Food Prepping On A Tight Budget
The one thing most people say is the hardest thing about prepping is trying to afford it. Sometimes you’re barely making ends meet as it is. How can you possibly stock up on food when you can barely afford to eat NOW?
Well, it’s definitely possible to afford to stockpile food on a budget. Now, you’re not going to have the fanciest food in the world, but it will be enough to survive and have the occasional treat. This is just for a basic emergency ration stockpile. You can certainly add other foods you love later, but this will help you survive.
This list will cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $500 total, but the vast majority of things will keep as long as 25 years, so once you buy them you’ll be set for emergencies for quite some time. And you don’t have to buy it all at once. Buy as much as you can whenever you can, starting with the supply list below and a small amount of rice and beans, and then keep adding to your stockpile whenever you can. Also, look for sales and coupons to help you save more money.
This list is strictly for food/nutritional needs. This doesn’t take water or other needs into account.
Here’s what you’ll need to get started.
- Ten 5-gallon buckets (food grade plastic)
- Ten large Mylar storage bags
- Ten oxygen absorbers (2,000 cc)
- Ten gamma seal lids
- Bay leaves (to repel insects)
You don’t have to get food grade buckets if you’re using mylar bags inside, but using food grade plastic does offer additional protection in the event that one of your bags becomes damaged and you can no longer depend on it to protect your food.
The oxygen absorbers will help keep your food fresh a lot longer. They aren’t absolutely necessary, but if you want your food to last for the long term, they are a very good idea.
You can actually get a package of ten mylar bags and 10 oxygen absorbers on Amazon for about $20. It’s a really good deal, and you get both in one package. You can also get a package of 60 one gallon bags and smaller oxygen absorbers for storing smaller quantities of food, such as dried vegetables.
Gamma seal lids are much easier to use than standard 5-gallon bucket lids. They are easier to attach (because you don’t have to tap them on with a mallet) and they are easier to remove (requiring no special tool). They’re fairly expensive at around $10 to $20 each, but you will be very glad you have them when the time comes to open your buckets! You can use regular lids if you need to, but you’ll need to make sure you get a lid opener.
You don’t need an expensive vacuum sealer, but they’re helpful. You can seal your mylar bags with an iron, but a vacuum sealer will vacuum seal your bags by removing the oxygen, thus keeping food fresh longer. If you don’t use a vacuum sealer, be sure to push as much air as possible from each bag before sealing. the best way to do this is to place a small, heatproof tube like a tiny PVC pipe into the edge of the bag as you seal it, sealing all the way to the pipe, then push any remaining air out through the pipe and then quickly remove the pipe and seal the hole. It’s not perfect, but it will work. Use the wool setting on your iron to seal the bags.
- 90 lbs white rice
- 20 pounds dried pinto beans
- 20 pounds pearl barley
- 20 pounds dried split green peas
- 20 pounds dried yellow lentils
- 12 pounds dried mixed vegetables
- 2 boxes kosher salt
- 6 containers black pepper
- large container of beef bullion
- large container of chicken bullion
- large container dried minced onions
- organic vitamins
Also extremely beneficial:
- Bean seeds for planting
- Corn seeds for planting
- Other seeds for planting
I recommend buying these things first:
- One 5-gallon bucket
- One gamma seal lid
- One package oxygen absorbers
- One package large mylar bags
- 20-30 pounds rice
- 20-30 pounds beans
This list will help you survive for a few weeks (food wise). Then you can just add to your stock each time you get paid buy buying another bucket and lid and some more food.
Be sure to label your buckets so you know what’s inside at a glance. Also, be sure to label the inner mylar bags, too, just in case your outer labels are damaged or you store multiple items inside a single bucket. Labels will save you a lot of trouble!
Please remember that this is just for basic survival, and doesn’t really offer much in the way of tasty foods or treats. You may want to stock up on some treats like coffee, tea, jelly beans, and other little treats that can last a while in storage, but you can do that after you have built a stockpile of healthy foods and seeds.
Don’t forget to store plenty of water! You’ll want at least a gallon of water per day per person, and more for cooking and sanitation. If you cannot store this much water, you’ll want to store as much as you can and buy some water purification tablets to help you make water you find in the wild potable.