One of the most common areas of concern when you start prepping is food security. Some people will tell you that you need to spend thousands of dollars on freeze dried long term storage food or dehydrated food. While those aren’t bad ideas I think it is smarter to start by making a list of what you normally eat and then prep your pantry according to that.
For example, if you normally eat chicken, spaghetti and pork chops wouldn’t it make more sense to stock those items instead of freeze dried food that you’ve never tried?
One of the best plans that I’ve seen is the 7 Meals Plan. I am not sure who originally came up with this plan but the first time I heard about it was in a video from Bear Independent on YouTube.
.The basics are that you make a list of ingredients to make a complete meal. Then you repeat that process until you have 7 total meals that you and your family enjoy. Now you can take that list and start slowly buying the necessary ingredients to have enough in your pantry for 1 week, then 2 weeks and keep increasing your pantry supply until you have a 3 month supply of food on hand. You can build a longer supply if you want ( I keep a 1 year supply on hand and am working on increasing that to battle the rapidly rising food prices we are dealing with right now ).
I also keep a supply of things like peanut butter, canned soups, canned meat, canned vegetables and canned fruit. These are items that do not require refrigeration so if a storm takes out the power for a few days I don’t have to worry about them going bad. And, I can still eat as long as I have a way to heat the food.
There are additional strategies that you can consider for food security such as buying a dehydrator so that you can dehydrate food at home. This will work if you have a garden to grow vegetables in or you can wait for specials at the grocery store on frozen veggies and then dehydrate them. This will extend their life span and not require a refrigerator or cooler. When you are ready to use them, rehydrate them in water and then cook like normal.
If money isn’t a problem then you can look at buying a Harvest Right Freeze Dryer so that you can freeze dry food yourseld at home. They have several different models to choose from depending on much much food you want to freeze dry and how much money you want to spend.
I do not have a freeze dryer because the numbers just didn’t work for me. I feel like if you are feeding 4 or more people then a freeze dryer makes sense. You can quickly justify the expense of the freeze dryer with heavy usage compared to buying the freeze dried food online or in a store. Since I do not have to feed that many people it makes more sense for me to buy freeze dried foods right now.
There is also vacuum sealing food. This is where you use a vacuum sealer to seal the food in a freezer bag, long term storage bag or even in a Mason jar. This will remove all of the air from the package so the food stays fresher for a much longer period of time.
You can also look at pressure canning food or water bathing food for long term storage. One of the best YouTube channels that I have seen for this is Rose Red Homestead.
She knows more about food preparation and long term storage than anyone that I have found so far. If you are interested in learning to pressure can food then you should check out her channel.