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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys,
I got to thinking (I know, thinking is dangerous ). What things are so inexpensive that any self respecting prepper would be ashamed not to stock up on? And not just ant things, but really very versatile stuff that can be used for many many uses.

I'm thinking kosher salt ( a little over $1.00/ pound). Baking soda (about $0.50/ lb). Bleach ( about $2.00/ gallon).

So what else do you stock that can fit that parameter?
 

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Super Gassy Moderator
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Bleach has a fairly short shelf life. Salt and baking soda are good choices. So is vinegar. It has more uses than anything else that I know of.

Another handy one if you can find it, is food grade diatomaceous earth. It can be used to keep bugs out of dried foods, keep pets and livestock worm free, sprinkled on their stool to keep flies from breeding in it, used to kill insects safely inside the home, etc. It absolutely HAS TO BE FOOD GRADE. The pool filter stuff will kill you outright if you eat it, same with your pets.
 

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The usual.
Rice
Beans
Sugar
Honey
Grains
Lentils
Vinegar
Spices
Heck, even bargain / sale meats can be canned, or preserved.
Most of those things can be stocked up on when you have the time and resources. Start small and work your way up. Learn how to can things. Smoke, dehydrate, even freeze dry if you want to go that far.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
"Kosher salt is insanely expensive and has no more inherent value than regular salt."

Not so. Due to the shape of the flake (wide, flat, and thin) of kosher salt, make it uniquely advantaged at preserving meat and fish. Although I do get your point if you are just taking salt as a sodium source.
 

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Inglorious Deplorable
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As would canning salt or a cheaper food grade course "rock salt".

Salts are relatively cheap. If the "Kosher" salt you get seems cheap, then that will work for you. However, going with a food grade rock salt in 50 lb bags will help you understand the "insanely expensive" comment. You might end up with a one or two hundred pounds of emergency salt. You can still keep 10 pounds of Kosher salts on hand for everyday use.

For preserving meat or canning, don't use iodized salt. It will tend to discolor the food and possibly introduce too much iodine into your diet.

Depending on where you live and your diet, iodized salt is usually fine for table use.
 

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Add some cream of tartar and your baking soda becomes baking powder, which on it's own, does not store well. But you can mix it as you need it. It has a bunch of uses in baking. It's one of the best potassium suppliments if you want to make your own rehydration liquids. If you find it online, in bulk, rather than tiny supermarket spice jars, it's not too expensive either.

Alum, another one that's useful in the kitchen, for keeping pickles crisp, etc. It's also a good deodorant for underarms and feet. Those "crystal" deodorants are nothing but a large crystal of alum. It's the same thing in styptic pencils used to stop bleeding when you nick yourself shaving. Tons of other uses. Again, cheap in bulk, expensive from the supermarket.

Cayenne pepper. Again, cheap in bulk. Besides uses in cooking, has medicinal uses internally and externally. Ever see ads for that "natural powder" that keeps your toes warm in cold weather? Yep, cayenne. A pinch in the toe of your socks does that very thing. Diabetics benefit greatly from using it. It's also the main ingredient in some external pain relievers and even in Zostrix that is used to treat shingles.
 

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Suffering Your Stupidity
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Cayenne pepper. Again, cheap in bulk. Besides uses in cooking, has medicinal uses internally and externally. Ever see ads for that "natural powder" that keeps your toes warm in cold weather? Yep, cayenne. A pinch in the toe of your socks does that very thing. Diabetics benefit greatly from using it. It's also the main ingredient in some external pain relievers and even in Zostrix that is used to treat shingles.

Thanks for this....learned something new here. :thumb:
 

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Another handy one if you can find it, is food grade diatomaceous earth. It can be used to keep bugs out of dried foods, keep pets and livestock worm free, sprinkled on their stool to keep flies from breeding in it, used to kill insects safely inside the home, etc. It absolutely HAS TO BE FOOD GRADE. The pool filter stuff will kill you outright if you eat it, same with your pets.
Not to mention it is probably the best organic pesticide option available. Dries the bean beatles into rice crispies.
 

