Guest Post: “Adventures in Survival #1: Food”

A couple weeks back, we had a fellow who goes by the handle “NoSox” write up a pretty good blog post and it went over quite well….and he was kind enough to send us a three-part series called “Adventures in Survival” about how he gets his preps rolling. He has some really great, organized ideas and it’s a pleasure to share them with you. He’s like many of us: working man, with a new family, recently relocated, with a mortgage, car payment, etc. Yet he still has ways to work with a budget and gets things done.

We’ll be posting his three-part series today through Wednesday, so be sure to check back and read up….and be sure to leave comments for him!

 

Have a great Monday!

-TRW

 

Adventures in Survival: #1 Food

 

food-storage

For anyone who considers themselves to be a Prepper, Survivalist, Survivor, [you pick a name] there are a few categories of life preservation that require your attention. Those usually being: Food, Water, Shelter, Protection, Communications, Medical, Transportation, etc. This is the first post in this series and for this exercise we will focus on food. Most people in this current environment go to work each day and have to pay special attention to how their finances are managed. With that being said there aren’t buckets of money lying around to buy up a two year’s supply of food, seeds, livestock, and have a well drilled all in one shot. Things have to be done progressively. I personally have decided that spending $50/week will allow me to build up my stock of supplies while not taking away from my normal life or my family’s needs. First thing I did was take a look at my pantry and made note of what my family currently eats. The main point here is that you must buy food that you will regularly eat and rotate through. It doesn’t do you any good to stock up on foods you’ve never eaten or don’t have a taste for. Yes in hard times it will get eaten but the goal is to try and keep things as normal ‘as possible’ after tshtf. I made four $50 shopping lists to make sure I bought a variety of things to even out my storage.

My lists are:

$50 List #1

-[14] Cans of Vegetables: $9.50

-[1] 20-lb Bag of Rice: $10

– [15] Cans of Canned Meat – Chili, Ham, Chicken, Tuna, Herring Filets: $15

– [5] Cans of Campbell’s Chunky Soup: $7.50

– [1] 200 Count Multivitamin: $7

$50 List #2

– [7] Boxes of Rice-a-Roni: $7

– [7] Boxes of Pasta-Roni/Hamburger Helper: $7

– [20] Cans of Canned Meat – Chili, Ham, Chicken, Tuna, Herring Filets: $20

– [20] Assorted Oatmeal/Grits Packets: $4

– [25] Ramen Noodle Packs: $5

– [5] Cans of Campbell’s Chunky Soup: $7.50

$50 List #3

– [14] Cans of Vegetables: $9.50

– [14] Cans of Mixed Fruit: $9.50

– [10] Cans of Canned Meat – Chili, Ham, Chicken, Tuna, Herring Filets: $10

– [2] Salt: $2

– [1] Sugar/Flour: $5

– [5] Cans of Cream of Chicken: $5

– [3] Various Seasoning: $3

– [4] Boxes of Jiffy Cornbread: $2

– [2] Boxes Pancake Mix: $2

– [1] Syrup: $1

– [1] 4-pack of Pudding: $1

$50 List #4

– [1] 71 Serving Can of Powdered Eggs: $21

– [1] 39 Serving Box of Instant Milk: $10

– [1] 204 Serving Can of Instant Butter: $20

With this assortment of food I could reasonable keep my family fed and healthy. There are, of course, items missing from the list and there are things that we pick up in our normal grocery list that would supplement these supplies as well. These lists give me a chance to build up my basic core supplies so that I can focus on advanced food methods in the near future. My wife has plans on buying a large and medium sized Dutch oven and learning to cook and bake in the fireplace. We are preparing a 25×15’ garden/greenhouse to grow our own produce and also setting up the shed to raise rabbits. For the amount I pay in dog food each month I could stockpile quality rabbit food instead and produce enough rabbits to feed my dogs and freeze for my family [deep freezer w/solar rig]. It would take 4-5 months to get to normal operations but once going I’d be looking at 60-90-lbs of meat every 60 days with 2 Bucks & 3 Does.

We also pay special attention when we go to any fast food places and get a few packets of salt/pepper, ketchup, mustard, hot sauce, honey, sugar, wet napkins, and plastic silverware. It’s all there FREE for the taking so we make good use of it.

