What’s the LEAST you can get with the LEAST amount of money and still be able to take care of your family’s nutritional needs? Today I share with you the simple, affordable bare bones so that you can eliminate some of the overwhelming feelings that the current worldwide events might be causing you. After today you’ll have a very simple, cost-effective plan to fully address your Food Preparedness needs.
With all of the mayhem going on all around us, it has a tendency to make some people panicky—knowing that they NEED to be ready but for whatever reason they aren’t there yet. In spite of there being 7 other Principles of Preparedness that are a higher priority than the 8th Principle, Food Preparedness, most “preppers” are more concerned about providing their family with enough food to get through a crisis. Considering that an event such as an economic collapse, major earthquake, famine, pandemic, or EMP would put most families “on their own” for food supplies for an entire YEAR, I thought it might be helpful to share with everyone what the absolute LEAST amount of food items are that they can make due with for a year. Which items can they do the most with to feed their family for the least amount of money? It won’t be glamorous, mind you, but it will enable you to have some peace of mind in a worst case scenario.
When I receive an e-mail like this: “We have hardly any money but I can’t shake this feeling that something’s coming and I don’t have enough food! What can I do with the least amount of money to provide food for my family?” or “Circumstances have caused me to start over completely in our preparedness efforts. I’m scared that I won’t be able to feed my family in time though.” I can feel their sense of panic and anxiety. I know what it’s like to feel helpless in the face of looming challenges. I know that I would have appreciated knowing at the time that there were just a handful of basic essentials that I could stock up on which could carry me and my family through a year. In fact, one can have a wide variety of meals available for breakfast, lunch, and dinner by stocking up on just FOUR basic, multi-purpose items. Yup, that’s right; just four. These four most basic of food stores are 1) Whole Grain Wheat (or other WHOLE grain substitute for gluten intolerant persons such as quinoa, millet, or amaranth), 2) Salt, 3) Honey, and 4) Powdered milk. And here’s why.
For starters, all four of these items naturally have a LONG shelf-life. If stored in a cool, dry, dark place you’ve easily got a couple of decades in which these items will patiently wait on the shelves for you. Additionally, not only can these four items morph into hearty, healthy meals but they can also provide you with the vitamins and nutrients you need to live healthy that you’d normally only associate with getting from fruits and vegetables. Yup, that’s right. You see, when you sprout a grain, it compounds the nutritional value by as much as 600%! And if you stock up on salt that hasn’t been stripped of all of its minerals, such as RealSalt, then not only do you get flavor but you get key minerals as well. If you stock up on LOCAL honey, then you’ll improve your body’s immune system easily with a teaspoon of honey daily (Not to be fed to infants 1 year or younger). And if you ensure that you get a powdered milk that you actually LIKE (and yes, they actually do exist—Thrive’s brand, also Country Cream and Country Fresh and Nido’s whole milk) you’ll also ensure that you have an additional source of vitamins and minerals.
Not only are these four items multi-purpose and effective, but pound for pound they are some of the least expensive FOOD items you can purchase even today. (I said FOOD, folks. Cheap processed foods won’t sustain you in a crisis or even a non-crisis lifestyle and they are also the most permeated with GMOs and all kinds of other ingredients that the food industry doesn’t think is important to inform you of.) So, if you could just focus your “year’s supply” on four items for your family, you’ll also be getting the best bang for your buck.
Note: I recommend you purchase items from the LDS Church by going to ProvidentLiving.org. You do NOT need to be a Mormon to buy from them and they strive to keep their products clean. In fact, they even just notified all of their farms that compost wouldn't be used any longer due to the potential for disease to be in the soil in the event it comes from a diseased animal.) Anyway, I've looked all over and I find this to be the best option for price and quality--especially if you don't live in Utah! You can also check out Azure Standard and Augason Farms. I believe you can also find wheat and such in bulk online at Sam's and Costco. By the way, there are some GREAT tutorials and information resources available free at ProvidentLiving.org too for anyone wanting to pursue a more self-sufficient lifestyle.