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Any kind of chilies can be long termed stored IF its kept air tight and COMPLETELY DRY!

Chile rot from the growth of the plant is one thing, but mold can and will grow on the peppers over a long time especially if in a moist area.


This is true with most food items.

Personally, one item (I ran out of room with) are beer bottles.
DONT THROW THEM OUT IF THE TAB IS NON SCREW!!!

Glass bottles are great for tons of stuff and when you buy glass jars with pasta sauce, beer, or anything else, your paying for the glass. So keep it if you can.
 

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Comic, not your lawyer!
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Any kind of chilies can be long termed stored IF its kept air tight and COMPLETELY DRY!

Chile rot from the growth of the plant is one thing, but mold can and will grow on the peppers over a long time especially if in a moist area.


This is true with most food items.

Personally, one item (I ran out of room with) are beer bottles.
DONT THROW THEM OUT IF THE TAB IS NON SCREW!!!

Glass bottles are great for tons of stuff and when you buy glass jars with pasta sauce, beer, or anything else, your paying for the glass. So keep it if you can.
I tend to keep glass jars with screw lids. Very useful. But I have not found a use for bottles...
 

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Not so. Due to the shape of the flake (wide, flat, and thin) of kosher salt, make it uniquely advantaged at preserving meat and fish. Although I do get your point if you are just taking salt as a sodium source.
Source?

I do a lot of home salt curing and I've never seen any place say that the shape of the salt has any effect, which is logical since the salt dissolves on contact with the meat anyway.

The only reason its usually recommended in curing recipes is because its the easiest source most people have to non-iodized salt as most grocery stores only carry iodized table salt or kosher.
 

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I tend to keep glass jars with screw lids. Very useful. But I have not found a use for bottles...
If your not familiar with beer bottle, there is some information I will provide for some very specific reasons.

Beer bottles for home brew is the primary purpose of that comment. Fermenting of other fluids (kombucha for example)

1: Beer bottles typically have the round top w/o a screw. Called sometimes a "crimp top" type. This type of bottle is the most common and shaped that way for the purposes of the friction "pop" top that so many are familiar with.

2: The screw top bottle is a THINNER WALLED DESIGN and thus are more prone to breakage and are not as strong for brewing or fermenting (kombucha).

3: Screw tops because of their design are not really good for sealing. But they CAN be used for simple storage of fluids using a cork.

Screw type sauce bottles and the like typically have tops with an extra thin rubber like material that seals the top. But, that seal wears out quickly. So a different type of seal is required.
 

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Source?

I do a lot of home salt curing and I've never seen any place say that the shape of the salt has any effect, which is logically since the salt dissolves on contact with the meat anyway.

The only reason its usually recommended in curing recipes is because its the easiest source most people have to non-iodized salt as most grocery stores only carry iodized table salt or kosher.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kosher_salt

Rather than cubic crystals, kosher salt has a flat plate-like shape. Kosher salt may also have a hollow pyramidal shape. The flat form of kosher salt is usually made when cubic crystals are forced into this shape under pressure, usually between rollers. The pyramidal salt crystals are generally made by an evaporative process called the Alberger process. Kosher salt is usually manufactured with a grain size larger than table salt grains.[2]
The traditional use of kosher salt is for removing surface blood from meat by desiccation, as part of the koshering process for meat. The meat is soaked in cool water, drained, covered with a thin layer of salt, then allowed to stand on a rack or board for an hour. The salt remains on the surface of the meat, for the most part undissolved, and absorbs fluids from the meat. The salt grains are then washed off and discarded, carrying away the fluids absorbed.[3]
In reality, Kosher salt is only a mechanism used for the kosher process and is still salt. By Jewish and Islamic traditions, salt is by definition "kosher" or "halal" in Islam.
 
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