Between the shopping lists, garden, rabbits, and condiments we should be in a good place food wise. As time passes we will put together 5-gallon buckets of assorted food & supplies to hand out to those who didn’t prepare for WHEN they come knocking. Our goal is to have a year’s worth of stocked supplies with the garden and rabbits as a recurring source. We have also begun canning and dehydrating which will be a future post.

This is my family’s method but how do you procure food? Where do you store it? Do you like freeze dried foods? Thanks for reading!

~NoSox

27 comments… add one
  • irishdutchuncle March 31, 2014, 8:54 am

    you will need to source a supply of animal fat, to supplement the protein from the wabbits. the canned butter may not be enough…
    maybe you could add a few tubs of lard, or some beef suet to the shopping list.
    looking forward to reading this series of posts.

    Reply
    • irishdutchuncle March 31, 2014, 9:41 am

      …also in regard to the corn muffin mix, read: “The Best Cornbread in the World” by Tracy, (www.possumliving.com)
      posted back in November.

      Reply
  • NoSox March 31, 2014, 10:48 am

    Thanks for the tip! Yes the wife has been on it for a while. She’s been saving all the bacon grease for over a year now. I used to get annoyed by the jar next to my stove but i understand now. lol

    Reply
    • irishdutchuncle March 31, 2014, 11:33 pm

      yeh, it’s great to cook with, you can stick a wick in it and make an expedient lamp…
      you don’t want to be just wasting it down a drain.
      (difficult for the septic tank to digest it)

      Lodge makes a two pan cast iron cook set that becomes a dutch oven when the shallow pan is inverted and used as a lid. the larger pan is deep enough for deep fat frying…
      (just add a basket)

      Reply
      • irishdutchuncle March 31, 2014, 11:54 pm

        … I think you can even make soap with the bacon grease.

        depending on the locale, you may need a grease trap in your DVW line. I’d be tempted to add one, and make a “gray water” system. Is it safe to use gray water in a garden?

        Reply
        • Calamity Jane April 1, 2014, 11:01 am

          Usually it is safe, yes. Be sure your soaps are biodegradable.
          Don’t send meat juices down to a patch of lettuce. :-) But in general, yes it’s safe.

          Reply
          • irishdutchuncle April 1, 2014, 2:27 pm

            Thanks, CJ.
            I was thinking specifically about the outflow from the garbage disposal… forgot about the meat juices. I’ll just use it all on the lawn I guess.

  • Daelith March 31, 2014, 11:03 am

    Please be sure to rotate those packets of condiments, especially mayo. I keep a plastic container especially for those items.

    Reply
    • NoSox March 31, 2014, 11:09 am

      I just labeled come containers yesterday for that. Need to check on how long those condiments last. We don’t get Mayo or Ranch packets since my wife got sick from a Mayo one last year.

      Reply
  • Pineslayer March 31, 2014, 11:25 am

    Nice plan. My friend raises rabbits, he has been at it for about 2 years now. Start looking for areas you can plant Timothy grass, the bunnies love it. Guerrilla grass gardening, your neighbors may have a back lot that isn’t being used, or a vacant lot, or open space.

    I dehydrated some onions for the first time this week. Everyone loved them as a snack. They taste sweet when dried.

    Reply
    • NoSox March 31, 2014, 11:33 am

      I will definitely check that out. Our new backyard is literally half a football field so we have tons of space to use. Just trying to figure out the best plan to make everything work together.

      I am VERY bad at not eating vegetables and i’m trying my hardest to get it going. Was thinking that dehydrating cucumbers and tomatoes would be bearable if i seasoned them right.

      Reply
      • Daelith April 1, 2014, 8:10 am

        You own home canned veggies taste so much better than store bought. Plus you can pretty much name everything in them on one hand, not to mention pronounce the ingredients.
        Pressure canner was one of my best investments to date.
        Managed to catch on 21 qt All-American on sale at an affordable price for me last February.

        Reply
      • Calamity Jane April 1, 2014, 11:13 am

        Find the vegetables that grow in your location too. Local, well raised vegetables, fresh from the dirt are going to change the way you think of vegetables. Definitely get in the habit of exploring spices, a well seasoned dish is always a hit.
        Cucumbers, I love ’em raw. Cut up in a greek salad with homemade vinagrette and some feta cheese, with tomatoes and fresh oregano. Yum. Super hydrating after a day in the garden.