Most people aren’t familiar with the fact that wheat can serve not only as a great source of fiber and carbohydrates, but it also makes a great protein source when it’s used to make “wheat meat”, aka seitan. I’ll never forget the first time I successfully made seitan meatballs. Seriously! They were SO GOOD—but more importantly, I felt a huge weight come off of my shoulders as I realized how easily I could address the protein needs for my family on a shoestring budget—and I could do so without the cholesterol, USDA approved chemical additives, hormones, and anti-biotics.
There’s a great book that’s been republished called “Passport to Survival” by Esther Dickey. In it the author takes you on a journey that she experimented with in her family—one in which she used only a handful of the most basic of ingredients to feed her family on these FOUR ingredients for ten days. After that experiment she continued on, adding another ingredient or two and so on, as she experimented and created fabulous dishes that she could rely on to feed and fulfill her family’s nutritional needs. She’s done all of the work for you. She’s got the recipes, helpful tips as well as great information to help you get there MENTALLY if you find yourself having to rely solely on these four items. What’s more is that she’s done such a great job of coming up with creative recipes, you’ll find enjoyable meals, not depressing starvation rations.
The nice thing is that this list brings a person FOCUS—a finite amount of focus—which enables a person to more easily accomplish the goal. My suggestion for people who are just starting out and who don’t feel like they have the time or the money to prepare using my preferred method of Food Preparedness, find that at least this is something they can accomplish rather quickly and certainly affordably. However, there is a word of caution: IF you are going to begin with this method, then you MUST begin incorporating whole grains into your diet now, otherwise you could literally die if you suddenly went from your existing diet to a hearty, whole-grain diet, diarrhea would set in and you’d likely die of dehydration. The second caution is that you MUST become familiar with working with these foods NOW—in fact I suggest that EVERYONE—even those who have every food they could possibly imagine at their disposal right now—become familiar with how to work with these foods because A) You never know when your “other foods” might run out with this staple selection being all that remains and B) Because a crisis is not the time or place to experiment with cooking and eating new foods. Talk about STRESS!!
Lastly, if you have this foundation, I would suggest that the simple addition of other items comes more easily and will drastically improve the palate profile as well. For example, if I wanted to expand to FIVE items instead of just the four, I would select oil—cooking oils of all kinds such as olive oil, vegetable oil, coconut oil, and definitely butter, etc. Next, I would spend just a little bit of money on 10 basic, organic, heirloom, non-hybrid seeds because if you’re able to harvest a garden each year while you endure the crisis, fresh produce will add a plethora of possibilities—ways for you to upgrade each mealtime. I would ensure that potatoes, onions, beans, squash, peas, corn, and tomatoes were a part of that line-up of ten due to the versatility of each of those items. For example, with a couple of potatoes I can make a fabulous sourdough starter that will add an entirely new dimension to waffles, bread, and rolls. Next, I would add the staple of vinegar and lemon juice to my pantry. There are SO many ways I can use it to liven up a dish, ferment food for greater nutritional value, and for health and hygiene purposes and vinegar actually costs only 10-20% of what it would cost you to make it from scratch! (At Costco and Sam’s Club at least.) And lastly, I would be sure to grab a couple extra cans or boxes of food products each time I went to the grocery store. Every can I can store away will add an additional dimension to the possibilities and peace of knowing that I’ve got my year’s supply of food taken care of.
27 pounds of Whole Grain (hard wheat, barley, quinoa, millet, etc.)
3 pounds of Honey
5 pounds of Powdered Milk
And 1 pound of RealSalt
Hopefully this helps some of you who are anxious feel more confident in the task of providing for your family. You really CAN accomplish this task one small step at a time.
By the way, this is my PREFFERRED way of taking care of all of my Food/nutritional needs for a year: http://preparednesspro.com/the-magic-number-12/ which also simplifies your best case scenario for food in a way that's more doable. Many of our readers have used this approach and have exclaimed that it's "the best thing since sliced bread." I don't know about that, but I do know that peace is always better than feeling panicked and feeling helpless to do much about it.
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