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By Kellene Bishop

Rotating Can Shelves photo c/o The Sassy Saver

Rotating Can Shelves photo c/o The Sassy Saver

Last weekend I was speaking with a very excited man who is a relatively new acquaintance of mine. He claimed that he had finally broken down and bought a years supply of food for his family and even purchased those “nifty” little shelves to hold all of his cans. He was so excited, he just had to show me. So he took me to his storage room along with his pleased wife and with the flare of a Broadway emcee, displayed his years’ supply of food storage. As I stood there thinking of him and his wife and their 5 children, I was dumbfounded. I thought for sure that I was missing something. I looked around the small room to see where else he may be pointing. But nope. He had a small set of rotating can shelves full of cans of foods. The problem was, by my somewhat flawed math estimates, I could only see about 200 cans of food. It doesn’t take a math genius to figure out that one can per person PER day would only amount to about 28 days of ONE meal per day. I frankly didn’t know how to kindly break it to him. So I did what I do best. I was blunt. *grin* I told him that I was so happy that he started his food storage and asked him how it made him feel. He said it was a GREAT feeling. I asked if he felt like he could handle a little bit more of that feeling. He said, “Sure!” So I proceeded to point out that what he had wasn’t even enough to feed one adult for a month, let alone his family for a year. Feeling a bit dejected he moved our conversation out of the basement and into the family room that was attached to the kitchen. From there I could see remaining cans of tomatoes, corn, and beans they had used to create an aromatic taco soup.

Taco Soup photo c/o His Daughter

Taco Soup photo c/o His Daughter

I asked him, “How many people did you feed with this batch of soup tonight?”
He said, “All of us, but we all had seconds.”
“Why did you all have seconds?”
“Because we were hungry and it tasted good.
I asked him how many cans he used to create dinner.
“Nine, plus some spices and a pound of ground beef.” 
“Do you feel overly stuffed from your meal?”
“Do you feel content from your meal?”
“Don’t you think that in a time in which you’re stressed with a chaotic environment that feeling content will be important to your family?”
“(Sigh) Yes.”
(You would have thought that I’d taken away Winnie-the-Pooh’s honey pot.)

During this conversation, some of the kids volunteered that after dinner they’d gotten into some snacks because they “still wanted some more to eat.” The wife sheepishly admitted that she had to have some Dove chocolate to “take the edge off of the day.” (I had to empathize with her on that one, for sure!)

Ok, so the point? I have been shown a person’s food storage on many occasions. The majority of those who believe they have enough food do not even have 3 months’ supply, let alone a year.

First of all, understand that food is a lot like cash in your wallet. It sure does seem to go quickly. Secondly, don’t underestimate the amount of food your family will need to feel healthy, calm, and content. Food indeed will be a way to “ground” your family in some sort of normalcy when all heck breaks loose.

As you accumulate and organize your meals, keep in mind generous servings, not minimal. Be realistic. I once had a gal tell me that she could feed her whole family on one box of mac-n-cheese. When I asked if she had ever put such a theory to the test, she replied no, that usually each teenager wants their own box. 

Beef Stroganoff photo c/o Creating Post-it Notes

Beef Stroganoff photo c/o Creating Post-it Notes

When I take an accounting of our food storage, I have a lot of my records by the serving, not the pound or ounce. Also, I store the recipes and ingredients for entire meals in 4-gallon square buckets. (These are invaluable in my home as they stack higher, take up less room, etc.) For example, let’s say I’m planning on serving Beef Stroganoff. Inside a 4-gallon square bucket I have the cans of cream of mushroom soup, cans of beef chunks, bags of pasta, seasonings, cans of veggies for the side dishes, and a bottle of applesauce to finish the meal off. That way when my husband asks me “what’s for dinner?” (tonight or in the future) I can simply go downstairs, look at the rows of buckets and pick a meal knowing that I already have everything I need for it right in there, along with the recipe. This makes life a lot less stressful NOW and in the event of a future food shortage scenario. I’m telling you, there’s a great deal of peace when you can look and see these meals neatly stacked and labeled in your food storage. Each bucket represents at least one meal based on how I have the bucket labeled. Sometimes I can fit a couple of meals in each bucket depending on the number of ingredients.

So the moral of this story is to take an actual accounting of the numbers of servings you have in your food storage, use what you store regularly, and try to store your food in clusters of meals that you know your family already loves. Be generous in your estimation of serving sizes and account for the entire meal as opposed to just a single dish.

