Tuesday, 20 January 2015

10:36 – Barbara starts physical therapy today. She’s already doing very well, and intends to go back to work as soon as possible. The absolute minimum the doctor will approve is four weeks off before she’s allowed to drive or return to work, so I expect she’ll be back at work by mid-February.

As of today, I’m caught up with shipping the backlog of kits. Of course, I’ve also run down my finished goods inventory, so I’ll be building more kits today and the rest of this week.

One of the fundamental principles of long-term food storage that many preppers ignore is to store what you already eat. That’s why we store zero wheat berries and zero dry beans. Both of those have essentially unlimited shelf-lives, but that’s pretty much the best that can be said for them. Few Americans eat diets that are heavy in either whole wheat or beans, and we’re no exception. When we last visited the LDS Home Storage Center in Greensboro, we hauled back close to 700 pounds of food in #10 cans. None of it was wheat or beans. Barbara put her foot down, and I agreed with her completely. Instead of wheat, we bought multiple cases of white flour, which is rated for 10 years shelf life. In reality, it’ll probably be good far longer, but every few years we’ll just add more and keep what we have in long-term reserve. As to beans, we buy pre-cooked beans by the case. (We both really like Bush’s Best Baked Beans.)

The same is true of meat. We eat mostly chicken and beef, with pork occasionally and fish once a week or so. Barbara doesn’t mind the canned chicken breast sold by Costco and Sam’s Club, so we keep three or four dozen cans of it in stock. She doesn’t care for any canned fish, so we have only a dozen cans or so of tuna for me and maybe a half dozen salmon, which she’ll tolerate, for her. She’s not a big fan of roast beef at the best of times, but she will tolerate the canned sliced roast beef sold by Costco, so we keep a couple of dozen 12-ounce cans of it on the shelf.

She does use a fair amount of ground beef, so I decided to stock up on it. Unfortunately, no local vendor carries canned ground beef, so I order heat-and-serve ground beef directly from Keystone Meats. It’s available in cases of 12 28-ounce cans for $80 plus shipping or 24 14.5-ounce cans for $95 plus shipping. I have one of the former in stock and plan to order another case or two. The best-by dates are five years out, but in reality the shelf life is essentially unlimited.

My food storage goal has always been to maintain an absolute minimum of 24 person-months of food, with at least one meal per day that includes meat. That translates to one full year for the two of us or, more likely, four months for six or three months for eight.