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The Walmart "Great Value" brand is usually priced at $1.78. A bit more fat content and grainier but when TSHTF it will be more valuable than gold IMHO.
Poverty Cooking Chapter 2 Menu Fatigue
Menu fatigue is a real thing. The military has recognized that and gone to 14 day menus.
If you try to feed someone the same thing, day after day, morale suffers and efficiency falls off. Rice and beans, or beans and rice is not much of a choice. Especially for children.
That doesn’t mean you have to load up with a bunch of different foods to get different meals. One thing you can consider when purchasing something is how many recipes it can be used in. The more versatile, the better. I rarely buy single menu use items.
Personally, I have some basics that are always around. Mirepoix (2:1:1) of onion, celery and carrot are the basics for most stocks, soups, and many meals.
Since I live alone, fresh celery will go bad before I use it all, so I dehydrate the left-over celery right before it starts to turn. Same with carrots. Onions keep if you store them correctly. I actually prefer to use re-hydrated carrots and celery for stocks. I think the flavor is better and richer.
The basic spices I always have on hand are garlic powder (not garlic salt), pepper, thyme, oregano, basil, cinnamon, dill, sage, cumin, and chili powder. You can do a lot with those, and most, can be grown around the house.
Main meals should include meat, starches, and vegetables.
Meats can be a problem. Beef is expensive. Pork is expensive. Chicken is expensive. Hunters or those that have family that hunt can get by for less.
Starches are generally inexpensive. For starches like pasta and rice, 2oz of dried product per serving is the minimum for meal planning.
Veggies can often be found on sale, with fresh vegetables in season being cheaper than vegetables out of season. Vegetables can be grown at home, with a little effort. I generally only use fresh tomatoes when they are in season, and use canned tomatoes when they are out of season.
A reasonable about of versatile ingredients can help to keep morale up, and overcome menu fatigue.
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