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Living on preps....NOW.

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We've been pretty much living on preps, due to shortages in cash flow, for some time. I'm glad to have the preps, but not so glad to be nibbling away at them on a daily basis without replacing them.


Not that long ago, I could not have fathomed living on just preps...but I can say now that it IS posiible. So I offer a few menus, recipes, and hints....


The first is to not forget the codliver oil and multivitamins.


For breakfast today, we had oatmeal porridge made with UHT milk, with brown sugar and evaporated milk on top.


The mid-morning snack was dried apple and banana slices and bottled guava juice.


For lunch we had pizzas made with homemade wholewheat bread dough, canned pizza sauce, and canned cheesewix and maasdammer cheese. One pizza got topped with the maasdammer and a can of sauerkraut and garnishes (over here, kraut comes with sausage, pork, and hotdogs in the can)...the other got topped with canned baby burgers, dill chips, ketchup (as well as pizza sauce), and cheesewhiz mixed with milk to liquify, plus a bit of maasdammer. We drank blackcurrant syrup diluted with water.


The afternoon snack will be canned peaches with custard (like hot vanilla pudding)


Tonight will be soup. Canned butter mixed with flour and milk and cooked into a roux, a stock cube, dehydrated onion, thyme, and a drop of Tabasco. Then a jar of home canned cabbage, one of leeks, another of potatoes, with water to thin. At the end a spoonful of powdered milk, and croutons made of dried breadcubes fried gently in oil til browned.


Does anyone else live mostly on preps for now?

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Wow! You've prepped lots of variety. Everything sounds great except the kraut with garnishes, not a cabbage/hotdog kind of girl!


As for living mostly on preps, yes. If only because we eat pretty much everything we store on a regular basis(except some commercially canned meats)


I've cut back on a lot of purchases because of prices, both for food and gas. The only thing we're really buying right now is milk (although I cook with stored powdered) and really good loss leaders, but there haven't been many of those lately.


Good job on the menu!

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What I did, when I first began seriously prepping, was to sit down and write out a list of every single thing that we use...and then try to multiply that for a year. It was an impressive list, and with time, I learned what our realistic usage rates were for all products.


Then I began to think of how to replace or tweak all the those things that couldn't be easily found at stores. And then I began to make things that I might have been able to find, but were cheaper or better for us as homemade. It was like an addiction...ever single thing I saw at a store, I wanted to try and reproduce it at home.


The things that are missing are fresh fruits and vegetables. We aren't eating too many of those at the moment, so when I do have any money, that's what it's spent on. At the moment we are living in the middle of town ( www.rogerhallett.com ) and growing anything but sprouts isn't possible.



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sounds like you're living pretty good,hope you can eat just as good if the SHTF.

i haven't prepped to eat that good.

I'm hoping to eat a flap jack with bacon grease or maple syrup or even honey on it for morning with a couple cups of tea.

maybe some rice or dry beans cooked in chicken broth and a piece of bread cooked on the wood stove top some time between eleven and 3 PM.

at night we might live it up a little with some meat, maybe some kind of home canned veg and more bread or biscuts, rice pudding or cake, depending on how deep into a re or De we go, we hope to make 4 yrs on what we have, just the basics.

snacks are out of the question, everything will be rationed.


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Susie, those are some unique sounding pizzas. In my family sauerkraut is one of those love/hate foods. Either you love it or you can't abide it.


No, we don't live on preps yet, but I am trying to increase cetain things. For instance we have dried beans on a regular basis, so this wouldn't be such a shock in a crisis situation.


I'm glad the powdered milk was mentioned as I need to make some up now and then to get the kids over the shock of it. If made properly and kept cold, it's doable, but they've never tasted it and this would be a better time to try something new like that.

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Sauerkraut is really very good on a pizza, even (or especially) without the garnishes. My kids will NOT eat kraut, even when I cook it lovingly as per my German Mom's recipe, with white wine, pork, and apples, and serve it over mashed potatoes. But they will eat it on pizza....I just hide it under the cheese.

