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I'm the original Survival Mom, and have been helping moms worry less and enjoy their homes and families more for 5 years.
February 19, 2015 by The Survival Mom 32 Comments A few weeks ago I wrote an article about the 3 food storage companies that I purchase from the most and sent it to my newsletter subscribers.
Briefly, the companies that I use most often are Thrive Life*, Ready Reserve Foods, and Augason Farms.
Thrive Life* has an outstanding, user-friendly website, and a huge array of mostly freeze-dried foods that can be incorporated in thousands of recipes. Ready Reserve Foods* is a smaller, family-owned company in southern Idaho who sells mostly dehydrated, not freeze dried, fruits and vegetables, as well as many other food and survival products. Augason Farms has been a long-time sponsor of my blog, but that isn’t why I selected them. So what about other companies such as Emergency Essentials, Walton Feed, The Ready Store, and Honeyville?The 3 food storage companies used most often by #Survival Mom. I’ve visited the main Emergency Essentials store in Salt Lake City and found the manager there to be friendly and helpful. For a year or so I taught classes at the Honeyville Farms retail store in Phoenix and bought quite a few food items each time. Walton Feed was the very first food storage company I encountered, and the ordering process, at least back then, was quite confusing and complicated to a newbie. One factor many don’t realize is that all this food, whether it be wheat, strawberries, corn, and everything else comes from only so many farms!
When I spoke with Ready Reserve Foods about their parboiled rice, I was informed that it was grown on a farm in Idaho, not too far from their offices. One mistake I’ve made is to buy far more wheat and less rice, which in many ways is more versatile.
Food Saver Vacuum Sealer – this removes oxygen, which will extend the shelf life of your food. There may be links in the post above that are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission, which does not affect the price you pay for the product. Thrive is my favorite by far, mainly because the vast majority of their freeze-dried foods do not have MSG nor trans-fats.
Most of the Thrive food to my knowledge is organic but not certified We have about 6 – 12 products that are organics that are certified. I really enjoyed the time-saving, money-saving and nutritional benefits of making my own baby food for all four of my children. There are many homemade baby food resources out there-books, websites and blogs-I just do my own thing.
Cut into wedges (except berries), peel, and cook in a saucepan on low until broken down and a fork easily passes through a chunk.
I have only made chicken into baby food, and all I do is bake it or poach it, then pick the meat off any bones. 1.) For a semi-homemade version, buy canned fruits and vegetables and just drain off liquid, rinse well and puree. 2) Before your baby has tried a variety of foods, make sure your cooking utensils and appliances are cleaned after each food is made.
5.) Make your own food pouches! All you do is place pureed foods (single or mixtures) into breastmilk storage bags and refrigerate or freeze until ready to use. I want to send a big thank you to Cari for sharing this tip (and her photo) on the SAHMSG Facebook page. I am so glad that she was willing to let me share it with you. This post was featured in A Complete Guide for Stay-at-Home Moms: Feeding and Caring for Baby. Having enough groceries on hand for a period of three months is a good first goal, but if buying enough for three months is too daunting and not in the budget, start with buying enough to have a pantry fully stocked for one month. 1 #10 can of each vegetable (dehydrated or freeze-dried) you typically use in soup: onion, celery, carrots, mushrooms, corn (for chowders), mixed vegetables, etc.
1 #10 can tomato powder for tomato based soups.  You can also use this to make homemade pasta and enchilada sauces.
Calculate how many cans you’ll need for 24 meals and then set that number of cans as your goal. If you already know how to do this, stock up on enough ingredients to make a loaf of bread per day if you have more than four people in your family, or a loaf every other day for smaller family units or individuals.  Keep the recipe very simple, as your goal is to stock up quickly, using every penny and dollar wisely.
In order to make this once a week, buy 12 cans of the soup, 12 cans of sliced mushrooms (or use freeze-dried mushrooms), and splurge on a #10 can of freeze-dried jack or mozzarella cheese. The classic meal of beans and rice is versatile and the ingredients can be stored for years. Keep in mind that repetitive meals can be quite boring, so stock up on a variety of beans, buy multi-bean mixes, and different types of rice.
For more simple dinner ideas, buy 100-day Pantry by Jan Jackson.  Choose a recipe, multiply the ingredients by 12, and start shopping! Henry, I'm not screaming this in a panic, by any means but have been hearing from people who are genuinely frightened about the speed at which our country seems to be declining.
