Ok so I just began making and thinking about a pantry.
I'm not really a prepper, mostly because im a 19yo student living with my dad. Otherwise, I would invest a lot more in it but at the moment its not a top priority in my life.
I'm not really worried about a super apocalyptic scenaryo that will last for decades but I do feel like having food and water for a few months its common sense.
All the time we see natural disasters causing a big mess in any part of the world and people desesperate because they have no food, water, electricity etc.
But thats not really my point..if you're here in this forum you already know all that and you're probably thinking that im pretty dumb for not prepping more serious but well.
I need advice in foods, ways to store food and how long do they last.
Do canned goods really expire?
What are the best foods to store if you cant get MRE's and freeze dried stuff? (Im not from the US, none of that exists in my country)
Are there ways to store vegetables, meats, etc on my own? And I mean a way to store it without the need of getting an expensive dehydrator
And any other advice regarding this topic would be great!
Thanks for reading and sorry if i made a few grammatical mistakes, english is not my home language hehe
Here's my dollar's worth of advice... more than 2 cents.
1. Know what you are preparing for. What you are preparing for will dictate how you prepare. Many prepper just "buy a bunch of crap" but they really aren't focused. Here are some examples.
(1) Getting laid off or running out of money for a few months - this one is easy. Buy EXTRA of everything that you regularly eat or use... particularly things that last a while. I don't know what you eat in Argentina from the store. But if I eat 4 jars a spaghetti sauce and 2 lbs of spaghetti a month then buying an extra 4 jars and 2 lbs will give a 100% extra of that. I don't have to worry about expiration dates because I can just rotate it, so I put the new stuff in the closet and take the stuff out of the closet and put it in the pantry. Let's say you spend $300 per month on groceries. If you spend an extra $300 on storage (over a few months) and back-stock it, then you'll have a full month's worth of food in case you need it. You don't have to worry about shelf-life or wasting any money because it is all food (and toilet paper, etc) that you will use whether there is an emergency or not.
(2) "No Electricity" Prep - What if the electricity goes out for a month (or months)... you will need food that can be stored and eaten even if the electricity is out. This depends on how you cook. If you have propane then you can cook food. However, most propane stoves will not allow the oven to work without electricity, so make sure your propane oven doesn't plug in. If it does then you probably can't bake. If the stove top works then you can make tortillas... store what's required for tortillas not what's required for baking bread. So you can look at that. There are many reasons why the electricity would go out. It's a common Emergency Issue with most Disasters. So that would be my 2nd list (after extra of everything).
(3) "The long emergency" Prep - If you are only looking to prep for something that might happen over a few months then there is no reason to get into freeze dried and dehydrated food, MRE's and the like (except as noted later for bug-out bags). The "long emergency" what you most often see prepper going for... WAY more food then a person would cycle through in a year of normal (non-emergency) eating, and food types that aren't "normal" such as dehydrated foods and bulk purchases of things like "Hard White Winter Wheat." These are your last prep to look at... although there are cheap ways around ... I will cover it in a bit. I recommend that you DO NOT buy these types of food in bulk without first testing them, eating them (in smaller quantities) and knowing specifically how you will prepare them. I recently did a comparison between a "1 Year Emergency Kit" of freeze dried, etc. food compared to just buying off the shelf equivalents. The cost of just buying off the shelf was $285... the cost for the "kit" was $1,960. I have eating most of the freeze dried meals and big bulk packs (cheesy rice soup)... they aren't good and gave me (lactose intolerant) diarrhea. I prefer just sticking which what I know I can eat if there is not an emergency.
People prep all over the world... they keep extra, they store rice, etc. American preppers tend to be middle aged white guys with too much money and delusions of some apocalypse that requires shooting everyone they see. Save yourself the expense of trying to keep up with that type of prepper.
Think about this... if a can of peaches lasts AT LEAST 2 YEARS, and you buy a year's worth of peaches to have on hand in your storage closet... then you can rotate them through your normal meals and replace them. This is true of beans, rice, sugar, oats, etc. I don't know what to do with "Hard White Winter Wheat" and I have no interest in learning. It's easier just to store bags of flower then placed into bigger ziplock bags to keep the bugs out. I'll eat it within a year and replace it (using the same ziplock bag to put the new bad of flour in) that way I'm not spending any extra money.
