I’ve got a plan for your next really stressful week. Seriously. What is the most stressful week you have planned in the next few months? Instead of going grocery shopping that week, do this instead:
- Call the grocery store and ask them to get together 56000 calories worth of food for you.
- Tell them you’d like the least expensive calories you can get.
- Tell them you’d like mostly grains.
- Make sure they know you don’t care about being able to make any specific recipes with the foods.
- Let them know variety isn’t that important to you. You are happy to get a LOT of the same ingredient if it brings the cost down and you don’t need much dairy.
- Tell them that taste isn’t your top priority. You don’t mind if things don’t taste great as long as they are cheap.
- Let them know you aren’t overly concerned with the nutrients / vitamins available in the foods.
- Tell them the foods don’t have to be familiar. They don’t need to be things you’ve ever eaten or cooked with before.
- Let them know you don’t want any real meat, only meat substitutes.
Now, eat the food you are given and nothing else for the next week. Sound like a good plan? I mean, you’d have all the calories you need for a week. 56000 calories is 2000 calories per day per person (family of 4) for a week. So, you are good, right?
I know, kinda silly right? Well, for all the reasons you won’t be doing the above, I won’t be buying a pre-made food storage plan anytime soon.
1. I Don’t Like Stress
First, most people who purchase pre-made packages only plan to use them if they “have to.” A “have to” situation ( job loss, natural disaster, economic collapse etc) implies high stress. When I’m stressed, I want easy to use, familiar foods. I absolutely do not want to try to figure out how to use foods I’ve never used before and then try to convince my kids to eat foods they’ve never tasted before. If you do choose to buy a premade package, I recommend you break into it, regularly use it and then replace what you use.
2. I Want Nutrients & Variety
Grains are the least expensive calories, especially wheat and white rice. Premade packages come with lots of wheat and other grains. I have nothing against grains, but I also like and eat lots of other things: stuff like real cheese, zucchini, grapes, and tomato dices. I’d have a hard time making complete meals with mostly grains.
Premade packages are also heavy on dehydrated foods (less expensive) and light on freeze dried foods. Dehydrated foods are more difficult to cook with and they are less nutrient dense.
Meat is also too expensive to include in premade food storage packages. So instead you get a meat substitute like TVP. It is genetically modified and extremely high in sodium.
In order to keep costs down, premade packages include very little dairy. The dairy they do include is typically lower quality: milk substitutes, milk with additives, or real milk dried through a high heat process which changes the taste. If offered, cheese is usually in powdered form and full of sodium, artificial colors & flavors.
3. I want meal, not calories
This is the #1 reason I don’t like premade packages. You are buying calories, not meals. What if you can’t make actual meals from what you buy? I do not want to try to figure that out in the middle of an emergency! I want to know exactly what I will be feeding my family. I base my grocery shopping off actual meals so that I can feed my family each week. Why should the food I store be any different?
4. I want to choose what I eat!
I don’t have someone else grocery shop for me on a weekly basis. Why? Because I like to choose what I eat. I don’t think that will change just because there is an emergency. My kids certainly aren’t going to understand that they need to eat things I didn’t choose for them: things they’ve never eaten before.
Base your food storage on recipes and build your own package! Convert favorite recipes into shelf stable ingredients and store those! I have a bunch in my recipe eBook which you can find by clicking here or on the image below: