bannermain302

 

Knowing where your next meal is coming from is a great feeling while waiting for others to bring food is somewhat unsettling, we are going to cover some options for long term food supply and storage.

NOTE: Throughout or site you will see links that are in BLUE, these are links that we feel might be helpful or useful to you and in no way are sponsors or paid advertisements to our site!

 

bar7

 

foodsidebar

 

Food for a year

  For enough food for one person you will need about 24 5-Gallon buckets, using Costco's one year supply of freeze-dried meals as an example, the cost is around $1,500.00 or about $4.10 per day, by making your own food supplies the cost should be near $350.00 or just under $1.00 per day depending on what you are going to be preparing and the prices you pay for your ingredients.

 

Freeze-Dried vs Dehydrated

  Hands down the Freeze-Dried process is far better than the dehydrating process, the food looks better, has a longer shelf life, and re-hydrating is quicker, however, a good freeze-dryer will cost between $2,000.00 to $3,000.00 and a good dehydrator will cost between $60.00 to $300.00. A freeze-dryer will remove 98-99 percent of the moisture, using a dehydrator will remove about 90-95 percent of the moisture. Both processes will work and unless you really need a 25-year shelf life I would recommend saving the money by just buying a dehydrator and use the money saved where it is needed more. 

 

Canned Foods

  Canned foods are not my preferred method of storing foods, some of the cans I tested the contents had absorbed the taste of the can. These were canned fruits packed in syrup and water and were about three years past the date on the cans. Canning your own supplies in glass jars should give better results, however, I still would worry about the glass and possible breakage.

  

Dehydrated Foods

Preparing | Packaging | Storing | Rotating

 

 

 

 

bar7

 

 

Preparing

Freeze-Dried and Dehydrated foods is a very big topic, this will without a doubt be the largest section of our site. After playing with all types of methods, I have become a firm believer in the Freeze-Dried/Dehydrated process, it is very affordable and fun at the same time. No need to go buy a $300.00 dehydrator, I use one I got from Wal-Mart for around $65.00 and it works great.Food Dehydrator6499 The only concern with this process is you will need water to re-hydrate your food so keep in mind if you are going to do this that you will need lots of water.

  Waiting for your ingredients to go on sale will also help keep the cost down, from fruits to meats, and vegetables this process can also give you a very large assortment of meals. Many items such as pasta are already dried and have a low cost, also Mac & Cheese can be used as well, dried potatoes are great to have, can go with any meal and very cheap to make. Finding some comfort in a good meal will be very important as you wait out the event that has forced you to be in the situation, We are going to cover a lot in this section, recipes, and step by step instructions from drying your foods, packaging, and storage, re-hydrating, and putting your meals together, Enjoy.

 

>>> More on Dehydrating food <<<

 

bar7

 

 

Packaging

  Keeping moisture and oxygen out is simple and will protect your food for years to come.

oxysorb2

Using a vacuumed sealed bag system along with oxygen absorbing packs will add years to the shelf life of your food, there are now several brands of vacuum sealing systems on the market today. You can get Oxy-Sorb 300cc 60ct. for $11.04 at Wal-Mart. Depending on how long of shelf life you're looking for, there are some other options as well, like, Mylar or other barrier pouches you can use as well. Putting your food in vacuum pouches will not only add to the shelf life it also gives you portion control and creates a barrier between the bucket and your food.

 

 GM2060 000 01

  Vacuum sealed bag systems have come a long way over the years, what was once an expensive method of preserving your food is now very affordable and more reliable. There are also many brand name systems and not just Food Saver, we also have Zip-Lock, Black & Decker and many others as well. Amazon has a Geryon automatic unit for as low as $35.99, we have one on order and will be putting it to the test and will share our findings here, You can watch your local Facebook Marketplace, there always seems to be some used units cheap on there.

 

 

 bags5roll3896Refill bags can be found at many locations, shop around for the best deals however I would recommend using name brand refills, Most systems use 8-inch and/or 11-inch bags/rolls, We found that Wal-Mart has this FoodSaver 8" & 11" Vacuum Heat-Seal Rolls Combo Pack (5 Count) for $38.96.

 

 >>> More on Packaging <<< 

 

 

   

bar7

 

 

Storing

  leaktite paint buckets lids 5glOne of the most common methods for storing food is in the five-gallon buckets, one of the biggest mistakes made by people is not using food-safe grade buckets. You can find food-safe grade buckets at many places such as a bakery, restaurant, as well as new ones from stores such as Home Depot, Wal-Mart and so-on. Be sure the lids are food grade as well and that each lid has a rubber seal in it. You can get both a food-safe bucket and a food-safe reusable lid for $6.52 from Home Depot.

 

 

 

bar7

 

Rotating

  Don't forget to rotate your food supplies, items, like can fruit, they will go bad shortly after the expiration date marked on the cans, they might look OK but absorb the flavor of the can.

  For long term food supplies, I would strongly recommend freeze-dried/dehydrated items for longer storage life. For more information and Freeze-Dried/Dehydrated foods check out our pages on "Making your own Freeze-Dried foods".

 

 

Meals Ready to Eat (MRE)

 mre Meals ready to eat usually come in a foil pack and are self-heating, many sellers claim to sell original U.S. military surplus, many of those are fake so be careful and check out who you are buying from. There are also other manufacturers that make MRE's and are every bit as good if not better then a military surplus MRE, you will need to do your research to find what works best for you.

  We did find one seller that we think is offering a Great deal on two cases from Amazon, 24 meals that come in two cases, both A and B with a good packaging date on them for $147.90.

  MRE's are nice to have and with the self-heating packs you can have a hot meal ready in no time, however, there is one bad thing about them and that is the cost. Just over $6.00 per meal, one would think that the convenience comes at too high of a price.

 

 

bar7