Do that first.
What about bulk storage. I am a super big fan of 1 gallon mylar bags and an Impulse Sealer. You can put any dry food (mostly) in them with an oxygen absorber and extend the shelf life compared to the package it originally came in. I store 350 lbs of dry beans this way. 20 lbs of dry beans in the US. (walmart) cost about $15. 350 lbs costs about $250. I can afford to do that over the course of a few months and I put them in mylar bags with oxygen absorbers then put the bags into plastic buckets. That's a lot of beans. I do the same with 650 lbs of white rice. That's another $250 or so. Now I have enough beans and rice for 2 people to eat for an entire year. Will I eat it if there is no emergency... probably not. So if there is no disaster then I wasted $500. But I did it over 6-10 months... So I only wasted $50 per month... I waste $50 per month on other stuff, so why not preps.
If you want a more usable source of beans then look at buying a couple hundred cans. Here they run about 65 cents - 85 cents per can... So $150. 200 cans of beans can be eaten over the course of a couple years and be replaced one can at a time. I try to keep 360 cans of food - beans, vegetable, fruit, tomato products, canned potatoes, etc.
When it comes to meat I can my own. You have to own a pressure canner and the necessary jars/lids. I normally can 100 lbs of chicken in one go. I can get leg/thigh quarters for as little as 39 cents per pound when they are on super sales at Kroger or Walmart. That means 100 lbs with the bone is $39, that bones out to 50 lbs of boneless meat. A pint of meat is 1 lb, so I make 50 cans of meat. I use the skins and bones to make stock and can about 30 quarts of stock at the same time. That will last me 6 months of regular eating (mixed into other stuff I eat). I do that twice a year and try to keep at least that much as a back stock. Glass jars aren't great for bugging out... but this isn't a bugout prep, it's a food storage prep.
Water.... You can't store as much as you need so have a good collection plan. I store about 550 gallons of fresh water that requires no treatment... Then I have access to ponds, creeks and water collection from the roof past that. A normal U.S. household uses 50 gallons of water per person per day. I prep for 100 days at 5 gallons per day for 2 people (about 2.5 gallons per person per day). An adult male needs 1 gallon per day, a female needs 3 quarts... that that does not include washing, etc. If you are collecting water off a roof the basic formula is .6 gallons per square foot per inch or rainfall. So if you have a 20x100 foot roof (2,000 square feet) and you collect it all (not really possible) and it rains 1 inch then you can collect 1,200 gallons... but you can only collect it if you have someplace to store 1,00 gallons. If you don't have storage then it just runs off. (we also have a sandpoint well, another story)
I'll say it again... U.S. prepper often are spending money on a hobby ... dehydrators and guns and reverse osmosis water purifiers. If people needed that stuff to survive then there would be no people alive 100 years ago. You just need basic preps. Eat through it.. That way you'll prep what you eat and eat what you prep. I eat my preps every day... I even cook dry beans regularly. But mostly I eat canned beans. The bulk stuff I assume will never be used but it helps me sleep at night knowing I have 50 buckets of stored dry food.
Other preps - extra medicine. Money is always good (people will disagree, but they are dreaming... people will trade stuff for cash money long into a disaster). Keep your ID's safe, you will need them to travel. And it's good to keep preps in different places. If you house burns down then you've lost your house, your money, your ID's, your medicine, your food and your shelter all in one go. Houses burn down why more often than EMP's occur or some civil war. Prep for the obvious stuff first - loss of job, bank account frozen, electricity outage... you don't have to "go down the rabbit hole" and buy extreme preps.
Hope this helps.
MRE's are good for bug out bags. You know what has the highest calories in a MRE? The nuts. So you could just buy a few bags of nuts and trailmix type things.
Here's a full breakdown for you http://tonybluegoat.blogspot.com/2018/09/how-to-store-52-buckets-of-basic-food.html