        Reply
  • Badger359 March 31, 2014, 1:00 pm

    Great article, I love self reliance. Don’t forget the herb garden, great for spices, healing and pest control. If you want bees for your self, but are allergic to them you can purchase (Mason bees) they will pollenate you garden and don’t have stingers, but then again they don’t provide honey.

    Reply
  • Pineslayer March 31, 2014, 1:32 pm

    Mason bees are great and aren’t susceptible to CCD, I have heard.
    To attract them to your garden they just need a spot to call home.
    They like holes drilled into some wood, untreated lumber or unsplit blocks or firewood. I saw some flying into an old stump that had holes in it from wood boring beetles. After inspection, they seem to like 3/8″ holes 3″ or 4″ deep at a slight up angle to keep water out. You can place these blocks all over your property. Build them and they will come. Place them in a slightly sheltered spot to avoid large temperature swings.

    Reply
  • Steve suffering in NJ March 31, 2014, 5:30 pm

    I’ve been eyeing rabbits for a while. Definitely interested to here how it goes.

    Reply
    • Badger359 April 1, 2014, 2:54 pm

      There a good way to provide lean meat, specially for diabetics. I have mine the garage, they don’t take allot of room. To me they are not expensive to raise either.

      Reply
  • Farmer Ken March 31, 2014, 7:32 pm

    Canning the rabbits is the way to go, just chunk em up and put with a small amount of water in quart jars and pressure can them. As far as not eating vegetables, grow your own and they will have great flavor not at all like the readily available ones. I have been raising my own food for 30 plus years, there is nothing that can compare.

    Reply
    • NoSox April 1, 2014, 9:25 am

      Great idea! I just started canning and i’m amazed at the things you can do with it. It would make sense to can rabbits as that wouldn’t need power like my freezer does.

      Reply
  • Jacob @ prepperswithaplan.com March 31, 2014, 8:52 pm

    Nice list for prepping as people sometimes forget you have to start somewhere and may not be able to get everything at once. Slow and steady wins the race.

    Reply
  • Chuck Findlay April 1, 2014, 1:31 am

    I got into canning a little over a year ago. I canned a lot of meat, bacon, ground beef, pre-made hamburgers, meatballs, brats, hot-dogs, sausage. Yea I like meat.

    I also canned butter, mild cheddar cheese, a lot of potatoes. I’m going to open jars this summer and cook them up to see how they taste. I plan on canning vegies when they come in this summer.

    I feel canning is one of the bast ways to build a supply of food and the fact that doesn’t need refrigeration is a big plus.

    I just bought 5-doz quart jars still in the box from the Good Will store for $3.00 a doz. A rare find that really is going to help build the food reserves.

    .

    .

    Reply
    • NoSox April 1, 2014, 9:30 am

      Maaaan you got lucky! That’s a great deal! I need to start looking there as well. I’ve only canned some sausage and a whole 16lb ham that one of my contractors sends me for Christmas. Filled up 24 jars and had the old house smelling like ham for 3 days which my wife wasn’t too pleased about. lol

      I need to really step it up and get on my meat storage heavy duty. We’re about to get a Costco membership:)

      Reply
      • Calamity Jane April 1, 2014, 11:18 am

        Ha, wait till you can a batch of pickles. :-D The vinegar and spices really send people running if they aren’t used to it.

        Reply
        • NoSox April 1, 2014, 11:59 am

          Haha! I am designing a canning station in my garage so I can experiment with all the foods i want and keep everybody happy during the process. With her being pregnant she is really keen on smells right now.

          Reply
          • Badger359 April 1, 2014, 2:49 pm

            I remember when my wife was pregnant, I couldn’t sneak into the frig to save my life, with out her yelling from the back of the house to close the frig it smells.

  • Don April 2, 2014, 4:02 pm

    salt,pepper,mustard, mayo, dressings,relish, soy sauce, sweet n sour sauce all can be had for free from fast food places, but yes keep an eye on the dates.
    You may be able to score more for less at some grocery stores. some have dented can sales, etc.
    http://www.moneytalksnews.com/2009/04/16/salvaged-grocery-store-list/
    I shop at one of the listed store regularly and have always been satisfied,

    Reply
    • NoSox April 3, 2014, 12:11 am

      Thanks! They have one near me and i’m going on Saturday!

      Reply

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