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Dreaming of autumn....
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I recently decided to see how far my pantry would go. It is decently stocked, but nothing like some of you. I sat down and started making a list of all the meals we eat over the course of three months. It was striking to me how long our pantry WOULDN'T last if it really came down to using it without replenishing it for a while. This is especially true of various ingredients that you think you have a lot of until you realize just how much of them you actually do go through over several months. We could go longer on our pantry if we didn't care what we ate and in what combinations, but to make meals like we normally eat... I don't think so...

Has anyone else actually done this? Or do you just assume that your pantry would take you far? I'm wondering this especially for people who only have a pantry and/or freezer and no chickens, livestock, etc. to fall back on.

Three to six months worth of supplies is a lot more than you think! :baby04:
 

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Yes, I have done that. Actually what I figured is that we could last for about a year. *L* Just kidding. Maybe 4 months. I go way overboard on sales (ground beef and chicken).

The things we would be lacking would be the canned soups and tomatoes, syrup, and of course catsup. We would also be short on fresh veggies and fruits.
 

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has anyone ever tried for a week or two to see how LITTLE food you could live on?

not a diet... a crisis test drive.

I did that a few times, and i was hungry but not weak or sleepy on 1 can of beef/veggie soup and 1 package of cheese crakers a day. (crackers for breakfast, soup for dinner).
it wasn't pleasant but I learned how little you can be fully functional on.
however you get protein/fat starved on that and if I added a 6 oz can of tuna or shredded ham for lunch, I wasnt really hungry at all working all day.

so you can do that test run thing and put together a months worth of ration packs per person...
per day each ration pack could be;
* one pack of cheese or PB crackers
*one can of tuna or ham
*one can of soup (somthing good like beef-veggie)
*a multivitamin pill
*2 liters of water

thats not expensive or will take up much room.
you actually could add a few things to it on the cheap. A 1 oz bag of mixed nuts maybe, or a snack box of rasins.

then once you figure this out.... a 30 day ration box for each person in the house is easy to assemble.

saves space, and worry.
 

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For those who just have a pantry, no deep freeze, I say dry beans, lentils, and rice are some of your best friends, as well as either canning your own or buying canned meat whenever you can. I'm going to start making extra soup/chili whenever I make a pot to be able to put a few quarts up, too. I try to keep enough on hand we could eat out of it for two months plentifully, three or more if we scrimp, but lately it's a bit tapped out.
 

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I have started out with a combo of what we eat and the Hillbilly Housewife $70 weekly menu. Because money is so tight, I have been slowly adding to our pantry...5 lb sugar, 2 gallons apple juice, ramen noodles, flour, baking soda...assorted things like that. The HBH menu is a good starting base for me though. I also have 12 assorted one and two pound bags of dried beans and a 2 1/2 gallon container of rice.

For us, three days worth of stuff, then a week and then a month is a good start with my disorganizational skills :help: LOL
 

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I am starting my prepping all over again-we shared out so much with our oldest daughter and our oldest son over the last few months that our "pantry", (such as it is) is nearly empty. I've gotten lucky, though. My local supermarket will order an extra case of something for me if I ask for it. So I can get soups, tuna, etc, in bulk, one item a week.

Plus, I'm writing down all the stuff we eat, even snacks, for a month, so we can get an idea what we really use, as opposed to what I am used to buying. For example, we don't use nearly as much chicken as I think we do. I love it, Hubby detests it. So, I could probably buy about half of what I think we need and be good. Of course, it's less expensive than beef, so shredding it into tacos, soups, chili, etc,. is alot easier than one would think.
 

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Yup, I have.

We're working on storing up basic meats, fruits, veggies, spices, baking needs (sugar, baking powder, choc. chips, nuts), rice, dried beans, wheat berries, coffee, oils, vinegar, condiments.

Also working on storing up non food items like toiletries, first aid supplies, basic over-the-counter meds, toilet paper, and paper towels.

The things we'll have trouble with are specialty baked items like hotdog buns, tortillas, and taco shells. Also dairy products like milk, cheese, sour cream, yogurt, ice cream.

Animal feed (dog, cat, rabbit, chicken) would be a BIG problem for us. We don't have large storage capability; the feed molds if we buy too much of it at once and try to store it for very long. Need to work on that.

We have chickens so eggs are taken care of. Next on the list (after barn repairs and putting in fencing) is probably a few goats, and learning to make cheese and soap.

Yeah, it can be overwhelming. It's best to just make a master list (your long term goal) and then break it down into smaller short term goals.
 

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3-6 months is quite a bit of food if you want to eat like you do today but if you keep it simple you can eat better than you think. Plan 7 simple I'm to exhausted to cook dinners and multiply that by the number of weeks you want and you've got a menu. 3 items on my simple list are chili (without meat) spaghetti and tuna caserole. For 3 months I need 12 pounds of spaghetti, 12 cans of sauce, 12 cans of tuna, 12 cans of mushroom soup, 12 bags of egg noodles 12 cans of chili beans, 12 cans of tomatoes and 24 cups of rice. Every time there is a sale I buy at least a case. That is 36 main meals and leaves flexability for what ever is on hand as a side dish.
 

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I store basics: grains, pasta, canned fruits and veg., some canned tuna, baking supplies, spices. I figure in a crisis situation we will not eat the same as we do now. We would probably have oatmeal for breakfast and some kind of soup or rice or pasta with (canned) veg. for another meal.

We would have much less fresh veg (small garden) and no dairy after what we had stocked ran out. I think it would be impossible for me to stock enough so that we could eat like we do now for 6 months+.
 

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Rose if you add some chocolate milk mix or make your powdered milk into hot cocoa mix you'll like the taste better. The hillbilly housewife has a great hot cocoa mix that I love, is more nutritious than the store stuff and it has sure saved me a bundle of money.

Shhh don't tell.. but those canned puddings and pudding cups that the kids love use powdered milk.
 

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I haven't and I really should.

I have a food storage sheet with all my lists and dates. But no real plan on how to use it up.

That would be a problem in an emergency.

It's now on the todo list.

Thanks
 

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bunny slave
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I think I will do this, too. I suspect it will show me that I need to stockpile considerably more basics (rice, beans, pasta) but am OK with a lot of other stuff. Variety is something else to think about - I'm not sure how happy I would be surviving on peach jam, pickles and eggs.
 

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Rose, have you ever tried non-instant powdered milk? It is much more difficult to mix (use boiling water or a blender), but in my opinion, well worth the effort. I also hate instant milk, but find the non-instant to be quite palatable if made the night before and refrigerated.

As mentioned above, it is not detectable used in puddings, scrambled eggs/omelets, yogurt, biscuits, cakes, gravies, etc.

It takes so much less space to store a several months' supply of dried milk.
 

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We have about 60 days worth if no family shows up at the door, which is unlikely.
The wife thinks I'm nuts so doesn't believe in stocking too much. We have a neighbor who says they have 60 days worth in their freezer.. I don't want to get into the debate, so haven't pointed out that if things go bad enough to need stored food we probably won't have any electric for their freezer and I know they don't have a generator.

Our problem would be feeding all these dogs and cats as we haven't stocked up on their food.
 

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bunny slave
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michiganfarmer said:
I keep my freezer full of beef, pork, chicken, veggies, AND UN-JELLED RASPBERRY JAM :p
:nana:
 
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