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Old 04-03-2011, 02:23 PM
PastTense PastTense is offline
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Default Cost: fresh vs frozen vs canned vs dehydrated vs freeze-dried?



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Anyone have any cost data/rules of thumb for comparable servings for fruits, vegetables, meats etc for:
Fresh (in season)
Fresh (out of season--imported from a foreign country)
Frozen
Canned
Dehydrated
Freeze-dried

(These contains vastly different amounts of water so this information is not obvious). Any relevant websites with this information?

Thanks.
Old 04-03-2011, 03:04 PM
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Originally Posted by PastTense View Post
Anyone have any cost data/rules of thumb for comparable servings for fruits, vegetables, meats etc for:
Fresh (in season)
Fresh (out of season--imported from a foreign country)
Frozen
Canned
Dehydrated
Freeze-dried

(These contains vastly different amounts of water so this information is not obvious). Any relevant websites with this information?

Thanks.
May I ask why you want to know this? I am not a 'technical/mathematical prepper' so I guess the reason escapes me. I go by the 'a bird in the hand - i.e. on hand, I have it and I don't have the other - is worth 2 in the bush - i.e. I don't have it, it is too expensive, it doesn't fit in my menu or I hate the stuff' rule of thumb.

Each has its place. Some store better than others. Some can be produced 'in house' so to speak. Some require added ingredients (like water) to make them edible/palatable. Cost of each though - especially without further specs on your 'requirements' - ie. am I growing my own fresh in season veg or having to buy them at a store - and if I buy them do they come from across the country (but from IN the country) or locally and which are on sale or more nutritious, etc. - I can't begin to even speculate, other than to say dehydrating or canning your own long established garden veg, rather than throwing them away, has to be cheaper than purchasing pre-packed stuff most likely. Too many questions to even begin answering yours. Sorry.
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Old 04-03-2011, 03:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Teslin View Post
May I ask why you want to know this? I am not a 'technical/mathematical prepper' so I guess the reason escapes me. I go by the 'a bird in the hand - i.e. on hand, I have it and I don't have the other - is worth 2 in the bush - i.e. I don't have it, it is too expensive, it doesn't fit in my menu or I hate the stuff' rule of thumb.

Each has its place. Some store better than others. Some can be produced 'in house' so to speak. Some require added ingredients (like water) to make them edible/palatable. Cost of each though - especially without further specs on your 'requirements' - ie. am I growing my own fresh in season veg or having to buy them at a store - and if I buy them do they come from across the country (but from IN the country) or locally and which are on sale or more nutritious, etc. - I can't begin to even speculate, other than to say dehydrating or canning your own long established garden veg, rather than throwing them away, has to be cheaper than purchasing pre-packed stuff most likely. Too many questions to even begin answering yours. Sorry.
I have to agree with Teslin on this one. To me, the different types of food preservation are for different purposes. It is difficult to compare the different methods of preservation. However, canned foods are heavier than dried foods, and the dried foods store longer. Our foods are arranged thusly:

Fresh - in season: Taste better and have more nutrition - use when available.
Fresh - out of season: Convenient and have reasonable taste - use when available.
Frozen: Convenient, but susceptible to power outages - one year life - use regularly.
Canned: Regular meal rotation - two year life - use regularly.
Dehydrated: Long-term storage for most foods - use when other food is scarce.
Freeze Dried: Long-term storage, but many are usually high in sodium - use when other food is scarce.

Never thought about comparing the cost per serving for the different groups.
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Old 04-03-2011, 06:07 PM
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Prepping isn't an ROI thing. You will never get more out than what you put in. Freeze dried will always be more followed by dehydrated. Once you get into frozen and canned it's a shop around thing.

Oh and I see the salt comment all the time. I dunno what you guys are buying but there is no reason for salt to be added to FD foods.
Old 04-03-2011, 06:24 PM
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I can't speak for Granddad Prepper but I would imagine that anyone talking about the salt content in freeze-dried foods is probably primarily buying or referring to the 'prepared meal' type. I only stock freeze-dried individual ingredients (with one exception - the 2 72 hour Mountain House emergency kits I have, which contain 'meals') so I don't have a salt problem either with FD food for long term storage. And many people use dehydrated and FD foods in normal rotation, not just for long term storage.
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Old 04-03-2011, 06:27 PM
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Prepping isn't an ROI thing. You will never get more out than what you put in. Freeze dried will always be more followed by dehydrated. Once you get into frozen and canned it's a shop around thing.

Oh and I see the salt comment all the time. I dunno what you guys are buying but there is no reason for salt to be added to FD foods.
I agree there is no reason to add salt to freeze-dried food. However, the nutrition labels list the amount of salt per serving, and it's usually a lot more than I want - especially the meats. Freeze dried food is cooked before it is processed. Commercial and restaurant foods are noted to have high levels of salt.

Not trying to degrade the freeze foods in general. We have lots of FD fruits and veggies. Was just making a comment toward the cost/serving. Anyone with a salt-restricted diet should be aware.

