*March is Oil Month*

By Stryder

01 March 2005

March is here already? Oh well -- Here we go again. One of my goals this year was to go through my food stores and set up a systematic plan for addressing one area each month. I agreed to post what I was doing so others can join in. Let’s "fill in the gaps". Prior month’s suggestions will be on my web page at http://www.alpharubicon.com/~stryder/survive.htm.

Again, I'm not the expert end-all be-all on food or food storage. My goal with this plan 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 don’t have a storage plan going, then just follow this plan for the year and you’ll end up with a decent amount of storage food!

I believe in BUY WHAT YOU EAT AND EAT WHAT YOU BUY. You may not eat what we eat – if you don’t, DON’T buy my suggestions, buy what works for you. Just stick with the general category. We use 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 so we are storing our freshest food and rotating our food stores every month. Remember to clearly mark your food as you store it so that it is easy to rotate the older food.

I am trying to keep the suggestions down to about $50 a month +/-, and again, the prices are based on my AO – your mileage may vary somewhat. These are the "walk into a local market and buy things while you’re shopping for regular groceries prices", not the "buy 500 lbs. of something in bulk from a wholesaler" prices. Last month was pasta month and I was pretty set for pasta so I stocked up on sauce. At the end of the month one of the local stores ran a special on lasagna noodles, macaroni, linguini, and spaghetti – four pounds for a dollar. A great price for my area. I took advantage of $40 worth, 160 lbs. of pasta. We’ll eat more pasta this coming year than normal for us and the overall savings from that buy will pay for my gas to get to the IC this year if I’m able to get the time off form work. Taztoo has offered to help out with bulk buys from his catering business contacts. Contact him for bulk pricing.

February is OIL month. The suggested goal in the literature that I’ve seen is 25 lbs. of oil per person/per year. Oil is needed to cook just about anything, to bake, to keep things from sticking, and as a source of needed calories in survival situations. Ask a hard working farmer or laborer what they eat for breakfast and you’ll think to yourself that what they tell you must be for a whole day, not just one meal. In a survival situation, when you’re working every minute to survive, often at jobs you’re not used to doing, you’ll be burning calories like you never thought possible and oils are a good source of calories!

Fifty bucks will get you about 45-50 lbs. of oil if you follow my list below, enough for about 2 man-years.

One gallon of oil = about 8 lbs., one can of shortening = 3lbs., 1 cup of butter, margarine, or shortening = 7/8 cup of oil in recipes.

I store my oil in the containers it comes in from the store. We use about equal amounts of vegetable oil (mostly corn oil) and olive oil, so that is what we store. Literature says that the olive oil will keep 6-12 months longer than other oils which was a consideration for us to start using it more. Most oils will store 18 months unopened in a cool place with constant temperature and usually not more than 6 months before going rancid after opening.

Here’s my list for March:

Vegetable oil 3 gals. $13.50

Olive oil 1 gal. $10.00

Mayonnaise 1 gal. $6.50

Shortening 3 3lb. cans $6.00

Cooking spray – 2 7oz. cans $2.50

Peanut Butter – 4 1lb. jars $5.00

Assorted Salad Dressings 4 16oz. bottles $6.50

If you’re 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. Jars of Pesto sauce to go with last months pasta has a high oil content as do nuts and other nut butters. We keep some Tahini (sesame seed butter) on hand and use it with garbanzo beans to make humus and eat it on unleavened flat bread or torn up pitas. If you’re good in all those things, think about getting some powdered margarine or shortening for very long term storage (6+ years in #10 can with oxygen absorbers.

And if you’re completely good on oil then you might want to spend this month’s $50 on canning supplies, jars, bands, lids, pickling mix, pectin, etc. – 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 a heat source! Make sure that you have a way to cook this food if things start to fall apart. A camp stove, a BBQ grill, a charcoal grill and supply of charcoal. Double check that you a way to cook this food if your stove is not available. 

Get out and train!


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