January 22, 2015 by The Survival Mom 34 Comments Buying canned goods and extra bags of flour and sugar has been the easiest part of food storage for me.  Dehydrating my own food seemed to belong in the same category as spinning my own wool.  Yes, it can be done, but why would I want to go through all the trouble??! These are a staple in my soups and stews, and I hate having to run out to the store when I don’t have them on hand.  Again, slice, dry, store!
For more specific how-to details, check out these websites, and have fun dehydrating your own foods! I was just reading through your dehydrating posts and I just thought I would let you know that I have started working with my dehydrator.
You have inspired me…I just ordered a dehydrator and can't wait for it to get here! Try as I might I just couldn’t keep limit myself to only ten commandments when it comes to food storage.

If you buy even one extra can of tuna tomorrow or box of crackers tomorrow, it will give you a sliver of peace of mind until next week. Remember the survival Rule Of Threes: you can survive three weeks without food but only three days without water (three hours without shelter, three minutes without air).
In addition to storing water, it’s essential to have at least two ways to collect and purify more for replenishment. Some people had a rude awakening when they realized just how many Spaghettio’s and chicken nuggets they were eating.
You can pay the grocer or the doctor when a poor diet gets the best of you, and the grocer is cheaper. Buying basics in bulk is economical and absolutely should be part of your plan, but what happens when all of one item expires or goes stale at the same time? Extracts, herbs, and sauces spice up a bland diet, and a years’ worth of cinnamon only costs about $6! I talked to someone a few years ago who was living on their food storage due to prolonged job loss. Every family is different, but for most families the most versatile ones to start with will be ketchup, soy sauce, and something spicy like chili powder. As has been asked here on The Survival Mom, what if you were sick, injured(or worse) and your 9 year old was suddenly in charge of feeding the family?
Under those conditions, what do you think would be the new value of a $2 box of water-only pancake mix? Which of those approaches sounds least likely to get your carefully collected preps stolen? I was a child when the Blizzard of ’78 hit New England in the days before Doppler radar and we had no idea how bad it was going to be. Good advice, people seem to think I need to get everything at once, so they get overwhelmed and don’t try.
I learned my lesson many years ago after being housebound for 4 days in sub-zero temperatures with no heat, power, water, phones, or food. I do look for the canned fruits and veggies that are packed in water and with veggies the ones with no salt added.
My husband noticed the taco salad was different–better and no preservatives like in those packages!!!
Come join me on my journey to becoming more prepared to handle everyday emergencies and worst case scenarios. Since then, I’ve received numerous questions about my selections and the best food storage company to use, so I wanted to address those here on the blog.
They are one of the very few companies in the country who use nitrogen to package their food, which is far superior to the use of an oxygen absorber. Although many other companies carry similar products, Augason Farms foods can be found in stores across the country, like Sam’s Club, Winco, and Walmart.
The survival products they carry are priced well and I ended up buying quite a few MREs.Which is the best food storage company? One thing I noticed was that the food purchased in the store was very nicely priced but the price increased dramatically online. The $4.99 shipping charge becomes meaningless, and it also makes it very difficult to truly compare Honeyville cost and value with other companies. Their products are good quality, we are still using the cocoa powder I bought back, and I have no complaints. Just as food processing plants package food and then place different labels on them for different brands, these farms and packing plants do the same thing.
Right now in my kitchen, I have opened cans of freeze dried blueberries (used them in a baked oatmeal this morning), freeze dried strawberries (we use them in smoothies), freeze dried cheese (ran out of fresh cheddar one day…), oats, parboiled rice, cocoa powder, bell pepper slices, and instant milk. Because dehydrated and freeze dried food stays fresh for months after the container is opened, I just keep it in my kitchen pantry and use it whenever I need that particular ingredient. Fresh from the store can be pretty expensive, and this is a good way to have peppers when I need them. The lowest prices from this company are reserved for customers purchasing through a consultant.
With my oldest, for a time, I had to purchase baby food after having major surgery, and for the twins I purchased food as well while we were on the road moving from Virginia to California, but making baby food is what I prefer. Then I place the meat into the blender and slowly drizzle water into the processor until a loose paste forms. A little bit of squash left when you make peaches could complicate matters if your child has a reaction when eating the food-you won’t easily know if the squash or peaches are causing the problem. At this age, my children have tried enough varieties of foods that I want them to start being introduced to food textures as well.
Use this method to add extra veggies into soups and sauces-many picky eaters have issues with textures and the  pureed foods solve that by allowing you to sneak foods into sauces or casseroles-add a puree to chili, bean soup, spaghetti sauce, or lasagna.