You are correct on the highest to lowest cost per serving; that's why we have more dehydrated than freeze-dried. MRE's are probably the most expensive cost per serving, and they are also high in sodium content; but we have some of them in our storage, too.
Old 04-03-2011, 06:28 PM
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The cheapest is fruits and vegetables you grow yourself, which you then dehydrate using grandma's dehydrator. (My old one works just fine but the other one is just prettier.)
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Old 04-03-2011, 06:32 PM
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I can't speak for Granddad Prepper but I would imagine that anyone talking about the salt content in freeze-dried foods is probably primarily buying or referring to the 'prepared meal' type. I only stock freeze-dried individual ingredients (with one exception - the 2 72 hour Mountain House emergency kits I have, which contain 'meals') so I don't have a salt problem either with FD food for long term storage. And many people use dehydrated and FD foods in normal rotation, not just for long term storage.
Freeze-dried and dehydrated foods are absolutely suitable for regular rotation! I was just giving our method - not saying it is the only way or best way! :-)

We are fortunate to have fresh veggies almost year round. We picked our last tomatoes in December.
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Old 04-03-2011, 06:35 PM
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The cheapest is fruits and vegetables you grow yourself, which you then dehydrate using grandma's dehydrator. (My old one works just fine but the other one is just prettier.)
AMEN to that!
Old 04-03-2011, 06:37 PM
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I have a garden, and can and dehydrate food. I buy a lot in season or on sale, and preserve it or eat it until I am tired of it. Food prices as well as everything will rise at an alarming rate. This is just an investment for me, and i REALLY CANNING
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Old 04-03-2011, 06:40 PM
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I have a garden, and can and dehydrate food. I buy a lot in season or on sale, and preserve it or eat it until I am tired of it. Food prices as well as everything will rise at an alarming rate. This is just an investment for me, and i REALLY CANNING
You're doing great by dehydrating and canning from your own garden. You have more than an investment - you have important skills if times get worse.
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Old 04-03-2011, 06:50 PM
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And many people use dehydrated and FD foods in normal rotation, not just for long term storage.

I was thinking about doing this and that's why I was happy to see this thread pop up as I was wondering what the costs per serving were between those listed above to see if it made sense and I'm not sure it does.

I've been going through and seeing what FD and dehydrated foods would make sense to buy in #10 cans and use in rotation and maybe get away from some of the frozen foods that I use now. The search continues.
Old 04-03-2011, 06:55 PM
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I can't speak for Granddad Prepper but I would imagine that anyone talking about the salt content in freeze-dried foods is probably primarily buying or referring to the 'prepared meal' type.
Well if they're buying the meals then salt is the last thing they should be worried about. Chemical cocktail anyone?

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I agree there is no reason to add salt to freeze-dried food. However, the nutrition labels list the amount of salt per serving, and it's usually a lot more than I want
But it's not supposed to. I am looking at a frozen bag of diced peppers and a #10 can. Both have the exact same amount of sodium. So if it is too much then they are either adding it or the natural sodium level is too high.
Old 04-03-2011, 08:05 PM
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Sorry, Survivalguy72, didn't mean to hit a nerve. I have a #10 can of
Pantry Bell FD Pepper cubes - Sodium 0 mg - 0% per serving
Provident Pantry Imitation Beef TVP - Sodium 330 mg - 14% per serving
Provident Pantry Dehydrated Refried Beans - Sodium 470 mg - 19% per serving.

In my original post, I said they contained "usually a lot more than I want". I don't put salt on any food - whatever is on it when the plate is set before me is what I eat. I see many folks put loads of salt on their meal before they even taste it. Everyone has their own taste. Just my opinion.
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Old 04-03-2011, 09:33 PM
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You didn't hit a nerve. The other stuff you listed falls into the processed category. I wouldn't buy that. I would buy the pinto beans which only have 15mg and make it myself.

http://beprepared.com/product.asp?pn=FS%20G105

And the TVP isn't even real food. You be better off going with real ground beef. It has twice the protein and 5 times less salt.

Rule of thumb. Eat whole foods and combine it yourself. Each step the food takes away from a single item the more junk laden it gets.
Old 04-03-2011, 10:24 PM
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Oh, I agree with you 100%. I was just trying to answer the original poster. We've been buying from EE for several years. When we started prepping, we wanted to get a lump sum to start, so we got a one-year package from EE. That's when the TVP arrived. Since then, we've added lots of wheat, oats, rice, etc. We estimate a couple of years worth in storage to date.

However, we maintain a garden and always eat fresh when we can. Thanks for your input!
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Old 04-03-2011, 10:32 PM
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One thing I have never gotten were freeze dried mushrooms. Darn confused by it. Cans say there's four ounces in there. I krrp trying to figure out how many ounces that will turn into rehydrated. Tried calling the companies and I get deer in the headlight responses.
Old 04-03-2011, 10:33 PM
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It's been a long time since I played with the numbers, but back when I was first setting up my food storage, dehydrated veggies and such costed less per serving than canned, and I found that I prefered them more anyway. So they became the staples of my everyday diet, whereas I never used much canned food in the first place.

I don't know if that rule is still the same, with all the recent price changes and such. After struggling to choke down a "year supply" of freeze dried food, I realized that it's not for me. Which is a blessing when you consider the price. Though the individual ingredients are very good.

I prefer old world recipes and foods, and dried foods just fits better into that mindset anyway. So it was easier to adapt the dried foods into my diet. It's especially helpful when you start dehydrating your own too. That's a big cost saver and you can get variety that's not available at the food storage companies.
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Old 04-03-2011, 10:43 PM
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Go to the grocery store and look at the price tag on the shelve. Mark down the price per .oz on each and there ya go. Do three brands of each, divide by three and compare price of each one against eachother and there you go.

Grocery stores are required to put the price per .oz or pound on the price label so you can compare prices.
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Old 04-04-2011, 12:05 AM
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The price per ounce doesn't compare here. 4 ounces of FD mushroms will not be that when rehydrated. That weight is what I am trying to calculate.
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