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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently read this as a portion of a post from another forum:

Emergency Food Storage List for People with Limited Incomes

30 cans of meat (15 tuna, 15 chili)
8 pounds oatmeal
40 pounds white rice
40 pounds flour
15 pounds corn meal
30 pounds pasta
10, 26 oz cans of spaghetti sauce (or 30, 8 ounce cans of tomato sauce & some spices)
30 boxes macaroni and cheese
30, 15 oz. Cans Mixed Vegetables (15 Oz. Cans)
4, 3 pound cans shortening (or equivalent in oil)
15 pounds sugar
3, 32 ounce jars grape jelly
salt, bouillon, pepper, some hard candy, spices, yeast, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa
5 pounds dehydrated hamburger
12 lbs dried milk (60 quarts liquid)
12 lbs dried beans or peas

This list can be bought for about $160 (look for sales, buy generic and store brands), and provides 30 days of nourishing meals with 2500 calories per day per person for a family of 4.

Additional items that would enhance this diet include cream of mushroom soup, instant potatoes, syrup, sprouting seeds, tea, more canned meats, vegetables, fruit, & dried beans/peas, tomato/spaghetti sauce (another $30 - 40). From these ingredients you can prepare: donuts, chocolate cake, chili mac casserole, biscuits, macaroni & cheese, tortillas, chili & rice, bread, rice pudding, Spanish rice, pasta and various sauces, hush puppies, gluten steaks/meatless loaf, bean loaf, cookies (among the many possibilities).

This may be a good place for someone who is just beginning with limited resources to get started for the food storage portion of their preps. They can be purchased along and along if $160 does not fit into the budget at one time. Many of these items can be found at our local dollar store.
 

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30 boxes of macaroni and cheese for one month? I think I would change that one out to several cans of fruit as there is absolutely no fruit on that list. 15 cans of tuna or chili would also be a bit much, I would think using some other meats such as canned chicken, turkey, ham or roast beef for some variety would be preferable. Other than that, it's probably a good starter list for a family of four but pretty bland.

Dawn
 

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Every family has different needs. We keep only a few boxes of mac & cheese around, but I really load up on tuna when it's on sale. I can my own chicken, beef, pork, most fruit & some veggies. Got to start doing more!

The main thing with preps is to make sure the family will actually eat them, and that they can be prepared with limited water, if necessary. Paper plates, bowls, cups, plastic flatware, should all be a part of preps.
 

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30 boxes of macaroni and cheese for one month? I think I would change that one out to several cans of fruit as there is absolutely no fruit on that list. 15 cans of tuna or chili would also be a bit much, I would think using some other meats such as canned chicken, turkey, ham or roast beef for some variety would be preferable. Other than that, it's probably a good starter list for a family of four but pretty bland.

Dawn
I think the idea is to stay within the 160. budget, to buy the canned chicken, turkey, ham or roast would be more expensive than the tuna and chili.
 

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There's crap for food on that list. If I was down to my last $160 I don't think I'd be looking at that list. You eat that food for awhile, even on a subsistence level, you're going to have worse problems than low income. Poor health and poor digestion, I'm betting. Mac and cheese? Canned chili meat? Cans of sauce and jars of jelly? What you've essentially bought for your $160 is a whole lot of calories comprised of little but corn syrup. Few proteins, not enough carbs, and no vitamins. That's a welfare diet if I ever saw one. Only thing it's missing is the big block of government cheese.

There's a lot more to nutritious eating than calorie count. Like Halfpint said, swap out some of that for some fruit. You can get peaches and pineapple and such canned in its own juices with no additives at all. I won't even feed white rice to my chickens. Go with whole long-grain rice. It's as cheap or cheaper than white rice if you buy it in the proper way. Don't go to the healthfood aisle and buy it where it's $7 per pound. Go to the ethnic aisle, or better yet an ethnic store and pick it up for $1.29 per pound. Every month or two (depending upon when I'm running low) I pick up a twenty-five pound bag of lentils for about $28. You can live almost indefinitely on lentils alone if you throw in some good pot herbs such as spinach or turnip greens on occasion. Heck, except in the dead of winter you can add dandelion and gobo to those lentils and do a whole lot better yet.

