Oils and fat, you will need about 20 pounds per person per year. Our own USDA/FDA have convinced us that fat is evil but it’s needed by our bodies to work. I try to stay with the natural stuff like Olive oil, lard, butter but I’ll grab a vegetable shortening like Crisco for deep fat frying. I’ve heard raves about peanut oil but I’ve never used it. I’ve canned butter and know folks that can lard and I figure about 5 years isn’t to unreasonable for most fats stored properly. Figure about 1 gallon of most liquid veggie oils will weigh about 8 pounds, or 2.5 gallons per person. Now different types of oils have different smoke points or when heat starts to break down the oils structure so have different types of fat is a good idea. Add in flavored oils or make your own. I have a little pepper oil and sesame oil that is great for kicking up the flavor on meals.
Sweets: both sugar and honey have incredible storage times. They have found honey in the tombs of the pharaohs that was perfectly edible. Honey also has anti- bacterial properties which makes it great for colds and first aid as well as preserving food. If you have allergies using local honey seems to help reduce the symptoms. Always make sure you get real honey! A lot of stuff that says honey is actually flavored syrup so always look at the ingredient label. It costs a bit more but it you get all the good stuff that honey does for you. If you have sugar you can make candies or caramels. Plus all baking usually require a bit of sugar either for taste or to create a chemical reaction.
Sugar about 50-100 pounds in all forms. I have what I call my candy bucket and after the holidays when I can get stuff cheap I’ll grab those “Fun Size” candy bars and just dump them into the bucket. But you can add whatever your favorite is to your bucket. I don’t have a sweet tooth but I like having one of the little candy bars and my sweet tooth is satisfied. Get some powdered cocoa, chocolate chips, Dark chocolate bars, marshmallow and real vanilla(Latino/Hispanic) aisle usually has real vanilla for a great price. You will be able to make you own cakes and sweets with a little practice!
Vinegar: Five gallons per person. Get the real stuff and not the flavored kind and get several flavors. #1 this is a great source of vitamin C, Pickling fresh veggies and flavoring everything from salads to sweet and sour pork! Vinegar can also be used as a cleaner for windows and other stuff so it’s a great multi-tasker!
Meat: Americans tend to eat a meat heavy diet compared to most of the world. From my research I figure you can stay healthy eating about 1.5 pounds of meat a week, or about 80 pounds per year per person. If you buy canned meats it can get kind of expensive on a per pound cost, but salmon, tuna, clams, sardines, turkey, ham, beef and chicken are available in cans from 5 oz. to 2 pounds for a whole chicken. A pressure canner and jars really shine here because after the initial cost, canning your own meat is very cheap. You can also use smoke, salt, sugar to preserve meats. Get a good book like “Putting Food By” that shows a lot a different ways to preserve food. It’s one of the most comprehensive books I have found and it is easy to use.
Leavening or baking soda, powder and yeast: Baking soda is another great multi-tasker as a cleaning supply, 1st aid to making your own baking powder ( you can make your own baking powder if you have baking soda and cream of tartar. Simply mix two parts cream of tartar with one part baking soda.) Yeast buy in bulk 1-3 pound packages and store in the freezer and it should last up to 5 years. Those little 3 packs of yeast are a very expensive way to buy yeast. You can also make your own yeast via sourdough. Lots of recipes on the net!
Salt: Recommended salt stored is 10 pounds per person of Iodized salt. But you don’t want to use iodized salt when salting meats or pickling. They do have a pickling salt that is very fine and dissolves in cold water that is great to use for brines. Or you can buy non-iodized salt at your local restaurant store for $6.00 or less per 50 pounds. Salt is super cheap to buy right now and if you live inland away from the coast and can’t replace salt you will be hurting. I’d say two pounds of iodized salt for your salt shaker and get some pickling as well as bulk salt in a big bag. There is a product called Redmond salt that is full of other minerals that folks swear by and I think would be great for replacing electrolytes of folks that are sick or doing physical labor in the heat.
Spices and herbs: Buy whole spices and grind them yourself. Those little coffee grinders are great for that and fairly cheap so you can have 2 or more. If you are using just 1 grinder throw a tablespoon of white rice in the grinder run for a bit and it will soak up the oils of your spices and you can still grind your coffee. Grow and dry fresh herbs as much as possible.
Don’t forget the pets buy food in bulk, have a little basic first aid, comb, brushes as well as leashes and collars. Keep the shot records up to date and have copies.
This post is getting a bit long but I will move towards the storage of other needed items I have stored in the next few day and we will cover everything that I can think of for most disasters.