Some dear friends came over to visit on my husband’s birthday. They don’t have a computer or Internet access, but their preparedness-minded like my husband and me. After we talked about their garden and their plans for next year, I grabbed the most recent copy of Emergency Essentials‘ catalog and thrust it at them. Just like I’ve been known to do (with their website), they became ingrossed and had LOTS of questions.
Like my family, my friends’ funds are extremely limited. Unlike my family, my friends have no food storage plan whatsoever (aside from the food in their freezers, and since they don’t have a generator to power the freezers if they lose power, they don’t really have food preps.)
These two friends of mine are getting the benefit of my experience in that they have a little bit of money right now that’ll allow them to build a larder with the same sorts of store-bought foods that we use, but they can also throw in some commercially-prepared long-term food storage items too. So here’s the plan.
Using the One Month Grocery Supply web page, I’m able to suggest a good starting point for them. Since, like us, my friends eat primarily a low-carb diet of fresh and unprocessed foods, we have to pick through the list a bit, but it gives folks a great starting point.
Because we need to follow the #1 rule of food storage — eat what you store and store what you eat — things are a little more complicated for those of us who eat a significant portion of our diet from fresh meat, eggs, veggies, and fruit. Large buckets of grains and legumes sitting around will never be a part of our daily use, so it won’t get rotated in our food stores.
That being said, you might recall that I came up with an idea earlier this week that will help us incorporate long-term food storage items into our daily eating. I shared this idea with my friends, and they’re excited to try it too. So as my friends try and start their pantry with store-bought foods, they’ll also be adding commercially-prepared long-term food storage items along the way just like my family will.
Our plan, for the long-term storage items anyway, goes something like this. I intend to order a 15-pounch vegetable sampler made by Harmony House Foods. I’m also ordering sample amounts of freeze-dried berries. Once I receive these items, I’ll start to experiment. Can I use them in the same way that I use fresh or frozen produce? Although the freeze-dried and dehydrated produce will have a different texture (and perhaps a different taste), is that difference worth the convenience and security of keeping such products in my house?
Assuming that everything goes the way I hope it will, then I’ll start ordering commercially-packaged long-term food storage items so that I can include them in my daily cooking. If I had a big garden, if I had the ability to dehydrate as well as the factories do, I’d just store all my own extras, but so far, things haven’t exactly worked like that for us.
Although Harmony House is reputed to have excellent produce, after I’ve experimented with their sample-sized products, I plan to start ordering from Emergency Essentials and Sam’s Club to help our bottom line. (Shockingly enough, Sam’s Club sells a pretty extensive line of exceptionally-priced long-term food storage items made by Augason Farms.)
Although I’ll always “copy can” at the store, I’m optimistic that my plan will help me to lay in some of the long-term food storage items that you just can’t buy at the store. I’ll definitely be writing more on this topic once I’ve received my Harmony House Foods order. Stay tuned!