I'm not sure if that list is meant to get you by for a week while you're waiting on the government food wagons to show up, or if you're meant to live on it until the next Democratic majority, but I can't see it as a healthy long term plan. For the love of Pete ... no white rice.
 

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You could definitely stay within a $160 budget without eating all that crap. There have been times that I had to cook on the cheap and maybe what I was serving wasn't my first choice, but for long term planning you have to worry about what is nutritionally sound as much as you have to worry about what is shelf stable.

For me personally the key to building my food storage was planning what I wanted to store and shopping wisely. My family always had a full pantry but not necessarily filled with all the right components for nutritional full meals. When I decided to get serious about stocking up, I started keeping a food journal with my shopping lists, meal lists and a daily tally of what we consumed. I took note of what we liked, what we could do without and what we wouldn't mind eating more of if we could. I used these facts to put together a master shopping list of everything I needed to buy, then I decided on a set amount of money I could spend each week to buy these items. This system worked well for me and in no time I had one month's worth of nutritional meals. I started off by buying 5 pounds each of rice, flour, cornmeal and beans, sugar and 2 qts. of oil. That was what my budget could handle, but later as I filled in my storage, I started buying these items in larger bags, 25 pounds at a time. I purchased canned tomato sauce with no added ingredients and I purchased no salt canned veggies and fruits in their own juices. I also stocked up on canned meats, starting with tuna, then chicken and ham and the most expensive, roast beef. I made sure I had all the necessary items I needed to make homemade soups, chili etc...

I think another consideration for how people build their food supply besides budget and needs would be where you dwell and rather you can have a garden, animals etc. Of course city dwellers would have different needs than those lucky enough to live away from the concrete jungle. I am learning to can and grow my own veggies so as I rotate my food stock I will have more of my own canned foods to replace the purchased ones. I also have quail now for eggs and plan to get chickens and rabbits.

One way I helped a friend on a budget build a small storage is I had her buy one extra meal a week for her family and put it away. One week she bought ingredients for soup, another week spaghetti, etc.. I also had her buy one 5 pound item a week extra for 5 weeks and the last two weeks were oil and oatmeal. At the end of 7 weeks she had one weeks worth of dinners,5 pounds each of beans, flour, cornmeal, rice and sugar, 2 quarts of oil and a large container of oats.The 8th week she bought spices and then started buying canned fruit, veggies and meat to incorporate into the beans rice, and flour. She plans to eventually start buying the dry goods in larger amounts as soon as she fills in some gaps. She has been doing this for 3 months and whenever she has extra money she buys more, this is on about a $5 a week budget with an occasional few dollars extra.
 

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I agree.. that's a garbage budget. And since pasta is basically flour, egg, and water.. why would you "invest" in cheap boxed pasta instead of a sack of flour? And the lack of peanut butter is a deal stopper for me. You can make amazing dishes with peanut butter and curry.

There have been several "eat cheap" plans floating around but I think at a minimum the larder should include canned fruit (applesauce is very cheap), and I personally would go with canned pumpkin for the flexibility. The usual rice and beans thing, split peas.. but my larder would include flour, sugars, oils, and fats. The boxed mac and cheese dinner as a staple of the diet? That sounds like a great way to get sick.
 

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Yeah, it ain't a perfect list, but y'all are coming from the standpoint of hardcore preppers. For the utterly unprepeared, though, it's probably a solid starting point, and a dern sight better than not prepping at all.
Definitely, you get more bang for your buck making your own pasta, but few people possess such skill these days, and there' alot to be said for some convenience, even in brown fan situation.
I agree, I'd add some fruit and peanut butter, and go a little lighter on the boxed macaroni.
Ernie's suggestion of lentils and long-grain rice would certainly improve the list tremendously, and as another posted pointed out, it could use more variety in the canned meat/fish department. During our Katrina aftermath adventure, we found ourselves pretty suprised at how quiickly we tore through the stockpile of canned sardines....go figure.
I'd skip on the 30 cans of mixed vegetables, too and spend the $ on something that ain't smushy, disgusting, and more or less devoid of nutritional value.
 

