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Old 12-21-2012, 11:01 PM
 
1,198 posts, read 1,791,339 times
Reputation: 1728

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Hello,

I have recently become a dad and have been toying with the idea of following FEMA's advice and stocking up a few weeks worth of food to help take care of my family. I have a unique oppurtunity to buy #10 cans of freeze dried food for a great price. There is two issues with this (besides where I am going to get water and how I am going to boil it).

1) I live in a small place, how much room will 40 or so #10 cans take up?

2) I will be moving every 3 years for the foreseeable future, with some moves being overseas. Clearly I can't control the temp of the moving trucks (or boats in some cases). Is it practical to buy long lived food supplies when the storage life could be compromised by heat? I might be able to store it while I am overseas, but it will travel with me stateside.

Bonus issue: a 90 day supply for 1 person is going to cost me 750 dollars, is there a cheaper way to go about this? Not that I am opposed to spending money, just that I need to be efficient with it as the SO isn't on board with this idea and I'm going to be using my meager personal checking account instead of the plentiful family checking account to pay for the supplies.

I'm no doomsday prepper or anything like that (not that there is anything wrong with that, it's just not in my plan), I just want to have some food stocked away incase of some minor situation that disrupts the normal flow of goods.
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Old 12-22-2012, 10:06 AM
 
Location: Backwoods of Maine
7,488 posts, read 10,482,288 times
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Hmmmm. Here's something you may wish to consider.

Instead of buying the freeze-dried in #10 cans (and by the way, 40 of them will fit just fine under any full or larger bed), why not just buy some extra "regular food" from the grocery store? Stuff you normally would eat anyway, just rotate it as you eat, rather than putting something away that will last 25 years, and you'll probably never use. Start with the dry goods (cereals, pasta, rice, instant potatoes, noodles, dry milk, etc) then add some bags of beans or lentils. Lastly, add some canned goods (veggies and fruits). This will cost you a lot less, and none of it should go to waste, if you buy what you normally eat anyway.

As for boiling water, invest in a Kelly Kettle, which will boil water quickly using just "fuel" that you'd find around anywhere...sticks, dried grass, other yard debris. You can also cook on top of one of these, if you buy the kit with the pan and handle.

We have all of the above, and never have any worries or issues with food going bad from heat.
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Old 12-22-2012, 11:36 AM
 
1,677 posts, read 1,667,852 times
Reputation: 1024
Quote:
Originally Posted by MDrenter223 View Post
Hello,

I have recently become a dad and have been toying with the idea of following FEMA's advice and stocking up a few weeks worth of food to help take care of my family. I have a unique oppurtunity to buy #10 cans of freeze dried food for a great price. There is two issues with this (besides where I am going to get water and how I am going to boil it).

1) I live in a small place, how much room will 40 or so #10 cans take up?

2) I will be moving every 3 years for the foreseeable future, with some moves being overseas. Clearly I can't control the temp of the moving trucks (or boats in some cases). Is it practical to buy long lived food supplies when the storage life could be compromised by heat? I might be able to store it while I am overseas, but it will travel with me stateside.

Bonus issue: a 90 day supply for 1 person is going to cost me 750 dollars, is there a cheaper way to go about this? Not that I am opposed to spending money, just that I need to be efficient with it as the SO isn't on board with this idea and I'm going to be using my meager personal checking account instead of the plentiful family checking account to pay for the supplies.

I'm no doomsday prepper or anything like that (not that there is anything wrong with that, it's just not in my plan), I just want to have some food stocked away incase of some minor situation that disrupts the normal flow of goods.
What Nor'Eastah said - for emergencies buy extra food/supplies that you would actually use now, and rotate your supply.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MDrenter223 View Post
a 90 day supply for 1 person is going to cost me 750 dollars, is there a cheaper way to go about this? Not that I am opposed to spending money, just that I need to be efficient with it as the SO isn't on board with this idea and I'm going to be using my meager personal checking account instead of the plentiful family checking account to pay for the supplies.
Thank her for being rational and sane. Then take her out to dinner.
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Old 12-22-2012, 02:44 PM
 
1,458 posts, read 2,657,533 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scarlet_ohara View Post
Thank her for being rational and sane. Then take her out to dinner.
I've got to say - considering the extensive steps our food has to go through to reach us, every single day, hundreds of thousands of containers worth - rational and sane isn't the way I'd describe someone who insists on relying on that system, or refuses to have a backup plan.

That said, don't buy the freeze dried food unless it is a screaming deal. PPs are correct that allotting some shelving for extra amounts of long term friendly foods is a more practical way to go. You know you'll use it eventually, it can be done a little at a time each time you shop, or you could literally choose to do it yourself with a canner and a garden/bulk meat purchase. Standard canned goods and home canned goods can be eaten cold straight from the can/jar, and include some water.

