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I've recently become interested in survival (beyond guns & ammo) and have been doing some research into food/water solutions.
After some research here are three of my strategies for having enough food & water to last my family around 12 months.
Keep in mind I am not very well off and plan on adding to my SHTF storage a little at a time with my weekly grocery trips.
Do any seem viable for short and intermediate term SHTF situations? Are my assumptions valid? Suggestions?

Assumptions:
Minimum 1300-1500 calories & 50g-70g protien per day along with all the necessary nutrients.

Ramen: 380 calories per pkg would require about 4 pkgs per day providing ~1500 calories and 40g protein.
Obviously sodium is 2 times too high but that is optional as the msg and salt is contained in the packets.
I have a gut instinct that surviving on ramen might give me cancer or some terrible disease. :xeye:
Pros: At $0.15/pkg Ramen would cost about $4/week to survive or about $200 for a 1yr supply per person.
Cons: Ramen provides nearly no nutrient content. Nutrient supplementation is required. Only ~3yr shelf life.


Enriched Long Grain Rice: 2 cups (dry) provide almost 1300 calories and 24g of protien as well as a couple of useful nutrients.
Many eastern nations use rice as a staple... I'm confident that with nutrient supplementation this plan is viable.
Pros: Buying in bulk would cost about $5/wk to survive or about $260 for a 1yr supply. I assume shelf life is long.
Cons: Nutrient supplementation is required. Requires water and decent amount of preparation.


Corn (grits/cornmeal/maize...): 2.25 cups (dry) provide about 1350 calories and 38g of protien as well as a few useful nutrients.
Very similar to rice for all practicle purposes. Shelf life might be less, but it's also packaged in cardboard from the store.
Pros: Cost would be about $6/wk to survive or about $310 for a 1yr supply per person. I assume shelf life can be improved.
Cons: Nutrient supplementation is required. Requires water and decent amount of preparation.


Freeze Dired Prepared Meals: Stores like Costco provide prepackaged freeze dried meals enough for a 1yr supply.
Basically, it's real food except freeze dried. Lots of variety, lots of nutrition... as close to regular eating when SHTF as it gets.
Pros: Excellent nutrition & variety, 25yr shelf life, very little prep time/effort to reconstitute.
Cons: Cost about $1000/yr per person but easily the best value. Takes up a lot of physical space.


Nutrients: Bottled vitamins generally have 100% of daily nutrients required plus they only cost $20/yr/person in bulk.
Despite the chosen plan, nutrient supplementation via vitamins will be utilized - it is too cheap given the benefits to overlook.
I figure I will just crush them up and add them to meals to aid absorption. Do vitamins have lengthy shelf lives?

I have not thought of a solution for water.
If SHTF tomorrow, aside from freezing to death, I guess I'd rig up some sort of cisturn with my downspouts and boil the water.
Maybe run the water through a crude particulate filter to get out the bigger stuff.
I have a whole-house water filter/softener... but it's computerized and requires water pressure to operate.
 

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All those foods you listed would be good choices for food stores, and survival. I would add beans and pasta. Beans have great nutritional value and can be added to any of those ingredients in your list. Beans and pasta both have a very long shelf life if stored properly.


Also corn kernells would store much longer then cornmeal. You would have to grind it though when you use it.

I bought some vitamins this week that had a 2015 expiration date.
 

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You do not need that many calories a day, but it would be nice and if possible, go for it. It is possible to go off 800 a day, some days not even eating. But, the more the better so why not buy a lot more and eat a lot. Just sayin..

I just ordered tonight:
90 2400 calorie bars. Worst case, 1 bar every 3 days, or split into 3 small portions
12 cans of dehydrated hashbrown potatoes
2 big cans of beef bullion shredded bits
 

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Deo VIndice
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You do not need that many calories a day, but it would be nice and if possible, go for it. It is possible to go off 800 a day, some days not even eating. But, the more the better so why not buy a lot more and eat a lot. Just sayin..

I just ordered tonight:
90 2400 calorie bars. Worst case, 1 bar every 3 days, or split into 3 small portions
12 cans of dehydrated hashbrown potatoes
2 big cans of beef bullion shredded bits
Where did ya get the dehydrated hashbrowns? How big are the cans?
 