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another case of the perfect being the enemy of the good.

for the vast majority of americans, who don't stock up, and probably don't eat very healthily, and often don't cook from scratch, the original list is probably a pretty good starting point, in that the foods are generally familiar, and the cost not too prohibitive, and hence a reasonable probability that they'll think "hey, I can do that." If they saw a list with unfamiliar foods, or high costs, or special equipment, they'd think "I can't do that; it's not for me" and go back to their cheese doodles and TV.

I only started down this path about 2 yrs ago. I haven't seen a single list anywhere that was a perfect fit for me. All of them have given me various ideas: particular foods, the insight that it doesn't have to be expensive, that cup-o-soup may not be healthy fare for home stocking, but might be a wonderful fit for a car emergency bag.

But, if I was trying to encourage someone who was borderline on prepping, I'd suggest the original list is a reasonable start with a good chance of the person actually doing something. What more could you ask?

--sgl
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks sgl..... that was the purpose of the post. To show those non-preppers or just beginners that they can begin somewhere. We don't eat boxed mac and cheese at all, but I know kids who are left home alot who can make that blindfolded. It's better to have on hand than nothing. There again, my family won't touch lentils. They don't care how good they are for you they don't like them. We also choose to limit peanut butter. We eat it, but we don't live on it as a staple of our diets. In reference to fruit, I just added fruit to our stockpile. Here the cheapest cans of fruit are $1 and most are $1.59. I put in a few originally, but added quantities of them slowly due to the fact that I could get 3 cans of veggies for the cost of 1 can of fruit. I wanted the most for my money when starting out. I had a very limited budget, so I had to think this way. I did stock up on fruit jelly and jam earlier on as it was cheaper for the quantity I got. Somethings are very expensive in the stores here, while others are cheap. I grew a garden, but did not can the quanities I should have due to health problems. Also, many people don't know how to make their own breads and pastas and it is better IMO for them to start somewhere and then add to their resources as their knowledge and resources allow. At least with that list, they have started prepping in some way. I think it best that we remember that not everyone is as far along in this lifestyle as others. I still have a lot to learn, but that is why I am here. Having a difference of opinion is great, but remember that others may be in a situation that is prohibitive to obtaining the same level of prepardness as we are. Everyone has to start somewhere. There were numerous posts on numerous forums that had people asking what can I get for X # of $. Well, when I saw that list, I felt that may give someone a start. We don't all eat the same, so we won't all stock the same, the purpose here is to begin thinking that everyone is empowered to stock up and prep a little at a time if need be to obtain long term goals.
 

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You give the average american a bag of beans and rice and a 5 pound bag of wheat they would have not idea what to do with it. Most people on this forum eats healthy and not like the average person.

That list in the OP is what the average person (POOR person) eats if they cook at home. Ask me how I know, because that's how we ate for years before we knew better.
 

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Along with tons of flours, rice, oatmeal, beans and lentils I have just about all of the above cheapo/poor list stored too. My kids are 21, 16, 13 and 3. If I were sick with flu or if something happened to me I know my 13 yr old can make a box of mac and cheese by herself and they could get by for a week or two without having to cook from scratch.
 

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Yeah, it ain't a perfect list, but y'all are coming from the standpoint of hardcore preppers. For the utterly unprepeared, though, it's probably a solid starting point, and a dern sight better than not prepping at all.
Definitely, you get more bang for your buck making your own pasta, but few people possess such skill these days, and there' alot to be said for some convenience, even in brown fan situation.
I agree, I'd add some fruit and peanut butter, and go a little lighter on the boxed macaroni.
Ernie's suggestion of lentils and long-grain rice would certainly improve the list tremendously, and as another posted pointed out, it could use more variety in the canned meat/fish department. During our Katrina aftermath adventure, we found ourselves pretty suprised at how quiickly we tore through the stockpile of canned sardines....go figure.
I'd skip on the 30 cans of mixed vegetables, too and spend the $ on something that ain't smushy, disgusting, and more or less devoid of nutritional value.
I was thinking much the same.

And Sgl42, I have yet to find a list that fits my dietary lifestyle either! Once I established our basic needs, I finally just compiled my own list.