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I loathed powdered milk when I was a kid. It tasted old if it was refrigerated more than a few hours and even when served fresh and cold, it was still skim milk.


Make it up in small batches, with extremely cold water, stirred just to separate it from the bottom of the mixing jug, then "shaken not stirred."


If the box says add 1 cup milk powder to your quantity of water, add more. Up to a cup and a half. Alternatively, and better, add a can of evaporated milk to each gallon.


For the first several days, add a good dollop of "real milk" and either some instant-chocolate-milk powder (you can make your own), part of an envelope of Instant Breakfast, or a few drops of vanilla extract to each glass. It's cheaper than wasted milk.


Use smaller glasses than usual.


If possible rinse the glasses in chilled water before you put the milk in. Glasses that are hot from the wash often give the milk a soapy taste.


Spring for powdered whole milk, like NIDO, for fresh drinking. The taste difference is huge, and you can still cook with your powdered skim milk.

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Susie, I grow salads in window-boxes to protect them from my critters. Can you grow them like flowers in a window-box to protect them from your neighbors? Maybe stick in some violets too?

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We store what we eat, so yes, we are using preps right now...but I am still able to replace them for the most part as they are used up.


However, in 2000, we had prepped for y2k, had what I thought was a year's worth of food stashed away. Before that year was over, dh was out of work and that lasted for the better part of 1/5 yeras and we mostly lived off our prep foods. And when it was gone, I didn't try to replace it for the msot part since we had a growing family and struggled to live payday to payday.


It's only been in the past year that I've begun prepping again and we do have quite a stash of food put back now. I have NO meats, but tons of fruits and veggies and grains and baking supplies.


Like the others, I'd like to congratulate you on what a variety you have stashed back and how wonderful you are oding with your menus.

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It has come to that point for us as well. For months now, I have been buying only what we need, and a little extra to put buy. It's amazing how creative you can get when you have to be.


I have to say though - regarding the dried milk - my gramma split her milk (with 4 boys growing up post-WW II) she did half 2% and half skim. No one seemed to mind. She mixed it up when they were GONE or sleeping, so no one ever really knew for years. When they did splurge on cream around the holidays, it was too rich for the children, which left more for the adults! and their coffee! smile

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I just happened to go to the store the other day, freaked at the prices, and caught myself walking around in a panic and muttering 'OMG! We can't afford to eat, we're gonna die of starvation!'. I couldn't catch my breath for the longest time after.



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The other day in WalMart I spotted price after price that distressed me...finally I threw up my hands and said...That's it, no more eating, I'm canceling food from our family!


The kids were quiet, I think for a moment, they thought I was serious. LOL!



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Today's breakfast was homemade wholewheat bran and oatmeal bread toast spread with Nutella, which is a delicious spread made with milk, chocolate, and hazlenuts. Boxed Parmalat milk, served hot with a lump of sugar and a drop of vanilla.


Lunch turned out to be leftover vegetable soup from yesterday, served with fresh bread and canned butter. For dessert we split a jar of canned sour cherries.


This afternoon, the snack will be canned jars of banana walnut cake and orange juice. Where would the world be without flour?


Tonight it's an omlette made with fresh eggs (although I do have home-dehydrated powdered eggs). Fry canned potatoes in the oil from a jar of chorizo sausage in oil til browned, add a bit of chopped chorizo to the potatoes, then beat eggs with milk, dehydrated garlic, peppers, and onions, pour into the pan, cook (covered) til almost set and browned on the bottom...then put a big plate over the pan and turn out the omlette, then slide it back into the pan and let the bottom cook a bit more. Sometimes I top it with grated canned cheese at this point.


With the omlette, we'll have a cold greenbean salad...canned greenbeans, chopped onion (fresh is good, but dried is possible), parley, and vinaigrette. Chopped tomatoes optional.


