The world of prepping, survivalism, and homesteading is basically one huge subculture. And as with every subculture, it has its own terms, acronyms, and concepts that the rest of society isn’t familiar with. If you’re new to this world, you’re going to come across most of these terms eventually. In fact, you’ve probably already seen […]
Are you thinking about starting a food storage stockpile but you aren’t sure where to start? Do you want to stop stocking up on supplies – hurriedly — in advance of severe storms? Are you just beginning to store extra food, but you aren’t sure if you’re doing it right?
If so, then read on. We’ll tell you what to buy, how to get good deals, and ways to store extra food so you are prepared to shelter in place with plenty of supplies on hand.
Slow and Steady Wins the Race
How to best stockpile? Slowly and steadily is the best way to build a food supply. You don’t want the large expense and rush of trying to get everything at once. In addition, building a food supply gradually gives you the advantage of personalizing your plan, and adjusting for things you may have missed when you initially began.
How should you start the stockpile process? First, think about the meals you consistently prepare week in and week out. These meals and dishes are your mainstays, or simply the foods you and your family are accustomed to eating and that you know and like. When you are first beginning to stockpile, you should first stock up on these familiar ingredients to prepare your mainstay dishes. With a supply of these foods always on hand, you will be well-prepared in the event of a storm without having to make a rushed and crowded grocery run.
We’ll go into more detail about what exactly to buy below, but you should start by picking up a few items each week with your regular grocery runs. Initially, these extra items will be foods you already eat and like and use to prepare the mainstay dishes we talked about above. With a few items each week, you will build a supply of food that will last a week, and from there you can carefully and gradually double that to a two-week supply. Once you have a two-week supply of food, you will repeat the process until you again double and have enough of a supply to last a month, then two or three months. Step by step, week by week, you will gradually accumulate a stockpile to tide you through potential shortages.
Don’t Put all Your Eggs in one Basket (Diversify)
You might see suggestions to stock up on one item at a time; for example, to start with water and to stockpile only water until you have your supply of water all stored. This sounds efficient and well-planned, but it is not ideal at all. What if a situation occurs before your stockpile is finished? You might have plenty of water or flour, but not much else. It is better to buy a few different items at one time. Do not stockpile “one item at a time.” Instead, buy several different things: a jug or two of water, a jar of peanut butter, and then a mainstay dish ingredient or two.
Water can be tricky to store. Evaluate whether you have a dependable source of water, and if you don’t, you will have to stockpile water in containers, and/or water filtration or treatments to make water from natural sources drinkable or potable (drinking untreated water from a river or a stream can make you seriously ill).
Practice Makes Perfect: Use Your Stockpile
Yes, we really mean it: You need to use your stockpile. It might go against your instincts, but incorporating your stockpile into your meal preparation is important because when you eventually build a longer-term stockpile, you will go shopping to replenish your stockpile, not your cupboards. Why? All foods have a shelf life, and many have an expiration date. If you don’t use the items from your stockpile, it will (at some point) age past the point of use. You don’t want a stockpile of expired or ancient food. By incorporating items from your stockpile into your daily or weekly meals, you will keep the items in your supply fresh. This is known as “rotating” your stockpile — pulling older items out for use, and then shopping to replenish them. This is also why you should take a close look at whether MRE (meals ready to eat) rations and types of stockpiles really suit your purposes. They do expire, and unless you actually use them on a regular basis, you may find yourself one day with very expensive and totally inedible food.
As you use your stockpile and replenish it, take notes of items you are using the most to prepare meals. If there are items you use that you are not yet stockpiling, then add those items to the extras you pick up on your grocery runs.
What to Buy
As mentioned above, focus first on the ingredients needed to prepare your mainstay dishes, plus water. Other good staples to consider are:
- Grains such as pasta, rice, & oatmeal
- Peanut butter
- Nuts and trail mix or granola bars/power bars
- Dried fruit
- Tuna fish
- Canned soups
- Canned vegetables
- Vinegar, oil, mayonnaise, salt, seasonings
- Water in containers and/or water treatments
Also, consider paper goods, food packaging, garbage bags, dish soap, personal toiletries and an upgraded first-aid kit and offline reference materials and skills.
How do you get the best deals? Conserving resources is important, so try to shop any deals that you spot. If there’s a sale on items you regularly use, then pick up one or two extra for your stockpiled food supply. Research whether coupons or buying in bulk for some items makes sense for your particular situation. Break down the cost per item by dividing the total price by the number of items to see if you are actually getting a deal buying a larger quantity.
Ways to Store Extra Food
The trick is to have your stockpile easily accessible so you can rotate items. You also need to protect your stockpile from pests, temperature extremes and humidity. Many people find that the basement or cellar is an ideal spot for stockpiling, using shelves or airtight and waterproof packaging (5-gallon buckets, jars, metal trash cans lined with food safe bags).
