Budget prepping and food storage ideas

This is a guest post by Allie

[This is an entry in our non-fiction writing contest where you could win a number of prizes including an 84 serving storage bucket of Wise Food Storage, 500 rounds of 9mm ammo, a NukAlert a copy of my book The Dirt Cheap Survival Retreat and a copy of my CD It’s The End Of The World As We Know It – And I Feel Fine . For complete rules and list of prizes see this post.]

Prepping within the budget. I work for a doctor (at least for the next two weeks). Salt will be a great prepping item to start with because not only can you flavor food with it, it can be used to treat sore throats by adding it to warm water and gargling. Salt and baking soda can make a homemade toothpaste mixing equal parts and shaking.

The next prepping item to keep on budget is rice. Rice will give you calories for quickly energy aka simple sugar so if you’re hypoglycemic make sure to eat with protein. If stored properly can store for 20 + years. If you put rice at the bottom of your salt it will pull moisture out of the salt and absorb it. If you fill a sock or make a pillow you can fill in with rice and use as a heating pad or ice pack by either freezing in the freezer or heating in the microwave. In a shtf you can boil water and drop the bag/sock of rice in for a few minutes and wrap in a towel to use as a heating pad. Remember with injuries to treat with cold or ice first to reduce swelling for the first few days and then heat. If prone to injuries while working/exercising apply heat to increase flexibility before working/exercising.

The next thing on the list is beans. Yes I know since the 1930s we have taught to be a manly man you must eat meat, well if you can afford it good for you. But beans will provide you protein, fiber, and iron at a fraction of the cost. Not only are beans edible but they are plantable. Remember there was a time seeds were more valuable than gold.

Tang is next on the list, it gives you 100% vitamin C plus, 10% calcium, calories. You can get it relatively cheap like Kroger’s 10 for $10 sales. Roughly 75 containers would be a years supply for a family of five if you were having only one glass a day (yeah I know that would be hard to do if your kids love the stuff)

Powdered milk makes an excellent source of calcium – 25% with vitamin D which can be gotten from the sun for free. Powdered milk can be used in desert items like (instant or homemade) pudding. There are recipes out there on how to make cheese from powdered milk. In shtf with no electric and running out of fuel for your refrigerator you’ll want nonperishable foods to store and eat.

Cereal, depending on food allergies it can range from rice cereal, hot cereals like oatmeal, or wheat or corn cereals. It adds calories and varies nutrition depending on brand and type. I recommend getting several different types especially the brands your kids love.

Keeping with eating a balanced meal, I recommend only four different types of canned vegetables. All high in vitamin A. They are spinach, sweet potatoes, carrots, and pumpkin. And it would be a plus to store pumpkin seeds to plant or eat as a protein rich snack. To eat as a snack flavor with seasoning example Cajun seasoning and bake at 350 for 5 to 10 minutes ~ Hubby says they taste like chips or sunflower seeds.

The last thing I recommend is olive oil. It adds calories but it will get the plumbing going if you are constipated. If you are a pasta lover it can be added to pasta with parsley and parmesan cheese and be a tasty treat.

Doing a pound a day of rice and beans, 2 cups of powdered milk, a serving of cereal, a cup of Tang, and a tablespoon of olive oil will give you roughly 1050 calories a day which is on target for a child 6 or younger and coming up short for adult household members. To make up the difference in calories need you can add a pack or 2 a day per adult. For me personally I eat about 1050 already, more on days I am really active.

For those that will get over heated in temps over 100 degrees, the budget prepper should get a battery operated hand fan – $1 at the dollar tree and a spray bottle also a $1 and spray water frequently to create artificial sweat and breeze. Good to have on hand to help prevent heat stroke.

Please add your budget prepping advice and recipes in the comments below….


  1. lilmorse says:

    I think you nailed it! The only other thing I’d remind people of, and I’ve read it here many times, don’t forget yard sales and thrift stores for supplies. We got 2 oil lamps, 1 brand new, plus oil and a pair of rain boots for less than $20 at a local thrift shop! I budget a certain amount of $ each month for prepping. Even if it’s only $20 per week, a lot can be accomplished!

  2. Great info, Allie!

    Meat is great (grunt, grunt, grunt) but you’re absolutely right. Eating a serving of beans and corn in the same meal provides a complete protein since they have complementary amino acids.

    Here’s an excerpt from a web site for more info (http://www.homefamily.net/index.php?/categories/foodnutrition/corn_and_beans/).

    Plant foods can be combined to include all the essential amino acids and form a complete protein. Beans contain all the essential amino acids except for methionine, which happens to be the amino acid in corn. The corn and bean combination forms a complete protein which is essential for building our muscle, skin, bones and hair. All of the essential amino acids don’t need to be eaten at the same meal to benefit from being a complete protein. Amino acids stay in our blood stream for hours after we eat a meal.

    • It’s good to know but at my house we have food allergies to corn, soy, milk, eggs, nuts, seafood, etc. So I tried to provide a allergy free diet :) But thanks I start looking into it more 😉

  3. Em in GA says:

    I would also include wheat berries. They can be used as breakfast cereal, breads, pancakes, and salads. They add calories and fiber. Also, peanut butter for the protein, I would really miss a PB&J sandwich in a shtf situation.

