Friday, November 30, 2012

BY #23: Yup, another soup

My BY for the day: Baked potato soup (do not add water)

If I were adding anything to go along with this, it would be: Juice boxes (or a bottle of juice would do if you don't mind extra dishes in an emergency. Plastic cups, if you have them, would be disposable like the boxes, and with the bottle you might get more juice for your money...) I've mentioned this add-on before, but have you taken into consideration what your situation would be when it comes to beverages? Water would probably be best, but there are vitamins and energy to be derived from juices. I hope that everyone is thinking about water storage and considering buying a case of water a week between now and the end of the year.

Well, I got to the point that I had to go back through my list of  BYs and figure out what I already have--that's something, right? :) Well, on BY #5, I wrote about Ejemory's idea of canned ham, but I had not actually added anything for that day. So I'm thinking a can of Spam would do the trick until I go looking at canned hams... That's the thing about this series. If you have skipped a few days, if you are just starting now, if you are able to add more today than you will next week, just adapt the series to your needs. What you like to eat, how much you need, etc., will be personal to your situation. I just figure that the more everyone has stored, the better off we will be, no matter what type of emergency situation we find ourselves dealing with...

Thursday, November 29, 2012

BY #22: A can, a reader's price list, and a linked article

My BY for the day: Sirloin burger with country vegetables soup (do not add water)

If I were adding anything to go along with this, it would be: Yeah, always better heated, but if it's in the budget, it would be good to throw some crackers in the pantry so they could be enjoyed with the soup.  And, although it's not strictly a can, a jar of peanut butter to go with the crackers might be appreciated when the electricity is out/you are snowed in/fill in your possible food emergency here. Feel free to expand the meaning of the BY series to fit your needs...

Thanks to Ejemory, who was very kind in leaving the following comment in yesterday's post:

"I live/shop in Utah County. Here are the prices on things I'm stocking up on:

Great Value tuna fish, 5 oz., .74
Great Value chicken breast, 10 oz., 1.88
Tyson chicken, 2 pack,25 oz., 4.00
Libby vienna sausage, 4.6 oz., .50
Great Value vienna sausage, 5 oz., .43
Hormel Spam, 12 oz., 2.48
Dak canned ham, 16 oz., 3.82
Great Value luncheon meat,(can't read my writing to know how many oz.) 1.88
Nalley's chili, assorted, 15 oz., .98 "

End of comment.

These prices look very similar to what I am seeing in Idaho. I did mention in responding to Ejemory's comment that the best deal I found that I wrote about was one that I found in Utah. It pays to read the comments... :)

I will say that not too long ago I heard about a fundraiser at a store that I rarely shop at, so I stopped by. The prices there were very different--I am not absolutely certain about the price of the Nalley chili there, but if memory serves, it was over $2.00. I hope I saw/remember it wrong, but I really don't think so. Thing is, even at that store, there was pasta available for $1.00/box. So the bargains are there if you look for them.

Let's say that no sort of natural disaster hits anywhere near you in the near future. This article about rising food prices indicates that there may be another reason to put a little aside as you are able--it will probably cost more tomorrow than it does today.

Whatever the case, I hope you are participating in the BY series, whether to use it yourself, to give as a gift, or to get ahead of rising food prices. Modify it to meet your needs, and don't be afraid to share your ideas.

Thanks again to Ejemory for sharing the pricing information! If anyone else in or out of Idaho would like to share the prices in your particular area, please do--the more we know, the better off we are...

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

BY #21: Well, you probably could have guessed this one

My BY for the day: Can of corn

If I were adding anything to go along with this, it would be: You could actually add this to many different types of soup to make for a more filling meal, I'm guessing...

Oh, and the reason for the title is because I got a few cans of this on my best deal last week at $.44/can. At least one can is going into the BY storage...

Yeah, it wouldn't be all that exciting by itself, but it would be something that's ready to eat...

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

BY #20: Repeat, but with additional variety

My BY for the day: Can of chicken Vienna sausages

If I were adding anything to go along with this, it would be: You know the various noodle/rice mixes that are available for about $1.00 that come in a variety of flavors, like parmesan, or alfredo? Some of them require milk, but some only require butter, and that is optional. I'm thinking that mixing in a can of Vienna sausages in with those would be great, if you had a heat source to cook the rice/noodles. And those mixes would be a great additon to your storage shelves if your emergeny didn't include loss of power, water, etc. Getting a few of those (or just some dried pasta with seasonings of your choice) could really add to your food options if you are snowed in, trucking gets interrupted, etc.

