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Short Term vs. Long Term Preps

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I've been working hard since the winter trying to put together 6 months plus of supplies, and finally feel like I've got it together...for now. Of course, there will be more to "put up" once my garden starts producing


So now I've been thinking about this: all of the preps I have now are of the "store what you use and use what you store" variety. But I'm planning on "eating down" my pantry once a year - like a spring cleaning thing. Then stocking up as soon as fall hits. That way I can make sure that nothing is going to waste (plus that's the way my grandma did it - and my mother does it - and all my aunts do it - you get the picture).


So this all sounds fine and good to me EXCEPT if there was a problem during the late spring or summer months. In that case, I would like to have something that keeps longer than my normal...here's what I'm thinking:


Powdered Eggs (#10 cans)

Ezekiel Bread mix (still researching this)

Some sort of fat - probably lard (would also double for soap ingredients if needed)



These could be rotated out on a slower basis - like a 10 year rotation instead of a yearly. So that I would have approximately 6 months of additional food if needed.


I would appreciate some feedback - sorry this has turned into a novel...



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Hi Keiko. I'm not sure what exactly you mean by "eating down" your pantry each year but IMHO that would put you dangerously low at certain times of the year and if TSHTF at that particular time, you would be in trouble even if you DID store long term items. You could get pretty tired of the same foods day after day and it could even cause some nutritional deficiencies unless you stored a wide variety of long-term storage foods.


I have prepped for ages and what works best for me is to stock up on what we eat only have enough stored for at least six months, most things a year. I date everything and use the oldest item first and then replace it with fresh. I do this even with rice, oatmeal, pwd. milk and etc so that nothing will be all that old when a real emergency comes around. I'm sure having some sealed, long term foods on hand would be a good idea as you would be assured of their keeping quality but I wouldn't want to depend on those alone to sustain me in a disaster.


I usually check my preps before shopping and replace what is low, placing the new item to the back each time. I also check them before I plant my garden. I estimate what I have left in canned goods and plant accordingly. Some years I have enough beans canned to last two years, some years I end up buying them. Some years it's something else I have a lot of but I always try to decide if I have enough to last me until the next growing season and if not, I plant it and process it.


The one suggestion I have for long term preps is to make sure you will know how to prepare it, and that you will EAT it. Also that you have no latent allergies, say to wheat or eggs. Sometimes eating wheat as a sustenance source, especially stored whole grain wheat, day after day will show an intollerence or allergy. Again, store what you will eat. Don't go on the assumption that if you or your family is starving, you will eat it. People, the elderly and children especially, are apt to get appetite fatigue and just not eat enough to get their required nutrition if they have to face something they do not like or that they have to eat day after day. Think of things like spices and herbs, salt, sugar/honey, baking supplies and something to make water more palatable when you are thinking long-term storage.


Good luck figuring this out. The important thing here is that you ARE prepping. And that's the best thing of all

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Hi there!


I felt the same as you so I added 50lbs of hard red wheat. This will store forever with proper storage. If you have a grain grinder you have got flour. Eat it as hot cereal as well. Of course dry beans and white rice such as basmati, store for years as well. It's all about good packaging and storage. Sorry I'm in a rush gotta go to work.

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Guest Guest

Long term? the basic 4 .... wheat, salt, sugar or honey, powdered milk.


While the first 3 will last forever, the powdered milk does have a shelf life. This will depend on which type ... non-fat or low-fat, brand and how it is stored.


The nice thing is you mentioned lard.. actually crisco will last forver (of so they say) unopened and 18 months opened.


Take the lard and powdered milk, some lye and wella.. milk soap. Also you can make milk lotion and milk baths for gifts. But powdered milk (do a search in the kitchen for recipes for using up.. add any if you find them) can be used in most baking.


I am an advocate for long term storage. Buy it, package it, store it, forget it!


This grain can also be fed to livestock.


Wheat can be made into bread, seitan (meat sub.), sprouted, juiced wheat grass, ground and made into desserts... love this stuff!


In a 6 month pantry.... if you use so many cans of something you mark it on the shopping list and next trip you replace it. You should not have an empty pantry ever.


Do you can? come visit us in the preserving the harvest!

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I went to the local processing plant (meat locker) the other day to buy lard.. This is where I always get it.. He only had two pounds and didn't know if he'd get anymore.. UGH! He says people just aren't raising fat hogs anymore..

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For long term Im looking to my Amish neighbors and emulating them, except I have indoor plumbing. Outhouses in January are not in my future. Their larder lasts a year,they put up enough of any single thing to last untill the next harvest of that item. Things like milk production goes down untill the next freshening, so they adjust their cooking [meals] accordingly. most of the Amish here have greenhouses and coldframes so they get some fresh veggies fairly early. The Amish are a wealth of information, I am grateful for my Amish and Mennonitet neighbors. They are an inspiration. Not only in preparing but in what they deem important. The biggest item in preparing for the long term is a change of thinking. Everything else is just working out the details.

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The biggest item in preparing for the long term is a change of thinking. Everything else is just working out the details.

IMHO I believe no truer words have been spoken.
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Their larder lasts a year,they put up enough of any single thing to last untill the next harvest of that item.

I guess that's what I'm talking about - why am I buying 200 lbs. of last year's wheat berries in June when I can wait until September and buy THIS year's wheat. Same thing is true with my canning - I always wait until the fruit is in season to can (of course...MUCH cheaper that way).

I just don't want to be caught without enough - what would the Amish or Mennonites do if there was a problem in late spring? Just go and plant more in their gardens?
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I quess I sort of do both...we do a bulk buy with the Income Tax refund check...that is for everything we use in a year's time. Like 104 rolls of TP. 150#s of hamburger, etc. Then throughout the rest of the year I only have to buy milk, eggs and butter. If I find a good sale on something, I buy another year's worth of that. Like 3#s of pasta for $1.00...I will buy another year's worth of that and store it in plastic containers. At bulk buy time I only bring it back up to a 1 year level. No matter what, I am always within one year of a garden, etc. This way I have almost a year's worth of everything year round. I never like to let it get below 6 months worth before adding to it to bring it up to a year's supply.


My Long term storage are things like wheat, beans and rice. When I can afford it prepackaged items that I feel would make life easier...like tomato powder, TVP, nonfat dry milk, dried butter, and dried eggs, etc. I also store a lot of salt, vinegar, spices, solid shortening, seasonings and soup bases to compliment the beans & rice.


Like my family loves Campbell's bean & bacon soup. If I cook some great northern or navy beans about 1 cup dry measure and add some bacon bits & grease (like the stuff in the bottom of a pan after frying bacon and 1 can of prepared bean & bacon soup...I have a "as much as you can eat" meal (feeds 4) for next to nothing.


I also buy hot dog chili in the cans. Two cans added to cooked pinto or kidney beans along with some tomatoes and spices and I have a cheap batch of chili. I got the chili sauce 2 for a $1.00.


It's not that hard, just plan 3 meals a day (we only eat 2) for 365 days and buy it all an put it in storage...then replace everything you eat.



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