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I think I'd rather have more of a variety to keep from getting tired of the same old menus.
I agree with an above poster, add beans, split peas, or lentils for their protein. Smaller beans and split peas would cook more quickly.
I would buy an inexpensive manual grain mill ($50-60) and buy a bucket or two of wheat, beans, whole corn, and rice as a further meal base, and then add more later when you have a good variety of other foods. I'd also pick up a can of meat or tuna each time I go shopping, some peanut butter now and then, and a supply of shortening, oil, or other fat. If you don't have salt from your other stocks, you would also need to stock salt.
White flour is good, not because it gives you much nutrition in itself, but because it can be used as a base for bread where you can mix other types of ground seeds or dry food in for a more complete bread or pancake. The grain mill can make flour from just about anything, even grass!
Corn only keeps if it is in whole kernels. Popcorn is good too. Corn and beans when used together give you complete protein and store for long periods. Wheat also gives an incomplete but high protein and stores for long periods. A protein has to be a complete protein in order to be at all useable...if any ammino acids are missing, it is not useable as a protein. Any combination of beans, corn, rice, or wheat makes it more likely a complete protein.
Vitamin supplements are good but shouldn't be a substitute for real food, I don't think.
I recall when fortified protein drink mixes were being used as complete meals. The nutrients were supposed to be complete, but people were not thriving on just the protein drinks. I think it is simply that scientists still don't know as much as they need to know. We have to get our nutrients from food to be certain we are getting what we need and the right proportions for health.
Rice would be a complete food if it were brown rice, but the nutrients are poor when it is white rice. But brown rice doesn't store long before turning rancid. White rice is a carbohydrate that is useful for energy and to use with other foods for nutrients and stores a long time.
I would dry some foods to store in mason jars. That was the primary way of preserving foods in earlier days and still works. If you can't afford a good dehydrator, you can build an inexpensive solar dryer from wood and screen that can be used when the weather is agreeable for it.
You can also learn about wild edible plants and how to prepare them...there are some delicious ones, and you already know a great many of them. (Google how to cook dandelions, for instance.) Or make a tea out of green pine needles for the vitamin C. Look at some of these:
http://www.survivaliq.com/survival/edible-and-medicinal-plants-pine.htm
Just gradually build up your knowledge of wild plant foods to ensure continuing survival beyond your food stores.
I have alfalfa seeds for sprouting during the winter that gives fresh greens and hope to have a small raised bed garden this spring. This, with the wild food plants and my other stores, can help me survive quite a while.
I'm like you...little money for preps. I've got some dehydrated and freeze dried foods, like eggs and butter and so forth, but I'm limited in what I can buy in those. Those would be ideal otherwise. How I would love to just have a one-year storage system sent to me!
 

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Deo VIndice
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mmmm i like the degydrated eggs...gotta be careful not to make em all watery though!
 

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Please check out James Wesley, Rawles' website: http://www.survivalblog.com and once you get to his home site, click on the the "Getting Started" tab on the left hand side of screen. He lays out the shelf life of a lot of different foods, what to get, and why. I also use his book, "How to Survive the End of the World As We Know It," in which he goes into specifics about prepping for survival. Very well written and an easy read.
 

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Please check out James Wesley, Rawles' website: http://www.survivalblog.com and once you get to his home site, click on the the "Getting Started" tab on the left hand side of screen. He lays out the shelf life of a lot of different foods, what to get, and why. I also use his book, "How to Survive the End of the World As We Know It," in which he goes into specifics about prepping for survival. Very well written and an easy read.
Looks like a good site...thanks:
http://www.survivalblog.com/newbies.html
 

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Deo VIndice
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I've read where the directions do make the eggs more watery if you are eating them alone as eggs.
Thats very true and I've done em enough to prove it! I just decrease the water a bit and add extra pepper! ;)
 

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Living YOUR dreams!
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An 800 calorie diet is for a non-working, non-productive, lethargic person in a warm climate. Perhaps a POW.
I just ran the numbers for an active person my age, my height & weight, and came up with 2550 calories per day. That doesn't even factor in the cold weather. Calories are heat.
 

