It seems there is a new craze of Freeze Dried Food Storage going around. I have multiple people email me whether or not this type of food storage is a good idea. I even had a man come to my door the other day wanting to show me his food and pamphlet (he didn't know who he was messing with!) I have had people also email me price sheets for companies that do this (Mountain House, Daily Bread, etc.) and the prices are OUTRAGEOUS! I had one lady email me all excited that she bought her and her husbands year supply for only $3000! A price sheet I just looked at today had a year supply for $2499 per person! Ugh! (and that was a 'promotional price')
So...why don't I think this is a good idea? The reason is food storage needs to be food your family is eating currently, foods they will continue to eat and foods that you are rotating through and using on a regular basis. I do have to say freeze dried food has it's place in my food storage and that is in the following areas:
*72 hour kits. I have several MRE's in my 72 hour kits and car kits because they last a long time and are easy to make when just adding water. (Although a can of tuna fish, peanut butter, stew from a can, chili from a can is the same idea and a lot less expensive!) So.. I have some of both in my kits.
*I do have a few canisters of freeze dried fruit and vegetables in my food storage. Home grown produce is best, store bought is next best, frozen is third place, canned is next and freeze dried is my last option. People may give the arguement that freeze dried is better for you than canned vegetables and fruits--however, the price difference is TOO much and so I will sacrifice the difference in quality for price. The LDS cannery sells all sorts of dried fruit and vegetables. Get a price sheet and buy it in bulk. You can can it in #10 cans if you want or just keep in tupperwares in a cool dry place (this is assuming you are going to eat it in the next 3-5 years)--which if you are buying the appropriate quantity of each item you will easily go through it in that time frame.
*I also have #10 cans of powdered eggs, butter and margarine. These are great options when cooking solely out of your food storage and can easily be incorporated into your daily cooking when the expirations are up.
*Freeze dried meats are also a good idea to have in small quantities. I buy a few #10 cans of these as well because they are good to have in case the meat in your freezer and food storage were eaten up and you needed another option. I buy all of these products at Maceys when they have their annual emergency preparedness/case lot sales. I have price matched them and generally they are MUCH less than the ones you can buy online or at Emergency Essentials.
So...these items do have their place--however, they need to be used sparingly and bought in SMALL quantities. It is a good idea to have food in all forms. If you think of your food storage as a 'store' it will make it easier for you to figure out what items you want in your storage. When you go to the grocery store do you hang out in the freeze dried isle because that is where you buy the majority of your food? No! You buy produce, meat, grains, pastas, vegetables, fruit, baking goods, beans, rice, etc. Stock up on those items in the store that your family uses the most often.
To give you an idea of how inexpensive a year supply of food is, here is how much it would cost ONE person to get their YEAR SUPPLY OF BASIC ITEMS: (these prices are assuming you are stocking up on items when they are on sale for 'red/great' prices. If you don't know what prices these are, then become a member and I will tell you exactly when and how much of each item to buy ;)
**I've been told that prices at the Cannery are going to go up soon (possibly as soon as tomorrow) so don't wait to stock up on those items!
300 lbs. per person:
*100 lbs. of wheat: $6.75 x 4 (25lb. bags)= $27.00 (LDS CANNERY)
*75 lbs. of flour: $9.50 X 3 (25 lb. bags)= $28.50 (LDS CANNERY)
* 10 boxes of cereal: 10x $1 (Watch the Ads)=$10
*10 lbs. of cornmeal: $1.98 x 2 (5 lb. bags) = $3.96 (WALMART)
*20 lbs. of oats: 2x $10.40 (25 lbs. bags)= $20.80 (LDS CANNERY)
*40 lbs. rice: 2 x $10 (25 lb. bags) = $20.00 (COSTCO OR CANNERY)
*40 lbs. pasta: 40 x $1 (40 1lb. boxes) = $40 (WATCH THE ADS/COSTCO)
*10 lbs. mixes: 10x$1 = $10 (WATCH THE ADS)
*60 lbs. of variety of beans (black, kidney, pinto, refried, lentils, pork n' beans, etc.)
60 x .40-.50 a can (WATCH THE ADS) = $30
*16 lbs. of powdered milk: 25 lbs. powdered milk $44.45 (CANNERY--this price just was lowered by almost $25--stock up!!!!)
*Brown Sugar 3 x $1 (2 lb. bags)= $3 (WATCH THE ADS)
*Powdered Sugar 3 x $1 (2 lb. bags)= $3 (WATCH THE ADS)
*Honey 3 lbs. x 1 (6 lbs. $8.79)= $8.79 (COSTCO)
*Jam 2 jars x $2= $4 (WATCH THE ADS)
*Jello 1 lb= $2 (WATCH THE ADS)
*Maple Syrup 3 lbs. x $1 = $3 (WATCH THE ADS)
*Granulated white sugar 2 (25lb. bags)x $10.50 = $21 (CANNERY)
*Vegetable oil: 2 (48 oz.)x $2 = $4 (watch the ads)
*Peanut Butter: 4 jars x$1= $4 (Watch the ads)
*Salad Dressing: 2 jars x $1 = $2 (watch the ads)
*Shortening: 1 tub $2.50 (watch the ads)
*Mayo 2 jars x $2= $4 (watch the ads)
*Butter 4 lbs. x $1.50= $6 (watch the ads--or Costco)
*25 lbs. $3 (COSTCO)
Meats, fruit, vegetables, cooking essentials, auxillary foods and condiments are all EXTRAS and should be bought when they go on sale for red/great deals and the totals you need for each of those can be found on the FOOD STORAGE INVENTORY SHEET that you can download off of our website under the FREE DOWNLOAD tabs.
TOTAL FOR BASIC FOOD STORAGE FOR ONE PERSON: $305.00 (+ tax)
Compare that to the $2499 and you can see why I don't recommend buying your food storage that way. Even when you factor in the vegetables, fruit, meat, baking goods for one person, you will come out ahead by nearly $2000!!! You can buy a YEAR SUPPLY for nearly EIGHT people for the same price as ONE person with the freeze dried food!
Remember.. the church only recommends you have a year supply of BASIC life sustaining food. The extras like cake mixes, ketchup, fruits, etc. are GREAT to have a year supply of, but don't get overwhelmed. Focus on the basics until you have your year supply of those items. Gradually add items to your food storage each week. If you don't have a year supply of the 'basic' items listed above and I have put what store you can buy those items at, I would recommend buying them as soon as you can! With the prices of wheat, rice, flour, pasta, corn, etc. skyrocketing you need to take advantage of the low prices and get those items now. The Cannery and Costco are the best place to go for most of your grains. If they still have some in stock, don't delay :)
Hopefully this helps make food storage reasonable. Many of us get tax returns--that is a great time to stock up on items you are low on! Christmas is around the corner. Make your family's Christmas present this year your year supply. I promise it will bring you MUCH more peace of mind than toys under the tree :)
Good luck and let me know if you have any other questions.