*February is Pasta Month*
01 February 2005
Here we go again. Iím going to be suggesting some things to buy for food storage each month this year so that folks work through their food storage systematically and "fill in the gaps". Januaryís suggestions are on my web page http://www.alpharubicon.com/~stryder/survive.htm. I'm not the expert end-all be-all on food or food storage but this year, one of my goals is to systematically improve my food stores while not significantly impacting my family budget. This plan and the suggestions are intended to supplement, not supplant your current plan. It is meant to be simple and obtainable by just about everyone. If you donít have a storage plan going, then just follow this plan for the year and youíll end up with a decent amount of storage food!
I believe in BUY WHAT YOU EAT AND EAT WHAT YOU BUY. I take that very seriously. The Stryder family uses our storage and just about everything non-perishable that we buy at the store goes into storage and the equivalent comes out into the pantry. For those of you with spouses that are less than supportive of the survival lifestyle, think of the food stores as a savings account. Iíve had some disagreements with other Rubies about this, but I believe it is true. The food on your shelves earns about 2% interest (the cost of living increases due to annual inflation) and money in banks now is not earning much if any more than that. You can convert your food stores to cash by eating them down and saving the money from your grocery bills.
I trying to keep the suggestions down to about $50 a month +/-, and again, the prices are based on my AO Ė your mileage my vary somewhat. These are the "walk into a local market and buy things while youíre shopping for regular groceries prices", not the "buy 500 lbs. of something in bulk from a wholesaler" prices. Taztoo has offered to help out with bulk buys from his catering business contacts. Contact him for bulk pricing.
Fifty bucks can buy quite a bit, but donít expect to feed your whole family on it for a year. Adopt or adapt each monthís suggestions to meet your own individual needs. You may not eat what we eat Ė if you donít, DONíT buy my suggestion buy what works for you.
February is PASTA month. The suggested goal in the LDS Church literature that Iíve seen is 50 lbs. of pasta per person/per year. My family eats pasta often and we go through just a shade less than 40 lbs. per person total per year. Pasta is relatively easy to cook and fix. Boil some water and boil the pasta for 8 minutes. Drain. Toppings or sauce if available and eat. Itís fast, even kids can do it, most Americans like it, and itís familiar to most of our diets. Fifty bucks will get you about 70 lbs. of pasta and sauce, if you follow my list below, enough for about one and one half man-year.
A #10 can holds 3.33 lbs. of pasta, a 5 gal. pail holds 25 lbs. of macaroni or about 35lbs. of spaghetti. One cup of dry pasta = 2 1/2 cups of cooked pasta.
I store my pasta 25 lbs. at a time loose in 5 gallon pails or 40lbs. in a 10 gallon Rubbermaid tote. This keeps out the moisture and makes it easier to move and store. Sealed in Mylar bags or vacuum packed the literature I have seen says pasta will keep for eight years. I do not keep an eight year supply so I donít know first hand but I consistently use pasta that is 12-18 months old just stored in Tupperware as described and it is always fine.
Hereís my list for February:
Macaroni 25lbs. $12.50
Spagetti 25lbs. $12.50
Lasagne 5lbs. $5
Egg Noodles 10lbs. $5
Top Ramen noodles - 24 3oz. packs $2.50
Jars or cans of Ragu type sauce w/meat - 10 26oz. $7.50
Alfredo pasta sauce w/ cheese - 4 26oz. Jars $5
If youíre good to go already with one of those suggestions, move the money and buy extra of one of the others where you're a little weak. If youíre good in all those things, think about small and large shells, fettuccine, rotini, Cup-O-Noodles, or some Lipton Noodles and Sauce packs. Also, you may want to add more sauce or add more variety like Pesto or Sun Dried Tomato types.
And if youíre completely good on pasta then you might want to spend this monthís $50 on either drink mix/coffee/tea, cleaning supplies, or paper goods Ė none of which will be a part of this food program this year but all are still critical for a well rounded storage supply.
Remember that cooking requires water! Double check your water supply this month. Shoot for 1 gallon/per person/per day and try for 30 days worth as a minimum.
Happy New Year! Get out and train HARD this year! Stryder
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