When the SHTF – what do I do? Part 9

Gathering up what food and water you can when you have only 12-months to do it.

Consider it’s already 2015 and you need to stockpile food and water and money well like most of us is not plentiful – how do you do it and what do I get?

A condescending as it may sound to those of you monied folk reading this I’m going to be addressing those folks with incomes of under $50,000 a year which if my recollections are correct is about 75% of the US population.

We are going to talk about what’s important to know and what is practical when you cannot afford high priced freeze dried and dehydrated products.


The first important item is water and there are two kinds for your use – drinking and bathing.

I want to stockpile water ok how? This is simple and the naysayers will say wasteful and money spent foolishly since water flows freely from the tap for pennies a gallon.

We are not speaking of normal daily living here but having a stockpile of stuff you hope you never have to use.

What about manmade and natural disasters and no water flows, sanitation ceases, groceries are not being delivered and you have no power?

This is a reason to have spare food and water.

I spoke of two different kinds of water what?

waterPre-packaged Water

The first is stockpiled drinking water and you can go to Wal-Mart and buy 1 gallon plastic jugs of clean drinking water for $0.64 a gallon I suggest you have 50-gallons on hand your cost $32.

Also at Wal-Mart they have sealed case packs of 35 – 16.9 ounce bottles (4.62 gallons) of water for $3.50 I highly suggest you get at least 12 cases (55.45 gal – $42) because these are transportable and can be broken apart to allow you to carry individual bottles.

What I’ve shown you is having 100-gallons of pure drinking water on hand which in a pinch consuming ½ gallon a day will last 6 months. You can do the math for a year and costs to accomplish this goal.

Your stored drinking water costs $2.50 a week.

How much water is needed for one person per day?

If you not exerting yourself you can sustain your intake with ½ gallon and with exertion 1-2 gallons may be necessary.

Your body loses water through sweat, urination, and defecation and the lost fluids need to be replaced or your body overheats and a lot of not so good things happen.

Science says you need water to live and going without for three days you cease to function. This is partially true.

I know for a fact of people surviving a week without water but it was a horrid and painful existence. Body functions cease no urine, no way to rid your body of feces, pain in the muscles and joints and delirium.

The basic rules should be kept in mind – you need water within 3 days or your troubles begin in earnest.

How to use the water from the tap for storage purposes for sanitation and hygiene.

Families consume beverages that are stored in plastic containers milk, juice and other products when its gone we dispose of those jugs – well don’t. Rinse them out with hot water adding a few drops of bleach to sanitize them, then rinse out again and fill with water to use for your personal hygiene when the SHTF. Over the course of one year an average couple can fill 80 recycle one gallon plastic containers full of water for just such use. This extra water can be kept in any space available but is great even kept on your porch out of the way until needed – remember – you aren’t using it to drink but for bathing and hygiene.

You can find numerous ways to filter water by going back to a previous article I wrote.


tomattoThis is where things get tricky on a limited budget.

The supply of food you are able to keep on hand is limited to the amount you save to buy extra storage food.

A person can survive on one pound of nutritious food a day.

What is meant by nutritious?

Providing you with caloric intake, vitamins, protein and carbohydrates needed to function.

The most practical method for the budget minded armchair survivalist can be found at your local grocery store and not at the many internet sites selling dehydrated and freeze dried foods for huge sums.

I should point out that these sites are selling something of value and the cost of a daily portion of this product averages $3.50 – $4.00 per day (3-meals) which is very reasonable in reality about $120 a month but buying 6 to 12 months of foods is a big cash outlay few of us have and we don’t really know what foods to order, know how it will taste, how to actually prepare it etc.

I have camped a lot through my many decades on this tiny planet and consumed food from cans, meals-ready-to-eat, freeze-dried and dehydrated too.

Canned Foods

Canned foods were good because I grew up using them and knew what to expect and I bought what foods I liked so the selection was easy and the taste what I expected.

Putting together ½ a year’s storage supply is easy and doable but has one drawback – weight. When you’re talking about canned goods each contains not only nutritious food but liquid (water) to help in the digestion and replenishment of lost liquids.

Here is a typical one month of food stocks to give you an idea: 100 pounds = $110

  • Soups – 18 ounce cans – 30 units – $1.48 x 30 = $44.40
  • Tuna – 6 ounce cans – 10 units – $0.75 x 10 = $7.50
  • Chicken – 16 ounce cans – 5 units – $2.25 x 5 = $11.25
  • Corn – 16 ounce cans – 15 units – $0.68 x 15 = $10.20
  • Green Beans – 16 ounce cans – 15 units – $0.68 x 15 = $10.20
  • Potatoes – 16 ounce cans – 15 units – $0.68 x 15 = $10.20
  • Apple Sauce – 20 ounce jar – 5 units – $1.25 x 5 = $6.25
  • Peaches – 16 ounce cans – 5 units – $1.25 x 5 = $6.25
  • Salt, sugar and powdered coffee or juice mix = $5.00

Now this is eating decently and spread over an entire year provides 1,200 pounds of food lasting one person up to 18 months with rationing.

Your weekly cost is $25 for storage foods.

People will buy what they like too this was just a representation FYI.

The method of preparation: 1 minute

Simple: Just open the can and eat or heat if you wish.


Meals-ready-to-eat (MRE’s) Yeah had these too and really they were mostly all excellent and have lots of everything in each pouch and not at all affordable averaging about $6 per single meal.

The weight of a typical 12-meal case is 20 pounds.

The method of preparation: 1 minute

Simple: Just open the pouches and eat or heat if you wish.


Dehydrated products are heated and water evaporates, leaving the food item with 75% +/- of its water removed.

These meals taste different with different manufacturers most are really excellent since not all of the taste is pulled out of the foods maintaining good tastes.

Costs are very reasonable for what you buy about $3.5 per 3 meals.

The method of preparation: 10-minutes

Moderately time consuming: Just open the pouch, add hot water, wait till water is absorbed and eat.

Freeze Dried

Freeze-dried food is flash frozen and then put in a vacuum container causing the water to vaporize, and leaving the food item with 98% of its water removed.

These meals taste different with different manufacturers some really excellent others mushy and flavors so-so.

Costs are very reasonable for what you buy about $4 per 3 meals.

The method of preparation: 10-minutes

Moderately time consuming: Just open the pouch, add hot water, wait till water is absorbed and eat.

What does this article say about budget prepping, that you can save your life for a year at a cost of $120 a month or $4 a day?

Is it worth the time and cost?

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