Friday, November 2, 2012

How to Start Prepping

You have already taken the first step to becoming prepared for emergencies by starting to look for information and thinking about becoming prepared.  That, believe it or not, is the biggest hurdle; that's a first step that many people can't or won't make.

Now what?

Put down the list of the 100 things to run out in the stores first.  Close the spreadsheet of foods to store.  Take a deep breath....

...and write down what you typically eat in a week.  Don't get too much into detail, but if you have oatmeal for breakfast, and coffee, and a piece or two of bacon, write that down.  What do you eat for lunch?  Snacks?  How about dinner?  What is your favorite treat or dessert?  What do you like to drink?  What are your favorite comfort foods?  

This is the list you need to work from, not somebody else's list of wheat, dried milk, beans, etc.  This is your list.  Sure, you can put that stuff on your list of what to stock up on, but first, start with what you eat.  

You might find that what you usually eat is going to be kind of hard to stock up on or store.  That's the case with what I eat for breakfast, for example; I have some deli meat and cheese on bread.  The mustard and mayo's not a problem, but unless I freeze a bunch of deli goods, I'm out of luck for breakfast as normal.  In that case, what else would I want to eat for breakfast?  Well, I can make biscuits, and I have butter and jam.  For protein (because breakfast really is the most important meal of the day, y'know), I have some bacon bits, or canned meats, or blocks of cheese I've frozen (did you know you can freeze cheeze?  Gets a little more crumbly than usual, but it tastes the same) that I could cut a hunk off of...

Nobody would want to come over to eat at my house for lunch in an emergency because people get hungry, but not hungry enough for sardines on rye crackers.  That, to most people, is too hard-core even on a good day...but that is what I have in my pantry because it's what I eat.  I've even had that for breakfast a time or two, along with coffee. 

For dinner, the menu's a bit better; I've got tons of things I could cook up:  split pea or lentil soup, or canned beef and canned veg plus biscuits either from scratch or Bisquick (marvelous stuff, Bisquick), or chili or spaghetti or I could use up the frozen seafood and make cioppino and make some herbed biscuits, plus canned pears or peaches for dessert.  I suppose some of those things would be good for lunch, too.

So what have you put on your list?  Take a look and see if you can make meals out of any of the items you've listed.  Don't worry if the meals might not make 'sense'; right now, you're looking at eating, not watching your girlish figure or 'is this paleo?'.  This is the food you eat, not a nutritional analysis.

Next, expanding on the basics.