4-gallon-bucket(By the way, a great place to find 4-gallon buckets is Five Star Preparedness. They have used 4-gallon square buckets that take up less space than the round ones. They also enable me to stack them much higher securely than the others. Since they are only 4 gallons, they don’t present as much of a physical challenge to me as do the 5-gallon ones. The 4-gallon buckets are $2 each and come with a lid. I love that I can buy a new lid with a hinged, stay-open feature and rubber gasket seal for only $2 (less than what they sell for at Wal-Mart) and use the new lids once I’m getting into them regularly. You can reach Five Star Preparedness at 801-734-9596)

Copyright 2009 Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.  All rights reserved.  You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.

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By Kellene Bishop

Morning Moo's Cans photo c/o everyday_something

Morning Moo's Cans photo c/o everyday_something

If you’re in Las Vegas, NV; Henderson, NV; Gilbert, AZ; Southeast Gilbert, AZ; or Mesa, AZ you should feel pretty darn special cause you’re getting a product that isn’t available anywhere else. Costco now has 2 special 6-packs of the Morning Moo’s/Blue Chip foods that they are selling.  In one 6 pack they have “breakfast items” and in another 6-pack they have “dinner items.”  The 6-packs contain 6 #10 cans. Some of these items are SO dang good I can’t believe they are freeze dried! 

In the Breakfast Pack they have the whole Freeze-Dried Strawberries (scrumptious!), Creamy Wheat, Buttermilk Pancakes (amazing!), Scrambled Egg Mix (I use these all the time), Imitation Bacon Bits (only 1g of fat!) and the Potatoe Shreds. There’s over 200 servings in these 6 packs, and they have up to a 25 year shelf life. 

I like to add a bit of cinnamon to the pancake mix and let the batter rest a moment. I served some of these to a girlfriend who has 9 people in her family and she says that she’ll never make homemade again.  Also, if you recall, I’ve shared with you how great the strawberries are. They are WHOLE, not flakes. You can eat them right out of the can or make syrup or pie filling or jam with them. The creamy wheat is really hearty. I enjoy it! (See my fried creamy wheat recipe below.) I have served the potatoe shreds and folks can’t believe they are freeze-dried. I use them in casseroles as well. And I use the scrambled egg mix to make quiches, all kinds of scrambled eggs, and even French Toast. (Dang, do I sound like a “foodie” or what?)

In the Dinner Pack they have the Creamy Potato Soup (yum), Imitation Beef Bits (TVP), Potato Gems (I eat them RAW–they are THAT good), Honey White Bread and Roll Mix (Divine and idiot proof), Freeze-dried Sweet Corn (great right out of the can!) and the Vegetable Stew Blend. 

I use the corn, potato soup and bacon bits all in the same soup for a chowder like soup. The vegetable stew is just plain vegetables like cabbage, tomato, red and green bell peppers, celery, potato dices, and onion. So it’s REALLY versatile!  The Potato Gems are already flavored with butter and salt. So I LOVE eating them raw, in their freeze-dried state right out of the can!  And when I want to make them I just have to add a little warm tap water. So dang easy.

These foods are just “food storage” to me folks. I use them everyday. But even I don’t get them in this Costco priced 6-pack. Only you folks in NV and AZ will get them. Stop in to one of these stores this week and get some samples. If I remember correctly, Blue Chip demonstrators will be there all the ding dong day for 3 days, so call your store to see which days this week.

In addition to the 6 packs they will also be offering the oats and the Morning Moo’s milk at these same stores as well. (The oatmeal is a great deal and has an awesome shelf-life!)

If you’re not in AZ or NV, you can still purchase the products in Utah Macey’s stores and most of Utah’s Central and Southern Wal-Marts. The good news is that I that I have an inside track as to when they’ll be coming to other parts of the country. I do know that there are plans in the works, folks, so just be patient. I also just spoke last week with a new internet store that will be selling the less common Blue Chip products nationwide at low prices, so I’ll let you know what that comes on line too.

As you know, Preparedness Pro doesn’t sell anything, and we never will sell any products. But I am in LOVE with these products. I’ve compared them to several others and I’m just happiest with these. As a result, Blue Chip found out what a fan I am and asked me to develop some recipes for them. So I did and I’m sharing some of the recipes with you.  Enjoy!  PS- just got an update on the pricing for you folks.  The breakfast pack is only $53.99 and the dinner pack is only $48.99!  Considering it has 200 servings in each pack, that’s only 25-27 cents per serving!!!  Crud, just the strawberries alone retail in my area for about $25!  Go get em’ AZ and NV!