Which reminds me... are you on a well? Water is more important than food when devising basic preparations.
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Old 12-22-2012, 07:53 PM
 
Location: A Nation Possessed
25,689 posts, read 18,773,845 times
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I have some freeze dried foods, some "regular" canned goods, but I concentrate mainly on "naturally store-able" foods for the most part: grains, rice, potatoes, basic cooking ingredients such as sugar, baking soda, baking powder, etc. I also store dried milk, eggs, and some of these sorts of things. This works well for me, because I eat mostly grain-derived foods, almost exclusively. I helps a lot, because it's relatively cheap and easily stored in the long term. But, if you are used to "complex" sorts of foods, I'd just go with the above suggestions. More expensive, but during the time of an emergency is not the time to be changing your diet dramatically. Personally, I try to keep my diet extremely simple for the most part and what most people would call bland. Just call me the "Gruel Guy." (yes, I do like gruel--had some millet gruel last night )
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Old 01-03-2013, 08:19 PM
 
Location: Interior AK
4,731 posts, read 9,942,023 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MDrenter223 View Post
2) I will be moving every 3 years for the foreseeable future, with some moves being overseas. Clearly I can't control the temp of the moving trucks (or boats in some cases). Is it practical to buy long lived food supplies when the storage life could be compromised by heat? I might be able to store it while I am overseas, but it will travel with me stateside.
This is the one area where freeze-dried and standard dehydrated food will give you the best return, as they are both lighter, more space efficient, less climate sensitive, and less prone to breakage/damage than regular canned foods. Extended high heat will degrade some of the nutritional value (not the edibility or caloric value) of dried foods, but not to the extent that heat/freeze/thaw cycle will degrade wet canned foods and damage their containers. Your biggest concern with dry food is maintaining the integrity of air/water/light tight packaging.

If you're paying to move yourself or have a household limit for a paid move, weight and size of your food stores are critical factors; and resistance to temperature fluctuation is a critical factor if you don't have 100% climate-control at all times. Given your circumstances, dry long-term storage foods in #10 cans and mylar-lined sealed buckets is probably your safest options, with a few months of regular canned food stocked and rotated in your pantry for shorter emergencies. You can then use up or donate your pantry goods prior to a move, empty your water, and transport only the dried foods and empty barrels (or pack the dry food in the empty barrels!). You can use the money you saved on the move to restock new canned goods at the new location and refill your water barrels.

For reference, grains and powders are heavier than dry fruit, vegetables, and meat; but they normally have more servings by weight & volume, so it evens out. Dried ready meals are somewhere in between the two.

A case of #10 cans contains 6 cans and measures 18.8x12.2x7.3h.
A twin mattress measures 39x75 and you can fit 12 cases under it.
A full mattress measures 54x75 and you can fit 15 cases under it.
A queen mattress measures 60x80 and you can fit 18 cases under it.
A king mattress measures 76x80 and you can fit 20 cases under it.
A california king mattress measures 72x84 and you can fit 22 cases under it.

(ETA: if you take some of the cans out of the case boxes, you can fit a few more under the full, king & CA king)

To give you an idea, the Premium 1600 (calorie) 1 yr/1 person food supply kit from Emergency Essentials contains 21 cases, weighs approximately 500 lbs, and occupies just over 21 cubic feet.

Last edited by MissingAll4Seasons; 01-03-2013 at 08:37 PM..
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Old 01-09-2013, 05:41 PM
 
Location: Western Canada
89 posts, read 125,714 times
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Mountain House is tolerable and at $20-$35 per #10 can, works out to $2-3.50 per serving. Cheaper than clown food. Amortized over 25 years, that's down to about 8 to 15 cents annually for every 'backup' meal. I don't think $750 is out of line for 3 months of food, but if you look around you can find better deals.

Water might be a bigger worry, we can't survive long without it. Rather than a stockpile which doesn't transport easily, buy bleach. One gallon of bleach works out to 3800 gallons of water, using 8 drops of bleach per gallon. Double it if the water is turbid or murky. This won't desalinate brackish or salt water. Dig a hole where the sun can hit it and put a bucket at the bottom centre. Soak the ground around the bucket with ANY water, even your own! Cover with a sheet of clear plastic and place a rock in the middle so condensation will run into the bucket. Water obtained this way is distilled and required no treatment provided your bucket is clean.
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Old 01-11-2013, 03:02 PM
 
1,677 posts, read 1,667,852 times
Reputation: 1024
Quote:
Originally Posted by rohirette View Post
I've got to say - considering the extensive steps our food has to go through to reach us, every single day, hundreds of thousands of containers worth - rational and sane isn't the way I'd describe someone who insists on relying on that system,
That is one of the reasons I grow my own.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rohirette View Post
or refuses to have a backup plan.
He didn't indicate that the SO specifically refuses a backup plan. He indicated that the SO was opposed to his idea.
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