Also, hey, even though the cans are small, they are cost friendly at $.50/can at my nearest Wal-Mart. If they give me a good price, I don't mind a little free advertising. Anyone seen them for less anywhere else?

Monday, November 26, 2012

BY #19: What was the best deal you found last week?

My BY for the day: Can of green beans

If I were adding anything to go along with this, it would be: Oh, some French-fried onions, a little cream o' mushroom soup, some salt and pepper, milk, an oven to cook in... Can  you tell I made some green bean casserole last week? I love that stuff...

I didn't see as many wonderful deals as I thought that I might before Thanksgiving last week, but I did find a good deal on cans of green beans or corn -- $.44/a can. So I got a few and will make sure at least one gets into my BY storage--those vegetables go pretty fast around here.

How about you? Find any spectacular deals on food storage/emergency preparedness items anytime around Thanksgiving?


Friday, November 23, 2012

Buying ahead, blogging ahead: BY #18 for November 25

My BY for the day: Can of canned pasta

If I were adding anything to go along with this, it would be: Since canned ravioli/spaghetti/beef-a-roni is basically a meal in a can, I would probably go with something to drink, like hot chocolate. Obviously, both of these items would be better heated up, but you could eat/drink them (having added water in the case of hot chocolate) cold if necessary...

Can you believe we're on can #18 already? Will probably be running into more and more repeats before we hit can #53, but it's all good as long as it's edible in an emergency... :)

Buying ahead, blogging ahead: BY #17 for November 24

My BY for the day: Can of fruit cocktail

If I were adding anything to go along with this, it would be: Some cold cereal, or oatmeal, perhaps--some kind of grain might be welcome, and if you had something like that to accompany the fruit, the can would stretch farther. Of course, I guess theoretically with fruit cocktail you could please everyone, or no one, so you are kind of taking a chance... :) Still, it would be nice to just open something that you could eat without having to heat it up in order to make it taste good, so canned fruit could be very handy indeed...

BY #16: Would you like pasta with that?

My BY for the day: Can of Veg-All

If I were adding anything to go along with this, it would be: Yeah, probably Ramen again, but while I was typing the first line, I was thinking that a little can of a "cream of" soup would benefit from a can of Veg-All(mixed vegetables) and if you had pasta of any kind (macaroni, spaghetti, etc.) to add, all the better. Of course, you would need water and heat to make the mixture work, and you could eat the can of Veg-All as is if you didn't have the extra ingredients/water/ heat. Hope you remember the secondary challenge to buy a case of bottled water a week between now and the New Year--it could be really, really helpful in the case of a no-water-available emergency...

Didn't see as many deals on food-storage items as I thought I would  before Thanksgiving, so maybe I will be luckier immediately after Thanksgiving...

Hope everyone's holiday was wonderful! 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Buying ahead, blogging ahead: BY #15 for November 22

My BY for the day: Can of chunk pineapple

I were adding anything to go along with this, it would be: Well, I already posted my ambrosia recipe, so I will now share with you a comment that the TM Frugal Gourmet left under that post: (BY #11)

"Have you used your canned fruit with cottage cheese?? OH WOW, my kids love it! But they love it even more when I make cottage cream and then make a frozen fruit "sorbet" to put on top.

I do use a VITAMIX to make these...

Cottage Cream

2 cups cottage cheese

1/2 cup sugar

1 tsp. real vanilla extract

Mix all in blender until smooth. Pour back into the cottage cheese container or individual custard cups. Let set up in fridge

Frozen Sorbet

Frozen fruit


ONLY enough water so it isn't stuck when blending. Blend this until all fruit is smooth and it mounds in the corners. Use a cookie scoop to dish up on top of cottage cream.

OR use frozen, fresh or canned fruit arranged on top of the cottage cream.

Cottage cream tastes like cheesecake according to my kids, without the heavyness. "

This sounds delicious to me--granted, I like both cottage cheese and cheesecake, so it's not a stretch to think that this would be a treat. Of course, you would need both refrigeration and electricity for this to work out, but not all emergencies result in loss of power, so it would be good to have a stocked fridge and freezer in case of a different kind of emergency--higher prices, food transportation disruption, or the like.