Corned Beef and Veggie Stew

½ cup of Morning Moo’s Vegetable Stew Mix

6 cups of Water

1 teaspoon of salt

½ teaspoon of pepper

½ teaspoon of caraway seeds

1 can of corned beef (broken into bite sized pieces)

Bring all ingredients to a boil for about 20 minutes. In the meantime, in a small skillet add 3 Tablespoons of flour to 2 tablespoons of butter. On medium-high heat, stir constantly until small bits of golden brown mixture are cooked. Add to the soup mixture and still until thickened.

Morning Moo’s White Chili

1 cup of Morning Moo’s Creamy Potato Soup

4 cups of chicken broth

2 cups of cooked, boneless chicken cut into small cubes

1 can chopped green chilis

1 can (19 oz.) white kidney beans (cannelloni), undrained

2 green onions, sliced

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon of garlic powder

½ teaspoon of ground red pepper

½ teaspoon of oregano leaves

1 teaspoon of cilantro leaves as a garnish, optional

Shredded Monterey Jack cheese as a garnish, optional

In a medium saucepan whisk together the soup and the chicken broth. Bring to a simmer on medium-high heat. Add all ingredients except for garnishes and beans and simmer for 15 minutes. Add beans and cook for another 5 minutes.

Serve topped with cheese and cilantro.

Morning Moo’s Corn Chowder

Corn Chowder photo c/o Never Trust a Skinny Cook

Corn Chowder photo c/o Never Trust a Skinny Cook

1 Tablespoon of butter

1 cup of Morning Moo’s Creamy Potato Soup

1 cup of Morning Moo’s freeze-dried Sweet Corn

2 cups of Morning Moo’s milk (in powdered form)

4 cups of chicken broth

1 teaspoon of smoked paprika

2 Tablespoons of Morning Moo’s Bacon Flavored TVP

½ teaspoon of fresh thyme leaves

¼ cup of diced of red or green bell peppers

½ teaspoon of sea salt

In a medium saucepan, whisk together the butter, soup, milk and chicken broth. Add all other ingredients and simmer for approximately 20 minutes on medium heat.

Melt in Your Mouth Bread Sticks

3 cups of Morning Moo’s Honey White Bread and Roll Mix

2 Tablespoons of instant dry yeast

1 cup and 1 Tablespoon of warm water

½ cup of oil

3 Tablespoons of lecithin granules

Salad Supreme Seasoning

4 Tablespoons of melted butter

Dissolve yeast in water. Add the bread mix and mix well. Add the oil and lecithin granules and then knead for about 7 to 10 minutes. Dough should be elastic and soft. If dough is too stiff, add a little bit more water in 1 tablespoon increments.

Spray a large piece of plastic wrap with non-stick cooking spray and cover the dough in a bowl with the non-stick spray side down. Allow dough to sit in the bowl for about 30 minutes at room temperature, until dough has doubled in size. Gently pinch off 2 tablespoon pieces and with your hands roll into small bread stick shapes. Dip in the melted butter, and then place on a large cookie sheet. Continue until you’ve used all of the dough. Allow the dough to rest on the baking sheets at room temperature for 15 more minutes. Generously sprinkle the dough with Salad Supreme. Bake rolls in the oven at 400 degrees for 12-15 minutes.

Red Carpet French Toast

French Toast with Whip Cream and Strawberries photo c/o

French Toast with Whip Cream and Strawberries photo c/o

1 cup of Morning Moo’s Scrambled Egg mix

3/4 cup of warm water

1 teaspoon of ground nutmeg

½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon

1 cup of prepared whipped cream

½  cup of Morning Moo’s freeze-dried Whole Strawberries

Whisk together the egg mix and the warm water until all lumps are removed. Add spices and whisk to incorporate. Dip thick slices of bread into the egg mixture, covering completely and then place on a hot skillet. (About 325 degrees)  Let cook about 1 ½ minutes on either side. Top with whipped cream and strawberries and serve.

Fried Creamy Wheat

Prepare Morning Moo’s Creamy Wheat according to directions on the package, but omit about ¼ of the water. When finished cooking mixture should be cooked nicely but very thick. Place prepared creamy wheat in a non-stick bread pan. Allow to cool at room temperature and then place in refrigerator overnight. In the morning, release the loaf of creamy wheat and slice into ½ inch slices. Place on a hot skillet greased with butter and fry on each side about 2 minutes. Top with your favorite syrup and butter.

