Mon. Mar 4th, 2024

We need to start looking at food as an investmentIf you have been following my previous articles, you know that I have been warning of the rising food prices. With the droughts and heat killing our livestock and the ranchers unable to keep their herds fed, many ranchers are selling off their feeder herds as well as their restocking herds. It takes about 10 years to recoup a herd to full production. This means meat prices will skyrocket.

Avian flu has taken a serious toll on poultry production and already we are seeing incredibly high prices for chicken. As I mentioned in a past article, I saw chicken wings for $18 for just 2 lbs.

Couple that with the global fertilizer shortage and the reserves basically running out come September 2022, it will take one to three years to replenish fertilizer. This is due to the war in Ukraine, Russia and Belarus which produces close to 40% of the needed ingredients to produce fertilizer.

The repercussions of this will be smaller crop sizes due to the high demand for fertilizer. Farmers are facing ever rising prices for fuel, seed, and fertilizer. This in turn will result in greatly increased prices for produce come 2023 and possibly pushing out all the way to 2025.

This pushes the reality that from this point on we need to look at food as an investment and as with all investments you want to purchase low and sell when the prices are high.

Now I know that some of you are thinking, will the food run out?

The answer is no. But here is the downside, will you be able to afford food? In these coming years we will see a serious division of the masses into those who “have” and those who “have not.”

This in and of itself will cause the price of food to go up even higher to the point where some people will not even be able to afford to put good healthy food on the table.

The question that you need to ask yourself, “who will you be part of the HAVES or will you be part of the those who are the “HAVE NOTS?”

Here is A Good Starting Point

I have had several people ask me what they need to do to get going on their pantry preps.  What I have done is put together a list that is budget-friendly and can help you get started.

This is a several-part list, and you can pick and choose based on what your family needs.  If you just need help in taking those first few steps, this is a good starting point.

NOTE: Take baby steps and know you do not need to get everything all at once. Resist panic buying but try to keep an eye out for sales and shop places like Dollar General, Dollar ($1.25) Tree, Aldi, and stores like these.

You Must Commit to Your Preps

Figure out a realistic budget you can spendSit down with your spouse and determine a REALISTIC dollar figure you can spend every time you walk into the grocery store.

For me, a good rule of thumb is $5 – $10 every time. Now, if you can spend more, great, or you may not be able to spend that much.

No matter what, figure it out and then every time you go to the store, spend that amount on your pantry preps. This is critical; otherwise, you will fall behind and when the hard times do hit, you will be lacking.

The first part of this list is broken down into four weeks. The dollar cost value for each week is approximately $10 – $20 dollars depending on where you shop. If you can use coupons and such, then that will help stretch your prep dollars further.

Each week try to get those items and then stick them back in your prep pantry.

Finally, if you are a seasoned prepper, then this list is not for you. This is mainly for the new person just starting out and needing solid guidance to get their feet wet and moving forward.

You Don’t Have a Prep Pantry?  Do this.

What you need to do is find a closet or a place you can store your food and make it inconvenient to simply reach in and use.

I recommend using a closet in a spare room, a hall closet that just has a bunch of junk, or an area in your basement.  Places like these.

You don’t want to keep your food in a hot garage as heat kills the nutritional value of food. You also do not want it out where it will be exposed to light; again, the light will kill off the nutritional value.

Once you have decided where your pantry is going to be, clean out all the clutter and start putting your preps there. It is simple as that.

If you have a basement, then try putting up some inexpensive shelving, as this is a great answer.

The 4 Week Preps Purchases

To help “kick start” yourself, what I have done is created four weeks of food to help you get the ball rolling. Again, this is not an end-all-to-be-all list.  This is to get you moving in the right direction and help you start a “habit” of buying a little extra here and there.  Then you are always adding to your preparedness pantry.

Week 1

  1. 10 pounds of rice

It is super easy to make rice and if times get tough, you don’t have to cook it either. Just leave it out overnight and let it absorb the water. The ratio is 1 cup rice to 2 cups water.

