Friday, October 8, 2010

Food For a Year

Picture from the Costco website

My husband just told me a few days ago that Costco is selling a year's supply of food for one person for $800. That's only a little over $15 per week. I just looked it up and turns out that is a sale price, but the regular price is $1,000 and still a pretty good deal.

My friends that already think know I'm crazy are probably about to start thinking I've gone off the deep end completely, but if the funds are available, buying a packaged deal like this sounds like an easy way to build up food storage to me. One order could feed a family of four for about 3 months (probably a little longer since the kids won't eat as much as the adults). If nothing else, such a thorough food storage would protect against a big part of the uncertainty that can come with sudden job loss. I've mentioned before that it is tangible things like shelter and food storage that make me feel physically secure. I'm not completely sure why, but once I had children and realized I was responsible for protecting them no matter what, I also became acutely aware that at the end of the day money is nothing more than fancy paper.

So back to this package from Costco. According to their website, the order includes:
Grains

* 8 Cans of Instant White Rice (48 servings per can)
* 12 Cans of Hard White Winter Wheat (44 servings per can)
* 3 Cans of 6 Grain Pancake Mix (50 servings per can)
* 2 Cans of Elbow Macaroni (45 servings per can)

Vegetables

* 6 Cans of Dehydrated Potato Chunks (42 servings per can)
* 1 Can of Freeze-Dried Sweet Corn (46 servings per can)
* 1 Can of Freeze-Dried Green Peas (41 servings per can)
* 1 Cans of Dehydrated Chopped Onions (45 servings per can)
* 1 Can of Freeze-Dried Mushroom Pieces (48 servings per can)
* 1 Can of Freeze-Dried Broccoli (47 servings per can)

Fruits

* 2 Cans of Organic Apple Slices (48 servings per can)
* 2 Cans of Freeze-Dried Strawberries (45 servings per can)
* 1 Can of Freeze-Dried Blueberries (50 servings per can)
* 1 Can of Freeze-Dried Blackberries (49 servings per can)
* 2 Cans of Freeze-Dried Raspberries (48 servings per can)

Dairy

* 6 Cans of Powdered Milk (43 servings per can)
* 3 Cans of Chocolate Drink Mix (48 servings per can)

Proteins/Beans

The taste and texture of TVP (Textured Vegetable Protein) is consistent with real meat, making it a great addition to vegetarian diets

* 3 Cans of Bacon TVP (47 servings per can)
* 3 Cans of Beef TVP (44 servings per can)
* 3 Cans of Chicken TVP (45 servings per can)
* 2 Cans of Taco TVP (42 servings per can)
* 6 Cans of Pinto Beans (49 servings per can)
* 1 Can of Black Beans (49 servings per can)
* 2 Cans of Lima Beans (49 servings per can)
* 3 Cans of Lentils (52 servings per can)
* 6 Cans of Whole Eggs (236 servings per can)

Cooking Basics

* 2 Cans of White Sugar (46 servings per can)
Information from the Costco website

Each of the cans is a #10 sized can (gallon-sized), so you can see it's quite a lot of food. It's all also shelf stable for many many years. Of course, ideally, you would add this food into your food rotation and periodically replace it with fresher items both so you have fresher food in your storage at all times and so you get comfortable cooking with the ingredients. One of the bigger "problems" I can see is there is no flour. They provide you with wheat instead, which is the only feasible way to store flour long term, so you would need a food mill. They also don't specify if the milk is fat free, but I'd suspect it is, and I'm not sure if you can make cheese from non-fat powdered milk. Not that cheese is a necessity, but it's something I'd sure miss if I had to give it up completely. And lastly, I wouldn't truly use this as a full food storage, you would want some other things like salt, oil, vinegar and baking soda that would come in handy. Overall though, it's a dang good start that's easy to buy.

Some websites that would help you out on how to store and use this food:
Everday Food Storage
The Food Storage section of the Daily Survival Blog
Food Storage Made Easy

2 comments:

One Acre Homestead said...

As one of your equally weird friends, I've looked into it, too. Unfortunately, it's my hubby who thinks I'm totally off my rocker when I bring it up! I have been building some food storage over the last year by buying a extra can or two when I go grocery shopping and squirreling it away. The state of the world economy and the dollar is pretty frightening right now. I'm with you on protecting our families with food and shelter...it does make me sleep better at night knowing we have several months of food on hand. Trouble is, some of it is in the freezer, which would be useless in a natural disaster situation.

The Hills said...

Freezer storage is still plenty useful, it would just need to be used up first in case of power outage (and some could be canned if needed). I feel like it makes sense to have a mix of canned, frozen and dehydrated food stores. After all, a tornado could wipe out a large portion of home canned food stores easily. There are lots of sources for buying similar products one can at a time to more slowly build up a storage. And, of course, you can never ever underestimate the importance of building skills. If things happened to REALLY get bad, storage of food and supplies would only last so long, it's skills that really offer security.

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