    • I would have added that but I am afraid my son would have an ecezma outbreak which leads to staph infections and in a shtf situation I would be doing my best to keep evertbody at 100% I failed to meant that vingar is great to draw up infections to the surface as is warm compress or even black tea bags :)

      • Allie, you should look into getting some norwex cloths. Sorry everyone, not trying to do a sales pitch (I’m even in another country!) but the truth is that these cloths kill yeast, virus and bacteria due to the silver content in them. This includes staph – including the more virulent MSRA, strep, ecoli and SARS to name a few. They were developed specifically to combat the ‘superbugs’ that have been running rampant in hospitals. The cloth is a super fine microfibre, it’s small enough to pick up microrganisims and hold them in the cloth from a surface like your bench or skin. Once in the cloth the silver sets to work. It basically (and it has to be basic I’m afraid – I’m no chemist) binds with the cell wall, not allowing any oxygen to pass through. The cell then dies. It kills MSRA in 4 hours, leaving the cloth sanitary again.
        IMHO they’re truly amazing cloths, the silver is woven in with the microfiber so will never wear out and is non-leaching. The silver is also certified as hypoallergenic.
        They’re great if you have allergies or are sensitive to cleaners and chemical.
        If you’re worried about getting some on a budget just host a party. The freebies for hosts are extremely generous and it doesn’t cost you anything! I only just became a consultant because I believe they’re fantastic and I get them really cheap. They’re definately going in my preps.

  4. Thanks, Allie. You’ve got some interesting tips in your post that I’d not thought of. I printed it out to add to my binder.

  5. Allie:
    Good post! Succinct yet well explained. Good job.

  6. Old as Dirt says:

    During the depression days, which I grew up in and the food was scarce and almost no money we ate lots of things over and over. Oatmeal was breakfast, and since dad could not get along without a cup of coffee and we had no milk, we poured coffee on the oatmeal with a tiny bit of sugar. We poured coffee on a pancake also and sugar for syrup. We had pancakes for dinner quite often.
    Protein comes to mind, not much in article above. And trust me you don’t want to lose your muscle mass. Look to the Mexicans for that. There is complete protein in Pinto beans and cornbread. The two together. Corn tortillas and beans.
    Mothers have a huge problem, when kids are hungry, moms will give up there share of food. Not a good idea. My mom was sick most of the time and lost a baby at eight months pregnancy, she died when I was in my twenties. She never regained her health. But she would give me her share of food many times. Something to think about.

  7. We have all of those mentioned food items and a variety of other canned foods, wheat, honey, sugar and flour. I think you can stick to a budget by buying items whenever cash is available throughout the year.

    I highly recommend Peggy Layton’s book: Emergency Food Storage.

    We’ve purchased canned food that consists of other vegetables(what I can’t grow), soups, tuna and canned meat such as chicken and beef. We usually buy on sale and buy extra and eplace what we use.
    Pasta is a great addition as is canned tomato sauce, paste and tomatoes. Beef and chicken boullion, dried lentils, beans and chickpeas.

    In addition to regular food we’ve laid in a supply of long term storage food whenever there’s a sale from sites like Augusson Farms, Emergency Essentials and others.

  8. Auntie-Em says:

    Great article, Allie, thanks! There’s good info to follow, here.

  9. Great advice. Growing up in a poor area, we learned to eat beans often. Cornbread and/or biscuits plus the beans were the meal. None of us lacked muscle mass. Thanks for the article reminding us of this.

  10. Judy(another one) says:

    I have one caveat I wish to add to this article as someone who has lived on a rice diet do to an unpleasant situation I found myself in.

    Stash spices to go with the rice!!!!

    Rice is the staple of most of the world and nobody eats it plain day-after-day-after-day-after-day for a reason, appetite fatigue. I have spices for the cuisines of Mexico, the Middle East, Indian sub-continent, and the Far East to put in my rice. Those spices are not expensive IF you buy them in shops that cater those ethnic groups. I will never knowingly be stuck eating plain rice day-in and day-out, ever again.

    One other thing I would add is buy a variety of beans for the same reason of appetite fatigue. Thinking about having to eat 300 pounds of pinto beans gives me the willies!

    Foraging for easily identifiable wild edible greens like dandelions, lambs quarter, and plantain to serve with your rice and beans would add some variety to the meals.

    There is, in my mind, no reason for not eating well on a budget or in a survival situation!

    • Excellent point Judy! My wife, Laura, recommends storing a variety of spices for that very reason. Rice & chicken can be made into dozens of recipes by varying the spices.

      Additionally some spices are purported to have some good health benefits as well.


      • Judy(another one) says:

        Yup! You add chicken into the equation with the different spices and you can eat around the world. The wild part is most of the spices even my white-bread-mother had in her kitchen you just use them in different quantities and combinations for some really tasty food.

        • I just wish that brown rice stored as well as white rice. It’s better for you and would open up even more options.

          • Judy(another one) says:

            I agree, but have you looked into converted or parboiled rice? It is brown rice that has been soaked and steamed under pressure so the water soluble vitamins are forced into the starchy part of the rice then the it is dried and milled. Think Uncle Ben’s. Last time I checked at Sam’s there was only $2.00 difference between a 25 pound bag of converted rice and regular extra long grain white rice. Cooking time is about the same as white.

    • For various reasons some people can’t handle much rice, if at all, but since I eat it several times each week it is a big part of my stockpile. However, you nailed it with the spices. A few shakes of spice and plain rice becomes an interesting dish in the flavors of Cajun, Mexican, Asian, Indian, Italian, Mediterranean, etc. Even odd spices such as Lemon Pepper, Greek seasoning, Mesquite flavoring can dress up rice to make it more bearable. Of course, adding chicken broth, bouillon cubes, soy sauce, or other flavored liquids such as bacon drippings can do the job too. Lastly, mixing a little rice in with meats and vegetables can make small meals a bit more filling (e.g. chicken & rice, fried rice with snap peas and carrots, etc.) Not to detract from the importance of beans or other foods, but rice is pretty versatile when it comes to combining different foods together to make a meal.

    • To your rice you can also add some egg, sugar & vanilla or brown sugar, and perhaps some raisins and you have dessert that is almost a meal in itself.
      Hey, I’m the sweet tooth guy. The eggs also add some additional protein and the sugar some additional calories, and if you’re doing physical work, they are not so called hollow calories, but more easily used fuel for the body.

      • Oh yea, I forgot that this is great with a little milk added.

        • Judy(another one) says:

          Oh man! You just ruined your rice! LOL My husband and father-in-law love it that a way. Heck my father-in-law loved corn bread in a glass with milk on it not to mention soda crackers.

