I wanted to discuss long term food storage and why people should prepare. I know there are many sites out there that dicuss this and this is nothing new to some people. But I spent a lot of time looking into this from multiple sources and thought I would share in one post what worked for me. I'm not saying you should do this for a pending economic meltdown, or because China will invade or because zombies are coming. I writing this up because it makes good sense no matter what you believe.
FEMA says you should have a 3 day food reserve on hand FEMA: Are You Ready?
Me and my friends have 90 day rotating food supply on hand with a backup of multi year supply of food in long term storage.
Just turn on the national news and even those spineless bastards are covering the storms in the east and noticing that food supplies in stores are gone. I saw multiple news channels showing pictures of store shelfs empty of food. So what you going to do?
Long term food storage can be done fairly cheaply by using buckets to store your hard dry items. I've been collecting food for a long time and I started to notice how the price of survival food is going up in price. I decided there must be a better way to get large quantiities of food for long term storage at a cheaper price. Here are some things we found.
1) 5 gallon bucket - make sure it is of food grade quality. When looking for the correct 5 gallon bucket look for the recycle icon on the bottom. In that icon will be a number, you are looking for #2 this means food grade. Many online retailers sell these for $6.95 to $10.95.
If you don't care about color then you can get orange #2 bucket from Homedepot or grey buckets from Lowes. Both are priced at $2.34 - good deal
2) 5 gallon bucket lids. There are many people who say any type of 5 gallon lid will work when sealing the bucket but you need to have a o-ring or rubber seal to make the bucket air tight. If you have kids or older family members who might need to get into these buckets when the time is right you might not want the cheap "painters" lids which are very tough to open. A good solution is a gamma lid.
This lid has a ring that snaps onto the bucket and has a threaded top which goes in the center. It is a very accessable lid. Prices range from $3.98 (if you buy a pallet) to $10
A good source is here with the low price of $5.95. These guys are out of Texas and carry some other items that might be of interest to the prepared.
Gamma Seal Lids Low as $3.98 ea - 3.5 Gallon Plastic Buckets & Pails White
3) Mylar bags - Never put food directly in the buckets. Best practice is to add your food into a mylar bag and seal it then seal the bucket.
Here are several videos on how to do this.
Mylar bag distributors can be found on ebay or here are some other sources with good prices. Make sure you don't skimp on the bags and get the heavier duty 3.5mm to 4.5mm bags these are food grade. make sure not to get anything less.
Mylar® Bags - SorbentSystems.com
4) Oxygen absorbers should be added to any dry goods going into mylar bags. I recommend 1500cc to 2000cc for any 5 gallon bucket. For the smaller 1 gallon buckets use a couple 300cc bags. These things are cheap and you can't harm the food by adding too many. (I don't think).
Oxygen Absorbers - SorbentSystems.com
Oxygen Absorbers 500cc Size - 50 Pack Nitro-Pak.com The World Leader in Innovative & Affordable Preparedness Gear
oxygen absorbers - Google Product Search
When looking for the mylar bags and the O2 absorbers remember that survival stores will cost more. Go for the distributors they use get your supplies for less.
5) Food - If you want bulk items such as rice, wheat, flour, sugar etc go to your big warehouse stores or restruant distributors. Costco, SamClub are great places to get large 50lb bags of rice flour sugar etc. Out here on the west coast we have some distributors called smart and final. Ther prices are anywhere from $1 to $10 cheaper then costco and sams.
Now Costco does have their own long term food storage items that you can buy outright. A 5 gallon bucket of rice in a long term storage bucket will cost $49.99 on their website. Of course shipping and possible taxes are not included.
Compare that to my 5 gallon bucket from HomeDepot, my mylar bag with O2 absorber and my 50lb bag of rice from smart and final. Grand total was $26.50.
Food that can be stored and I'm sure there is more
beans all kinds
anything dry should last a long time if stored correctly.
In conclusion I'm sure there are many things I've missed and I welcome the replies. But for someone just getting started or looking to get started this helped me out and I hope it can help others.