Prepping where there is disparity between everyday diet and what stores well

(38 Posts)
witwootoodleoo Mon 06-Aug-18 22:55:26

I've wanted to start prepping for a while for foreseeable food shortages - weather, supply chain disruption etc.

The stumbling block is that we mostly eat fresh fruit, veg, fish and wholefoods and don't each much in the way of tinned or frozen produce or things like sweets or chocolate bars which would obviously would be good for long shelf-life/ energy/a treat. So I've not really got very far with prepping.

I'm coming to the conclusion that probably I should stock up with tins etc on the basis that in a crisis we'd suck it up and eat them. But then what do I do with all the tins I don't use?

Current thinking is maybe every six months (and well before sell by dates) I donate the whole lot to a food bank and start again

What do others do to deal with the difference between what they eat and what stores well please? Does that sound like a viable solution? Ideas very welcome.

OP’s posts: |
TooManyPaws Mon 06-Aug-18 23:03:30

Well, so do I, but I'm stocking up with tinned fish, vegetables and fruit, as well as starting to dry fruit and veg. Once it's thrown into a stew or soup, dried and tinned stuff is OK.

witwootoodleoo Mon 06-Aug-18 23:34:44

So you are factoring using up what you stockpile into your diet? I can see how that would work for a tin of pulses in a stew, but a lot of the stuff I would need to stockpile to give a reasonably balanced diet I just wouldn't want to eat unless I had to. How do people deal with this? I often see advice of stockpiling what you already eat but that's tricky when stuff doesn't store well

OP’s posts: |
IAmInsignificunt Tue 07-Aug-18 03:14:09

Have you looked into frozen veg (not ideal to tie up everything in the freezer but also handy nonetheless)?

We didn’t previously eat much tinned food day to day but we camp a fair bit so have experimented and now use some regularly at home.

Butter beans
Kidney beans
Plum tomatoes
Black eyed beans
Spiced mixed beans
Flagelot beans
Cannellini beans
Brown lentils
Baked beans
Soups (I add in spices and my own noodles)

Jarred and pickled stuff like:
Red cabbage slaw
Sun dried tomatoes
Pickled onions
Nice and easy to do yourself plus there are some decent supermarket versions.

Tinned veg wise:
Sweet corn
Green beans (thrown into a curry or stew)
Sliced mushrooms (again thrown into a stew, curry or chilli)
Are all passable, not perfect but passable.

The rest of the stuff we use for camping (my kids tried beans and sausage in a tin with cubs and seem to think they are manna from heaven) and we do tend to only stock what they will eat.

I have a system where I make sure I know if something has 6 months left on the tin. If I’m unlikely to use it I donate to a food bank and it still has a good length for the recipient.

I’m experimenting and trying other foods to see how they work. I have no issues with feeding tinned food tbh.

Copperbonnet Tue 07-Aug-18 04:14:47

It depends why you are prepping surely? And what you are preparing for?

I live in a hurricane zone.

During hurricane season I’m prepping for a possible short to medium term loss of power, loss of drinking water, inability to leave the house due to either dangerous weather or flooding.

As a result my stores are focussed on foods that don’t need to be stored cold and can survive the lack of air con, foods that can be easily warned through on a gas stove, foods that are nutritious but will last a while.

We don’t expect to eat the same kind of food during a hurricane that we eat in normal circumstances.

We stock up on batteries, gas bottles, bottled water and large water containers to wash/flush with.

We have stores of cash, medicines and first aid supplies and ready the emergency bug out kit.

If you are just prepping for some vague future need you’ll find it quite difficult to actually work out what’s required.

Think about what specific circumstances you are prepping for and work from there.

bellinisurge Tue 07-Aug-18 08:09:31

Is preserving food yourself an option?

bellinisurge Tue 07-Aug-18 08:16:47

We have a pressure canner and have made some chilli and some taco mince. Heat up with rice and I have a nice homemade meal.
I have dehydrated some fresh veg (some home grown, some in season from the shops). Also dehydrated some poached chicken.
Add together to make a soup with e.g. lentils.

cloudtree Tue 07-Aug-18 08:53:47

There is another thread just like this from when the prepping board first began. The board is only 5 pages long so you should be able to find it.

To be honest I doubt you're any different from most of us since I would be very surprised if anyone eats in day to day life in the way that they would be prepared to eat in an emergency scenario. We certainly eat in exactly the same way as you do. I rarely open a tin (unless its baked beans or sweetcorn). However in an emergency we would eat whatever was available.

So you have various options-

1. buy things you would eat but fresh eg tins of sweetcorn (and then as a PP said just chuck them into other recipes if you can't bear to eat them on their own)
2. process and store your own (a dehydrator is your friend here)
3. Don't use it, donate it - this will however be expensive and you will have to keep a close eye on use by dates.

We do a combination. The cats get the tinned meat when it gets past its end date. I use the long life milk in something like a rice pudding.

KimCheesePickle Tue 07-Aug-18 10:17:01

Glad someone asked this question, as this has been on my mind as I build up stocks. I'm gluten-free and low carb/primal-ish. I don't really eat "gluten free" products (apart from the odd pack of GF cookies maybe every 3 months, and I'll buy a GF loaf/muffins/whatever if I strike gold in Morrisons 10p corner). I eschew grains mostly as well, though I am flexible about legumes - happy to chuck a tin of beans in a chilli.