Divine Scrambled Eggs

 1 cup of Morning Moo’s Scrambled Egg Mix

1 ½ cup of warm water

1 Tablespoon of Morning Moo’s Imitation Bacon Bits

1 teaspoon of Johnny’s Garlic Bread Seasoning

Salt and pepper

¼ – ½ cup of shredded cheese

Whisk together the egg mix and water until no lumps are visible. Add TVP and seasoning. Place mixture into a hot skillet and let cook on one side for about 30 seconds. Then scramble and flip to other side of the egg mixture. Allow to cook about 30 seconds then add the cheese. Continue cooking until the eggs are at the desired texture then serve.

Breakfast Casserole

2 cups of Morning Moo’s Potato Shreds

2 cups of water

2 cups of Morning Moo’s Scrambled Egg Mix

3 ½ cups of warm water

1 teaspoon of black pepper

½ teaspoon of salt

1 teaspoon of Tabasco Sauce

¼ cup of Morning Moo’s Imitation Bacon Bits

1 cup of shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Combine the potato shreds and 2 cups of water and boil for approximately 20 minutes in a small saucepan. When finished, drain the potatoes and place them flat on the bottom of a 9 x 13 casserole dish sprayed with non-stick spray.

Whisk together the egg mix and the 3 ½ cups of warm water until all lumps are dissolved.

Add seasonings and mix well. Pour over the potato shreds.

Top with bacon bits and shredded cheese.

Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes.

Copyright 2009 Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.  All rights reserved.  You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.

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By Kellene Bishop

How long will your wheat last? What’s the best way to store it? How do I keep insects out of it?  What do I do when it smells like the can?

Today I was doing a training which involved going over the shelf life of various foods. One woman in attendance incorrectly stated to the entire class that “wheat goes bad easily because it has oil in it, and so it goes rancid if you’re not careful.”

I got to talking to my husband and asked him what other misinformation he may have heard about wheat. Turns out, there sure is a lot of MIS-information out there. So, I decided to help dispel some of the rumors so that you can more confidently store this vital food.

First of all, what IS the shelf-life of wheat?

Wheat does have an oil in it. It’s called vitamin E. It’s what gives the grain some fat content which makes it an even more complete food. (Nice how God is so thorough that way, eh?) In fact, by extracting the oil in wheat, you come up with the expensive oil called Wheat Germ oil. (Very healthy for you, by the way.)  However, oil doesn’t go rancid because of its mere existence. It goes rancid when it’s exposed to oxygen, primarily. 

Storing wheat for 30+ years is a drop in the bucket—excuse the pun. The key is to store it in its whole grain form. I do the same thing with dent corn. I store dent corn in its whole grain form so that I will have plenty of cornmeal on hand when I need it, otherwise just plain cornmeal would go rancid relatively quickly. In the cornmeal stage all of its oil is fully exposed to oxygen. Oil exposed to oxygen is what makes things go rancid. It’s nice that whole dent corn is easy to store for 30+ years. I’d never get that far with cornmeal. The same goes with groats instead of oats. Groats are the “whole” form of oats.  By the way, when you store grains in their whole grain form, you can sprout them—YUMM-MEE.

Use the whole grain Photo c/o

Use the whole grain Photo c/o

The ideal temperature for storing wheat for the longest shelf life is 75 degrees or cooler. However, yes, you can store wheat in a warmer environment so long as it’s packaged well. Ideally you’ve got it in a double-bagged packaging. Or in a bag and then in a bucket. Or better yet, in an number 10 can—although more expensive to buy that way (you can always buy it in the bags and then use a canner). Wheat stored in a Mylar bag in a bucket would be another good method, however, it’s also more expensive than the simple bag or bucket method. So long as you keep your wheat off of a heated cement floor, and out of direct sunlight, you’ll have success in storing it long term. Remember though, the cooler, the better and the easier the wheat will be to work with in your recipes too.

Continuing on with the temperature issue… Keep in mind that wheat was found in the pyramids, and Egypt is NOT known for its cool climate. 🙂 I had someone comment to me recently when I told them this: “yeah, but the deep dark corners of the pyramids are rather cool.” First of all…have you been to a pyramid? It’s flippin’ HOT in there. Sure it’s COOL-ER than outside of it. But it’s not a cool 75 degrees. (Although SOME have been found to maintain 68 degrees Fahrenheit. Why can’t I build my home to do that?!) Second of all, such a statement presumes that the wheat came fresh off of the stem before it was put in the pyramid. *heavy sigh* In other words, it’s presumed that it was never exposed to any heat prior to being placed in the pyramid tombs. As I’ve shared in a previous article, when I lived in the Philippines, they would frequently “dry” their grains by spreading them out on the road for a couple of days. And yes, it is extremely hot and humid in the Philippines, and yet whole grains are the most vital food source they have. Whole grains are just another one of these neat miracles that God has given us to feed us, if you ask me. They are temperamental foods that the majority of the world can’t store without refrigeration.

