How Basic Can You Get? List #3

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For beginning preppers, here are more simple ideas for getting started. This is about how basic can you get and still become more prepared, but even experienced preppers may find a few useful reminders!

1. Think outside the box for your stocking up.

Shop ethnic stores for basics like varieties of rice and beans.  A grocery store in my area is advertising 5 bags of elbow macaroni for $1 and cans of shelf-stable table cream for just 79 cents!

2. Get an annual physical.

Make an appointment for a physical for everyone in the family over the age of 18.  Health care will be more expensive and less accessible in a collapse scenario, so deal with health issues now. It’s better to know now what you may be dealing with rather than down the road when you might not have the money, health insurance coverage, or easy access to doctors and specialists.

3. Get physically prepared.

On a related note, start getting in shape.  I’ve taken this advice and lost 40 pounds, and so can you!  A physically fit body at a normal weight will be less inclined toward dozens of health issues.  It also makes survival and preparedness a whole lot easier.

4. Create a personalized threat analysis to help you focus your prepping.

Identify your top 4 events to prepare for by answering these questions:

A. What are the 3 most likely natural disasters in your area? Examples: earthquake, tornado, hurricane, volcanic eruption.

B. What are the 3 most likely extreme weather events that might affect you? Examples: heat wave, drought, torrential rains.

C. What are the 3 most likely personal crises that would affect you?  Examples: long-term unemployment, hyperinflation, civil unrest.

D. What do you  believe are the 3 most likely man-made crises that would affect you? Examples: terrorism, war, nuclear event, EMP.

E. Finally, prioritize these in the order they are most likely to happen and you will immediately have a focus for your preparedness. To create a more detailed threat analysis, read this.

5. Test your food storage preparedness.

Set a goal to live off your stored food for 3 days.  This exercise will give you an idea of what foods work, what recipes work, and what still needs to be done in order to keep your family happy and nutritiously fed in a crisis.

6. Buy at least 10 pre-1965 quarters each month. 

You can purchase these silver coins on eBay and at local coin stores.  These quarters are 90% silver and this is an easy way to begin stocking up on silver as a way to preserve your buying power should the dollar and our financial system collapse. I’ve purchased coins from Provident Metals (not an affiliate) and local coin stores.

You’re doing great! When you finish this list, you’ve made it half way through our 6 How Basic Can You Get lists! In case you missed one, here are the rest of the articles:

List 1  List 2   List 4   List 5   List 6


40 thoughts on “How Basic Can You Get? List #3”

  1. Might I suggest that you *actually* live off of your food storage for three days. Nothing like real life to show us the holes in our plans.

  2. I worry that my preps are too blase to make for long happy eating….I have lots of rice and pasta, but what good is it if you don’t have oil/butter to spice it up with?…you can get oil ahead but it does deteriorate and butter, well if something does happen, it’ll probably happen to our electricity thus making our fridge and freezer useless….but I have been working really hard to rotate out stuff…I’ve also made a committement to NOT eat out….to have more meals here at home….its better for our health and its saving us a lot of money….and using my preps up as I need too….

    1. You can get powdered butter that would work in recipes. I have some that I bought from Shelf Reliance, but I know they sell some at my Walmart too.

      1. I have canned butter. It’s beautiful. Easy and gives me comfort knowing I have butter if all I have is pasta, salt, and pepper–which of course isn’t the case.

        1. thesurvivalmom

          Did you can the butter yourself? I have some Red Feather canned butter and we generally like it, although it doesn’t have the same flavor we’re used to.

        2. did you can your own butter? Or can you buy it somewhere? that’s not a product I’m familiar with.

          1. Yes you can can your own butter, it’s called ghee at that point. You simmer it to remove the foam and milk solids, what’s left is pure butter oil for lack of a better term. It has an indefinite shelf life when properly canned. You can also buy this product at many survival / prep type sites in the form of Red Feather which is imported. You save a ton if you can your own though assuming you have the tools needed

            It doesn’t have the same full flavor as butter though, a lot of that comes from the milk solids that you have to remove to get it shelf stable. It’s very good for cooking with but only ‘okay’ for putting on corn on the cob and breads.

