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If you haven’t already stocked some supplies or have some foods stashed away with no real rhyme or reason why you chose them, except for they were on sale and you thought they might have a long shelf life, it’s time to start planning meals. Once you’ve chosen the appropriate number of days, planning meals is easier since you have your target. Look for meals that use foods with a long shelf-life. Some sites suggest you plan for a few extra people. Others tell you not to include anyone because once people find you have food, you’ll have others coming to your door or have to keep feeding them if the disaster lasts longer, taking food from your family. The meals should include fats, carbohydrates, protein and vitamins/minerals.
Eggs-If you’re a true prepper and live in a location where you can have backyard chickens, you may already have fresh eggs as part of your food supply. Fresh, unwashed eggs (not found in groceries) last up to two weeks on the counter without refrigeration (Some people claim they last for months). The key is the word “unwashed.’ For those less lucky, powdered egg unopened last up to ten years.
Canned meat such as tuna, chicken, and ham. You could can your own meat, too.
An unopened jar of Parmesan cheese will last for months and could be the perfect way to add more protein to filling spaghetti with meat sauce—which have long shelf lives.
Jerky and other dried meats provide a quick protein snack.
Beans-All types of beans contain good sources of plant protein and when packaged properly last for years. You can even grind dried beans into flour for other uses.
Dried milk-You’ll get about two years of shelf life unless you repackage milk, which can extend it to ten years in an airtight container.
Powdered protein drink-We keep some on hand all the time because it’s a quick snack that’s nutritious and sometimes a quick meal. I have extra packed in my survival stockpile.
Nuts and peanut butter-Whether you use these as part of your meal or as a snack, they’re excellent protein sources.
Rice-Rice will store for long periods of time when packaged properly. Choose white rice over brown for longer shelf-life.
Pasta-Pasta, whether it’s spaghetti, shells, macaroni or other types will last on your shelf for a long time. Like other carbohydrates, they provide almost instant energy and can stretch a meal if you’re running short on food.
Grains-wheat and other grains can come in handy. Storing flour gives you the ingredients for many dishes. Don’t forget the oats. Oatmeal makes a hearty warm breakfast that keeps you full a long time.
Cereals-repackage boxed cereals for longer storage
Fruit-If you always keep fresh fruit on hand, you’ll have some for short term use. Canned or dried fruit is for long term use.
Vegetables-canned and dried vegetables remain good for a long time. Consider premade soup with lots of veggies in it.
Sugar-Sugar is another long term storage item that adds both flavor and lots of calories.
Honey-Honey has an extremely long shelf life. It’s also a good addition for a first aid kit because of its anti-microbial, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties.
Many of the foods listed in other categories add to the fat content of the diet. Nuts and peanut butter are two. Unopened vegetable oil lasts up to a year.
Ghee-Ghee is basically similar to clarified butter, just cooked longer to ensure all the moisture is removed and the milk solids in it have been caramelized. It has a long shelf-life and doesn’t need to be refrigerated. It can provide the healthy fats necessary. There’s a diverse amount of information on how long the shelf-life is, but if you make it at home and can it or buy a canned variety, the shelf-life is longer. It’s worth making, canning and storing, at least for use now, making sure you have an extra jar in case the SHTF.
Vitamins and Minerals
If you’re planning your meals right, it shouldn’t be a problem getting all the nutrients you need. However, to be on the safe side, store multiple vitamins or canned insure. The protein powdered shake we drink is vegetarian and loaded with all the nutrients too.