A metal can is the ideal way to store wheat simply because varmints can’t chew through it. But to be forthright with you, I have very, very little wheat stored this way. Most of mine is in the big, thick, double 50 pound bags. The wheat of my mother’s that we kids moved around for 18 years was also stored this way. I’m sure many of you have parents and grandparents with their wheat stored the same way. Remember, that if you do get little bugs in your wheat, there’s no need to throw it out. Simply put it in 180 degrees for about 20-30 minutes and Voila! You no longer have bugs. You simply have extra protein. (Don’t worry. You’ll get over it.)  

When you open a can of stored wheat it may smell a little “tin-ish.” Don’t worry about that. It’s natural for the ingredients to take on that smell. But the good news is that it’s not permanent. Simply aerate the wheat for a couple of hours outside of the can, and you’ll eliminate that smell just fine.

I don’t mess with buying the more expensive wheat. I almost exclusively store the hard red wheat. It’s more environment- hearty and tolerant to store than the hard white wheat. My bread, pie crusts, and cookies turn out just dandy with the hard red wheat. When selecting your wheat for storage, make sure that it doesn’t have a moisture content higher than 10 percent in order to successfully store it long-term.

Well, I hope this helps answer some of your grainy questions about wheat. (Sorry, I’m in a punny mood today.)

Copyright 2009 Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.  All rights reserved.  You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.

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Coupons = $$$  Photo c/o

Coupons = $$$ Photo c/o

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By Kellene Bishop

As you may already know, the use of coupons is mandatory for my personal preparedness of food and medical supplies. I have truly obtained a bounty of free or dirt cheap goods over the last 6 months that has nearly doubled my original supplies. As a result, it’s really freed up money for items such as solar ovens, fuel, pressure cookers, butane stoves, foam, etc. When I share this information in passing (read: Outside of the confines of my 3 hour Coupon Training Boot Camp) I frequently get a lot of negative comments with a touch of whining such as “coupons are only for junk”; “I can’t find coupons on items I use”;  “It’s not worth the time and effort it takes” or “I shop at Costco instead.”

I’ve got great news for you. These comments are misinformed perceptions, pure and simple. Let me share a little bit with you. 

 1)      I only spend 2 hours a week couponing. However, these last three weeks I’ve been doing so many classes that I literally have not even been able to invest that much time and so I haven’t even bought any groceries. And guess what? We didn’t even miss it! We still had all we needed because of all that we had previously from couponing.

 2)      I don’t just use coupons on “items I use.” I try new things many times—especially when they are free or cheap. I have three key rules on couponing. 1-You can’t afford to be brand loyal. When things go south, you’ll be happy that you have toilet paper. It doesn’t matter that it’s not Cottonelle, when Charmin was on sale for dirt cheap. 2-If I would be willing to use the product if it was FREE or CHEAP, then I cut the coupon. 3- I only use the coupon on items that are already on sale, thus making the majority of what I buy 70-100% almost ALL the time. This strategy has also allowed me to discover new things that my family likes. For example, I fell in love with the California Pizza Kitchen frozen pizzes. (I know. Not exactly “food storage” but it sure did come in handy when I had no time for lunch other than a microwave meal. I also discovered that I preferred a completely different brand of mayonnaise than I had been buying all my life. Who knew? I only got the other brand because it was only 75 cents for a large jar with coupons.

 3)      Because of coupons, I literally cannot afford to shop at Costco or Sam’s Club anymore. Seriously. For example, Costco used to have the best deal around on zip-lock bags. When they would circulate one of their coupons, it would cost only 5 cents a bag. BUT… a local grocery store chain last week had boxes of Hefty Easy Zip bags on sale for 10 for $10. And guess what? I had $1 off coupons for Hefty Easy Zip bags! Um, sorry. No matter how much volume Costco buys, I doubt they could match that price.

 4)      You shouldn’t waste time trying to match coupons with sales. You need to align yourself with a coupon shopping service. I have my favorite services that I like to use for my area. It’s not a normal day without me checking out or as well as The first two sites give me hot spot highlights for deals. But the latter site actually allows me to use a software service that tells me all of the best deals in my area…and I can pre-sort my search by store, product type, or even percentage of savings. As I browse I can make my grocery list and be in and out in a jiffy. Heck, the site even tells you what section of the store you can find something in! Not only that, but there’s also a video tutorial on the site that you can watch to get your feet wet with couponing—at least until I give you a more thorough webinar. 😉

Coupons = $$$ in Your Pocket!