          • Soda crackers not so much, but cornbread with a little maple syrup & a little milk is just good eatin’

            • templar knight says:

              Wow…maple syrup, milk and cornbread. That’s some concoction I’ve never heard of. Down here south of the Mason-Dixon old folks like me put crumbled up cornbread in a glass of buttermilk. I gotta go check on that syrup thing.

    • blindshooter says:

      I stash a lot of rice/beans because I can’t do a lot of wheat. And yes I almost always add something to it or it to something. I like it with nearly anything especially deer meat, chicken or ground beef. I am putting it up in smaller containers since I got bugs in the last bucket I opened and did not eat fast enough by myself.

      I do need to put back more spices, how do you all store them? I’ve found some of them don’t have a great shelf life in the package they sell in.

      • Judy(another one) says:

        I vacuum pack my spices in wide mouth 1/2 pint fruit jars. but I bet mylar bags and O2 absorbers would work just as well. Have you seen the little 1/2 cup (4 oz. ?) fruit jars? Those might work even better.

        • blindshooter says:

          Judy(another one), how do you get a vacuum on the little jars? O2 absorbers? I read about an attachment for a food saver but I think it only works for the wide mouth jars. I have a bunch of the half pint and pint jars #2 left behind (the only canning she did was jams/preserves) and I would love to use them for spices if I could.

          • blindshooter,
            There are two Foodsaver jar sealing attachments. One for normal and one for wide mouth, although I haven’t tried it on the pint or half pint jars. Yet one more thing for the list.

          • Judy(another one) says:

            There are two different size of jar attachments for the vacuum sealers. I could never get the one for regular jars to work. I was out on Granny Miller’s site one day and she did an essay on using vacuum sealers with fruit jars. She said she had the best luck using lids that had been used at least once and if you couldn’t get one to seal to stack a second lid on top of the one you are trying to seal, upside down and you would probably get a seal that way. She also said you need jars with low shoulders. Another point was if what you were trying to seal was a powder, to lay a piece of paper towel on top of the stuff you are trying to seal to keep the powder out of your vacuum sealer.

            I haven’t used O2 absorbers. I would think they would work well with spices in a fruit jar as the oxygen is absorbed it would create a vacuum thus stopping the essential oils from dissipating from the spices. I’m thinking, put your spices in the jar, put in your O2 absorber, put your lid and ring on, and tighten it down. Okay, just double-checked my thinking and places that sell O2 absorbers say you can use them in fruit jars. Might be a better way to go to use the O2 absorbers that fight with trying to vacuum seal regular mouth fruit jars.

            • blindshooter says:

              Judy(another one), thanks for the reply, you helped me make up my mind on the vacuum sealer. I have been thinking about getting one to package dead deer for the freezer but I know nothing about the jar sealers except what I read so I think I’ll just get one that does the bags.

            • I have some of the canning jars that I have difficulty getting to seal with my jar attachment. I have found that if I put the lid on, then add the ring, place them in one of the Food Saver Canisters, and then vacuum seal it, it almost always works. I use this technique for resealing commercial jars as well. It is not for fresh foods as it isn’t “canning” but it works for spices and other dried items like beans or dehydrated foods.

    • I was thinking of red beans and rice, but I know to keep different types of beans and I am thankful you added the comment about spices. I can be a bit forgetful. The diet plan was also based on my sons food allergies, maybe I should have mentioned that in the piece 😉

      • Judy(another one) says:

        Your welcome, about the spices. I think some people forget the spices when they are doing food storage like when they take the ‘Mormon 4’ as the gospel and think that is all they need.

        It is interesting to see how other people are dealing with the issue of food allergies and food storage as I have a some myself. My biggie is casein protein. I discovered almond milk about nine months ago so I am looking for ways to store raw almonds. I am also looking at other types of replacements for dairy. Soy is okay but nothing to write home about if you know what I mean. I need to buy some coconut milk and raw cashews to play around with.

  11. STL Grandma says:

    Great article, Allie. This is stuff I try to tell the DiL all the time. I’m afraid she’s still set in the mindset of the “store will always have *something*” Wish me luck.. I’ll show her this article!

  12. Caoimhin says:

    Thanks for the Great Article. Adding it to my “stay sharp” binder.

  13. This was a good article and gives us pause to think a little more about our preps.
    I sat down and figured up what this diet might cost you in prep money. Nothing was on sale. And at the regular grocery except for the powdered milk . I don’t buy Tang or Olive Oil so had to guesstimate the price.
    20 lbs of beans………………….$12.89
    10 lbs of rice……………………..$ 5.00
    big box of powdered milk……$16.00
    Big box of Oats………………….$ 2.68
    Tang and Oil……………………..$ ?.??
    rounded off and guess
    on Tang and oil…………………$40.00 to $44.00 a month for prep and rotation storage.
    The beans figure out to 64 cents a lb. You can save a little if you buy them on sale in the bulk barrel. Our regular grocer is oriental so they always have rice for this price. For some unknown reason they quit selling powdered milk in big boxes.
    On the calorie count, that is mighty low. My late husband was a juvenile diabetic and when he was in the hospital getting regulated and insulin dependant he was on a 1000 calorie diet (he was 12) he said he nearly starved to death. He saved the parsley on his plate to eat later to keep his stomach from thinking his throat had been cut.
    Even though I think we should start being cautious with our diets now I truly think that is low for an adult. In good times 1800 calories is about the right amount for a normally active person. And you can forget it if they get up off the couch.
    Old as Dirt sure had some rough times. I think that we should look more closely at the depression times more on the personal side and what they did to survive, then rework it so we don’t have to deal with some of it’s brutality till much later and we can figure out some other avenue. I know one thing I am going to go buy more pancake syrup. Even if I have to just drink it.