Thanks again to TM Frugal Gourmet, over at TM Preparedness! She has left a lot of other great comments as well, so it is worth going to past posts and checking them out. Having blogged ahead, I didn't get to posting comments until today, so they are new, and informative. Also, didn't see until I went to link to TM Preparedness that the BY challenge is mentioned there--thanks, and there is still time to get in a lot of cans before New Year's--hope everyone will share ideas I haven't thought of...

Since this is the blog post that is for Thanksgiving Day, Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Hope yours is wonderful!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Buying ahead, blogging ahead: BY #14 for November 21

My BY for the day: Can of green beans

If I were adding anything to go along with this, it would be: Wow, this would be a good time for Ramen noodles. In an emergency, it would be better to be able to eat the noodles as soup so as to utilize the water in the best way possible, although my preferred method of eating them is just to cook the noodles, drain, and add the flavoring to the noodles and whatever I have added as well--usually some type of vegetable like green beans...

You may ask yourself why I am blogging ahead. Wellll, I have already bought several of the cans in advance, but by no means all of them, and I want to blog while I have the list of things bought right in front of me. Also, since Thanksgiving is this next week, I'm thinking that there will be quite a few things on sale food-wise, so if people go shopping with a list of possibilities like the ones I have listed in my BY series, perhaps they can get some of their cans at an even better price than usual. Sometimes, it's not timing for a sale, but a coupon, which gets you a better price,and that is what happened with the can of green beans mentioned here--it was one of my choices for a limited number of cans being sold 2/$1.00.

What about you? Have you gotten any good buys on your BYs? Ah, fun with words... :)

Buying ahead, blogging ahead: BY #13 for November 20

My BY for the day: Can of Salisbury steak soup  (do not add water)

If I were adding anything to go along with this, it would be: This would probably be a good soup to put over mashed potatoes.

Not much else to say about this one--of course it would be better to be able to eat it heated, and any mashed potatoes you could whip up would help make each can stretch farther. My only thing that I would add is that make sure, that, as I mentioned in an earlier BY post, you buy a brand/type/flavor that you know your family actually likes. Not absolutely necessary, but certainly a way to help ensure that everyone would be more willing to eat it, especially if you have to serve it cold.

What are your favorite soups? Any that I haven't mentioned? Can 13 already... :)

Buying ahead, blogging ahead: BY #12 for November 19

My BY for the day: Chicken Vienna sausages

If I were adding anything to go along with this, it would be: Ummm, napkins? Actually, I think these handy little food items would go along with a lot of different things--throw them in with a can of corn or beans, and you're gonna have a lot more satisfying meal experience.

I have to admit that I was a little hesitant about getting Vienna sausages--I'm as sure as I can be that I have actually eaten them before, but when I saw in the store that there were Vienna sausages, and then chicken Vienna sausages, and that the packages were really small, I thought that maybe I would pass. The following comment from TM Frugal Gourmet convinced me to pick up a can for this series:

"Chicken Vienna sausages, can be eaten cold or heated up. 

Another great thing is sloppy joe meat in a can. 

Chili is great as you have tons of brands, but look at differences: with beans; without beans; jalepano; with cheese; turkey; vegetarian; white chili.. Many options.

Canned ravioli is sauce; ready to eat soups (holy cow tons of flavor options!); fruits; beans; veggies; sauces...

Also, you can now find dairy free milks in individual foil boxes! You can find cow milk like this also. This is a great option with lack of fridge.

One of the canned things I bought at Walmart this week was scrambled eggs. Yes you have to add water, and cook them, but I have several sources for cooking in emergency that we HAVE to use every winter. I love my StoveTec Rocket Stove and my Kelly Kettle!"

Oh, yeah... another example of an information-packed comment! I bought some chicken Vienna sausages ($.50/can, if memory serves--and good thing because those cans are tiny) when I had the chance because I thought I should at least try them.  I will have to try them out with different combinations, but you have to love a meat/protein source that can be eaten hot or cold--which I figured originally, it was just the size of the cans/servings that was making me hesitate. At $.50/can trying them is not a huge risk. :) Maybe my children will really like them...

I have not yet found sloppy joe meat in a can, although I did find sloppy joe sauce in a can. And the milk option and eggs are definitely worth looking into. I have no idea about the StoveTec Rocket Stove and Kelly Kettle, but a heating source would absolutely be a plus in an emergency situation.