Fortunately my DH is less of a fussy bugger - in some respects - he won't eat "weird shit" like shellfish/offal etc. So between us, we'll use up what we buy. And of course I'd be happy to eat much more rice in a SHTF situation.

This is what I’m stockpiling

Lots of sachets of Look What We Found meals
Various beans/lentils (in water)
Spicy beans in chilli sauce
Tins of chilli con carne/Irish stew etc
Low sugar baked beans
Coconut milk
Jars of beetroot, pickles etc
Jars/cartons of passata
Peaches & other fruit
Evaporated milk
Rice pudding
Basmati rice
Ghee/goose fat/coconut oil etc

One thing that's been playing on my mind is that as Low Carb is so good for weight-loss, yet so nourishing... is that it would be brilliant from an op-sec point of view… you'd stay slim but well nourished. So you wouldn't stand out as a well fed person in times of food shortages. However LC is largely reliant on unprocessed/fresh meat, fish, eggs and above-ground vegetables... which are reliant on functioning supply chains.

So my solution is to think in layers and longer term… so working towards “homesteading” rather than “stockpiling”. We’re thinking of getting chickens, getting the veg garden under way and I may have to face the idea of meat animals like quail or rabbits.

I’d also echo what IAmInsignificant said ^ about pickles… things like sauerkraut and kimchi (hence user name grin ) are great for promoting healthy gut bacteria and help to preserve vegetables from a few days to a few weeks. Ideal to make your own, as then they have all the good bacteria, the supermarket/polish shop ones are pasteurised. Sandor Ellix Katz is the fermentation guru… book and vids on Youtube. I also remember an old episode of Grand Designs where they chose not to have a fridge; the wife was Japanese and made pickled vegetables… so look into Japanese/Korean fermentation techniques.

cloudtree Tue 07-Aug-18 10:55:19

I'm about to add a stash of Huel to my stockpile. It lasts for a year. 28 meals for £45. It isn't as a cheap an option as some others but its nutritionally balanced and is a useful addition.

bellinisurge Tue 07-Aug-18 11:00:21

Look what we found stuff is fab. Pricey but fab for a treat.

IAmInsignificunt Tue 07-Aug-18 11:05:15

John West do some great pouches with fish and lentils usually for £2 is but you can get them for 2 for £3.50 in Morrisons at the moment. They can be microwaved or eaten cold.
Someone I work with has them on occasion, they had salmon and giant cous cous one last night and I immediately added some to my supermarket shop because it looked pretty decent.

KimCheesePickle Tue 07-Aug-18 11:08:34

It's on special offer in Morrisons at the mo <taps nose>

PamsterWheel Tue 07-Aug-18 11:14:19

Will you really give a shit if the world is plunged into turmoil and the alternative is starving? 🙄

KimCheesePickle Tue 07-Aug-18 11:45:04

Pamster... that's not the point of the thread. The issue is that the usual advice is to buy lots of tins and long-life processed foods, and to rotate them into your normal everyday diet, so that they get used up before they go out of date. They're not wasted in other words... just investing upfront what you would eat anyway.

The problem is - what if you never eat these kinds of foods... what happens if the shit doesn't hit the fan? In economic terms it has become an expensive liability and sunk cost, rather than an investment that would pay off either way.

OP, do you make regular charity donations, if so, I would cut those down. If, when the shit doesn't hit the fan, take the tins with the short date to the food bank, so that counts as your charity allocation in your budget. Write the dates more clearly in marker pen, store in date order and take to food bank when within a few weeks of their expiry date.

RedneckStumpy Tue 07-Aug-18 11:47:31

Have you considered pressure canning? We also eat a lot of fresh veg, we make big batches of tomato and veg sauce and then can it.

We also do the same with homemade vegetable soup

ThePricklySheep Tue 07-Aug-18 11:48:58

I’m doing two things:

trying to find some tinned food recipes using things like fish that we could eat day to day

presuming that tins last for years so not worrying about some of the stuff we don’t eat.

bellinisurge Tue 07-Aug-18 15:14:41

@RedneckStumpy pressure canning is an expensive initial outlay here in UK. I have one and they are great. However I don't know if new tariffs would make them even more expensive to import now.

RedneckStumpy Tue 07-Aug-18 16:01:17

Ok fair enough, if you have a Instantpot I believe you can use them for canning

KimCheesePickle Tue 07-Aug-18 16:34:05

I think if you have a new style Instant Pot, they claim they can be used for pressure canning. However, the USDA state that it doesn't get up to the recommended temperatures and pressures to render canned food safe from botulism. Food blogger here recommends starting with high acid foods like jams and pickles as you can't really go wrong with those.

bellinisurge Tue 07-Aug-18 16:41:35

I'd be wary of using an instant pot.

FlotSHAMnJetson Tue 07-Aug-18 17:09:03

Grow fresh veg.

bellinisurge Tue 07-Aug-18 17:56:55

@witwootoodleoo , I'd suggest you try some experiments with what works and doesn't do that any falling back on the store cupboard that you have to do isn't as much of a shock to the system.

JustLikeBefore Tue 07-Aug-18 19:27:27

I wouldnt worry about using tinned goods within date. they should last years.

there was some info on thread about how they test them and the reason for the best before date (it's not a use by date).

if no-one remembers the thread and links, then it must have been some thing I read somewhere else and will look for it. But I'm sure it was on here.

Ragwort Tue 07-Aug-18 19:44:21

Food Banks are inundated with tinned pulses & baked beans, you might not be thanked for donating even more grin.

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