    • If you have a source of fenugreek seeds (Indian grocery) you can make fake maple syrup by boiling them, discarding the seeds, and adding sugar. This is what is used to make fake maple syrup from the store. The caveat is that it will have plant estrogen in it. If you’re trying to avoid estrogen from BPA or factory farmed meat and milk, then you might want to avoid fenugreek too. But it will help with lactation if some woman is trying to breast feed.

      Speaking of breast feeding, any woman whether postpartum or not can make milk, just massage/squeeze your breasts gently 3-5 minutes at a time for 3 times a day and in a few weeks you will be making milk. It’s good to know if there is a baby in a survival situation and the mother dries up or is unavailable.

  14. Very well done write up, I will admit that being on the farm, we have access at this point to alot more protein, in the form of milk, eggs and meat, but I do keep a good amount of rice/beans in the house.

    tang.. ok, I have a question for all those in ontario, where are you finding those big containers of tang that keep getting talked about?

    I have looked at all the local stores, none, and I hit walmart and they have tang but only in little tiny box’s and not cheap either, I checked out my normal bigger werehouse store, and they don’t it either, now I have not done a trip to costco.. Before I make that long of drive for it, can you share where you finding yours?

    Thanks much for any help on this one.. if push comes to shove I can order it off the net but would perfer to find a local source.

    • Nor Cal Ray says:

      Farmgal, our local Costco carries the Tang in the large containers. I believe it is 7.00+/-

  15. Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

    Being a lazy prepper, I sometimes eat kidney beans with salad dressing for breakfast. I do this about twice per month. The beans satisfy my hunger for protein first thing in the morning. This only happens when I run out of eggs and don’t feel like going to the store right away.

    My longterm preps include honey, baking soda, and cider vinegar as well as everything Allie recommends. I do need to increase my stock of canned sweet potatoes, though, and this guest post is a good reminder to do that. Sweet taters can be good any time of year, and sometimes I eat them for dessert.

    Bad economic indicators for the past 9-10 days. We really need to pay attention and get our preps in shape.

    • Lint,
      You stated, “This only happens when I run out of eggs”. What, have you learned nothing here – LOL. Sounds like you need better inventory control my friend. It is rare that we “run out” of anything, but when you have to travel at least 12 miles and pay through the nose, or 30 miles for a reasonable price on things, you tend to pay better attention so you don’t waste money and time on unneeded trips.

      • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

        Right, I don’t waste time or money on unneeded trips. I can’t preserve fresh eggs, so about mid-month I run out of them. I don’t know how I could avoid doing that, short of having my own chickens.

        • Lint,
          Do you not have a refridgerator?

          • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

            Nope, I live in a shack down by the tracks.

            • Lint,
              Since you don’t have no ‘lectricy to run a fridge down there by the tracks, perhaps you should look to one of the old storage methods, liquid Sodium Silicate aka, Water Glass. You can get it at some auto parts stores, order if from some pharmacies, and purchase it from the preppers Mecca, Lehman’s (http://www.lehmans.com/store/Tools_Farm___Farming___Poultry_Equipment___Water_Glass__liquid_sodium_silicate____10406#10406). It works best on farm fresh eggs which still have the mucosal coating on them, but should keep store bought eggs for at least a month if kept in a cool & dark place. Just a thought to keep you from eating beans if you’d rather have eggs :)

            • Lint, you can make an osmosis fridge by taking 2 pottery pots, one that fits inside the other, and putting wet sand in the space between them. Keep the sand wet, and anything in the inside pot will stay cool. I think the pots have to be unglazed, or at least the outside one. And you need a lid on top.

              You can make pottery by separating clay from dirt (add a lot of water, swish it around, let it settle, the middle section is clay), shaping it into some vessel, and then firing it raku style buried in a pit of coals. There’s probably finesse involved but that’s the idea.

            • you have a shack? i live in a van down by the river. actaully ,i really do live by the tracks,,,,and the wrong side at that.i lived here so long,the train doesnt even bother me anymore,,,,I SAY ,THE TRAIN DOESNT EVEN BOTHER ME,,,,,,OH NEVER MIND!!!

            • templar knight says:

              Next thing you’ll say is that you grew up “a poor black child”, a la Steve Martin in The Jerk. And that you can’t dance!

            • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

              Penny Pincher, I watched a couple of youtube videos last night about those very same type of pots. Some people called them zeer pots and others called them pot-in-pots, but the bottom line is they will keep things cool. I am going to make one later this month just to see how cool it can get. Thank you!

        • Hi Lint

          I am assuming you do have a fridge with a freezer on top, as I often have a glut of eggs at certain times of the year and slower in winter with less light etc, I have found that freezing eggs for both omlet type use or baking is possable etc.

          Crack your eggs into bowl, and blend, then for omlets etc, you add 1 tsp of salt per dozen eggs, for baking, I add 1 tsp of sugar per dozen eggs, then pour your mixed eggs into ice cube trays and freeze solid, pop out of the tray’s and double bag them in freezer bags, one cube is approx one egg.. when needed, take out how many eggs you want and allow to thaw in the fridge and use as fresh..

          Its not perfectly like fresh but its not bad, if you add in the little extra’s that typically go in with eggs, it moves right over to darn good, and you can’t tell at all in baking etc.

          • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

            farmgal, that’s great info. Thank you for providing the instructions. I will absolutely try this next time I buy some eggs. Thank you! (Yes, I have a refrigerator/freezer, but don’t tell OP 😉

          • farmgal,
            I’m always learning something new on this forum. Great tip on the frozen eggs. Thanks.

          • AZ Rookie Prepper says:

            farmgal, thanks for the tip on the frozen eggs.

        • Nor Cal Ray says:

          Lint Picker,
          I’m thinking of coming up there Sat. If you’re available to meet at Denny’s about 11:30 for brunch. Will see if axelsteve is interested in riding up with me if you’re interested.

          • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

            Ray, although I’d like to get together with you (and Steve), I have plans to go to Reno this coming weekend. I’ll be taking my laptop so I can read all about your meet-up.