  1. 10 pounds beans

Like rice, this is a good staple and high in proteins.

  1. Tang Orange Drink

Yeah, that stuff the astronauts drank.  It is super high in Vitamin C and kids love it.

  1. Several packs of pasta

Be it spaghetti, linguini, angel hair, twists, or elbow. Get some pasta on hand. There are 101 recipes you can make with pasta.

20 lbs of FlourWeek 2.

  1. 20 pounds of all-purpose flour

Bread, biscuits, pancakes, you name it.

  1. 5 pounds of sugar

This will store forever; just keep it in a dry place.

  1. Cans of carrots

There is a lot you can do with carrots, including making carrot cake and bread

  1. Cans of spinach

You need your greens.

  1. Vegetable shortening

There are a lot of uses for this, and it can double for your cooking oils.

Week 3.

  1. 64 ounces of Nonfat dry milk

Find this in the baking aisle as there are several applications where you can use dry milk.  Mainly, you will use this for baking, and it is great to have if you have kids.

  1. Pumpkin

Again, think bread and cake. Things like this are moral boosters. Noting like having a nice slice of pumpkin bread and a cup of hot tea to help melt the worries of the world away.

  1. Tuna

Remember the pasta you got? Make a casserole or bake some bread and make tuna sandwiches.

  1. Salt

Baking SodaKosher, iodized, pink. You will never have too much salt. I am a big fan of kosher salt and pink salt. But don’t use pink in your baking; the minerals can affect the taste of the baking products you are making.

  1. Baking soda

There are 101 ways to use baking soda, from baking to brushing your teeth. Like salt, you can never have too much baking soda

  1. Spices

Ground pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, etc. By expanding your spice selections, you are creating variety and during hard times, food variety is a good thing.

Week 4.

 

  1. Peanut butter

This has a great shelf life and can stay on the shelf unopened for 2-3 years. It is high in protein and is somewhat of a superfood.

  1. Jelly and Jams

PB&J – you can’t go wrong and there are many things you can do with jams and jelly. Put it on pancakes, use it to flavor hot oatmeal, toast, you name it!

  1. Canned Milk

Sweetened and condensed. Both will come in handy if you run out of regular milk.

  1. Canned Soup

I am a fan of Campbell’s chunky soups, and they are basically a meal in a can. Just pop the lid and eat.

  1. Crackers

Smear a little PB & J on them and they are a great pick-me-up snack.

  1. Tomato Sauce

If you got pasta, you want to have lots of tomato sauce on hand. With all the spices and such that you have, you can create a lot of different meals.

By getting these over the four-week span of time, you are developing a habit and what you will need to do is continue this habit of purchasing a little extra here and there. After several months, you will be able to look at your preparedness pantry and you will be amazed at what you have done for yourself and your family.

If you think about it, what you have done is create “Food Insurance” so if any sort of hardship or emergency takes place, you will know you will have enough on hand to keep your family fed.

THE LARGER BASIC FOODS LIST

OK… let’s say you got everything in the weekly lists. That is great and you are off to a good start.

What we have here is a list you can use to continue your weekly purchases. What you need to do is check your budget and plan your purchasing accordingly.

This list isn’t in any specific order; it is just foods and such to help you build your pantry quickly.

Once you have these items on hand, you can then start expanding your pantry with other food items.  But these are the basics and give you multiple meals to eat with a nice variety.

NOTE – you will see items repeated in this list that were part of the 4-week list. That is okay; the key is to pick and choose and be strategic in your purchases for your preparedness pantry.

Grains

I would recommend 20 pounds of each to get you started. The great thing about grains is that once they are properly stored, they will last up to 20 years.