Vinaigrette...The tablespoons of red wine vinegar, one of oil, half a lump of sugar, a forkful of Dijon mustard, salt and pepper. This can be made in big amounts and kept in a jar, shake to serve. (garlic, ketchup, paprika, and/or sourcream or mayonnaise optional).

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it all sounds very good Susie, and balanced.


I'm still doing a bit of shopping each week, just fresh produce, milk and lunch stuff for DH. As he lives in the truck all week, its hard for him to cook for himself so its alot of cold cuts. He does have a fridge, microwave, lunchbox heater and a gas grill but is too busy driving to cook much. I think he eats mostly finger foods as he's driving. Poor guy!


Well, with all those nitrates he's well preserved. eek

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I have a friend who has a son at university. My friend worries about her son eating properly, so she cans things for him in small, individual-serving sizes, and delivers a vanload at a time.

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Susie! Stop this!!! You're making me hungry....LOL


We are using our preps now because we also store what we eat. Some big medical bills are eating into the budget and we don't want to dip into savings so I am using some of our preps. I realized we need to eat up some meats in the freezer so my shopping for this month is mainly fresh items, some eggs, soy milk. The rest is preps and freezer fare.


Susie, you sound like a great cook.



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I have to confess that I took much of the food budget for the entire year and bought a large bulk order with it. So we HAVE to eat the preps! LOL But doing it this way, my year's food budget bought most of what we need for this year AND next year.

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I've always liked cooking, and collected cookbooks even before I came to France to live. Having grown up with German food and the entire spectrum of food from Hawaii, it just seems natural to wanna taste everything and duplicate it.


Then I went to live in Britain...contrary to poular belief, they don't boil all their food to death...and fell in love with the cuisine there...so much was homemade, and the puddings were wonderful.


And then I got here and met people who were willing to let me go into their kitchens and snoop around and taste and help to pluck the ducks and kill the pigs and I went wild (hog wild?).


The one thing that I am always concerned with is balance in meals. And good food, whole food that's not too fake or processed. Organic is too expensive and used to be hard to find over here, so I figure as long as it's good and balanced, things should be ok.


And milk. The French don't serve milk, except for in their morning coffee. Even the school cafeteria doesn't serve milk.


I think that it's workd....my kids are healthy, only have one cavity between the four of them, and are a head taller that any of the other kids in their classes (and my kids' parents aren't all that tall, either). They're calm, too...unless I sabotage that with too much crap to eat.

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We are now living on my preps. Grocery store is 15 miles away. It's funny, it just sort of snuck up on me. It started with my husband picking up something at the grocery store on his way home from work. Then he did all the "shopping" on the way home. Mostly the fresh stuff you run out of. I have not been to the grocery store in about a month. Used to be the queen of shopping the sales in the city. I knew the best price on everything we needed down to the penny, which store had what, etc. Also had lots of stores to choose from. Had a weekly routine of stocking up. Now we live in a different state. No more city. Two grocery stores to choose from.

I worked really hard to learn how to prep and I did everything I could to prepare us up to this point. I felt really safe and blessed when I read about the rice scarcity because I had stocked empty plastic pop and juice bottles filled with rice i

had previously frozen.

Slow and steady week in week out. We have rice for a good long time. We eat a lot of tuna fish now. I bought stacks and stacks of it when it was on sale 33cents a can


No regrets. We have made the further step of moving out to our homestead. It is funny, now I watch the garden and wait with great expectancy for some new vegetable to mature. So far we have mustard greens, onions,radishes, turnip greens. Tomatoes are starting to flower. Next veggie will be zuchini and yellow squash. I quit buying those due to outrageous prices and cannot wait to get some out of the garden. All my energy is going into gardening and animal care right now. We are really hurting financially. My husband lost job after job in the mortgage business. Have not found a way to get our income back up and the bills keep coming.