          • now thats a coffee drinking group i would love to be a part of.

            • Nor Cal Ray says:

              That would be nice. Have everyone in the restaurant staring at us trying to figure out what we are. L.O.L.

        • Lint,
          Here’s the clay pot cooler Penny Pinchermentioned: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vcuSlaecvIw&feature=feedf

          • AZ Rookie Prepper says:

            OP, Great video. Looks simple enough that a klutz like me could do this, would make for a great emergency refridgerator. Make several and a person could have quite a storage unit for keeping stuff cool. Thanks for posting this.

        • Here is a link telling how to preserve eggs with mineral oil.
          “All you’ve got to do is warm up the mineral oil slightly (it spreads easier) and slather it all over your eggs. Put your eggs back in the carton, with the narrow tip facing downwards, and then store them in a cool, dry, place. As an added measure for taste and texture, flip over the eggs every 30 days.”
          “Using this method you can take advantage of great sales on eggs without having to worry about how much room you have left in your refrigerator. This method will enable you to have whole, real eggs for 9 to 12 months past their expiration date. Yes, NINE to TWELVE months without refrigeration. You can use this method on fresh eggs or store-bought eggs. Obviously the fresh ones are going to last longer than the store-bought ones. How do you know when you’ve got a bad egg? Well, your nose will be certain to tell you in an unmistakable manner. I’ve only had one bad egg in all the time I’ve done this. And just in case you’re wondering, one bad egg in the carton does not mean that the rest of them have gone bad—just the one that smells horribly.”

          I live in Austin, TX and so “cool, dry” isn’t available but I have kepts eggs that I applied mineral oil to in my refrigerator for months. The only issue I’ve had is that when I make hard boiled eggs, these are a dickens to peel.

  16. I buy recleaned wheat at the feed store near the horse track. Rinse it on a screen and pick out strange seeds and stones, dry and store. Half the price of ‘human’ wheat. The one thing off budget I buy is instant breakfast mix. Cheaper than ensure, but chock full of needfull things.

  17. Judy Williams says:

    Thanks Allie,it is good to review basics and to share with begining preppers.Many years ago I started with your basics and over time have learned to add many things as money becomes available.Keep prepping and sharing.God Bless you girl.

  18. Rice is so much better to store than wheat. Many people have wheat allergies or will develop them as they age (crohns or celiac disease).

    What would you do if you had 20 barrels of wheat and found that you could no longer eat it?

    • Good point.

      To answer your question (which I know was rectorial) – barter. Trade the wheat for something else that I could you.

      • That last word should have been use, not you.

      • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

        I presume you meant to say rhetorical. The other word sounds kinda like arse. hehehehe :O

        • Prepping ToSurvive says:

          Hahahaha! Yes I did, Lint Picker. What a typo.

          • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

            I like your word. Let’s see if we can get “rectorial” into the dictionary. New words are added all the time, so why not that one?

            Hmmm, what is the definition? It’s your word, so by rights you have the privelege of defining it. However, I have a feeling it means something like, “of, or having to do with, the rectum.”

            Now to use it in a sentence in keeping with the topic at hand: “Don’t be rectorial, store some longterm foodstuffs.”

            Well there you go, a new word is born and Prepping ToSurvive is the proud parent. Congratulations!

            • obama (TDL)gave a rectorial speech after a budget agreement was made.

            • hahaha! I just looked it up in my dictionary. It’s a derivative of the word rector which is in the Episcopal Church a member of the clergy who has charge of a parish or in the Roman Catholic Church a priest in charge of a church or of a religious institution.

              Absolutely no puns intended on this one. Seriously.

            • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

              PreppingToSurvive, you mean it’s already in the dictionary? That’s disappointing. Dang it!

              bctruck, you used the word perfectly. You get an A+.

    • GA Mom,
      Trade, Trade, and Trade some more!!! Although at my age I don’t think wheat allergies are likely.

    • robert in mid michigan says:

      eat it now if it decvelops then change diet, but use what you store

    • GA Mom you are right on the money. Why the doctor has not diagnosed my son with celiac disease he did say he was allergic to glutean, which is the reason why he is allergic to eggs. When storing food we had to be cautious not to feed him what he allergic to (his blood test and shots in the back test showed multiple food and outdoor allergies)

  19. Sheri (IN) says:

    Allie- I think after the stock market crash today, people are realizing this bad economy is no joke. The basics you listed are great for those just tuning in. They can get beans, rice and some peanut butter for a quick and inexpensive food back up. If nothing happens right away, it will give them time to prepare better. I think we are in for a rough ride sooner than later. Good, inexpensive advice : )

    • sheri,how did the knee surgery go? well,i hope.

      • Sheri (IN) says:

        Hi Brad – I posted to you on the weekend post, but you must not have seen it. It went very well. I took 2 deep breathes of oxygen and don’t remember anything until I woke up. I was a little ding-donged on Wednesday and my meds hurt my stomach, but I made it through and I’ll be dancing in no time 😀
        Thank you for all the well wishes. I can’t wait to get back on my feet.

    • Question about peanut butter: I’ve heard before the standard “Jiffy” or “Peter Pan” type with hydrogenated oil doesn’t really supply protein — the h. oil cancels it out. True? Does anyone know anything about this? We make our own peanut butter, but for storing purposes, unopened jars would last longer. Just wondering. Thanks for any info.

      • Unopened jars won’t last much longer than fresh because they aren’t sealed. I use Adams, which has no hydrogenated oils, & it lasts for several months, even opened.
        Nuts can be canned, don’t know about peanuts as they aren’t really a nut, but you could try. Then you could make peanut butter as needed. The worst that could happen is you’d end up with rancid peanuts.