We buy Annie's Organic boxed mac & cheese...... :)
 

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You give the average american a bag of beans and rice and a 5 pound bag of wheat they would have not idea what to do with it. Most people on this forum eats healthy and not like the average person.

That list in the OP is what the average person (POOR person) eats if they cook at home. Ask me how I know, because that's how we ate for years before we knew better.
The irony of your post, Ruby, is that beans and rice is exactly what poor people ate back when people actually knew how to cook from scratch.

I've seriously considered finding out what it would take to be qualified to teach a cooking class. There's a whole lot of folks who darned well need it!!
 

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Back when poor people were competent you mean?

As for a child making meals, if you can boil mac and cheese, you can cook lentils.

My older children (pre-teen boys) have one evening a week where they must work together to plan and cook a meal. From scratch. It has to be something that we would normally eat as a family, which means it didn't come complete from a can or a box. I refuse to raise more helpless men to populate the world ... my sons will know how to produce food AND prepare it. Now I think they're a long way from foie gras terrine or even a passable casserole, but they can put together a decent stew or chili. Omelettes are their holy grail of foods and it won't be long before they've mastered that.

I realize that the list wasn't intended for hardcore preppers and self-sufficiency crackpots like myself ... but the ignorant deserve our best efforts at education, not some patronizing half-measure that won't get them where they need to be. Sure, it may be more appealing to the masses .. but in case nobody has noticed, the masses aren't coming here looking for our help. What you've got here is mostly old grognards and a few new folks looking for a way to start. For those newcomers in the lifestyle, let's give them our best.
 

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deleted the quote of the deleted post,
Yo Swampman ..... this aint a ----in contest. I think your out of line here. I don't think Ernie was dis'in newbies at all. What I got out of it was..... Start them out with the best most nutritional food they can get.

Why do we have to bring it down to the lowest common denominator all the time.
 

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Growing up, mac and cheese was a luxury dish. We ate lots of wild game and fish... to supplement our peas and cornbread. And there always seemed to be plenty of taters...

I stock what we eat. (except for an item my GF just 'sprung' on me yesterday... she was wondering why we didn't have any, and I told her it was the first time I'd heard her mention it :angel:)
 

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i'm trying to think of a way to ask folks to try to not to be smug, arrogant or condescending without being smug, arrogant or condescending myself. it really isn't easy. does no one have tact anymore? have folks lost the ability to converse in a polite manner and accept what others have to say in addition to adding their own thoughts? i thought generation X was the generation that lost all compassion for humanity and manners. really, compassion isn't even needed, but it sure would be nice to see some manners. many folks just squeak by adhering to chuck's basic rule... "Be Nice". i think we could all do a little better than squeaking by. is it really so hard to say..."i see your point, but i think it would work better if...yada yada". in this case, perhaps some folks don't feel tuna, sugar, dried peas and simple carbs would sustain you, i would argue they could but even so, why not address the post like you were talking to your grandma and be nice. this may be a private forum, but its presented in a public manner. is this how folks should really behave in public? i'm no angel, but at least i try to be considerate of others. sure, i fail from time to time... but at least i honestly try. i get the idea some folks couldn't care less. usually when i do fail it is in response to others who have failed to "be nice". i guess it's like a snowball that grows out of control.

i would also like to add that no one knows it all. no matter who you are or what your background may be, there is probably something you could learn by engaging in polite discourse with others with different perspectives. if you are only here to pat yourself on the back, i doubt you can learn anything from anyone here.

:soap:

oh...Happy New Year everyone! here's to a safe and prosperous 2009!
 

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I've seriously considered finding out what it would take to be qualified to teach a cooking class. There's a whole lot of folks who darned well need it!!
Anyone who can cook is probably qualified to teach cooking, but not always. If your comment was serious, try teaching a hands-on cooking class to some older teens or young adults in your home. If it works out, talk to people at the community college or community center about giving classes. You have to figure out how much to charge to cover expenses. For the poor who need the classes, many churches or clubs would be willing to help with tuition.

I've been talking to a community group called Horizon that tries to help the community. If things work out, I'll be teaching some classes thru the organization. They'll pay for all the supplies, as well as pay me. Different ways to cook beans & rice will definitely be on the list, because those are 2 items the food bank gives out.
 
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