I first began my food storage with a mother-of-all-shopping-trips to a local grocery store. They were having one of those ten-for-ten sales (10 items for $10), and we did a pretty fair job of stocking up on basics, such as canned beans and vegetables, oatmeal, macaroni and cheese, and pasta. We spent $232 on that first shopping trip. It was quite a thrill to see our big haul sitting on shelves in the spare bedroom.
After that initial start, and with some additional research, I realized we needed a portion of our food storage that would be long-term storage. Long-term, as in 10-20 years. Grocery store foods should be a good portion of your storage, but most of these items have shelf lives of only a few months, canned goods being the exception. There’s no way of knowing how long a family or individual might have to rely on stored food, so it makes sense that a portion of it should have a long-term guarantee.
As our food storage developed, I realized the need for protein. Dried beans and tuna are all well and good, but we needed variety. I have plenty of meat in the freezer but an electrical outage could wipe that out. Without a plentiful supply of protein, we’d be in trouble, especially with two growing kids and a carnivorous husband. So, with an eye toward long-term storage and a way to have a plentiful supply of protein, I took a good look at freeze-dried foods.
At first, I was put off by the expense. Plunking down $32 or so for, “Lasagna with Beef Sauce,” seemed pricey and not too enticing. However, each #10 can contains multiple servings, and when you do the math, the prices are quite reasonable. That freeze-dried Lasagna with Meat Sauce is about $3 per serving. Considering the fact that I only need to add boiling water to prepare the meal, that’s not bad. Facing an uncertain future that may be far more stressful than I’ve been used to, a nutritious food that my kids could prepare might be worth far more than $32. Canned freeze-dried entrees have a shelf life of more than 25 years, so between cost-per-serving and long-term storage, this is a good option.
Freeze-dried meat and chicken are pricier. A can of freeze-dried ground beef runs more than $35 and is about $1.65 per serving. My local grocery store sells the fresh stuff for $1.79 a pound every few weeks, but then, it would hardly last 25 years! As far as food storage goes, our protein needs will have to be met by canned tuna, beans, and canning meat on our own, but, still, the freeze-dried version will come in handy. Adding a handful of freeze-dried chicken to a soup or stew is an easy way to get extra protein and calories.
Lightweight and easy to pack, freeze-dried foods are a great addition to your 72-Hour Kit or Bug Out Bag. If you live in an area where a quick evacuation might be necessary, store some cans of freeze-dried foods close by your other emergency supplies. They’re easy to grab as you rush out the door. As long as you include water and a way to heat it, you’ll have a handy meal ready in just a few minutes. Entrees are quite good and can be purchased in small, 2 portion packs, to try before you buy. Personally, I love the macaroni-and-cheese. It tastes almost homemade. An avid hiker recommended Jamaican Style Chicken & Rice, and that’s one of my next taste tests! Too bad it doesn’t come in #10 cans.
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