Author of Be Ready for Anything and Bloom Where You’re Planted online course
There are all sorts of situations that can have you eating from your stockpile for a month or so. Maybe you have an unexpected expense that means a weekly trip to the store is out of the question. Maybe there’s a problem with the local transportation and deliveries aren’t making it to your area. Maybe your car broke down and there’s nothing within walking distance.
Whatever the reason, eating from your stockpile does not have to be boring and unpleasant. If it’s nonstop beans and rice, you’re doing something wrong.
What to stock up on
First, you should be stocking things you genuinely enjoy – and things that are similar to how you already eat. If you suddenly switch to nothing but buckets of food with ultra-carby, low protein offerings, you are going to be a) bored and b) lethargic.
At the same time, for most of us, the food we stock up on for the longer term will not be exactly the same. We live in a world where most of us can have fresh produce, meat from the butcher shop, and a gallon of milk whenever we want it.
So when you build a stockpile, it’s important to realize that while you can make it similar, it’s not going to be exactly the same.
Our stockpile relies on freeze-dried and canned meats, freeze-dried and canned veggies, grains, and loads of spices and seasonings.
Here’s a guide to eating from your stockpile for a month
I wrote a book called The Stockpile Cafe about eating from your pantry for a month with no fresh ingredients. It’s got menus for 7 dinners per week, along with serving suggestions and a shopping list. There are some ideas for thrifty stockpile breakfasts and lunches, too.
The meals are mostly quick to make and nearly all can be translated to cooking over a fire or wood stove. You can make them as healthful and high quality as you want, depending on the quality of the ingredients you purchase. There are a few convenience items, some dehydrated and freeze-dried ingredients, canned goods, and potato flakes.
Many of the meals have vegetarian alternatives. Because the focus is budget-friendly, there are grains at the center of most meals. So if you eat paleo or low carb, this may not be the book for you.
Most recipes feed 4 people and can be easily reduced or doubled (or tripled.) These are all creations that we’ve tried here at Casa de Luther.
You can grab your PDF copy here.
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Widowed, broke and in debt at 55 I lived off stockpiled foods for over a year with adding nothing but water. Then grew lettuce and yellow squash and forraged greens the next summer. That was 15 months of survival.
Easy? He’ll no! But I did it. Then a great deal of this calender year my current husband and I’ve lived off of stock piled foods. Again we made it. Hard time….you bet but we’ve survived and this year’s garden is growing and producing. Dinner two nights ago was 1/4 lb ground beef, 3 med yellow squash and a diced yellow onion and two small mild jalapenos.
Begining to stock up again. Living frugally. Forraging, growing garden, buying canned goods and packaged pasta et.
Not enough extra to start canning but perhaps soon. In 6 weeks we average a frost. Garden not started in ground until late June and early July. We were getting freezes until June. We can usually plant in April. 2 months later than usual. Wild greens were very late in emerging and have shot up quickly with the summer rains and are already working to make seed. A very short season.
I have enough ahead for two of us to eat for a few weeks. Having needed those resources to survive twice now in life I know we are far short of any long term need. Likely little if anything to can from the garden this year. Season too short. But if we eat fresh and spend on canned goods then we can still be working to set back food for winter or emergencies.
I’m worried about sufficient food in the commercial chain of supply anyway. Early corn and grain wasn’t planted in much of the Midwest. Or it drowned out in too wet fields.
I lost many things I started in the house to be ready for a normal planting. Some died when I was at the hospital for a week when my son nearly died. Then a lot needed to be planted and only partially survived. Once in the ground everything did amazingly well.
We need to remember stuff happens that we can’t control. Just do your best. This year I bought up a lot of seed cheap after planting season was past. It does ok for several years so I’m ready for next spring. I always save seed from the garden but having lost entire early starts of some things I won’t be saving seed for those. I didn’t plant all of anything but supplies will be limited from home saved seeds. Praying for a better growing season next year. I’ll try to buy when things are on sale or just a little extra when I go shopping. It begins to add up.