  • Rice – lots of varieties you can choose from Jasmin, basmati, common white
  • Barley – this makes for a great breakfast meal
  • Oats – rolled, cut, and quick oats
  • Lentils
  • Wheat – both white and red varieties
  • Quinoa – this is a superfood and high in nutritional value
  • Popcorn – this is great to have on hand to make a sweet or salty snack. This is a motivator food as well.


Pasta

This is a HUGE staple and lasts easily on the shelf for 5-7 years. The more you have, the better. Look at the different varieties from spaghetti, linguini, spiral noodles, elbow noodles, etc. There is so much you can do with pasta and so much you can add to it to make incredible meals.

Peanuts and Other Assorted Nuts

These are high in protein, beneficial oils, and nutrients. Add to meals while cooking or eat as a snack.

 

Canned Milk

Stock up on this and you can use it for many uses, from baking to putting it in your coffee.

 

Honey

This can be pricy, but it will really help. Honey NEVER goes bad and in fact, when it crystalizes, just add a bit of hot water to it, stir, and poof, you have honey again. Buy the locally made honey, is best and is healthier for you.  It also will help prevent allergies.

 

Baking Soda

There are 101 uses for this, from baking and brushing your teeth to using it in your laundry. It is inexpensive, especially when you buy the big 15- or 10-pound bags.

 

Salt

There are so many applications with salt. It isn’t only for cooking. Make a scrub with it. Cure meat and fish with it. It isn’t just for cooking.

 

Cooking Oils and Shortenings

I am a big fan of Crisco shortening and they have butter flavored (yes)!  This stuff will last. Canola, vegetable, olive, and the like last. One cannot have too much oil and with olive oil, there are several health and medical applications you can use it for.

 

Sugar

This lasts forever, and the more you have, the better. A spoon full of sugar makes the medicine go down.

 

Get a lot of soup on handCanned Soups

I am a big fan of canned soups. You can eat it right out of the can, or you can use it to augment or stretch a meal. Try to cook up some pasta and pour a can of soup over it; add a few veggies if you have some and spice it up and turn it into a great meal.

 

Canned Stews

Do you know Dinty Moore Beef Stew? Yeah, great stuff right out of the can and like canned soup, you can use it to stretch a meal.

 

Canned Meats

These are tuna, chicken, potted beef, spam, and canned meats/fish. You need protein and canned meats are a great way to go. Again, add to rice, beans or pasta and you have a meal.

 

Canned Vegetables

Find out what your family likes and start buying these in bulk. Look for #10 cans / 1-gallon cans and you can save a lot of money.

 

Granola

This is high in nutritional value and gives you a good boost in the morning.  You can also have it as a snack. There are a lot of things you can do with this, from baking to adding to soups and stews to making johnny cakes.

 

Beef Jerky

Again, you need protein and beef jerky is what our forefathers made and ate. If you have a dehydrator, there are thousands of recipes you can jerk from beef, fish, chicken, deer, rabbit – you name it. If it is meat, you can make jerky out of it with a dehydrator.

 

Pickles

Sweet and sour pickles. Eat them whole or chop them up and add them to the meals you are making. Also, drinking pickle juice is great for heat exhaustion and heat cramps.

 

Garlic

There are many uses for garlic, both eating and medicinal. It has been used throughout history medically. This is easy to grow and if you start sprouting it from store bulbs in August, you can get it in the ground in September and have incredible home-grown garlic in June the following year. Garlic properly stored will last through the winter and you can restock again by repeating the growing process.

 

Power Bars

Purchase protein bars – again, protein. They are great snacks and morale boosters.

 

Get Sport Drinks to replace the electolytesSports Drinks

Purchase Gatorade or this type of sports drink as you need the electrolytes. Keep both powdered and pre-made around. During the hot spring and summer, you will need to replenish your electrolytes and hydrate. Water by itself will only go so far.

 

Crackers

Need a quick snack? Something to dip in soups and stews? Smear some PB&J on them and you are good to go. Try using it as a filler to stuff a bird. There are many uses for crackers.

 

Peanut Butter

This is super high in protein and is somewhat a superfood.

