Saturday, February 7, 2015

Building your food stores the right way

The first question to answer, is how much do I need? The answer varies based on how long you want to be prepared for. There are various levels as covered in the "Incremental Prepper Plan" in the Prepper Handbook by JR Ray that help answer the how long question. In this post, we will talk about a logical approach to building your food stores.

Your first level is to start out buying a few extra of your usual can goods each time you go shopping, especially those with long shelf lives like canned salmon or tuna, but also vegetables and pasta. There are some good storage systems discussed in the Prepper Handbook with a sample shown below.

This system can be used to store and rotate your common vegetables, soups, and long shelf life canned foods.

A good stocking strategy needs to consider your consumption and the shelf life of the particular food. For example, suppose you eat on average one can of corn every week. That is 52 cans per year that you would be expected to consume. Now also suppose that the shelf life or expiration date is 2 years out. That would mean that the most you could keep would be up to 52 weeks x 2 years = 104 cans in stock which would be a 2-year supply.

I might start out with an initial goal of 13 to 26 extra cans, which is 3 to 6 months supply. Then after many of your other needs are in place you can ramp up your target to 52 cans which is a year supply. Our incremental strategy needs to be used in many places since no one has unlimited money to go out and buy a ton of supplies.  

Second, I strongly suggest you get some long-term (25-year +) storage foods, which are kept at more than one location. The Prepper Handbook provides a “Calculator” where you can determine your food needs. Then once you review / edit your foods, you can put them in a “Q” that allows you to set up a budget and get say $50 per month shipped to you. Rice, Beans & Wheat are the lowest cost foods. Make this your secondary food store behind having your pantry full of the canned foods you normally eat.  A basic 90 supply of food for one person costs less than $200 as shown below.

1 Beans, 1 Rice, & 1 Oat pails = 90 days of food for one person with a little gardening, foraging &/or hunting.  

2 Beans, 2 Rice, & 2 Oat cans = 21 days of food for one person with a little gardening, foraging &/or hunting.

For more information on this, you can e-mail us at: and we can set you up to get your budgeted amount of food stores, foods that you select, sent to you each month.

The last stage of your food stores plan is to have gardening, livestock, and a sustainable food plan as outlined in the Prepper Handbook  

You need enough can goods and food in your pantry to last a minimum of 2 weeks, and preferably 60 days. Then when your other important preparations are covered as outlined in the Incremental Prepper Plan, you need to expand your food stores to last 6 to 12 months. This gives you time to expand your garden and grow your own food.

At this point, you would need to be gardening and have food preservation supplies and skills in place to survive year after year as a part of a sustainable living style. Then you are truly prepared for a worst-case scenario, at least with regard to food supplies. 

Of course, there are many other needs to consider. When planning, remember: 
The Rule of 3 - you can die in:
a.      3 seconds without security
b.      3 minutes without air;
c.      3 hours without shelter (in hostile weather);
d.      3 days without water &
e.      3 weeks without food.

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