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My husband and I both agree that it is a good idea to have a stockpile of food- I'm not looking for a years supply or anything, but a nice supply in case of an emergency. I am great at shopping sales, using coupons, etc. But I have two questions:

1. How about expiration dates? It is great to stockpile, but if when you need it it is all expired then is it "dangerous"? I know a while back there was chatter about the danger in expired pancake mixes. Are there foods that don't really expire?

2. We don't eat processed or canned foods on a regular basis. I don't mind having some for an emergency, but honestly we eat a healthier diet than that- lots of fresh fruit and vegis, meats, and whole grains. So, do we stockpile "junk food"? I mean, in an emergency I think I'd be fine with everyone eating hamburger helper or whatever, but on a day to day basis we do not. What healthy foods do you stockpile?

Thanks!
 

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Stock what you eat and eat what you stock. You have to rotate your stockpile; not just save it for emergencies. When buying items with an expiration date for stockpiling, look for the expiration date furthest out. Remember - FIFO - first in, first out.

You can dehydrate fruits and veggies and vacuum seal them for storage. Of course, for that you will need a dehydrator, a vacuum sealer, the bags, and probably some canning jars.

You should also look into canning. You can can all sorts of stuff for long term storage. THAT will be my next endeavor.

Have you looked at honeyvillegrain and emergencyessentials (online)?
 

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In good times yes it is wise to eat as fresh as possible. If in the situation where there was none or little fresh to be found you need to have some things stored that you can eat. It does not all have to be processed junk food.

This is a list of seven survival foods plus water storage.
Grains- can be a mixture of any grains you like, wheat berries, oats, and any combination of all grains available.

Legumes-dried beans and peas any combo

oils and salt

sprouting seeds

sweeteners

and powdered milk

with the wheat berries you can do a ton of things with just them alone. Grind them for flour, cook them whole and use like a cereal, sprout them for fresh live food.

It is a good idea to store ingredients to make a variety of things instead of just prepared items. Not saying not to have any of that type of food just not all that kind.

You can fill in with canned fish and meats and anything else you want to have on hand like condiments.

Like Savvay Sniper said store what you eat, eat what you store so you not only rotate, but get used to using and eating the things you store. It is not a great idea to have to switch from eating one way normally and then in an emergency have to go to a different one on an instant notice.

Just some thoughts pass to on.

There used to be a poster here, she was great and very wise about storing foods. You should look up some of her old posts her name was

grainlady

I don't know why she left but is really missed!!!
 

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I am slowly adding to my stock pile of dried fruits and veggies, as well as flour and sugar. I keep a rather "healthy supply" of legumes and will most likely start purchasing more of my favorites to store for longer term use. I am trying to vacuum seal things soon after I get them and keep a mason jar handy for the ones I use most often.

We have a cabinet full of canned veggies that I will occasionally use in our meals but since they tend to have a slower rotation, I can probably replace one can a month and still have a good emergency supply.

I've been slowly building this by purchasing an extra can or two every time I go to the market.
 

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We are turning more towards the dried foods.

We eat mostly from the CSA on a regular day. I do have some canned items in rotation that are getting ready to be dried foods. For grains, I keep wheat berries and rice in the 2nd fridge. We also keep dried beans. The kids are getting used to dried foods (and even preferring it) so if there ever was an issue, we would have some workable goods.
 
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I have the same problem about canned foods. I generally eat a very fresh diet with a few convienience foods thrown in. What I did was buy some a small amount of canned food and invest in a food dehydrator. In the spring you can buy fruits and veggies, dry them, and have healthy food in the event of an emergency. They just need to be rehydrated in water, juice, or broth.
 

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Rotate, rotate, rotate. If I find I have over-bought and don't think we will use something by the expire date I donate it :)
 

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I don't store mixes. Plain flour will keep practically forever in a cool dry place..and wheat even longer. I found a missed box of pasta from 1999 and could not tell difference in quality from new.
Shortening will keep for a fairly long time but older cans will go rancid faster when opened. Mainly shortening & oil & mixes containing them will go rancid in storage but most other things kept cool and dry will be fine. Chocolate chips will get a white "bloom" but are fine in cookies.

The expiration dates are more about companies protecting themselves or meeting .gov rules. Canned goods remain usable as long as the cans are not bulging or leaking. The quality will not be as good and the ingredients may taste "tinny". I've been reorganizing my pantry and found an older (2001) can of carrots. It was intact but the contents did have a tinny taste. Not something that appeals but in a shtf situation I would eat them.

Apply a lot of common sense. Does it look good, smell good, taste good ... then ignore expiration date. If in doubt, throw it out.
 

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I made this posting on my FB page yesterday about it -

I read the headline and thought "What?? They want to take wicks out of candles so they don't present a fire hazard!" But, no, the cpsc wanted them recalled because of ONE reported meltdown of the container the tea candle was sitting in. Does anyone out there think the CPSC is really needed??? And WHY?? This isn't the first of what I would call a frivolous recall.
 

