Skip to comments.Sequential food storage Part 4 Cycling through your supplies.
Posted on 01/14/2011 8:59:56 AM PST by Doctor Prepper
If youve been keeping up with being prepared, then most likely you have made careful decisions on what to stockpile. The regular use and replenishment (Cycling) of these supplies is an important part of this process.
You will want to establish replacement time lines guided by use-by dates, grouping together supplies with a similar shelf life. Keep in mind that longer periods mean higher probabilities that they will be unusable in times of emergency.
These are just a few examples of use-by dates from our own supplies. As with everything else, you will need to check though your supplies and come up with your own data. (Your mileage may vary)
Canned Ham 48 months
Canned Chicken 30 months
Canned Corn 23 months
Canned Beans 15 months
Pasta 23 months
Boxed Cereal (Dry) 12 months
Fruit juice (Plastic container) 11 months
Dry Pet food 12 months
Bottled water only seems to have a shelf Life of a few months. You can make of that what you will, but replacing it on a regular basis would seem to be a prudent move.
For simplicitys sake, replacing supplies at half their typical shelf life is a good compromise between having to cycle through your supplies too much and risking spoilage by waiting too long.
For example, In the case of some canned meat products, this would be 15 20 months given average shelf lives of 40 30 months.
The bottom line is that using up and replacing your emergency supplies is just as important as getting the process started in the first place.
Links to the other parts of the series:
Sequential Food Storage Part I
Sequential food storage Part 2 Assessing your familys needs.
Sequential food storage Part 3 Buying out the store
Chlorine (as well as iodine) is a common water treatment.
I know there are tablets available for both.
As for bleach, I’m sure it would work but I have no idea as to the amount or time frame required.
But I’ll bet that someone here does. :)
“Canned water will last for decades.”
Ain’t that the truth. In our survival vests (Naval Aviation) we had two little cans of water that, I swear, came from just after WWII.
As long as you got the “hollow bong” when you slapped the bottom it was good to go!!
At least the government got it money’s worth on this buy!!!! LOL
I augment my fresh food, with very little that can be stored.
I take just-emptied 2 quart juice bottles, wash them out, fill 7/8s up, and then freeze them in our deep freeze. I figure as long as the power holds up they should be good forever.
Example: I know of this one person who is a big time Zero-bot that works at one of these charities.
It might not be a good idea to be known around town as a Hoarder as they would call it.
I store my water in bulk using tap water which is cheaper than bottle water and surprising often cleaner and/or the same water used in main bottle waters, in 5-15-55 gallon containers and simple switch it out by using older containers to water my plants and garden then refill them adding a few drops of bleach and then placing a last fill date with a dry erase marker. Water is arguably the most important prep you need to store and is also the bulkiest, but without adequate clean water no amount of food will keep you alive long.
Ha ha! It took me a minute, but ‘ha ha’ nonetheless!
I have a hard time eating other peoples food that dates back to a incident i had as a kid.
Anyways about 3 years back i agreed to have dinner over a friend and his new wifes house.
As i’m eating the spaghetti and meatballs (the same meal that started this whole phobia to begin with) i decided it needed more grated cheese.
i dump more Kraft grated on the food and eat a few more bites.
Then i decided to check the use by date on the bottom of the can.
THE CHEESE WAS FROM THE REAGAN ADMINISTRATION!!
Not only that but i also picked out a giant packing staple and a piece of Cellophane out of the meal.
Needless to say my phobia of others home cooked meals remains in place.
A good way to keep track of dates i imagine would be to hang a Sharpie marker on some string in the pantry or whatever and date the packages as you buy and stock them.
That plus a spread sheet. ;-)
I'm just getting started, but I have decided a couple of things.
One tactic is to store a good quantity of canned grains and beans that have a shelf-life of thirty years. These are foods that we do eat (beans, rice, and oats) but with the intention of leaving the stored food alone with the expectation that these can simply be replaced in, say, twenty years with little economic impact. We will draw from this supply whatever we do need, and replace it with newer stock. Food in this form costs probably double what it would without the longer shelf-life.
I will store some wheat, too, but first we are going to figure out how to make use of it. We are not big bread eaters.
There are also some foods with a shelf-life around ten years. We will store a good quantity of these and learn how to incorporate some of it into our usual diets. These are freeze-dried products and are pretty expensive compared to what we normally eat. We've ordered some samples to first prove that we can eat them. There are also some canned cheese and canned butter which have lifetimes that might approach ten years. I'm still a little uncertain about this.
Finally, there are some canned foods that we eat infrequently but that would be extremely useful in an emergency. I am encouraging my wife to buy these in greater amounts such that we can rotate these and keep them from exceeding their shelf lives. Canned soups, chili, spam, and a few other items. In the past we have stored one or two cans. Now we will store whatever seems to be a two year supply, for example, if that seems to be the shelf-life, and then rotate the stock carefully. Should an emergency occur, we would expect to have about ten times more of these products than otherwise with this plan.
We live in a rural area with a well to supply water. If the electricity goes out, we have a generator to run the well and some appliances. It's hard to say how long we could make the stored gas last. I have just 15 gallons stored in containers, with another thirty or so in vehicles that don't get run much. If there was a chance that the electricity would be off for an extended time, we would be challenged to use what is stored in our freezer.
What I have identified to do so far is quite a bit less than what might be optimum, but it will be vastly superior to doing nothing. When our fresh food runs out, we will have to change our diets. But that is so much better than having to look for food in a time of emergency.
Thinking about worst-case scenarios also helps to motivate one to prepare for other emergencies. I finally bought some new fire-extinguishers to replace the aging one we keep in our kitchen. How silly would it be to be prepared for total national anarchy, but unprepared to handle a grease fire on the stove.
Re bottled water - what we get always has a use-by date of two years from bottling date.
Can you get a hand pump for your well?
I my Preparedness Manual I have the following quote from a Sarajevo War Survivor:
“Living near a well with a manual pump is like being in Eden.”
You must live in a strange little town.
LOL! Well, don’t we all?
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