Coupons = $$$ in Your Pocket!

5)      Next, I think that ANY of you would be hard-pressed right now to tell your boss that you want to earn $100 an hour, and you want to be able to work two hours a week for that money, and in you slippers, while you watch TV and talk on the phone. Right? Well, that’s what I save EVERY week that I do coupons! And that’s just for 2 of us in the home. I buy items that we eat regularly and items that we can store away. That way I’m storing what I eat, and eating what I store. If your family is bigger then you can save even more. I have a friend who recently got off of food stamps thanks to what she learned with couponing. I have another friend that has 7 in her family. Her monthly grocery budget is only $100. And guess what? She spends half of that on food storage!! My sister just went to a store last week that I loathe because of how un-coupon friendly they are. And she was STILL able to walk out of there with over $160 in groceries and medical supplies for which she only paid $20.55. Oh and by the way, she also received a $5 Target Gift Card. (Way to go, Sis!)

6)      Last, but not least, coupons are not only for junk—although I’ve managed to find my share of chocolate coupons. Hee hee. I simply don’t have the time, energy, or resources to share with you all that I’ve been able to purchase, at what  price, and where. But what I will do is give you SMALL list of items that I’ve purchased for FREE over the last few months. This is not even an all inclusive list. So when your jaw drops to the floor after reading this, pick it back up and give couponing a try. Surely you’re not going to be conquered by a few harmless coupons, are you?  🙂  

A-1 Steak Sauce
Almond M&Ms
Apple Jacks
AquaFresh toothpaste
Arm & Hammer toothpaste
Aveeno Face Cream
Ball Park Beef Franks
Bar S Hot Dogs
Bayer Quick Release
Burt’s Bees Lip Balm
Butter (unsalted)
Capri Sun Drinks
Carefree Maxi pads
Cesar Dog food
Cheetos Astro 100 calorie paks
Chef Boyardee
Chef Michael’s Dog Food (dry)
Chef Michael’s Dog Food (wet)
Chicken Breasts
Children’s Bayer Chewable Tablets
Clean & Clear (facial cleanser)
Colgate toothpaste
Crest Whitestrips
Crystal Light
Degree Deodorant
DelMonte Fruit Cups
Digorno Flatbread Pizzas
Dole Salad mix
Dove soap
Dry Idea deodorant
Earth Grains Wheat Berry Bread
Energizer batteries -6 pak, AA
French’s mustard
Fusion Razor
Gatorade (32 oz. and 1 liter)
Grey Poupon
Hefty Fresh Extend zip bags
Hunts Ketchup
Isopropyl alcohol
Jack Daniel’s BBQ Sauce
Jell-O Pudding Snacks
Johnson and Johnson First Aid Kit
Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes cereal
Kellogg’s Frosted Mini Wheats cereal
Kellogg’s Rice Krispie cereal
Kellogs Raisn Bran
Kens Salad Dressing
Kraft BBQ Sauce
Kraft Easy Mac & Cheese Microwaveables
Kraft Ranch Dressing
Krafy BBQ sauce
Lint Brushes
Listerine Advantage
Manwich Sauce
Nature Valley Nut Clusters
Nexcare bandages
Nexcare bandages
Nexcare Disney Tatoo bandages
Office Depot Copy Paper
Oscar Meyer Balogna
Oscar Meyer Beef Franks
Oscar Meyer Bologna
Pantene Shampoo & Conditioner
Peanut M&Ms
Post Raisin Bran
Puperoni dog treats
Quaker Life cereal
Reach Dental Floss (55 yards)
Reach toothbrush
Renu Contact Cleaner
Right Guard Deodorant
Ritz Crackers
Sara Lee Hot Dog Buns
Schick Quattro Razors (non-disposable)
Schick Razors
Scotch 3 pack Tape
Scotch Double Stick Tape
Scotch Mailing Envelopes
Secret Deodorant
Sirloin Steak
Snickers Candy Bar
SoftSoap Essentials
Steamables (vegetables)
Sure deodorant
Tennesse Pride Sausage Gravy
Tide liquid detergent
Tylenol Aspirin
Vaseline Hand Lotion
Velveeta Microwave Cups
Western Family Tuna
Wet Ones
Wheat Thins (Multi-grain and regular)

Copyright 2009 Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.  All rights reserved.  You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.