    2. The powdered butter or margerine is available through several online sites as well as smaller quantities in some grocery stores. I’ve used it for years as a flavoring. Also try Crisco (regular or butter-flavored) or coconut oil. They both have lengthy shelf lives. Herbs and spices are a definite necessity. Don’t be afraid to experiment (cinnamon is fantastic on roast beef!), or you could buy pre-mixed bottles of seasoning (taco, Italian, Chinese, etc.). Don’t forget bouillion cubes and powdered gravy.

      1. Tomato and cheese powders have also become staples in our kitchen and add a little more variety to otherwise bland foods.

    3. I canned my own butter. I bought on sale and canned 4 lbs at a time. It has a 3 to 5 year shelf life. It is very simple to do. Just “google” canning your own butter!

    4. You can also consider canned butter. Red Feather has a highly rated product. It is “good” for two years, but kept in lower temp storage will be viable for much longer. Runs about $7.50 per can – equivalent of roughly three sticks – add a bit on for shipping. I can’t find it retail, but some online survival shops sell it. I’ve heard some Asian retail shops carry it – but not in my locale.

      1. thesurvivalmom

        The nice thing about Red Feather butter is that it melts, unlike reconstituted butter powder. It’s a good idea to have several forms of food on hand: canned, dehydrated, etc.

    5. A great substitute for butter is Ghee. It is clarified butter, but it’s shelf stable. Another great oil is coconut oil. It does not go rancid and it has the added benefit of being antiviral. You can google is to see the other benefits.

      1. I’ll second the Ghee idea. Ethnic stores carry this as a regular staple product. I’ve never had any go bad in this house……..;-)

    6. I have a bunch of different dried spices stocked up. Many of them you can add to a basic stew or rice and beans dish to make it better. My 2 favorites are Onion (or onion powder) and Garlic.

    7. Any of you though about storing ghee? It is clarify butter and have a long shelf life without refrigeration.

    8. To help with the seasoning you can store more bouillon and a spice made by Goya called Sazon.. It has different spices included in a small foil packet

    9. My wife and I got into home cooking and beyond canned tomatoes, oil products and tortia chips we make most everything else. Pasta and rice are bases for hundreds of meals. You need to actually look around and discover recipes online and then print them out when you find good ones. Butter and oil can be supplanted with other fats, especially if you have butter powder to add for taste; no it won’t be the same but it will add flavor. Crisco lasts for two plus years without refrigeration as do many sealed spices. We get the smaller spice containers, and while it costs more, the spices are used quickly enough to not worry about loss of taste once opened.

      Tomatoes, powdered milk and mushrooms are essencial ingredients as are canned meats. I found a terrific recipe for a powdered cream base that is the foundation for soups and sauces. More importantly, my wife and I look at various web sites to discover recipes that use ingredients that we can make or create (we have an extensive herb garden). Additionally, I’m going to try growing my own bread yeast, and making up my own baking powder soon. This winter we’re going to try making cheese. Next spring we plan to learn how to make honey mead which will hopefully lead us into fruit based wine later.

      Nothnig that we are doing or plan to do cost much and we’re only limited by our willingness to learn.

  3. @ Lee

    There are both powdered milk and butter available from stores that sell survival/dehydrated/freeze dried foods. Long shelf life and actually very useful in cooking and baking.

  4. Does it matter what the quarters look like? Is there something I should be looking for in regards to authenticity? Thanks!

    1. In terms of collector’s quality, no it doesn’t matter what they look like. At 50-plus years old, expect coins to look beat up and be pocket-worn, so it doesn’t make sense to pay top dollar for mint or pristine condition That said, I go with coins that look appropriately worn but don’t look like theyve been through a wood chipper. In regards to authenticity, all I can suggest is you know your prospective sales partner. If they seem fishy, then definitely look elsewhere. Do they live down the street and are having a yard sale, or maybe theyre an online seller from China or some other far away land. Trust your instincts. And good luck!