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Just curious, ULF, whereabouts ya from?

SE Ga. United states here. (HOT HUMID)
 

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An 800 calorie diet is for a non-working, non-productive, lethargic person in a warm climate. Perhaps a POW.
I just ran the numbers for an active person my age, my height & weight, and came up with 2550 calories per day. That doesn't even factor in the cold weather. Calories are heat.
You can go 40+ days without eating. People can go 6 days without food and be alright. Cold weather would require more, but some hot drinks could fix that. If you got some fat, youll go even longer
 

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Just getting started in LTFS myself. Lots of great ideas in these treads. And I'd like to add my 2 cents.

I just joined Costco, though any wholesale warehouse type store will work. The #10 cans of food (string beans, sweet corn, tomato sauce, pork and beans,fruit halves, etc) can be had quite cheaply. Most of what I listed have a price of $2.00- $5.00. I plan on going at least once a month and pushing out a cart of this type of stuff.

They also carry 50# bags of rice for about $16.00 as well as 50# bags of sugar.

And don't forget spices. Costco have it in bulk sizes as well, and for not much more then what you pay for the 'normal' sizes at the grocery store, but 10 times the quantity.

Granted, some won't keep as long as others, but they all should last a couple years on the shelf. All of these can be added, at a low cost, to make a more rounded selection of food for meals. And build up a one years supply of food that starts getting rotated into your meal selection now.
 
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An 800 calorie diet is for a non-working, non-productive, lethargic person in a warm climate. Perhaps a POW.
I just ran the numbers for an active person my age, my height & weight, and came up with 2550 calories per day. That doesn't even factor in the cold weather. Calories are heat.
Caloric intake needs are a very individual specific thing. I have a brother who gains weight on 1000 calories and a girlfriend who loses weight on 3000 calories. Both have asked not only doctors but also nutritionists about this and were told, "that's just what your body requires".

You can't "run numbers" for anyone, they're only very general guidelines. Figure out for yourself what you and your dependents require and work from there.
 

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I'm not a fan of freeze dried prepared meals at all, for a number of reasons. Expense being just one. Now freeze dried individual ingredients can be exceptional, depending on which ones.

Since you're stocking on a budget, I'd suggest focusing on inexpensive staples to start with. Beans and grains makes a good place to start. They're cheap and provide protein and carbs. If you sprout the beans, they provide a considerable boost in vitamins also. Remember variety! No sense laying in several hundred pounds of the same kind of beans and plain ol' white rice when there are so many different types available. Popcorn is cheap in bulk and makes better cornmeal and grits than you could buy. Stores longer and is cheaper too.

Also, start doubling up on the foods that you use now. Buy 2, use one, repeat. This gives you foods that you're familiar with and adds variety. The beans and rice will help stretch that out.

Later on, as you get farther in, you might look into dehydrated foods. They have several bonuses over freeze dried. They're less costly. Bought in bulk, they're less costly per serving than wet canned foods even. They're far less bulky since they shrink as they dry, unlike freeze dried. And the quality is good. Most of them are fresher tasting and more nutritious than the canned version. They're closer in taste, texture and nutrition to frozen than canned.

Another big cost saver is being able to can your own foods. There's a bit of investment to get started, but it's not that bad. You can find meats and veggies on sale, grow your own, etc., and put them away. You can make your own meaty pasta sauces that are way better than anything you can buy. Boil up some pasta and dump on a jar of your home canned sauce...yum!

Most importantly though. Don't overlook water! I can't count the number of "I have 6 months worth of food and 1-2 cases of bottled water" type posts I've seen. Realistically, since water is FAR, FAR more important than food, it should be addressed first. Store way more than you think you need, and try to plan alternate sources also.
 

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Ramen is easy to make from scratch.
Stick to the basics
Flour
rice
powdered milk
eggs (fresh and powdered) Live chickens are even better if you have the area
sugar
salt (lots of salt)
canned vegetables
canned fruit
dried or canned meat
dried oats (oat meal)
corn meal
COFFEE!!!!!!!!!
 
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