Thursday, May 19, 2011

Tools For Food Storage

There are several different thoughts on the "How To's"  of long term food storage.  Some folks opt for MRE's (meals ready to eat) and the pre-packaged food route. I don't really have a problem with that generally speaking.   There are lots of companies out there that cater to this train of thought.  Just google food storage and you will get close to 5 million results.   If you can afford it I suppose it is an easy way to do things.  It's just not "me".  If you haven't figured it out yet I'll be the first to tell you that I am a cheap errr.. frugal type person.  If there is a cheaper less expensive way to do something I'll choose that way every time.  Even if I could afford to store a mountain of pre-packaged meals I can honestly say  I wouldn't do it. Now I'm not saying that it wouldn't be nice to have some put away. There is always a use for them  but I can't see having this as my main storage option.   Just my personal choice of course.  
I'm one of those who thinks that  I can do just as good a job by making and/or putting up my own preps.  It is also something that can be done with much less money.  And really - How many of us can actually afford a years worth of MRE's and such? 

Someone asked a question the other night that got me to thinking.  What are some of the things that a person just starting out in prepping should have?  The question was geared towards food storage.  I've been thinking about that for a few days.  I was surprised that my list was really not all that long.The question had to do with what "tools" a person should have in their kitchen for beginning preppers. There are a few things that I would suggest as far as basic tools go.

1.  A good pressure canner and a big pot for water bath canning, (a big stock pot will work) Get yourself a Ball Book of Canning.  They are cheap inexpensive and a must have for "safe canning".  I call it the "Canning Bible".  Of course you will also need some jars and lids.  Just think of it this way... If you have ever seen something in a can or a jar on the shelf at the grocery store, then you can can it too.  That includes meats and vegetables as well as main dish meals.  

2.  A dehydrator.  It doesn't have to be an expensive one either. Check this out for more information on dehydrators.   A good Nesco will run you about $60.00. Check your local thrift stores, garage sales, Craigslist and such.  I found my second dehydrator for a whopping $2.00.  Drying foods is another wonderful way to preserve fruits and vegetables. You can do a search here on this blog for lots of articles about dehydrating.

3.  A vacuum sealer is a nice tool to have as well.  There is so much you can do with one.  They are not only an excellent way to put up things like meats in your freezer, but also a great tool for putting up dried things in canning jars.  It is also a wonderful way to make your foods last longer once you have opened up that can or jar.  I  vacuum seal things like cheese and even my green peppers, onions, celery and other things you would store in your refrigerator "crisper" drawer.  You wouldn't believe how much longer things will last when you store them vacuum sealed.  A vacuum sealer isn't a "must have" but it sure does make a lot of sense to have one. 

I'm sure I am missing some other good prepping tools to have but these will give you a great start.  If you have some other "must have" tools, leave a comment and help me add to the list. 
      ~~~~  Hey ... I'm Just Sayin' ...  ~~~~


  1. My beloved MIL gifted us with a vacuum sealer and I can't wait to use it. What I really want tho' is a dehydrator. Have I mentioned that before? lol

    And everytime I see your strawberries I want it more. :D

  2. What model is your Nesco dehydrator? I saw a couple online but they were only expandable to 7 and 8 trays, not 12. Do you have 12 trays for yours? I've not done much dehydrating so I can't guesstimate how many trays I would actually need...maybe 12 would be overkill?

  3. that is real talk...i'm just not into those MRE's and they are getting harder to come by anyway.

  4. Hey SkippyMom congrats on your new sealer!! What an awesome gift! My mom gave me my first dehydrator. I just love gifts that "keep on giving".

    Kris it's a Nesco FD-75PR 700-Watt dehydrator. Here's a link for one from Amazon for $59.00
    Yes, I do have 12 trays (Thanks Mom!) but I only stack it up to 8. I've found that's about the most I can do and still have things dry pretty evenly. I found a second Nesco at a garage sale for $2.00. It only came with 4 trays so I use the extra trays on it.

    Chef... Girl it's getting kind of scary out there. Lot's of places are backordered on their long term storage. I guess folks are starting to realize that bad times are ahead of us.

  5. I think a charcoal grill is a great item. I've got on with an offset fire box that I've used for making jerky and smoked salmon. Plus it's a multi-tasker. :)
    I do my food storage with 50 pound bags of bulk goods and foodsafe buckets from a local bakery. I ate MRE's for over 13 years in the Army, I want to make and eat "real food". Plus for the price of a case of MRE's I can get 50# each of rice, beans, flour and sugar. I guess I'm frugal too.

  6. You know I love my dehydrator,and only used my pressure canner a couple time's,but I think my favorite will soon be my meat grinder! I'm thinking of stocking up on cheap cuts of meat,grind it up and can spaghetti sauce. Of course,being cheap,errr,frugal, I got it at a yard sale for 5 bucks,new in the box!
    Dean in az