  5. I can only find Crisco in the cardboardish containers, not the metal of my youth. Does this effect shelf longevity?

  6. haven’t thought of storing many of the powders as some of you are, i will have to get right on that! as for the quarters, no it doesnt matter what they look like, its all about the silver content. however don’t put a ton of money into the silver coins and skimp on any food or water. remember when we have no power or water, silver will not matter.

  7. If your planning on stocking canned butter a good item to look into would be a butter crock, it keeps butter fresh, for up to 30 days, without refrigeration.

  8. Just to let everyone know….canning butter is NOT FDA approved. There is no way to get the butter to a temperature that would guarantee the destruction of all harmful bacteria and thus prevent botulism. You don’t want botulism pre-SHTF….you certainly don’t want the deadly disease post-hooey. PLEASE do not can your own butter. The safe altenative is to either purchase and use powdered butter or margarine (mix it with water, then add a little oil to bring it to a more traditional consistancy) or purchase Red Feather canned butter (the commercial canning process can reach temperatures that home canning cannot,and thus ensure that botulism will not be a problem).

    Will EVERY batch of home-canned butter develop botulism? Certainly not. Is ONE case too many? Yes, it is. PLEASE be safe with your canning!!

  9. When the you know what hits the fan and if the public water supply goes away, remember that rice, pasta and dry beans require a fair amount of water to cook. Always make sure that you have other items to eat as well a as much water as you can store.

    1. This is where it is useful to know low tech filter techniques. That and the boiling needed to cook those foods should render most water sources relatively safe.

  10. I noticed that some people have taken instructions for caning butter from the “internet”. Be careful, anyone can post instructions on the internet. The “only websites” that should be trusted for proper information are those listed by universities and their Food Safety Departments.

    Many people say “But my grandmother did it this way” and no one in my family has died yet. Your family may be accustomed to the micro-organisms that were not killed when under processed. Many of the micro-organisms that exist today did not exist in Grandmothers day or if they did they are now a lot stonger.

    Please use only university web sites like Universities of Georgia…Wisconsin…Washington…Alaska…California and many more.

    A good place to start is National Center for Home Food Preservation as published by University of Georgia:

    or Their FAQ section (look to the bottom of the list under Misc Questions on “Canning Butter”

  11. I went to Crest grocery store. I ask for plastic buckets and lids and they gave me all I
    want for free!!! Thanks! save me alot of money. I love your site.

  12. What is the importance of silver? why would any gold or silver, etc. be of any use or desire? Its an artificial construct.

    Wouldn’t toilet paper, chapstick or some other luxury or necessity be of far more value than coin?

    This is not to be considered a criticism. Its not. I’m just surprised and confused.

    Can you enlighten me?

    1. The Survival Mom

      Most respected prepper/survival experts will recommend stocking up on basics, getting those covered first, before buying precious metals, and I agree with that. One drawback to planning on bartering, mostly, is that Person A may have plenty of toilet paper, but so do I! If he needs something that I own and I’m willing to part with, then we’re going to have to figure out what he has that I want in turn. It’s not the cut and dried, neat transaction that some think it will be.

      Precious metals, and I recommend “junk silver”, are easily identifiable, have obvious intrinsic value, and can be traded for anything. If I take .25 ounce in exchange for toilet paper, then I can turn around and use that silver to pay for anything else. (This whole system, whether barter or PM depends on the willingness and ability of others to make these exchanges. Kind of obvious but still needs to be kept in mind.)

      Throughout human history people have had to devise a method of common currency, something of value to everyone. Even the Yap islanders used stones for money!

      The only scenario I can envision in which gold and silver would be totally useless is in a complete collapse. A collapse of government, finance, a total societal collapse. But even then!, people will still need things they don’t have. Some will take by force, others will try to barter or use some type of currency to get what they need.

      It’s an interesting discussion, for sure, and there are lots of differing opinions.

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