 

Ramen Instant Noodles

You can pour them in a bowl and eat them as is, or there are so many recipes where you can augment this plain soup and really make an incredible meal out of it.  They come in a lot of flavors and noodle sizes. And they are very inexpensive.  Remember your college days?

 

Coffee

Purchase both ground and instant coffee. Many may consider this a luxury but having that nice cup of joe in the morning will really help you start your day off right. Get an old-fashioned percolator coffee pot and put it over the fire, and you are good to go. Also, get lots of instant coffee as it will store for a long time.

 

Tomato Sauce

So much that you can make with this. A major staple, especially when having lots of pasta around.

 

Cocoa

This is another morale booster. From hot chocolate on cold mornings to making cakes and cookies. There are 101 recipes you can pull from.

 

Alcohol

Vodka and whiskey – you can make so much from alcohol, and this includes medicinal. Syrups, tinctures, and just having a nice sip after a hard day to wind down. There are some decent bottom-shelf brands that will do the trick. Invest in some good stuff, too, so you have something to sip with your loved ones on a Friday night.

 

Potatoes

Instant potatoes, canned potatoes, dehydrated potatoes. People throughout history have survived off potatoes.

 

apple cider vinegarVinegar

White and apple cider. There are so many uses for vinegar besides in the kitchen.  Apple cider vinegar will help the sting of a bee and helps with chigger itch. For fruit flies, sit out a cup and watch the flies drown.

 

Teas of All Sorts

These have many health and medical benefits. Tea is inexpensive and there are flavors to suit just about anyone’s tastes.

 

Spices

You know how you cook – the more spices, the better, and they create variety. Look into cookbooks focusing on rice, pasta, and beans.

 

Dried fruit

If you have a dehydrator, make your own. This is what we do. But dried fruit is not only nutritious but is also a morale booster.

 

Garden seeds

There are several reports that have come out saying seeds for 2023 are going to be in a shorter supply. Several bloggers are also reporting that their local feed stores are having a hard time getting seeds in, and when they do, the amounts are less than what they have had delivered in prior years. Also learn how to save your seeds from your harvest.

 

Garden Fertilizer

Global fertilizer supplies are diminishing. 2023 supplies will be available but will cost a lot more and variety will be lacking.  So, it is a good idea to stock up on some now and learn how to make your own. I have worm bins and make fish emulsion.

 

Vitamins

When times are hard and your body is stressed, you will be burning your vitamins and will need to replenish them. Focus on C, D, and B Complex, and Multi-vitamins.

 

Water

The formula is one gallon per person per day. But if you want to be realistic, then 3 gallons per person per day. If you have pets, the same applies.

 

Stock up and consider getting a storage tank. Also, buy a Berkey water filter.  You can pull water from just about anywhere and have clean water to drink. Know where your rivers, streams, and lakes are as well as people with backyard pools. Berkey will filter out the cholerine and other harmful chemicals found in pools.

 

TOOLS TO HELP YOU PREPARE

The next thing I want to share is what I have on hand to help me better prepare and take advantage of grocery store sales as well as my home garden.

Our great grandparents were proficient at this, and it was the normal way of life. Current generations have forgotten many of these skills and have become dependent on the grocery store.

Gardening is also a critical skill that needs to be learned. Just so you know, it will take a couple of years to really become a good gardener and produce the food you will need for yourself and your family.  I am already teaching my 6-year-old daughter to garden.

Both the tools as well as setting up a garden will take an investment. So, consider having a garage sale or start a side hustle job so you can get some of these tools to help you better prepare for yourself and your family.

 

You Need a Excalibur DehydratorDehydrator

This is probably the best “preparedness tool” I can think of. You can dehydrate just about anything and extend the shelf life. Start off with the round ones you find at Walmart and then graduate to The Excalibur Dehydrator. The round ones will burn out in a year or two where my Excalibur has been running strong now for the past 10 years.