You also can add space to your cupboards by getting risers to create another level inside the cupboard, or racks to store items behind the cupboard door itself (take time to make sure your cabinets are securely fastened to the wall before adding the extra weight of canned goods). Consider extra unused or underutilized space in closets, under the bed, or in the back of deep kitchen cupboards. Are you storing empty suitcases? Why not fill those with food since they are taking up space anyway? Create shelving in odd spaces such as under stairs or above the clothes washer and dryer, or around the top edge of a garage wall.
So you see, it’s not hard to find and store items for your own stockpile. You can take the first steps to build a food stockpile easily and gradually during your weekly grocery shopping so that you can weather an emergency without having to make any runs to the grocery store.
What advice would you add? Share your tips in the section below:
Sometimes people complain when I post survival information that is “obvious” or “for newbies.” I understand where they’re coming from, but I think they’d be surprised just how many of my visitors are brand new preppers. I regularly get messages from people asking where to start or what to read first, so I’m going to […]
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There’s nothing more exciting than purchasing your very first homestead. As you mend the fences and fix your new outbuildings, you realize it’s time to think about putting some animals on your property.
That, though, can be a scary thought, especially if you don’t know where to start. Educating yourself and creating a plan for exactly what you want out of your homestead will make things much more enjoyable.
Here’s the list of our five favorites for beginners:
Chickens are super simple to take care of, and their return is well worth any time and effort you put in to making them happy. They need little space, and so if you are just starting out with a few chickens, you won’t need much room. A chicken coop and a small run is sufficient. Five hens will produce approximately four eggs per day. In no time at all, you’ll have an overflow of eggs and you’ll be in good shape. Chickens also provide great compost for your growing garden.
Ducks are also great starter animals for your homestead. Like chickens, they don’t require a lot of space and are quite happy as long as they have water to bath in and food to eat. Plus, they are excellent foragers.
Ducks are very good for your garden, as they are great at keeping pesky bugs off your plants. Their eggs are an excellent source of nutrition, and their meat is also quite nutritious.
Adding rabbits to your homestead can be a lot of fun. They cost very little to feed, eating mostly hay and pellets, but they enjoy garden scraps as well. Rabbits also take up very little space; a 4×4 enclosure is perfect for one or two of them. They are an excellent meat source, and just like chickens they provide compost for your garden. Unlike cow or horse manure, you can use rabbit manure right away.
Goats are our fourth pick for beginner homesteaders, especially if you don’t own a lot of land. Goats can be a meat source, a dairy source and are excellent brush-clearers. Remember that goats are natural herd animals, and so owning more than one will be best. Goats are also climbers; having a high fence or even an electric fence will keep your goats safe. If you are raising goats for dairy, they will provide you with approximately one gallon of milk per day. But remember: They do produce less cream than do dairy cows.
Our last pick for a beginner homesteader probably requires the most time and energy. Pigs only need a pen with strong fencing, but if you have the land, you may consider free-ranging your pigs. This can reduce the amount of food they eat and will also take care of the smell that can come from a stinky pen. Although pigs do require more of us as homesteaders, they obviously provide us with an excellent and very delicious meat source. Keep in mind that sows can have litters up to 10 piglets and can have as many as three litters per year. If you are raising the piglets for meat, it will take a full year before you will get a sufficient amount of meat from them.
Do you agree with our list? What would you change? Share your thoughts in the section below:
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In a recent article, I read that gun sales, even after the 2016 election, were still running high. Coupled with the Christmas holidays, there is a great possibility that there are quite a few new gun owners out there. That’s a good thing for those of us who support the Second Amendment!
But with gun ownership, no matter why a firearm was purchased, there are some thing that need to be understood and learned, like the proper cleaning of your new firearm. Since I haven’t come across a recent article on Prepper Website, I have decided to put together an article that links to several videos that I think are good for any gun owner to view. Two videos discuss the need to clean your firearm before you shoot it for the first time. This is due to the cosmoline that gun manufacturers put on the firearms before leaving their factory. Most new gun owners don’t know this. The last video is a good generic video on cleaning your pistol. Also, for future article considerations, I have created a short survey to ask gun owners their pistol of choice for home defense and/or concealed carry. And don’t forget to get yourself a pistol cleaning kit and some lube – both which you will find endless debates about online!
Although this first video uses a rifle as their example, know that you will find the same on your new pistol…to varying degrees.
NeverEnuffAmmo does admit that he talks too much for this short video, but you should still watch it!
And here is Iraqveteran8888, with a good generic and basic cleaning video.
I would greatly appreciate it if you would leave me a little info below (type and caliber), for future article considerations, on the pistol you purchased for home defense or your concealed carry handgun.
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