        God bless,
        Opportunity Farm
        NE WA

      • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

        Karen, I’m reading the Skippy peanut butter jar label as I type this. Here’s what it says:

        Service Size: 2 Tbsp
        Calories 190, Calories from fat 140

        % Daily Value Based on 2000 Calorie Diet:
        PROTEIN – 7 g/7%
        Fat – 16 g/25%, Saturated Fat – 3 g/15%, Trans Fat – 0 g
        Cholesterol – 0 mg
        Sodium – 150 mg/6%
        Total Carbohydrate – 7 g/2%, Dietary Fiber – 2 g/6%, Sugars 3 g
        Iron – 4%
        Vitamin E – 10%
        Niacin – 20%

  20. Never , Never forget to stockpile spices of every kind . You can get bulk spices from many local sources . Making the food that you have so diligently put away a lot more interesting if you have to depend on it for every day existence . This is a common mistake for beginners to overlook . If you have to eat the same thing , over and over without variation , you will loose weight , open yourself up to sickness , depression , loss of appetite . Stocking some comfort food can also be a moral booster . Even chewing gum will help . Its cheap , and in a dry hot climate , can prevent dry mouth and reduce thirst . Dont forget your pets either , they need to eat as much as you do .

    • Thank you T.R. I should have meantioned it but I was being distrasted by a 6, 4, and 2 year old. So my thought process got blogged down.

      • No worries , Thats why I write things down and have a girlfriend to help me remember or I would be in bad shape 😉

  21. nice job

  22. Hello to all,

    I’m very fortunate in that I have a good prepping budget. I do, however, still look for the sales and buy in bulk whenever possible. I’m also able to purchase a little silver from time to time and, although I will probably never use it, my children will put it to good use. I’ve met a good friend through this blog and he has been of great help to me in my prepping. He’s been at it much longer than have I and has researched many helpful things. One thing he passed on to me was to buy several economically priced rifles to be used as give-aways for those who cannot afford a firearm to protect themselves and their family. I just bought a couple of Mosin-Negants and a Marlin M-60 for just that purpose. When the SHTF, I’m certain there will be many folks looking for a firearm and a few rounds of ammo. The Mosins cost me only$69.95 each and the Marlin, at a yard sale, for $50.00. A couple of boxes of ammo with each and I have spent less than $300.00 for the three guns and will give three persons at least a minimum of protection. I also have enough food squirreled away to afford to give a food packet as well. No, I won’t be able to help everyone who stops at my house but I can at least help some. I have a soft spot in my heart for children and I WILL NOT see one go hungry. As to other prepping, my new friend and I are going to fill some six gallon buckets ($1.00 from a bakery) lined with mylar bags and containing a home made oxygen absorber. I’m starting small and will gradually increase my stash. My first attempt will consist of one bucket of rice, one of popcorn two of beans and one of wheat. Now, If I can convince my daughter and SIL and my son to start a little food saving now and then, I’ll be happy.


    • your a good man . Be proud of that .

    • jaxhaus,
      That’s a great price for a Mosin-Negant. It uses a beast of a cartridge and right now they’re pretty inexpensive at something like $0.25 each in quantity. You do however want to be careful who you might give these to so they don’t end up being used on you. Also, if they’re for someone who doesn’t currently have one, be prepared to do some training, or you’re potentially asking for even more trouble.
      On the buckets and bags, why are you using homemade oxygen absorbers, when you can buy commercial 2000cc versions for something like $0.50 each? Unless you’re a chemist or have a field proven design, you could end up opening food in the future when you need it, and not have it available.

    • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

      Jack, I’d like to go to those yard sales, I never see guns at the ones I attend. If you see a pre-1964 Winchester, give me a call. :)

      • I got a model 1895 30-40 army short barrel cavalry . My guess is it was made about 1912-14 . works fine too .

  23. Great article. I just ordered a ton of spices from a company called bulkfoods.com. I think their shippping is only $5 per total order. I get no commission from this company and am just a satisfied customer. I have ordered from them twice over the past three years. I get my spices and then put them in small mylar bags with oxygen absorbers and store in buckets in a cool dry place.

  24. templar knight says:

    Well said, Allie, and I can say I’ve taken your advice for the most part. I’ve stocked up on rice and beans. I have plenty of salt and dried milk. I don’t have enough Tang or oils. I’m going to rectify that tomorrow. Thank you for the reminder.

  25. Pumpkin is a great choice! It’s often on sale around Thanksgiving. People tend to think of it as a dessert, but it makes a great soup – I have a recipe that calls for all food storage ingredients (tho fresh can be used).

    I prefer Morning Moos over regular powdered milk for several reasons – it’s a lot cheaper, it tastes better, it comes in #10 cans, & it has a shelf life of 25 years unopened, 1 year opened. So far, a can lasts us about 4 months when we’re not buying regular milk.

    Tang is out for me & other diabetics. I keep powdered vitamin C for adding to canned fruit if necessary. Dried rose hips contain a lot of C & so do a surprising number of vegetables.

    God bless,
    Opportunity Farm
    NE WA

  26. Without meat, your diet is defeciant in B-12. Add some more fats as well. Coconut oil will store for a long time, and Ghee will store for a very long time. Not including enough fats is a common prepper error. Don’t use vegitable oils. They’re rancid on the shelf and you can’t taste it.
    For the ultimate survival food, make plenty of pemmican. Prepared properly it will last 20 years +. Plains indians lived on the stuff for extended periods.
    See this list: http://nutrition-and-physical-regeneration.com/blog/1863/food-storage/what-to-eat-in-a-crisis/

    • Thanks for the adviced. I know I have sublinquial b12 in my medical supplies. I wrote it thinking about exactly what I’d need for a child that is allergic to the biggies, glutean, corn, soy, and nuts/seeds.

  27. Got food. Need Tang. Keep forgetting. D’oh!

  28. A mild warning is needed. If you end up needing to use strictly plant proteins because meat is unavailable then you will want to increase the amount of daily protein by about 25%. Plant protein contain phyto-chemicals that inhibit protein absorption. I did a lot of research in this area because I coached several runners who wanted to go vegan in their diets. I had to help them plan meals to get adequate calories and protein to stay injury free.

