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Discussion Starter #1
Perhaps I'm a bit off, but aside of some mindset, it seems that I am way off center with much of the communicated intent for long term food storage, or for survival food requirements.

Although there is a possibility for the complete breakdown of society, I do not plan for it. I think its way more likely that I end up out of work, displaced from my home, or forced to be a criminal by the repeal of the 4th and 2nd amendment, or a mixture of all of the above. Thus, my plan reflects that.

My tenets:

1) Store the food you eat, and eat the food you store.
2) Cover immediate emergency needs, and short term planning shortly thereafter.
3) Fill in the gaps.
4) Do it when its needed.

I do 1) by just buying canned foods and drygoods at the stores when the price is right, and use them in my daily meal planning. This included freezing meat and other perishables when it makes sense to do so. For my family I have between 6 and 12 months of this short term food in supply at any time. I eat it and replenish it.

I do 2) by making sure I have the means and foodstuffs that will allow me to escape an immediate need to evacuate or when I am otherwise unable to get to the house. I have enough food for my family to survive for about a week. Water is more troublesome, but storing a large container in the trunk should help out.

I do 3) by supplementing my standard food stores with freeze dried foods. Sure, you could use dehydrated too...but since this is a gap filler, I expect I will use them when I have little time to cook, not enough water to clean, and perhaps can pawn off the preperation to others who might not have the skillset to cook a tasty meal (sorry Heinlein, not everyone meets your human standards). I use these as well, and replenish when I am concerned it may be too low. I attempt to keep about 3 months of this "gap" filler in my store-room at any time. In fact, I am just now considering replenishing.

I haven't had to do 4) yet, but as I eat this stuff as part of my regular regimen (just not to the same regularity probably), I think its reasonable. Now, I don't do significant amounts of physical work, but I can overcome that given the need.

So, as it goes, I have about 9 - 15 months of food in my home, should I need it. Its rotated regularly during the "good" times I/we have today. Should I need to get out immediately (for whatever reason), I have the stores to come up with a reasonable or at least possible plan within a week or so. If I have time to get out, I have about ~3 months of food time to get my act together if I need to. If I can't figure out what I am going to do in two to three months, well, I don't really have my head on straight. I do expect that I should be able to complement my stores with outside food, whether it be fish, rats, snakes, insects, berries or otherwise, but for those times when I can't get the snares in the right place, or can't find game to shoot, I will have an opportunity to work out the kinks.

Beyond that, I dont think I would be able to transport or otherwise store much more than that being a city dweller.

Now, if I can only work out the dehydrated water equation...
 

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Do you have shelves built that rotate out your canned goods, or do you have some kind of system setup?

Some people build/buy shelves that are designed for canned goods. You put the new cans in at the top and use from the bottom. All of the cans inbetween are your stockpile.
 

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Christian
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Do you have shelves built that rotate out your canned goods, or do you have some kind of system setup?

Some people build/buy shelves that are designed for canned goods. You put the new cans in at the top and use from the bottom. All of the cans inbetween are your stockpile.
those are really cool but seem to be a bit expensive, we put month/ year on a 3x5 card in front of the case of whatever. newest case on bottom.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I rotate by hand. I have a few pantries, and move old stock forward. It probably could be done with less effort and less mistakes other ways, but for the most part, I haven't had to throw anything out that was properly packaged/canned since inception.

Sure its not fullproof, there are cases where the kids get one from the front, or I misread the label, or I just got lazy and grabbed what I found, but its rare.

I have considered FIFO can organizers, but to be honest, I'm worried I will lose precious space.

Amazon.com: FIFO Can Tracker- Food Storage Canned Foods Organizer/Rotater/Dispenser: Kitchen, Cupboard, Pantry- Rotate Up To 54 Cans: Kitchen & Dining

There is alot of airgap in there because of the "flexible" can size. If I could get some specifically for the can sizes I have, I would probably dive in and do it. Not only would it probably give me more can storage, but I don't have to worry about toppling, arranging or pulling the oldest first. For now, I just have two pantries, and lots and lots of heavy duty shelving.

Have you guys used them?
 

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I thought the very same thing about space loss with the fifo's. I dont have a huge amount of space and I really dont want to be eating rotated canned food on a regular basis. It makes sense though if that is what you already eat, can afford to buy or make those and have the extra space.
 

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Live Secret, Live Happy
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Canned goods store well and do not go bad for several 5-8 years in my pantry. Since I now only store the type of canned good I eat on a regular basis, I have not had any thing stay on the shelf more than a year or so.
 

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Your method sounds a lot like mine. I add some super long term stuff (wheat, rive, extra sugar) in 5 gal buckets and tuck them to the way back. I am right now doing the stacking and hand rotating. I just can't see putting the money into the expensive can rotators. I couldn't mind building something, just haven't decided what or where.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I do have large sacks of rice and beans, and I have bunches of sugar...but its all in the original containers. Here we don't have enough humidity (high desert) to worry too much.

Still, it probably isnt a bad idea for water issues in the house.
 

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Thanks for the excellent post. I see so many people on this board prepping for massive emergencies. While I think it's important to keep them in mind, it's nice to see someone talk about much more likely scenarios like job losses.
 

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In my opinion, preparing for a job loss should be done by having a savings account. If you don't have money saved and live paycheck to paycheck that seems like a serious problem.
 

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tpresence (and other interested parties),
I'm using the FIFO rotating can storage units. They don't take up a lot of extra space and are adjustable to can size. They can be expensive, but are worth it to me as I use open shelving in the garage as my extra pantry. The units help keep my cans in date order and from falling off the shelves.

Check out the website www.foodstoragemadeeasy.net - at one time, they had a free *pattern* for making a rotating storage unit from cardboard. It also looks like they've found another company that puts out cardboard can rotation systems - but I haven't checked it out.
 

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those are really cool but seem to be a bit expensive, we put month/ year on a 3x5 card in front of the case of whatever. newest case on bottom.
Build them out of peg board, total cost would be less then $20 or $30.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
In my opinion, preparing for a job loss should be done by having a savings account. If you don't have money saved and live paycheck to paycheck that seems like a serious problem.
Saving money is important, sure. I can't say a savings account is more useful that just money in the home safe at this point, but having money put away is important. With the cost of living going up all the time, and the dollar dropping, you get more for your money if you buy goods that you know can be used and will still be viable in several years.
 

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Free Mason
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I purchased the heavy duty shelves from one of the big box stores. I had to replace the cheep press board shelves with 5/8 inch plywood. All dry goods are in 1/2 gallon canning jars with O2 absorbers and vacuum sealed. All grain is in plastic buckets in plastic (should have used Mylar) bags with O2 absorbers. Wife and I can meat, sauces, cheese, butter, soup, and chili. We have had problems with our garden so vegetables are in cans. Over 90% of our meals come out of food storage.
 

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The Farmer's Daughter
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As a side note, a cheap way to get shelves is simply wooden planks and concrete blocks. I simply stack two blocks, then the shelf, then two more blocks, then a shelf, and so on. You can usually find both really cheap on craigslist.
 
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