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I too tend to use fresh or frozen veggies, rather than canned. However, I decided to buy a case of each veggie (12 cans) I commonly use to have on hand for "just in case". My plan is to use 1 can of each per month (thrown into a soup or stew in the crockpot for instance), and then buy an additional case when it gets half empty. This way I will always have some vegetables on hand in canned form and they will be part of a rotation form, but they won't be my primary food source throughout the year. This is actually quite useful if I don't correctly remember what I have in my freezer anyway. There's many times when this could come in handy.
 

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All interesting ideas...I will start my stockpile this week...I have one already, of sorts...but I plan to stock up on the tuna, salmon. Low fat creamed soups that I use for various recipes...canned corn,tomatoes, spaghetti sauce...etc, etc..we also have a bread machine and I think I'll bake some bread..another thing..I seldom buy soft drinks.. I make lemonade...from frozen.. And orange juice for the grndkds...another thing I've tried...mix 1/2 reg milk with 1/2 powdered...tastes just fine...also..a pitcher of iced tea w lots of lemon...I used canned milk for my coffee..I prefer the taste...I bake banana bread...or other homemade goodies for the family to snack on..
 

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We mainly stockpile things we use on a regular basis. We also have a stockpile of "long-term food storage" mainly freeze-dried foods ordered from The Ready Store or Emergency Essentials. These are in #10 cans and have a shelf-life of 10-30 years. We have freeze-dried blueberries, strawberries, pineapple, apple slices, peas, green beens, potatoes, instant refried beans, TVP (meat substitute) and more.

We stock a lot of canned tuna, peanut butter, soups, pasta and pasta sauce, cereal and oatmeal. Don't forget toilet paper, paper towels, kleenex, feminine hygiene products, shampoo, body wash, razors, toothpaste, hand soap, laundry and dishwashing soap, etc. We also stockpile WATER. If the water supply is ever disrupted for whatever reason, you would need water! We keep about 100 gallons on hand, but even that is really not enough for any extended emergency.
 
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Yes, I almost forget about beverages. We have powdered drink mixes, instant milk, coffee, tea bags, instant Gatorade, and a few 12 packs of soda. We don't drink soda all the time, but we do on occasion. I purchase it when on sale. This weekend the price of canned soda was the lowest it has been in months, because of the Labor day holiday, so we stocked up on it.

We keep a freezer stocked with meat and frozen vegetables, too.
 
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We've been stockpiling for years. We recently moved and couldn't afford to take it with us so now I'm starting fresh all over again.

All the suggestions above are great.

In addition, consider stockpiling convenience foods, vitamins and calories. Here is why:
~ Calories: In an emergency you will probably be using two to three times the calories you do now, especially if electricity isn't available. You'll NEED calorie dense foods, including oils and sugars. Think about fiber intake, too.
~ Vitamins: When eating fresh foods we don't have to think too much about whether or not we're getting enough vitamins, particularly ones that are easy to destroy like vitamin C. However, as soon as our diet changes to include foods that only come shelf-stable foods, there are few sources of vitamin C which diminishes quickly in any processed food - frozen, canned or dehydrated. Dehydrated foods lose nutritional values first, then canned foods. Frozen foods keep nutrition the longest but that is the most expensive way to store food and the riskiest. Yes, sprouted beans can be one source of vitamin C but you'll need others, even if it is nothing more than a few bottles of vitamin C tablets. There are other nutrients that are lost in canned foods, so consider adding general multi-vitamins to your stockpile. Remember, if you eat a fresh banana daily, in an emergency there might suddenly be no more bananas in the stores. What will you substitute for a source of potassium? Consider reviewing your diet and designing your stockpile around your typical nutritional requirements.
~ Convenience foods: In an emergency, you'll quickly learn that time and fuel are valuable commodities. There is literally not enough daylight to get everything done and fuel needs to be replenished continually. Fixing something as simple as a cup of tea becomes a chore. For that reason you want quick comfort foods typically, chocolate, alcohol (vodka will do and can be used for more than just drinking) and small calorie-dense items like granola bars or small squeeze pouches of applesauce. You don't want to be opening huge cans of items that need refrigeration unless you can eat the entire can in one sitting. You might not have refrigeration. So you want a few things in your stockpile where you can just "grab and go". You don't want to have to dedicate one person in the family to keeping everyone hydrated and fed. And it is convenient to have a few things that you can toss in a backpack for those people who have to take a long walk, say to the next town over to pick up the latest news.

Throw in a few books, too. You'll want to be able to identify the plants in your area. Some can be gleaned as fresh foods to stretch your stockpile and give you a break from the shelf-stable foods.

Aim to cook a dinner of only shelf-stable foods once or twice a month (even once a week but work up to it) so you get used to it and the change in diet isn't a sudden shock to your family.
 
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