I went over to check out TM Frugal Gourmet's website, TM Preparedness.  I'm looking forward to reading it. Thanks again, TM Frugal Gourmet!

Hope your BYs are going wonderfully!

Buying ahead, blogging ahead: BY #11: For November 18

My BY for the day: Mandarin oranges

If I were adding anything to go along with this, it would be: A can of pineapple, some shredded coconut, some sour cream--voila, ambrosia salad as made all my life that I can remember, especially at Thanksgiving...appropriate, yes? :) Actually, I would have to look up the proportions of cans to sour cream, etc., so if anyone is interested, I'll find out for sure, but that is the list of ingredients as I remember them. Ah, memories.

But I digress. Since we are sticking with cans, as I mentioned previously in another BY post, if you are buying mandarin oranges, think in terms of servings. There are the little cans, and there are the big cans, and then there is the fact that someone in your group might not like mandarin oranges--so it's always good to figure in all the factors. Me? I like mandarin oranges...

"Orange" you glad it's the weekend? I know--groan.....

BY #10: Soup-a-licious (well, depending on your taste)

My BY for the day: Bean soup (just add water)

If I were adding anything to go along with this, it would be: Ah, probably crackers again. Just warning you--there will probably be a lot of soup on my BY list, seeing as how there are so many varieties, and it's pretty easy to prepare. Wouldn't want to eat this bean soup without the water, but it would be doable, I suppose...just another reason to figure cooking in when determining water storage amounts!

Hope everyone is enjoying their weekend!

Friday, November 16, 2012

BY #9: A can of course, and bye to Twinkies...

My BY for the day: Beef tamales

If I were adding anything to go along with this, it would be: Umm, aluminum foil, because they would be easy to heat up on a grill or something? The question mark is there because I haven't tried this method, but given they are tamales, seems like you could wrap them up and heat them pretty nicely... The 15 oz. can I bought (for $.98!) says that there are three 2-tamale servings within. Six tamales per can. So, what would be an actual serving for the people you would be responsible for? If they could eat more than two tamales for a meal, plan accordingly... In terms of adding an additional food, I'm thinking a nice can of fruit would do nicely. Or maybe some chili over the top if you do get to use that aluminum foil. Looks like I have some experimenting to do.

Have you heard about Hostess going out of business? We are not huge consumers of Twinkies, but we do like the Wonder whole wheat bread that we can get for a pretty good price at the Wonder Bread store not too far from us. We like to keep some of those loaves in the freezer. What does this have to do with the BY series? At least two things:

---Speaking of bread, since you can freeze it for quite a while, stocking up with a few loaves in your freezer will make your life easier in the case of an emergency. If the electricity doesn't go out during your emergency, you can store the bread even longer to supplement the food in your canned storage. If the electricity does go out, the bread thaws, but should still be good for awhile, and still can supplement or even help replace some of your canned food at mealtime, especially in something like a 3-day emergency scenario. You would be able to eat better while waiting for help to arrive..

--I am sorry that as a result of this company going out of business, according to the article, 18,500 people will lose their jobs. If you find yourself out of a job, any food you have in storage will only improve your situation. There are many different kinds of emergencies.

Hoping your BYs are going well...

Thursday, November 15, 2012

BY #8: A coupon and a coincidental comment...

My BY for today: A can of sliced potatoes

If I were adding anything to go along with this, it would be: Cream of mushroom/chicken/flavor of my choice (?) I don't know because I don't recall having had canned potatoes before, but for this series I thought I'd give them a try, because, not only would they presumably be filling/edible cold in an emergency, but....

I had a coupon for various cans of vegetables, 2/$1.00, and canned potatoes (as I recall, sliced or whole) was one of my options. I got two cans, so I can try out one can with the family before I call it a dependable (read: my family will eat it with minimal complaining) storage item. I'm still putting one of the cans in storage so I can count it for this series...

Interesting thing is, I then saw a comment (thanks again, Ejemory) that said:

"Canned potatoes, though not my favorite, are a quick and easy way to fix a quick side dish. They also require less fuel to cook and enjoy. Sometimes I'm willing to trade taste/texture for a quick meal."

