(You can also hear me talk about this article on my podcast: Episode 197 – Are You Ready?)
Working on your preparedness plan a little at a time is a good practice, as it ensures that you continually make progress towards being better prepared. However, there are times when you want to jump start certain aspects of your plan in response to current or potential events.
Looking at the instability of the economy and certain social services, quickly bulking up your food storage and other preparedness items is may be a good idea. Below are some ideas for quickly bulking up these items. Remember, don’t incur any debt for your preparations.
Prepackaged meals, like MREs and the freeze-dried meals can be convenient, but expensive. While they are good to incorporate in your food storage because they are light, portable and quick to prepare, storing food items that allow you to make a variety of meals, like what you eat on a daily basis, can offer more variety in your meal planning. The trick is to also make sure you have enough of the things that make the food palatable. For example, plain beans and rice may be filling, but terribly boring until you add spices and other flavorings.
The food items below will help you bulk up your food storage while still giving you the flexibility for a variety of meals.
Basic Food Stuff to increase Food Storage
The first foods to look at are the bulk foods, as you can typically get more for your money. These include:
- Wheat and flour
- Milk, powdered
- Sugar, honey
- Oatmeal, rolled oats, quick oats
The next easiest category of foods you can stock up on are your pantry foods. These are easy to acquire because they’re available at your local grocery store (assuming no food riot is or has recently occurred). You know your family’s eating habits better than anyone, so adapt the list as needed, these are only suggestions.
- Canned foods:
- Tomatoes: diced, paste, sauce
- Meats: ham, spam, sausages, corned beef, chicken, tuna
- Pastas (e.g. ravioli, lasagna, Spaghettio’s, macaroni and cheese, etc.)
- Sauces (spaghetti, etc.)
- Soup, chicken broth, tomato, also boxed soups (e.g. Lipton)
- Frozen foods
- Meats: burger, roasts, hot dogs, sausage, steaks, chicken
- Vegetables: corn, peas, broccoli, carrots
- Pancake mix (preferably the kind that needs only water)
- Pancake syrup
- Cornbread and biscuit mix
- Pasta, dry, variety
- Peanut butter, shelf stable
- Oils: Butter, vegetable oil, olive oil, Crisco, etc.
- Spices and Seasonings
- Potato Flakes, Hashbrowns (dried), etc.
- Coffee, tea, drink mixes, creamer
Don’t overlook the importance of having some luxury food items during a stressful period:
- Chocolate: bars, chips
- Popcorn, both microwave and regular
- Treats/snacks – cookies, candy, cake, brownie, cookie mixes etc.
Non-food items that you use everyday are also a good idea to bulk up on:
- Toilet paper
- Feminine hygiene products
- Dental floss
- Hand lotion
- Contact solutions
- Foot powder
- Antiperspirant / deodorant
- Razor blades
- Shaving cream
- Paper towels
- Dish soap
- Laundry soap
- Prescription and OTC medicines
- Trash bags
- Foil, wrap (plastic, wax paper) and bags (plastic)
- First aid supplies
- Baby wipes
- Baby formula
The above may or may not conform to your eating habits, but the list should get you in the right headspace to quickly bulk up your preps.