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By Kellene Bishop

Freeze Dried Blueberries. Photo c/o

Freeze Dried Blueberries. Photo c/o

While I am able to obtain produce periodically, I have to say the majority of the fruits and vegetables in my food storage are of the freeze-dried variety? Why? Cost and convenience.

Consider this. I can purchase a flat of fresh blueberries for $30-$35 at a farmers market. Undoubtedly there will be some waste, bruising, and I may or may not be able to use them all before they spoil. I will also need to wash them and dry them off prior to using (depending on what I’m making with them). However, if I purchase a #10 can of freeze-dried blueberries, I still get 90-95% of the ORIGINAL fresh produce nutrition, without any bruising or waste. Plus there’s no need to wash and dry them, or to sort through them and clean off any stems. The freeze-dried produce is picked at their prime and I get them without any pesticides or any other “yucky” ingredients. In addition, the shelf life of the brand I prefer (I haven’t checked on ALL of the brands) is 20 years. Not only that, but the Blue Chip brand (a.k.a. Morning Moos) also guarantees that AFTER you’ve opened that big #10 can, it’s guaranteed for its taste, texture, and nutrition for a full 18 months! So there’s no need to be overwhelmed at the thought of opening the can.

My husband and I munch on the freeze-dried fruits as snacks quite frequently during the day. And when I watch for the sales, I’m paying LESS than I would have had to pay for fresh produce.

Photo c/o

Photo c/o

The benefits of freeze-dried foods deserve restating:

Last 20 years on the shelf
Last 18 months after opening
No yucky ingredients
Taste great
Easy to use

Sometimes the “costs less” component of freeze-dried foods is hard to wrap our minds around. We think in terms of paying $1.29 for a small pint of berries, for example. But then when we see the price tag for a #10 can of freeze-dried produce at $25-$30, we choke. Keep in mind you’re getting a LOT of produce that can easily replace a flat of produce you would purchase elsewhere.

As opposed to dehydrated foods, freeze-dried foods reconstitute with much less water and time. In fact, in many instances, I don’t even bother reconstituting a lot of what I use by relying on the moisture in the dish I’m making or the heat from cooking to do the work for me. That way I get a much fresher, powerful burst of flavor. Even better, with freeze-dried products I don’t have to waste freezer space on the items which may or may not taste mushy or get freezer burn.

Even more important, these foods are really nutritious FOODS as opposed to somethings I bring home from the processed foods aisles. Can words ending in “oxins” “ose” “itrates” or ithin” really be considered “food?”

Freeze-dried foods also look prettier and more appetizing in my meals. I recently purchased a muffin mix with “real blueberries” in it. The “blueberries” were just shredded little bits. So the next time I had a hankering for blueberry muffins, I simply put some of my whole freeze-dried fruit in them. My volunteer munchers scarfed them down.

The other day I made jam in a jiffy just by using a little bit of sugar, the freeze-dried raspberries (or strawberries or blueberries) and some water. No cooking or refrigeration was required. And just as important it didn’t require an entire day of canning. I just made up exactly how much I needed/wanted to go with my homemade bread.

Toast and Jam photo c/o Dinner with Julie

Toast and Jam photo c/o Dinner with Julie

Ultra MaxiGel Jam/Syrup

1 cup Morning Moos (Blue Chip) freeze-dried raspberries, strawberries or blueberries
1/3 cup sugar
2 T. UltraMaxigel
Water (about 1 cup+)

Blend all ingredients well with a high speed mixer or blender. Add enough water to create the consistency you prefer. You may add more water for a syrup consistency as well.

That brings me to another point of using freeze-dried fare everyday. It’s so simple. The recipe I just gave you is easy enough that a 4-year-old could make it. For example, when I’m making meatloaf, I just throw in a handful of freeze-dried spinach flakes and some freeze-dried red and green peppers that are already diced up. Cooking with freeze-dried foods simply couldn’t be easier.

As you may be able to tell, this food isn’t “just” for food storage. In fact, I kind of think of the two words “food storage” as a bit of a nasty connotation in my home given that I use these kinds of ingredients every day. While these types of products may be great FOR food storage, these everyday items are vital ones of convenience in my home. So keep your eyes open for freeze-dried products in your area. And if you have any doubts as to the taste, write to the company and ask for some samples to be sent to you before you spend the money on them. I’m a true convert to this kind of product—especially when it comes to my produce.

Copyright 2009 Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.  All rights reserved.  You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.

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By Kellene Bishop

Comfort Food photo c/o

Comfort Food photo c/o

During the course of this month’s Preparedness Pro Food Challenge, we’ve seen several posts and e-mails conveying a very similar message: “I need more comfort foods.” 

