How much do you really need to have on hand?

I think at a min.you should have about 6 months worth of the basics. That takes care of any little emergencies, Snow storms, power outages, Hurricanes, tornadoes and flooding. It also takes care of some bigger personal disasters like losing a job, a big bill comes up, car dies and needs repairs or major appliance goes on the fritz and must be replaced. Plus it should give you enough time to get into the next growing season. Even if you don’t grow a garden, foods are cheaper in season. Plus you shop sales for what you need in the future and not what you need this week, which is a big money saver.
Now if you have been around prepping and survival sites you have probably seen the  LDS food calculator for food for a year. Then you see the amounts needed per person and then you fainted or said there is no way I can do that, ” I don’t have the money, I don’t have the space to store that much food.” How much water?   per day per  person!!  are they insane no one can do that, unless they live in the country and have a root cellar a basement, a well and a barn.
Yes, you can do it, in fact you already have 30-50 gal. of water stored if you have a gas or electric tank water heater. Now they must be powered down and turned off from the main water supply in an emergency to prevent sewage from backing up and fouling the heater but that should be a part of your emergency checklist is turning off the water main to the house if needed. If you don’t know how to turn it off to your house contact your local utillity provider and find out how to do it. Rain barrels are great I have 2 55 gallon rain barrel under rain spouts that will fill with an inch of rain. Not my drinking water of choice but it’s great for gardens and could be filtered and boiled to make safe if needed. The barrels can be bought for $30.00- $50.00. Now soda bottles, I love my little 2-3 liter soda bottles. I fill them with tap water, place in a cool dark place and forget. Most city tap water has a residual of chlorine to make them safe to store and will prevent algae growth. If you are on a well or if you notice dark speckles on the bottle or in the water add about 3 drops of 6% bleach, also keep a couple of pitchers to pass the water back and forth and re-oxygenate it and it will taste better. If in doubt either dump it and try again or boil it just to be safe, assume your life depends on it cause it does.
Now food does 350 pounds of grains sound daunting to you? I know it sure gave me pause to consider time, money and space. That’s for only 1 person for 1 year. Then you consider all the freeze dried marketing and costs of $4000.00 + for 1 person for a year and think no way you can do it.
I got nothing against freeze dried foods I think they are great but you must have water to use them. So dropping 4 G’s on food and you don’t have water to rehydrate them doesn’t work. Plus you can buy cheap dried foods in your local super market rice and beans. Now your 50# bag of rice and or beans will give you about 500 4 oz. servings per bag. Now this isn’t complete nutrition or a great meal plan. But you can see how it can give a person 2 meals a day for 6+ months for about $40.00. Now I have noticed most folks in the USA start building with whole grains, Wheat, corn, oats and flour I build on rice and beans first, then add flour, oats, corn and wheat.
I just think Rice and beans are a great meal, easy to make, and easy to change with some spices. I think that is a great place to start. Wheat just does not lend itself to being the main dish unless it’s breakfast. but rice you have puffs,  pudding and gumbo and jambalaya, beans you have soups, chili, dip and tacos/burritos/ all kinds of meals. I bake my own bread and I love it but you just can’t beat rice and beans as being a  multi-taskers.and a great start or great meal.

5 Responses to How much do you really need to have on hand?

  1. Rhonda says:

    Well…..another fine post,Jaime!Thx!I do believe I have the grains covered for my family.Been working on that area for awhile.I wish you a Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year……..Keep up the good work!

  2. Gods-Hammer says:

    There is a local fellow here who supplements his income rounding up barrels from businesses and reselling them. (nobody doing that there? HEY YOU COULD BE THE BARREL GUY/ GAL) I get food grade barrels 55 and 60 gallon for $15. The metal ones with removable lids hold #300 of bagged grain. The plastic ones with non-removable tops have bung holes with 3/4 inch NPT threads for holding and dispensing water BUT if you put them inline in your plumbing you need a regulator ($50) to reduce the pressure because at 50 psi they will swell under the pressure, so far 25 psi is OK. You can get something like .6 gallons per square foot of roof surface with each 1 inch of rain too.I also got 12 gallon containers from this fellow for $4 each…. one in each vehicle full of water, it comes in handy.

  3. That's awesome on the grains Rhonda, I'm looking to add some Dent corn to my list of grains, since I found some old fasion recipes on how to cook it. FYI on the cheese if you have a small mold spot just cut it out as you use the cheese. So far I've had no problems. Hammer I am a small food bucket supplier for my Mom and her stuff. LOL

  4. Rhonda says:

    I just buy 50 lb bags of popcorn from Sams.I like it…soo many uses…cornbread,polenta,corncakes..geesh,very versatile grain.

  5. Rhonda, That sounds awesome on the popcorn. I bought 12 # of it for popcorn. Do you grind the popcorn like dent corn, and then use it in recipes? Woohoo! something new to learn and try out. I got hooked on grits when I joined the Army, and family is from OK. and MO. so Mom has a few corn recipes from my great grandmother.

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