The gas prices are brutal. We are not hungry by any means. Thanks to all I have learned over the last four years about prepping from people here and others. Thank you for teaching me how to feed my family in a world going crazy. I have hope because I know what it takes to survive.

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There was a change of menu for the evening meal. We had our favorite, since I had fresh eggs handy.


Hot steamed rice, sardines in oil fried in soysauce, overeasy eggs, ketchup all over. Mmmm! Quick, good, easy, and it makes me homesick.

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Breakfast was cocoa and cinnamon toast. The cocoa was unsweetened cocoa mixed with a bit of sugar and water to a thick sludge...add to hot milk and stir. Cinnamon toast; slices of bread toasted on one side, then turned over and spread with canned butter and sprinkled with cinnamon sugar (I also add a pinch of allspice and clove to the sugarmix), and broiled til crispy and browned. Watch out, the hot toast can burn the lips.


For lunch, I cooked those little dried raviolis, one package of ham-filled, one of cheese-filled, and served them with grated canned Gouda cheese. The kids splashed ketchup on theirs. Frozen Sweet 100 corn from last year was served, too. Dessert was a box of red jello made up with a jar of stewed rhubarb and a small can of Nestlé's thick cream, mixed together, chilled til almost firm, then whisked, then chilled again. (Media Crema in US Mexican products stores is the same canned cream...very good and thick, good just eaten from the can. For sour cream, add a drop of lemon or vinegar to it).


The afternoon snack is going to be milkshakes. I have one of those magic wand blenders that you just stick into the mix and turn on...no messy blender pitchers to clean up)...I mix two frozen yoghurts (just yoghurts that went into the freezer when they got too close to their sell-by dates) with frozen fruit (today it'll be chunks of banana and strawberries), a glop of red jam, a splash of grenadine syrup, and enough milk to make a thick and creamy milkshake. The milkshakes get topped with a squirt of that fake whipped cream that comes in an aerosol can.


Tonight's dinner is already simmering in the cast-iron pot. Taco soup...one jar of canned soupbeef (the cheapest cut, maybe it was shin of beef), one of whole toamtoes, a huge tablespoonful of taco spice mix, a beef stock cube, a handful each of dehydrated onion, greenbeans, pintobeans, celery, peas, green peppers, wheatberries, a small jar each of carrots and potatoes, the rest of the corn from lunchtime, thyme, bayleaf, garlic, and enough water to make it look like soup.


If they're still hungry after that, they can have a jar of applesauce and some cookies.

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We've been living off of preps, too, but it was planned. When DH went back to school a chunk of his student loans went to food. Now, we're still diong it because it took him five weeks after graduation to find a job (actually six because he doesn't start until next week). He had been guaranteed a job when the course started so I didn't feel the need to budget beyond graduation...and I'm little Miss Worst Case Scenario so it surprises me that I didn't do it anyway.


We've had to buy fresh stuff and perishables and potatoes, but overall, we've done really well, and by the time we can really shop again I should still have about half my chest freezer full of meat. We have about another month before I can even consider doing a big shop, because we're behind on some bills and need to deal with those before we get other than essential food. I will feel much better when we're not living on preps.


Our menus are pretty much the same as they ever were, but I do find myself serving more "big hunks of meat" than I normally would because I'm out of pasta, a big component in casseroles. First semester we were having chicken and rice about 3x a week, this time we've more variety, but we had the IRS refund and stim payment to help. I did not have to break into the "big time" preps, like the big #10 cans, so I'm doing good there.


The only sign of food fatigue I'm seeing is middle DD asking if we could NOT have mashed potatoes for the umpteenth night in a row.


I walked to the store yesterday to pick up some stuff that we needed, a few apples, bananas, hamburger buns, etc, and spent $16 on the week's worth of stuff I needed. Last week I didn't have to buy any groceries.


Could NOT have done it without this site, that's for sure!



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