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Talking to some survivalist friends, I realised that every one of us had filled our pantries with at least one useless item. Two of my friends were actually quite upset at the end of our meeting, when they realised half their pantry is taken up by items they may never use. They’re just beginners and they’ll work it out in time, but the money they’ve wasted is not coming back.
Here’s a list of things you shouldn’t hoard in massive quantities unless you’ve got a survival master plan that involves a whole load of the following items. Some are general, and some are very specific. I hope it will help you do your survival shopping the smart way.
#1: Foods you don’t like (or even that you’re allergic to)
I’ve noticed many beginners making this mistake. They take lists of survival foods off the Internet and just buy all the items listed there in bulk. Many of them don’t even think about their family’s likes and dislikes, they just follow the instructions. And the ones who do consider this aspect usually buy the foods they don’t like, as well. Simply because “it’s got an enormous shelf life, so we gotta get it”.
But there are literally hundreds of survival foods you can buy and store. Check out more than a couple of lists. Check ALL of them out. Then scratch off the ones that you or your loved ones wouldn’t normally eat.
If they’re really nutritional and/or can outlast you, look for a similar alternative. Something that brings nutritional value, lasts long, AND you also like. Maybe you don’t find this very important. I mean, in times of crisis, you’re happy you’ve got food. Any food. But think about it: you’re a survivalist. You prepare for disasters and crises months, years in advance. You do it so you and your family is happy, healthy, and well-fed no matter what happens.
So why not keep your promise? Especially when you can actually replace the foods you don’t like with others. Why stress yourself even more and force your kids to eat food they hate simply because “it’s a crisis and that’s all we have in our pantry”? Take the extra mile and load up on foods everyone in your family likes.
#2: Tuna cans
First of all — and I’ve warned you about this before — you have to be extremely careful about the origin of that tuna. You don’t want to feed your family heavy metals. You end up defeating your purpose. You want your family to be healthy and eat nutritional foods, but the chance is you’ll actually poison them without knowing it.
Second of all, canned tuna changes taste and texture in less than a year. Let’s not even get into the smell issue…The point is — if you enjoy eating tuna, you might reconsider after opening a can left in your pantry for years. It’s gonna look like jello, but trust me.. it won’t taste like it.
#3: Items that could be considered survival food if they were packaged as such
There are many nutritional foods that could be lifesaving in times of crisis. Unfortunately, they’re not packaged properly for long-term survival. Take breakfast cereals, for example. And The Survival Mom seems to be with me on this one, so I’m not the only one keeping them out of my pantry.
“These are not packaged for longterm storage, likely contain GMO ingredients, and probably contain a lot of additives that you would just as soon not consume. However, I know they’re a quick and handy breakfast food, especially if you have kids.
If you must store them, again, rotate and repackage them for the longest possible shelf life.”
I couldn’t agree more. If you want to hoard items that aren’t packaged right for long-term storage, repackage them to suit your needs.
#4: Homemade products such as dehydrated foods
It’s ok to store them, I do that, too. But not in massive quantities, because they only last for about a year. They tend to go bad faster than the retail ones. First of all, you don’t use the same kind and the same amount of preservatives. Secondly, the retail ones are completely oxygen-free (machines to do all the packaging, so it’s much safer).
So my suggestion is not to cramp your pantry with homemade foods, even if they’re healthier and it’s cheaper to make them yourself. In the end, when you have to throw everything out, you’ll lose way more money.
It’s nearly impossible to get rid of those nasty eggs of flour weevils. And if you store flour for a long time, guess what? Those will hatch. And you’ll end up throwing out all the flour in your pantry, because it’s going to be filled with insects. Trust me, the sight of a bag filled with bugs is going to turn your stomach upside-down. It happened to me and it wasn’t pleasant at all.
And think about it: you’re relying on that flour. It’s supposed to feed your family in the worst of crises. And when it comes to emergency situations, a golden rule says: Do Not Rely On The Unreliable. Keep that in mind and use it wisely. Constantly look for alternatives to replace unreliable items, techniques or plans. That’s probably the best advice I can give you.
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