So, I'm thinking now, I wouldn't add anything, except of course, preferably, heat--so they would be warm canned potatoes. Salt and pepper, maybe, so that I could save my cream of (insert choice here) soup for other endeavors...

As I always say, check the comments--they're helpful--at times more helpful than the post!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

BY #7: A repeat, and why you may not have as much food storage as you think

My BY for today: A can of evaporated milk

If I were adding anything to go along with this, it would be: Canned fruit.

Yes, this a repeat of my BY #2, and one of the reasons is to highlight the fact that sometimes we think we have a lot of food storage, but it may not last as long as we might think/hope. If I may illustrate:

Let's pretend, for our hypothetical situation, that the group that we need to plan storage for is a family of four. How quickly, really, can you go through those precious cans?

Day 1: You are going to have canned fruit and evaporated milk for breakfast. (Fortunately, you have also remembered to store a manual can opener, thus avoiding even more emergencies in an emergency situation... :)

Let's say that you can get by with two cans of evaporated milk between the four people. Let's say also that you figure that you will eat half a can of peaches each, and call it good, thus using four cans total. Yay for peaches and cream!

Or, using the same amount of milk, since you have decided to store mandarin oranges, you are having oranges and cream. It's all good, but what size can of mandarin oranges have you stored? If it is a small size, you may find that the group you are feeding needs a can a piece to feel at least partially satisfied with the breakfast. If you have stored the larger size, you may be able to just divide two cans between the four people.

In either case, it's not exactly a hearty breakfast, but it is breakfast, with no cooking involved and some healthy components.

Hence, for breakfast, you will need at the least 4 cans, and possibly even 6 cans.

By lunchtime, everyone is hungry. If you have two adults and two small children, you may be able to get by with a regular size can of beefaroni/canned pasta of your storage choice per adult, and then divide a can of beefaroni between the children. If the children are growing and voracious eaters, they might be able to manage an entire can each by themselves after their peaches/mandarin oranges and cream breakfast. If you open up a can of fruit juice to go along with lunch, that adds another can.

So, for lunch, you will need at least 3 cans if you are eating only, 4 cans if you add juice in that scenario, and 5 cans for hungry people who each eat their own can of pasta and also need some good vitamin-filled juice.

For dinner, you decide to use some of your limited fuel and get some warm food going. This means that you can throw, let's say, two cans of cream of chicken soup in a pan, enough bottled water to make it soup, and a small can of chicken. You want to throw some vegetables in, so you throw in your choice of peas/beans/corn/other vegetable--one can. Let's say that you also have some noodles on hand, so ta-da! A casserole of sorts. So in terms of cans, you need at least 4 cans to make this casserole happen, even not mentioning the noodles that would add oh-so-much-more to the experience.

I personally would not want to eat cream of chicken type soup cold, but as one of my friends used to say, "A girl's gotta eat..." It would be preferable, I would imagine, to eat ready-to-eat soups, such as chicken noodle, cold, if one had to. In that case, you would need a can a piece for the adults, and perhaps one can between two small children, and a can a piece for children who have heartier appetites. So, 3 at least, with no heat source, and 4 at most.

Final tally, least amount of cans needed for 4 people for one day, using this scenario: 10
Final tally, using the highest number of cans mentioned in this scenario: 15

Soooo...if you are storing the equivalent of a can a day for emergency purposes, consider sizes of the cans, since some (such as the fruit) come in different sizes. Think about how you would actually put together meals with the cans you buy. Would you have enough to get by? At 53 cans, (which is the plan if you do all the BYs in this series) you would have about 5 days worth of food stored for four people. 53 cans sounds like a lot, but when you get right down to it, those cans can go awfully fast...

Please bear in mind that I am doing this series with emergencies like natural disasters in mind, where it may take time for aid to get to you, and there are power and/or water problems as well. This would be a short-term situation, hopefully, and most likely quite miserable, but I am sure it would be even more miserable should you have no readily edible food on hand at all...

I 'm doing cans in this series because they can have quite a long shelf life, and the emergency may not be as dire as a natural disaster.  The emergency that presents itself may be one of prices going up, a job loss, or food transportation problem with trucking, etc. In that case, you would still have power, and being able to cook things makes things a lot, lot, lot easier.

Also, if you had an emergency with no power, etc., that would be a great time to use your 72 hour kit. Emergencies don't tell time, however, and if the emergency situation were to extend beyond that 3 day time period, the cans you store here might really come in helpful.