  29. Just Scraps says:

    Try the dollar stores for Tang believe it or not. That’s where I find it most of the time. Just a suggestion, also, add pedialyte to your lists if you have kids and even if you dont.

  30. AZ Rookie Prepper says:

    Good article Allie. I have worked with a lot of folks from Puerto Rico, and one of their staples is to cook rice and beans together, makes for a pretty satisfying meal. Asians will add 1 part mung beans to 7-8 parts rice for a change also. An addition I would recommend is laver (dried seaweed), available at most asian markets. Sometimes called “nori” (Japanese name), “kim” or “gim” in Korean, it is relatively cheap, high in iodine, vitamins A, B, and C, carotene, iron, protein, and other needed minerals/vitamins. I also like to put a simple brown gravy on rice, makes for a hearty dish.

    • My sweety is big on adding beets to beans and that Russian pasta similar to couscous with lemon juice /oil sprinkled on top ..

    • AZ that is a great thought, I heard the seedweed has enough iodine to help protect against radiation

      • AZ Rookie Prepper says:

        Allie, I really dont know if laver (seaweed) would help protect against radiation or not, but it sure couldnt hurt. It is just a good all around inexpensive addition to basic food storage, doesnt weigh much, doesnt take up much room either. Some people might not like the taste much, but if you’ve ever eatin california rolls, the green wrapper on the outside is the laver I was talking about.

        • Allie & AZ,
          This is also available from your health food store as Kelp tablets, although I would prefer the Sushi route myself, and the iodine would indeed be useful in protecting against thyroid issues involved in certain radiation events. The problem is knowing what is the appropriate dosage you require, and how much of that dosage will be provided by the kelp tablets or seaweed wrap, so if you’re really thinking you need this protection, the KI tablets are probably your best bet, although they are way at the bottom of my acquisition list.

  31. Lint Picker,
    If I do happen to find a pre 64 Win. at a yard sale, you will be the first one I will call (after I buy it, of course.)
    Ohio Prepper,
    Thanks for reminding me about being careful who I give a firearm to so as to not have it used against me. I’m a pretty good judge of people and hopefully will not encounter any difficulty in that regard but I do appreciate your coments.

    God bless you all.


  32. I’m a 5’6″ 170 pound moderately active male and I maintain a rather stable weight on an approx 2000 calorie per day diet. When discussing weight and diet with my doc, she says I can do what I want calorie-wise as long as I keep things balanced, and stay above 1200 calories per day. If I feel the need to drop below that level, then she wants to be involved in monitoring my health.

  33. Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

    This is probably a dumb question, but chalk it up to my lack of knowledge in the cooking arena.

    Can white rice be ground into flour that can then be made into bread? I’m talkinga about a bread that can be sliced for sandwiches. In other words, can white rice flour be used in a bread recipe in place of wheat flour?

    • http://www.budsgunshop.com look around if you want , then look for the link to the gun auction site . Your older Win. should be around .
      Bought from bud’s before , no problems . A buddy who has a FFL turned me on to this when i was complaining about local prices .

    • It can but the bread isn’t the tastiest. We have tried placing my son on a completely glutean/egg/diary/nuts/seafood/soy/ and corn free diet but he hated the bread.

      • Things You’ll Need
        1 cup rice flour
        3 tsp. baking powder
        1/2 tsp. salt
        4 tbsp. butter
        4 tbsp.sugar
        2 egg yolks
        2 egg whites, well beaten

        How to Make Bread With Rice Flour
        1 Preheat oven to 325 F. Mix flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Make sure that you mix them enough times to combine them thoroughly and help the loaf rise evenly.

        2 Add butter and beat the mixture at medium speed. Add sugar gradually until evenly blended. Add the unbeaten egg yolks. The mixture should have a smooth consistency.

        3 Fold in the egg whites. Pour mixture into a greased loaf pan.

        4 Bake for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Increase the temperature of the oven to 450 F to brown loaf.

        5 Remove from heat and let stand for 10 minutes. Place the loaf on a cooling rack. After half an hour, remove from rack and slice bread thinly.
        Read more: How to Make Bread With Rice Flour | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/how_5184877_make-bread-rice-flour.html#ixzz1UCZC8r37

        • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

          WOW! Thanks Allie. I would prefer to keep more rice on hand than wheat, so with this recipe I will keep on doing what I’m doing. Now to practice making rice bread – ugh.

    • breadmomma says:

      you can use it as a starch based thickener, but without gluten, rice does not make a good wheat bread substitute. If you mix it with lets say tapioca starch and one of the gums available, such as xanthin or guar gum, to mimic gluten you will have somewhat of a similar bread like substance. There are some good books on gluten substitutes out there. Wheat is only one of the grass based grains that contain gluten that stretches and holds the gas bubbles in bread doughs. Rice, corn, millet, etc. do not have that elastic quality needed.

      • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

        It’s 4:50AM here on the Left Coast and I’m getting ready to leave for Reno for the weekend. I figure the country is so screwed up, may as well take my savings and put it all on Black on the roulette table. Wish me luck!!!

        breadmomma, thank you for the excellent explanation as to why rice won’t make good bread without some sort of additive. I guess I will have to learn to live without sandwiches since I suck at making mayonnaise and I ain’t gonna store more wheat than I already have. That being said, I’m going to start making cornbread. I think that’s something I can actually bake and can use it to fill up my hungry belly.

        Well, I’m leaving now and just want to wish all the people here a good weekend. Try to have some fun, it’s all going to shit soon enough and we may as well have one last hurrah.

        God bless you all. Thanks, MD, for a great blog. This place really sucks (threw that in for Judith’s benefit)

        • Sheri (IN) says:

          Good Luck Lint! I’m a big Blackjack fan, but good luck on the roulette table. Maybe you can win enough to get the country back on track! LOL

        • Judy(another one) says:

          I would like to add that the rice flour you get at the Asian markets is actually a flour constancy. Rice kernels grind up in my mill to be little granules like salt or sugar. I have read about soaking the rice kernels before grinding but haven’t tried it.

