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….