What I Recommend, The Excalibur –  https://amzn.to/3T6Pkj1

 

FoodSaver Vacuum Bag Sealer

This is also a great way to store up food by sealing it and putting it in the freezer. You can seal other dry goods and such as well. The one I have also has a port so that I can vacuum seal my mason jars. This is the second most important prepper tool I have.

Here is the model I own – https://amzn.to/3T15M4a

 

European Fermentation Crock

I have several of these and make all kinds of pickled products. Like the dehydrator, you can pickle just about anything from fruits to vegetables to meat. Store the products you make in mason jars and/or keep them in the refrigerator.

If you store fermented foods in a hot area, they will activate the yeasts in the foods and continue to ferment. The problem is that it will put off gas and cause your mason jars to explode. So, keep in a cool dark place so these foods will be there when you need them.

NOTE – You can pressure can these pickled items, but you will kill off the positive probiotics lactic acid fermentation is known for. You will still have nutritious food but will lose the benefits of the positive probiotics because the heat from the pressure canning will kill them off.

Two Liter Crock – https://amzn.to/3c47SzL

Five Liter Crock – https://amzn.to/3AzNn7e

 

Pressure Canner

I must admit I am not much of a canner, but I am always improving my canning skills, especially when we have a large excess of veggies. The great thing is that mason jars can be used repeatedly. So, keep an eye out for those at garage sales.

 

Berkey Water Filter

With water becoming more precious, getting a water filter is important. Don’t get one of those Britta filters, as they are worthless. Berkey is the way to go and will basically filter out 99.9% of any sort of contaminates you can imagine.

 

Gamma Lids5-gallon food grade buckets and twist on/off “Gamma Lids

This is the way to store a lot of your dry goods and keep them fresh. This also allows you to buy in bulk and save money. 25 pounds of grains will fill a 5-gallon bucket.

Gamma Lids are a must – https://amzn.to/3pvr64g

 

Garden Tools

Shovels, pickax, different hoes, rototiller, digging bar, garden gloves, pruning shears – It is imperative to learn how to garden.

The prices of food WILL go up drastically in 2023 and remain there for a couple of years until cattle, livestock, feed, fuel, and fertilizer become more readily available. By having the basic tools on hand and learning to garden, you can augment what you are buying at the store and replace it with fresh garden veggies. So, rip up that backyard lawn and put in a garden.

 

Camp Cookstove

This is a great solution when the power goes out. In most cases, people with electric stoves will not be able to cook. Having one of these as well as multiple cans of butane is important so you can continue to cook and feed your family.

You can’t go wrong with Coleman – https://amzn.to/3AdDMBI

 

Outdoor BBQ

Like the cook stove, if you have one of these, it allows you to cook over an open flame. If you live next to a forest or have a great supply of wood, then you are good to go at cooking food.

 

Conclusion

Like it or not, we will be facing food shortages due to the global demand of raw materials, climate effects, fuel, and continued inflation.

These are facts and if you do not believe me, you can read up on this yourself at the US Agricultural Department and World Health Organization.

One needs to look at food as an investment into your families future.

Take action now, and by doing so, you are building an “ark” for you and your loved ones. You will be ensuring that your family is able to weather this storm and help remain ahead of the curve. Whereas the masses will be in a state of chaos struggling to find the next morsel to eat.

Where would you rather be? With the masses of sheeple standing in the soup kitchen lines hoping they have enough for you and your family, or in your own home knowing that you had the foresight to do what is needed, sacrificing now so that your family will be in a better position for tomorrow.

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact me.

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GRATUITOUS DISCLAIMER – Amazon, The FTC and any other shopping website that you might see here on my website wants me to remind you that this website does in fact contain affiliate links. That means if you buy something by clicking on a link., I might receive a small commission. This does not increase the price that you’ll pay for that item nor does it decrease the value of the item. Keep Pushing Forward ! – Raymond Mhor

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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