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With politicians continuing to do what they do best, which is spend other people’s money like there’s no tomorrow and print more when they run out, there is a very good chance that we in the US will experience much higher inflation before too long and possibly hyperinflation.

When that happens, food prices will skyrocket, and there will be a run on grocery stores. Given that it doesn’t take much to send people into a food-buying frenzy as it is (threat of natural disasters, H1N1 rumors, etc) along with the fact that most grocery stores only keep about 3 days worth of supplies on hand, and there’s a good chance that a lot of people will be left unprepared should such a situation ever occur.

For these reasons and several others, it’s good to at least have a 72-hour food and water supply on hand for you and your family. The problem is, when most people think of stockpiling food, they picture the stereotypical survivalist in a backwoods cabin storing grain in 50 gallon barrels. Since very few people have the time or desire to fill up barrels with grain and drag them to a remote patch of wilderness, most people simply forgo stockpiling all together and just hope for the best.

Since here at GrabTheApple we’re all about taking action, I’m going to give you 7 items that you can use to easily stockpile at least 72 hours worth of food, and for much longer if you’d like. Best of all, you won’t even have to set foot in a wheat field in order to get started, since all of the items can be easily found in most grocery and Walmart-type stores. Of course if you go to Walmart, you might have to use your 72-hour food supply just to survive the line :)

Just to clarify, by 72-hours worth of food, I mean that if you and your family had no other source of food, your stockpile should be enough to last for 72 hours. My criteria for a “survival food” is simply a food of high nutritional value, it has an expiration date a year or more away from the day you buy it, and it is a food that you’re already used to eating and know you like. If it’s lightweight and portable, even better.

Keep in mind that the idea here is not to pile up a bunch of food and let it sit for three years. The purpose of your stockpile of food is to have extra food on hand in case your source of food is ever cut off. To keep your supply fresh, you should always be eating the foods from your stockpile and replacing what you eat with fresh supplies. Only when you no longer have a source of food to replace what you eat should the expiration dates of your supplies come into play.

7 ‘Survival Foods’ Found In Most Grocery Stores

1. Tuna Fish and Salmon Pouches
StarKist Tuna Pouch
Tuna and Salmon Pouches
You can buy the cans, but the pouches are significantly lighter and, in my opinion, taste better. I bought several tuna pouches the other day at Walmart. They were on special for $0.99 each and have an expiration date of January 22, 2012. The salmon pouches are a little harder to find and cost more but are still nice to have around. I like to mix the tuna with some hot black beans and either salsa or Tabasco.

2. Peanut Butter

Everyone has their brand of choice, but peanut butter(in my case, creamy JIF) is a cheap, quick source of protein, fats, carbs, and calories when you need them. Most peanut butter will have an expiration date that’s 1.5 – 2 years beyond the date you purchase it. I once hiked all over Missoula, Montana with nothing but a jar of peanut butter, a spoon, and a water bottle equipped with a filter.

3. Dried Pasta
Dried Pasta
Dried pasta is another cheap, easily accessible ‘survival food’. When stored properly, this stuff can last for years. Boil some water, throw in your pasta, drain, add some tomato sauce, and you’ve got yourself a great-tasting, very filling meal.

4. Canned GoodsCanned Food
Canned food is a great way to store meats, fruits, and vegetables for whenever the fresh options aren’t available. Be sure that the cans you buy are in good condition (no dents), and you’ll have a source of food that will last well beyond a year.

5. Instant/Dehydrated Potatoes
Instant Potatoes
If stored in a cool, dry place, instant potatoes can last for years. When you’re ready to eat, just add water, and you have a great-tasting addition to any meal.

6. Oatmealquakeroats
I admit, this one made the list primarily because I created the list. There are probably more essential foods that could have occupied this position, such as rice, but truth be told, I don’t eat a lot of rice, but I eat tons of oatmeal. Like most things on this list, oatmeal is cheap, easy to find, and very easy to prepare. The expiration date will give you about a year to eat it.

In my case, I like to add a little butter, a dash of cinnamon, and a lot of honey. When available, I also like to mix in a handful of fresh blueberries. In addition to breakfast, this is usually my pre-game meal when I play in basketball leagues. When other players’ energy starts to fade in the second half, my oatmeal, honey, and blueberries keep me well-fueled to the finish. Oatmeal can do the same for you, whether you’re surviving or simply starting your day. (Quaker Oats, if you’re reading, how was that for a commercial?)

7. Emergen-C
Emergen-C packets are an easy and portable way for you to load up on several important vitamins and minerals. The packets are dated to last about a year. The instructions recommend that you mix the powder in 4-6 oz of water, but I just fill the glass with about an inch of water, add in the powder, swirl it around, and down it. It tastes great and provides you with a nice energy boost. You can even get some free samples by going to and clicking on the “Free Samples” bubble.

honorable_mention (63 x 106)Honorable mentions: Rice, Tomato sauce, Honey, Lentils, Pizza Mix, Chocolate, Olive Oil

Caution (70 x 58)Do NOT forget water when you’re planning your food supply!

When people are preparing their food stockpile, they often forget water. Water is essential for survival as well as the cleaning and preparation of most foods. At the very least, you should have 1 gallon per person per day on hand.

Luke Walker

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Filed under: FoodGTA PhilosophySelf-Reliance

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