Whew, that was long-winded. Look forward to shorter posts--they usually are. :) Would love to hear how you will put your cans to use meal-wise, if you are willing to share....

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

BY #6: Not chilly...

My BY for today: Can of chili (I know, very punny... :)

If I were adding anything to go along with this, it would be: Crackers. If it were just an ordinary meal type of thing, it would be saltines. Since I would want to add more substantial crackers in an emergency situation, I'm thinking I would add the packets of crackers that are sandwiched with cheese or peanut butter. I don't have anything like those crackers on hand, so I don't know the longevity of such crackers--they might need more frequent rotation, or they might not. If they are good in terms of storage, they might also be handy to give away to other people in an emergency--compact, more calories, and easier to share than, say, chili. (Also, remember that crackers can be quite salty, so that water mentioned in my last post might be extra appreciated at this point...) While heated chili would be better, cold chili would at least be filling...

You might want to find out what kind of canned chili your family prefers, if you don't already have a family favorite. There are some brands that have different types that mix well, (i.e. thick, onion, etc.) and variety is always good...

Speaking of variety, would love to hear what other people would put in their 3-6 day storage that is ready to eat or just add water....good luck with your BYs--and if you can add it, the bottled water storage!

Monday, November 12, 2012

BY #5: Submitted by a reader

Thanks to Ejemory, who suggested this BY in a comment:
"How about a canned ham that could be used to create an omelet or sliced up as a side or used along with potatoes and cheese for a yummy potato casserole?"

There's all the information in one sentence--the product, plus what you could do with/add to it. I haven't bought a canned ham, but think it would be great. We have received one as a gift for Christmas before. Sounds like an item I could investigate further for price, longevity, etc.

Potatoes usually keep pretty well too, if you store them at cool temperatures and keep them away from the light. And even if you didn't have traditional heating methods, a little canned ham and some potatoes sounds like a tasty combination for a tinfoil dinner...

I know that this can-a-day series is so basic that it seems like it might be unnecessary, but I think that if we prepare enough, an anticipated 3-day emergency (read: hurricane, other natural disaster) that could potentially last even longer will go more smoothly if everyone has their own supplies. Enough variety in those supplies would make things more bearable. There might also be situations where someone might not have the supplies to feed everyone, but might have a heat source to share so that others could at least cook what they bring to the situation. Living on emergency food would not be ideal, but if you have emergency food that doesn't need to be cooked, you'll be ahead in the game. If you can share, other people will also be ahead in the game. I know it's just an expression, but emergencies are really not a game...

One more challenge for you--store water. Bottled water is more expensive than, say, the $.97 can of evaporated milk I posted about the other day, but if you added one case a week between now and the end of the year, you would have about six cases by the end of the year. Look for deals/coupons/really good expiration dates, and see what you can do. There will be BYs I post that need water added, but even if you get all ready-to-eat BYs, you can save the water for drinking, so it's all win-win-win.

Thanks again, Ejemory--canned ham was one I hadn't thought of. Would love to hear more ideas if anyone wants to submit them... hope everyone is doing well with your BYs!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

BY #4: Sunday edition on Saturday

My BY for today: Can of sliced peaches

If I were adding anything to go along with this, it would be: Instant oatmeal. Those little packets with flavoring would be good for variety, but any quick-cooking oatmeal would be good. Adding canned fruit of any kind would make for a more filling meal.

Any canned fruit that is not particularly enjoyed at your house? Peaches beat pears around here...good luck with your BYs!

BY #3: Edible, hot or cold--preferably hot

My BY today: Canned pasta

If I were adding anything to go along with this, it would be: Juice boxes. Depending on what kind of canned pasta you are talking about, when you add juice boxes, you might begin to feel that you are actually starting to fill some of the food groups. In my case, theoretically you would be providing meat and grains, since Beefaroni has both, plus tomato-ey sauce. Anyway, canned pasta would be filling, even if it would be less enjoyable without heat. You don't always have the choice when it comes to power availability in an emergency, but if you do have a way to heat it, all the better.