I have shared with our readers in the past that such would be the case. Stress and boundaries bring out the cravings in all of us. So I do indeed recommend you take that into consideration in your food storage that you’re creating now. However, I’d like to offer you an alternative solution.

You see, food really is only a form of fuel. Most of us need it for an emotional fuel as well. (I’m not immune to that whatsoever.) But what most people don’t realize is that cravings actually come from a deficiency in the nutritional strength in our bodies. Unfortunately, these cravings are hard to identify sometimes, in terms of what the deficiency is that’s triggering them. For example, when you are deficient in plain water, the craving can often be misconstrued as a craving for sugar. Women who are enduring a menstrual cycle are naturally deficient in iodine. And yet the iodine deficiency is “solved” with chocolate.

So, how can we get rid of the false triggers in our body so that we don’t store any more unnecessary foods than we have to? Give our bodies quality nutrition to improve our diet now. The more food you eat now that truly meets your body’s demand for nutrients, the less you will require. Our bodies will require more of the “junk food” in a time of high stress than we eat now. So, in the interests of optimal survival, and not requiring any more space to store everything, I suggest that you begin improving your diet now by incorporating the quality foods in your diet today. Doing so will actually minimize the types of “false cravings” that you get. Ultimately, you’ll be healthier. Don’t think of this as a diet. Tell yourself you can still have exactly what you want so long as you feed your body what you know you NEED first.

A good start for a healthier focus to improve your diet now would be the following two recommendations:

To improve your health now, drink more water. Photo c/o

To improve your health now, drink more water. Photo c/o

Water. Your kidneys process the equivalent of hundreds of gallons of water per day. If you’re not giving your body new water, then your kidneys will end up working really, really hard processing sludge instead of water. Water is also the ONLY way that you carry nutrients from one part of your body to the other. The thicker your blood, the less able you are to deliver the vitamins and minerals to the parts of the body which need them. Drinking adequate water is a simple way to improve your diet now.

Fiber. High quality, simple foods such as whole grains give you much more energy for the mass than do simple, processed foods. In other words, you can go a heck of lot longer on a stomach full of oatmeal than you can a stomach full of Lucky Charms. As I’ve shared with you previously, I like the results that eating whole wheat bread and wheat meat give me, as I’m not hungry or craving crazy things afterwards. Remember that sprouts will also satisfy you in this manner as well (and are full of fiber like most vegetables). I like to take a bunch of different sprouts, put a nice salad dressing on them and eat them as a substitute for salad. Grant it, I didn’t think I would enjoy this when I started. But the funny thing was that after I started eating sprouts regularly, my body started craving them. In other words, the more direct you are in satisfying your nutritional needs, the less deceptive your body is in telling you what your real cravings are.

Fiber is a great source of so many of your vitamins and minerals! Sprouts have actually been proven to CURE diseases. When has a Twinkie ever done that? When you combine a high fiber bread with some sprouts and your other sandwich makings, you’ve improved the quality of the meal significantly! I also keep several cans of freeze-dried vegetables. I like to throw those into the casseroles that my husband likes. That way he’s getting the “comfort tastes” that he wants, but he’s also getting the nutrition that his body really craves and thus the meal is much more satisfying. Another great way to improve your diet now.

Freeze dired raspberries photo c/o

Freeze dried raspberries photo c/o

What you may not realize is that these minor additions have a much smaller impact on your pocketbook as well. It costs only pennies for a handful of sprouts. While it may take time to make your own bread, the ingredients only cost about a 10th the price that it costs to buy the bread in the store. I’ve found that freeze-dried fruits and vegetables are also much more economical. I can spend $4 on a half gallon of ice cream or eat a handful of freeze-dried raspberries. The sweet tooth is appeased either way, but with the fruit, I’m spending less and giving my body more quality nutrition to work with, and doing so without all of the ingredients that I can’t pronounce. This is just one way in which it literally PAYS to improve your diet now.

To successfully incorporate a smarter and more effective way of eating, I recommend that you simply ADD to what you’re already eating. Fine, go ahead and have your Dr. Pepper. But having a handful of sprouts on your salad or on your sandwich before you indulge will steer your body in the right direction. Go ahead and have your 5-cheese grilled cheese sandwich. But have it on some high quality whole wheat bread instead. Give that milkshake the appetizer of 8 ounces of water first. You’ll find that if you listen to your body now, it will do a better job of preparing you for ultimate survival much better than any blog you can read. 

Copyright 2009 Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.  All rights reserved.  You are welcome to repost this information so long as it is credited to Preparedness Pro & Kellene Bishop.

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