        • Good Luck Lint ,
          always thought casino odds were far higher than the stock market !

        • LP in order to have breadless sandwiches at our house we take either lettuce or cabbage break a piece off rinse off, then add mayo, ranch, or whatever, cheese, meat, tomatoes, lettuce or spinach shreded, and or pickles. You can roll it like a burruro or fold it like a taco

        • Please look into vitamin deficiency if you rely heavily on corn. That is why Masa is used to make tortillas as the Nixtamalization process allows a body to absorb the vitamins.

          “Maize was introduced to Europe by Christopher Columbus in the 15th century, being grown in Spain as early as 1498. Due to its high yields, it quickly spread through Europe, and later to Africa and India. Portuguese colonists grew maize in the Congo as early as 1560, and maize became, and remains, a major food crop in parts of Africa.

          Adoption of the nixtamalization process did not accompany the grain to Europe and beyond, perhaps because the Europeans already had more efficient milling processes for hulling grain mechanically. Without alkaline processing, maize is a much less beneficial foodstuff, and malnutrition struck many areas where it became a dominant food crop. In the nineteenth century, pellagra epidemics were recorded in France, Italy, and Egypt, and kwashiorkor hit parts of Africa where maize had become a dietary staple.”

  34. Sorry I am at a normal weight 120 pounds for being 5 foot 2. My calorie intake ranges from 1000 to 2000 calories a day with some days going on a natural fasting day when I feel no hunger at all. I eat only when I am hungery as do my kids. But you must remember in an emergency situation if you aren’t out growing food and are stuck in doors because your city is in lock down you need the basic calories to substain life. You can always double or triple the amount you buy. I have a small frame as does my kids and husbands. We are not obese so we are able to eat less. We deal with being upset with cuddles and talking not with eating a bag of chips. I am starting a job as a waitress where I will be on my feet all day and I will get to see if my body needs more calories. I had a sitting down at the desk job. Like you said different people need different calorie intake. Oh and my doctor is happy with the 13 pounds I have gained this past year.

  35. Thanks MD for posting 😉

  36. Allie I know didly about celiac, but I was out turning my Mesquite pods to see they dry well without molding [they must be dried before milling] Anyway came in to catch up on my favorite blog [thanks MD] read about your problems and had a thought have you tried Mesquite flour? Read up on it, the local natives have trouble with the diet of both Anglo and Mexican. There is something about mesquite that fixes their diabetes, and digestion problems. No gluten, glycemic index, and a bunch of other stuff I don’t understand. Desert Harvesters has a good web site on it, anyway I’ll pray for thee and thine.

  37. Allie, great article! Also (as usual) some really great comments…I LOVE this blog…I just hope I don’t run out of time…

  38. Can anyone give me a good, easy recipe for corn bread.
    It’s not a staple here in Oz.
    I do a lot of “damper”, s.r.flour, pinch of salt, water(I use milk) mixed to a soft dough, almost runny, baked at 300C for 35 minutes.
    I’d love to start making a decent corn bread.
    eMail recipes direct if you wish.
    Thanks from down under…

    • A quick Google search for “basic corn bread recipe” will get you thousands, but this one looks very much like the one I use: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/recipes/cornbread. Sorry but right now I’m too lazy to go dig up my cookbook and copy it down – LOL. You can also add whole kernel canned or frozen (after thawing) corn, blueberries, or other fruits. BTW, what you call runny dough, here in the US would probably be referred to as batter (the same thing we would use to make a cake). Enjoy.

    • My all-time favorite is the old Albers recipe.
      Albers’ Corn Bread
      1 cup yellow cornmeal
      1 cup flour
      2 tablespoons sugar or honey
      1 tablespoon baking powder
      1 teaspoon salt
      1/3 cup shortening
      1 egg
      1 cup milk

      Combine dry ingredients & mix well. Cut in shortening until well blended. Beat egg & milk together. Mix with dry ingredients until just blended. Pour into well-greased 8”x8” pan.
      Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes.

      Because I can’t eat much gluten, I will often make a corn cracker that has no wheat flour. I don’t know who Evelyne is (or was) but her name was on the recipe when I got it & I never pass it on without her name.

      Evelyne Vannice’s Paper-Thin Corn Bread
      ¾ cup yellow cornmeal
      1 cup boiling water
      ½ teaspoon salt
      3 tablespoons melted butter (do not substitute margarine)

      Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Stir cornmeal into boiling water until it is smooth. Add salt and melted butter. Stir again.
      Spread very thin onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake until crisp and browning, about 30 minutes. (It always gets browner on the edges.)
      When cool, break into pieces.

      God bless,
      Opportunity Farm
      NE WA

    • templar knight says:

      Crrrock, here’s a recipe from the American South. Some ingredients and the method of cooking are different from what you will get in other parts of the US. The major difference is that Southern cornbread is never sweet, buttermilk is used rather than sweet milk, and the cooking method guarantees that you have a wonderful crust on the bottom. It is best to have a 9-10 in. cast iron skillet for cooking this recipe. Here ya go with the ingredients:

      2 cups cornmeal
      2 tsp. baking powder
      1 tsp. baking soda
      3/4 tsp. salt
      2 eggs, beaten
      2 cups buttermilk
      2 tbs. vegetable oil

      Now, the method:

      Preheat oven to 450 degrees
      Combine cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl; add eggs and buttermilk, stirring until dry ingredients become moistened.
      Put the 2 tbs. of oil in the iron skillet and place in hot oven for 4 minutes.
      Carefully remove skillet from oven and make sure oil coats the bottom of the skillet, then pour hot oil into batter. Mix slightly and pour batter into hot pan. It should sizzle. And don’t forget that the pan is hot.
      Bake at 450 degrees for 25 min. or until lightly browned.
      Makes about 8 servings.

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