough that a person could survive for a very long time on just a few pounds of rice. Any type of rice is great for storing, however white rice seems to be the cheapest and is therefore highly recommended for any prepper.
Beans are a great food to store. You can buy beans already cooked in cans or jars, however the cheapest way to get beans is to purchase "dry" beans. These beans are uncooked and are quite inexpensive. They are very high in protein and a wonderful survival food.
Flour is versatile and cheap. Flour with only water, mixed and left outside to gather wild yeast in the air can be made into a fried bread very easily. Mankind has survived on bread for thousands of years before our culinary palatte was refined, we can do it again if we have to.
It is always cheaper to buy in bulk whenever possible. This isn't always easy, but if you can find a restaurant supply or bulk foods wholesaler you will be able to maximize the amount of food you can buy and store.
4. Corn Meal
Corn meal has been used for centuries in Central and South America. Like flour, corn meal can be added with water and made into breads. Corn meal can be used as a breading for fish or other meats as well (I wonder if they were using corn meal breading at the smokehouse in The Road).
5. Canned Vegetables
Vegetables are important and may not be available fresh in a situation where supply lines are not flowing. Therefore, canned veggies are the next best thing. Canned foods in general come in all sizes and therefore fit many different budgets. If you cannot afford to get a large bulk size can of vegetables, pick up one extra can every time you go to the grocery. Before long, you'll have quite a collection stored.
All of the foods on this list are ready to eat or require only one ingredient: H2O
6. Canned Meats
Canned meats can be expensive, however they are included in this list because a small can of chicken or tuna is cheap enough. The protein in canned meats make it a very valuable addition to this list. Consider the value of purchasing canned meats in bulk, it can be a considerable savings.
7. Peanut Butter
While not as cheap as some of the other foods on this list, peanut butter is a very important and versatile food. Peanut butter is packed with protein that will keep you going in an emergency or disaster situation. Even storing small amounts at a time is advisable, however the larger the container the better.
8. Canned Fruits
Canned fruits are valuable and relatively inexpensive, and can be purchased in bulk. Fruit and other important natural sugars won't be widely available. In order to keep your body balanced, it will be important to have some sort of fruits available. Canned fruits come in all varieties and can be stored for a very long time.
First In First Out
Be sure to rotate your food storage to ensure the food is fresh when you want it. It will do you no good to have rotten or potentially contaminated food in an emergency situation. Always rotate your stock of food!
Inexpensive and full of carbohydrates, pasta should be considered to round out any prepper's food storage. Pasta is a very old food that is basic in principle and can be prepared easily. Like all the foods on this list, consider purchasing in buik whenever possible.
Oatmeal is another grain that is very inexpensive. If purchased in bulk this grain gets even cheaper. Oatmeal is a filling food that is versatile and easily stored. There are many varieties of oatmeal, from steel cut to quick oats. All can be stored and easily prepared. Pick up an extra container at each grocery trip.
It Isn't A Monumental Task
Storing food for a potential disaster can seem very complex. It doesn't have to be. Pick one item from this list and get it the next time you go grocery shopping. Then work on another. When you have gone through all the items on this list, do it again. Before you know it, you'll have enough food stored to survive and thrive in a crisis situation.
What do you think?
© 2013 davidwhoward
mbuggieh on September 24, 2013:
kjforce from Florida on April 15, 2013:
davidwhoward....Very interesting article....one thing you forgot to mention.." can opener "..what about bottle of vinegar for medicinal/lemon ( add to water for electrolytes), and remember all grains/pasta in cap containers ( eventually bugs will develop even when sealed)...just few add-ons to your thoughts...thanks for sharing this info.
kudos on a good write...
Alan R Lancaster from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire) on April 15, 2013:
How about the man and his family who get set for Armageddon. They've got their cellar/basement ready, watch the news nightly, store all their food and wait...
The news comes soon enough. North Korea's declared war on the US and her allies - I suppose that's us as well - and missiles with nuclear warheads are on the way.
They beaver away to secure the house, dive down into the cellar and live on their stores for what? A year, two, five? No quakes have been felt, but they put up with the pong after the refuse system broke down a year earlier. It's like living in the Black Hole of Calcutta when the lights fizzle, die and come on again. Frightened faces on the kids, mum and dad holding one another for dear life. Eventually they surface.
Everything's going on as usual, there's a pile of newspapers at the front door, the pets have gone wild and torn up the furniture in the front room. Tramps are watching Kids' TV in the kitchen and the whole world is as was.
'What happened?' Dad asks one of the tramps who's sat on his favourite chair, knocking back the JD.
'What's happened? What do you mean? Nothing's happened! Where've you been?'
'North Korea's nukes were on their way -'
'Huh, that was just North Korea's big joke. They apologised, saying their boss had a bad night and, well, you know. Bit hung over and that, like me really... Well, he thought he'd lay one on us until he saw our nukes closing on him. Obama had them redirected to Mars just as the Koreans were sh***ing themselves!'
'So it never happened?'
'Nope. I like your taste in booze, by the way. Finished off the Southern Comfort last week. Great stuff! Man you've got style. What's that smell coming from the basement?'
Lisa Chronister from Florida on March 31, 2013:
I have made naan before and it is very tasty! Thanks for the information!
davidwhoward (author) from Indiana on March 31, 2013:
Thanks for commenting.
As far as the fried bread; in a pinch, that's really all it takes. You'd have to sit it outside to collect wild yeast from the air/wind first though.
The idea is similar to Naan.
Lisa Chronister from Florida on March 31, 2013:
This was very interesting! I have started storing some of these things already, in case of a major storm! I did not realize that fried bread could be made with just flour and water, That is a pretty neat fact. Thanks for sharing these useful tips!
davidwhoward (author) from Indiana on March 30, 2013:
Thanks for your comment. I didn't even think of that! Sprouts are a great suggestion.
David Johnson from Phoenix, AZ on March 30, 2013:
These are all great foods to store. I've got a nice surplus of rice and beans going but I need to add more canned fruits and veggies. Another thing that's not on this list that I've heard is amazing is sprouts. They can be grown every day or two and offer tons of fresh vitamins and nutrients that are alive (which is important). I think I'm going to go for an excess of peanut butter though in substitute of the canned meats. I'll add jerky though for sure!