Thaw, open zip top (if you use Lansinoh breastmilk storage bags) and place a straw into the bag.
They will end up lasting longer and will be more cost effective in the long run, but go for store-bought cans of soup if that’s what it takes to get you going!
Use canned chicken if you can’t stand tuna, or plan on making both versions for variety. The internet and your local library abound with advice on both replenishment and conservation. A couple years ago, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons or LDS), the original food storage experts, reiterated the call to start with three months of ordinary foods your family eats every day while building up basic staples like wheat and dry milk. Convenience foods are also more expensive and typically occupy much more space than staples. It’s cheaper to eat the real thing, it keeps longer, is healthier and far more versatile!

The cry of the last 20 years that healthy food is more expensive than chemical and additive laden convenience food is total codswollop, and there are whole books and websites devoted to it.
If you spread out your buying, then you spread out your expiration dates, particularly with basic staples.
Vinegar, baking soda, coconut oil, lemon juice, peppermint, and ginger, among others, serve myriad purposes besides cooking and baking. There’s potentially some loss at any one location due to water, natural disasters, mice, or whatever.
Unless we’re talking about a total Road Warrior scenario, marauders tend to hit and run quickly.
We always had several months’ food in the house and I had no idea that other people shopped week to week. She is a former Pastry Chef and restaurant cook, veteran of multiple blizzards and hurricanes and the daughter of hayseeds . I know that they don’t add much extra water, but it would be a little something more. Just-add-water meals, not so much, although I do have some of those as well for urgent emergencies. They carry peanut butter powder and parboiled rice, which I love and have plenty of in my pantry. They advertise their low shipping cost, but obviously, the price of shipping has to be made up elsewhere, thus the increase in their online prices.
If you want to take a look at their products and pricing, it’s best to place a huge order with other people, if possible, in order to save on shipping.
So wheat purchased from Emergency Essentials just might come from the exact same farm as Augason Farms wheat, or vice versa.
It’s wheat germ, something my kids have never had and of which I only have distant memories. On the upside, I have loads of wheat to barter with, and now I’ve started to look for 50 pound bags of rice that I can repackage.
Although most of my food is specifically for long-term storage, it’s pretty common around here that we have to track down an ingredient that I need.
After a while, you figure out which of these foods you should probably stock up on more than others. Whether you make your Thrive Life purchase through my website or not, be sure to order through a consultant rather than on the main Thrive Life website where prices will be higher. You can microwave them briefly if you would like them to be slightly cooked, but just be sure to test the temperature by tasting the food before feeding so baby does not get burned.
Close the zipper around the straw and you have an instant snack on the go that is mess-free! As a first step, buy high-quality bouillon in bulk, such as Ready Reserve Foods beef and chicken stock. I like this brand because you can buy it in larger quantities. Use coupons, buy generic brands, and shop store sales, and you’ll end up with a very large stash of canned soup, quick. People are cooking basic staples and wild game in fireplaces and back yard pits either in their homes or in evac shelters. I just bought 14 cans of chopped clams because I had a rain check that got me extra gas points. I had trouble wrapping my mind around causing so much anxiety and danger when it’s so easily avoided.
Beth has taught classes both publicly and privately in baking, cooking, gardening, emergency preparedness and more.
Thrive Life offers the opportunity to earn money and have foods auto-shipped, which helps stay on track with food storage goals. This made it difficult for me to determine which of their products were priced well and which might be more expensive than other brands, whose shipping charges were higher.
When I did this, an 18-wheeler delivered the order to my friend’s house (she was the coordinator), and she divided up the orders for each person.
There are very few plants that freeze dry produce, so it’s just logical that the food itself is the same from one company to the next, and only the label and, likely, the packaging process,is different. Read on for an amazing tip for moms of toddlers and preschoolers, from a fellow mom and reader of this blog, to make your own pureed food snack pouches!
I have jars of spaghetti sauce I want to do this to in the near future, thus all the questions. But a can or bag of kidney beans opens up a whole world of possibilities and doesn’t contain a nutritionally criminal amount of salt. There are different protective chemicals attached to each color and you don’t want to miss any.
Say it comes down to barter time and someone knows you’re out of something vital like medicine or fuel. I’ve visited their facilities and they have worked with me on and off over the years. Exactly where the food comes from is highly confidential, and you will probably only find out the country from which it originated. In both food and seeds, make sure to have multiple sources of all colors plus some vitamin tablets, just to be safe.

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