If you live in the West there is probably an Albertson’s Grocery store near by and this week they have a great Case lot sale on canned veggies and other items that would a good start or great addition to your preps especially if food prices keep going up. Some things I would like to get is a case of “Everyday Essentials” canned veggies at 46 cents a can you can’t beat the price(22.5 pounds). Hunt’s Pasta sauce 24 oz. for 75 cents a can is one of my favorites but I don’t care for the taste of the sauces that have added meat, but the Zesty flavor has a little heat and works great for Latino-style meals and the roasted garlic and onion is a good multitasking sauce.(18 pounds) If you are prepping using the Mormon method of by the pound of different food items you could buy a case of each item you will have added about 35-40 pounds of veggies for about $20.00. That is a darn good start on you veggies for your pantry and if you bought canned veggies in the past these will update your supplies of older canned veggies and get you a couple more years time on you storage. Albertson’s has 2 types of the Raman noodles the ones in a Styrofoam cup and the regular sort of flat package for 25 cents or 15 cents each respectively. While these are processed foods they will make a quick and easy meal with just some boiling water. If things get tough physically and we are tired, being able to have a quick meal that can be prepared in 5-10 minutes will be critical to staying healthy and keeping your morale up.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big believer in cooking from scratch as much as possible. It can save you a lot of money and you know what you are eating. If I have worked physically hard there are times I’m to tired to cook and will not eat because it’s just to much effort to cook even a simple meal. You can’t do that long term as your body will get weak and open you up to colds and infections that your body could fight off if healthy. A child can be taught to boil water safely and those little ramen noodle packages are great for a BOB, BOV or even camping. These might have a place for cheap food you could give Non-Preppers you know and keep them somewhat healthy. For my “Charity buckets” I put in pasta and a can of the Hunt’s sauce that makes a descent 1 pot meal for a family. My “charity buckets” are in the 3 gallon range and while a bit small they are easier to carry. Based on meals each of my buckets hold about 21-28 days worth of meals or about 5-7 days worth of food for a family. I can’t afford to give everything needed to survive but I’ll do what I can afford. I put the dry gods in 1 quart ziplock type bags and instructions on how to cook the food items on the bag. Most people I meet have no idea how to cook things like beans or steel cut oats so cooking instructions are a good idea.
If you are working on your preps you know that building up your first 3-6 months of the basics are the hardest or at least it was for me. But after you hit that six month point and you are storing real food that you rotate it does get easier and you can save money shopping loss leaders in the grocery store. Plus the money you don’t have to spend because you “need” something can be used to more tools or equipment that works for your preps. It won’t happen overnight and you can’t take a pill to magically learn this stuff. Here at “casa de chaos” I’m doing self reliance on a shoe string budget and it not always easy but I do think it is worthwhile. But I think overall I’m doing well on my Preps as well as working towards self-reliance.