Food Storage : Bulk Foods and Baking Items
Another choice for food storage are bulk foods. For the most part they are more cost-effective because you are buying them in bulk quantities. Generally , they would be purchased from membership warehouse outlets that buy large quantities and pass on the savings to members.
Once you purchase your bulk items you will have to transfer them to long term storage containers. Whether it be 5 gallon plastic buckets, #10 cans or Mylar vacuum sealed bags, the choice is yours. Items that you can purchase in bulk are rice, grains, beans, sugar , salt and flour. If you are not familiar with cooking from scratch with these items, my suggestion would be to become acquainted with their use now. Cooking from scratch and with whole grains takes time and practice. Better to practice now and learn how to do it successfully than experiment when you and your family are hungry and cannot afford to throw out a botched experiment. These items can be very versatile once you learn to use them , they are healthier for you, as they are more nutritious than the ready made or over processed foods that so many of us use to make cooking easier and faster as well.
Please remember that Salt and Sugar are essentials. Salt is necessary for good health and sugar is needed to assist in making things more palatable as well as for energy. Unless you have the money to buy cases of honey, sugar will be your best asset in providing the necessary calories and energy needed in a disaster situation : when every calorie counts. They are relatively inexpensive in comparison to most other bulk foods. Making it rather easy to stock up on these two very essential items. Salt and Sugar will last for a very long time when packed correctly. Mainly a cool, dry place. You can even pack salt and sugar in zippered plastic bags and place them in 5 gallon buckets or Mylar bags. I prefer the 5 gallon buckets for these items.
**Another thing you may want to consider is that salt and sugar may very well be used as a bartering currency during a crisis when these items might not be readily available.
Basic materials for baking, such as flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, yeast, oil and shortening, can be very valuable in a survival situation. With these simple items, you can make anything from bread to pancakes. Powdered milk can be used to drink or cook. Oatmeal, wheat flour and sugar are item that can be made not only into staple baked goods but into treats as well.
For those who prefer the convenience, baking mixes mean you do not need to add eggs or measure ingredients not to mention ease of use. These mixes can be time and labor reducing. However, these will be a bit more expensive as opposed to bulk foods, which you can readily mix to make the same things at a much lower price. If your budget allows then feel free to purchase the pre-packaged and make your life a bit simpler.
I personally like the process of making things from scratch. At first you will not get exactly what the recipe says you should have , lol. I always find a way to use it anyway so I don’t have to toss it unless it is inedible. In cases like those the compost pile totally benefits , so there is no loss. We may not be able to eat it but it will serve to make compost that way in a very roundabout way we get to eat it anyway.
Honey stores for years and can replace sugar in recipes. It has a much higher nutrition value than plain sugar, However it is much more expensive. Rather than storing flour or meal, purchase the raw grain and a hand mill. Then you can mill your own flour whenever necessary. This way the flour will retain all of it’s nutritional value as opposed to milled flour that sits for months or years. Red winter wheat, golden wheat, corn and other grains can be purchased in 45-pound lots packed in nitrogen-packed bags and shipped in large plastic pails. Or you can purchase your own in the local feed store and package them yourself either at home or with an LDS cannery.
Large canned goods can get very heavy and become difficult to transport. This should not pose a problem if you are stocking up your survival retreat or planning to weather the storm at home. Large canned goods are easy to store and can keep you and your family well fed for a very long time. Individual cans may be purchased, however sets of multiple items for variety or a case that has most of the components of a meal are more popular. It takes the over thinking of menus and what they will contain out of the equation. These sets are designed to provide a specific number of calories per day (1,800 per day is usually what is recommended) for a set period of time, anywhere from three months to a year. Remember, however, these sets are calculated for one person. If you have four people in your family or survival group, and purchasing a one-year supply of food , then you will have to divide the food accordingly for each member.
It would be advisable that one purchase the largest set of these canned, dried foods one’s budget can handle. Then supplement the set with items tailored to you and your family or survival group. Also, MREs are excellent supplements, as prepared sets of #10 cans are typically vegetables, pasta and grains, while MREs are usually meat-based. Although there are some companies that do have the freeze dried meats available in #10 cans if it is within your budget.
You may also want to add a few special items, such as hard candy, chocolate or desserts, to reward yourself , for quick energy or to stave off palate fatigue.
Don’t forget to add vitamins and mineral supplements. Fruits, green vegetables and other items rich in vitamin C and other nutrients may be difficult to come by and a good multi-vitamin can make all the difference in your nutritional intake. Well worth having in your food storage.
For those who do not have memberships to the food warehouse outlets: You can purchase extra bags and containers of these items in your grocery store. There are some supermarkets who do carry the economy sizes and even 25 lbs bags of flour sugar and salt at reasonable prices. Thus making it possible for you to build up your food stock little by little as your pocket allows.
Do not discount the feed stores either. They sell corn, wheat, barley and oats in 50 lbs bags. Yes they sell feed for animals , however, they are safe to consume. If in doubt ask the store clerk what grade the items are and could they safely be consumed by humans. They will tell you. I have purchased a 50 lbs bag of cracked corn for the wild ducks in our neighborhood for $12 at the feed store. That was last year though, so I am sure it is more expensive now.
***The feed stores are also and awesome place to look for hand operated appliances like meat grinders, flour mills, food mills, etc. All of which will come in handy when electricity is not readily available.
***There is no set rule to where or how you purchase your food supply , as long as you start stocking your supply as soon as possible. The more food you have the better off you and yours will be. With enough supplies you will not have to worry about helping those who did not prepare or lost their supplies to a disaster . There is always that elderly neighbor in the house next door or across the street. You see preparation is beneficial to you , however it is also a way to make sure that you can take care of others and not put your family or group at risk. As the saying goes, “ an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. We all want to help those in need, so better to prepare with them in mind as well, so that there is no surprise when the time comes.