If you can, see what people you are responsible for prefer, and get that if you can afford it. Some brands are more expensive than others, and they do not all taste the same. In the case of canned pasta I definitely have a preferred brand, because I consider other brand(s?) I have tried to be too sweet for my taste. Sure, people should be grateful for whatever available in an emergency situation, but if you can get what you actually like beforehand, there is likely to be more comfort and less whining when you are actually in an emergency situation, especially if you end up having to eat your normally heated food cold. Annnnd, you might be one of the lucky ones whose "group of responsibility while in an emergency" prefers the 2/$1.00 cans, or whatever the least expensive deal is at this point. In a case like this, there is a question to answer--are you going for preference, if it is more expensive, quantity, so that you have more food to go around, or a mixture of the two?

As an aside, when it comes to macaroni and cheese, our family prefers a store brand that has been known to be on sale for 3/$1.00. Otherwise, if memory serves, it usually sells for around 2/$1.00. You may notice in the future that I won't put macaroni and cheese on my BY list, because it would require both water and heat to be edible. This series is focused on ready-to-eat can (or maybe jar) supplies. Macaroni and cheese is, however, at this point a great addition to food storage if you are preparing for an emergency of another sort, like job loss, rising food prices, trucking problems where store shelves go empty, or the like. Unfortunately, there are many reasons that emergencies arise. Fortunately, at this point, if people have the means, they can still store up, even if it's a little at a time.

How are your BYs going? (There might be some kind of pun in there somewhere... :)

Friday, November 9, 2012

BY #2: Thinking breakfast...

My BY today: Evaporated milk
If I were adding anything to go along with this, it would be: Cereal! Pop Tarts! Dry...anything? (Within reason.... :)
Yeah, my can today is evaporated milk, 12 fl. oz of storageable (is that a word?) goodness. If you are feeding more than, say, two people, you will probably want more than one can of this at a meal.

I wouldn't ordinarily advertise the brand I bought, but hey, when I went here, Carnation gives you the opportunity to get a $.50 coupon off two 12 oz. cans of ...ding ding ding.. evaporated milk! The can I bought was $.97, so basically if I decide to buy more with the coupon at the same store, I can get two cans for roughly $1.50 (you know, what with tax added and all). Anyway, that's my BY for the day.

Any other breakfast/filling canned goods/fill in food storage needs here/ ideas out there?

Thursday, November 8, 2012

BY #1: Are you in?

There are 53 days until January 1st. If you add a can of food a day to storage between then and now, you will have 53 cans of food in storage. So I am starting a series of posts today, and naturally, I'm in. I will post what I am adding each day (Sunday "BY"s will appear either Saturday or Monday). I thought of calling this series, "Better Prepared By the New Year", but BPBNY is kind of cumbersome, so I'm taking the initials of the first and last words, hence, "BY". My goal is to add cans of food that are ready to eat, or add water only, even if they would be unpleasant to eat cold, because you never know what would be available in terms of fuel in an emergency. You will have something to eat, though--just don't forget to store a manual can opener! :)
After I post my can o' the day, I'll put other ideas, tips, links, etc. when I have something to add.

My BY today: Chicken noodle soup (Ready to eat, do not add water)

If I were adding anything else to go along with this, it would be:   Mashed potatoes or extra noodles or rice. Many kinds of soup would go well over mashed potatoes or noodles or rice, and this would make the food more filling and/or stretch farther.

What if you have a large family, are trying to store for everyone, and need more than one can to make a decent meal? Add one tomorrow and the next day and the next...according to your needs. Some of your BYs may be repetitive as a result. I would still like to hear about them, repetition or no. If you can afford to buy 3 cans at a time and want to think of this series in terms of being able to provide a meal a day instead of a can a day, that works too.  But getting cans, if only one at a time, is better than getting no cans at all.

Posting (or commenting) about a BY a day will keep food storage as a priority. What if someone goes shopping and buys 10 cans of food in one trip? As long as those cans are being put aside for storage, you now have 10 cans to write about, and have 10 days worth of posts and/or comments. Even if 10 cans only amount to 3 meals for your family, you will have enough for about 6 days' worth of meals by the end of the year--which will definitely come in handy in the case of an emergency. If you end up needing only 3 days' worth of food to cover an emergency, someone else may benefit from your preparation when you share it.

You don't need to have a blog to participate, just leave a comment here with your  BY and any suggestions you think may be helpful to others. If you do have a blog, leave a link to your BY in the comments so others can see what you've posted. (Please link to specific posts, so it is easier to find your BY.)

So....are you in?