When people decide to start stocking up on food to prepare for emergencies, usually the first thing they do is head to the store and buy rice, beans, and canned food. That’s all well and good, but you don’t want to live on those foods alone.
Eating the same bland meals everyday would get old fast, especially if you’re already stressed out by whatever disaster you’re facing. A delicious meal or snack can really boost your morale when things seem bleak. That’s why you need some variety in your food storage. Not having enough variety is one of the many food storage mistakes.
Here, then, are 14 foods you might have forgotten store.
1. Twinkies, Ho-Hos, Ding Dongs or whatever sweet treat floats your boat. After a long, hard day, sitting down and just enjoying the greatness that is a Twinkie can make your worries melt away for a little bit.
2. Candy in general is another sweet treat that is super inexpensive. Buy bags of hard candy, toffee, caramels or whatever you and your family enjoy and hide them away. Life doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom after SHTF.
3. Seasonings like garlic pepper, chili powder, creole seasoning, and other spices should be added to your stash. Food just tastes better when you can doctor it up a bit. For example, a little garlic powder can completely change the flavor of dehydrated potatoes or canned corn. It’s inexpensive and will last for years.
4. Sugar is something that is taken for granted in today’s world. We sprinkle it in our cereal, on our fruit, and use it to make a variety of tasty desserts. It is hard to imagine life without it—so don’t. Store plenty of brown sugar, white sugar, and powdered sugar. And don’t worry about getting too much because it’s one of the foods that last forever.
5. Coffee and Tea should definitely be in your stash if you already drink one or both of them. Just because the power grid is down or the economy has collapsed doesn’t mean your love of and dependence on coffee and/or tea will vanish. Caffeine headaches can be brutal.
6. Cooking Oil or shortening is something you probably don’t want to eat alone, but it is absolutely crucial to making a number of foods. Remember, you won’t be able to run to the store to buy oil or shortening to make biscuits, bread or fry up the fish you caught. Cooking spray is also a good option to have on hand especially when you are using cast iron cookware over a fire.
7. Bouillon Cubes are another necessary component to casseroles, soups, and stews. If you are cooking from scratch, you can certainly eat stew without the addition of bouillon cubes, but it won’t be near as flavorful.
8. Applesauce is so easily overlooked, but imagine when you want to make some tasty muffins or cake and don’t have fresh fruit to add. Applesauce is a versatile food that can be eaten alone, cold or warm, or used to flavor your favorite cakes or muffins. Applesauce doesn’t have to be refrigerated and has a fairly long shelf life, making it an excellent food to add to your prepper stash.
9. Cereal such as Corn Flakes, Cheerios, and other non-sugary cereals are not only great for breakfast, but can be eaten alone or grounded up and added to a meatloaf or used as a crust for your chicken or fish.
10. Peanut Butter is another one of those foods that can be used in recipes, added to fruit and veggies, or eaten right out of the jar. A tablespoon of peanut butter is filling, satisfying, and actually quite nutritious. It is a comfort food you will certainly miss once it’s gone.
11. Honey, especially raw honey, is another versatile food that can be used plain or in recipes. It also has medicinal uses. Find somebody local who will sell it to you in jars and buckets and load up on plenty of it because, like sugar, it also lasts forever.
12. Salt and Pepper seem pretty basic, but imagine life without them! Food can be so boring without a dash of salt and pepper. In fact, salt is used in cooking all the time. You will be hard pressed to find a recipe that doesn’t call for salt. Besides, it has many other uses other than cooking.
13. Baking Ingredients like baking soda and baking powder are also very important to have on hand. Again, you will be making a lot of your food from scratch and those two ingredients are important for making fluffy biscuits, pie crusts, and a variety of other items.
14. Vitamins are going to be important as well. While they may not be filling, they will be necessary to ensure you remain healthy. Canned foods and dry foods are not exactly healthy and you will be missing out on some valuable vitamins and nutrients if you don’t have access to fresh or frozen produce. A good multi-vitamin will make sure you get all the nutrients you need to keep going.
Take a look in your pantry and make a note of those little comfort foods and spices you have on hand, then make sure you have plenty of extras. Just don’t forget to rotate it. Good food can help ease the tension after a disaster.