In part 2 of the "Prepping for College Students" series, I'm going to focus on the 3 month food supply for the student living at home. It's impractical for the average student to store pounds of rice, beans, or other bulk food items in buckets in their parent's home, and not to mention expensive. The best plan that I could come up with was to stock up on things like small quantities of beans and rice, canned soups, chili, fruits and veggies, noodles and other cheap items. A couple weeks worth of food is better than nothing, and I know ideally we would all like to have at least a year's worth but again we have to look at what's practical for a student still living at home. I decided that having a 3 month food supply would be best for a student still living at home, and I feel that a 3 month supply will put anyone, student or not, in a great position facing these tough economic times.
A 3 month supply of food needs to be easy on the wallet, and include a variety of meals that are quick and easy to prepare. Below is a list of food, the current prices, the total servings, and amount of the foods. This is to serve as a guide for someone else who is looking to put together a similar kit. You can easily get by for 3 months with this food by combining and creating meals. The canned soups are a complete meal and could be ate with crackers, the ramen noodles with spaghetti sauce, or the oats with sliced apples. This supply includes foods that can be prepared easily with water and heat. It is very complete and includes 3 full meals for 90 days, and could be stretched and rationed to last a possible 120 days. The price is very low being a little more than $200; you can't buy a storable 3 month food supply for that price anywhere.
This list was made out of things that I like and that I wouldn't mind eating for 3 months. Your personal supply needs to be made up of foods that you eat on a daily basis. This will ensure that you have food that you enjoy and that you won't have to try beans for the first time the day you really need them. Canned soups, fruits, vegetables, and meats are ideal for a short term food supply. Dried rice, beans, and noodles are also great and not to mention very cheap. These items store well, and have at least a year shelf life. It's important to be familiar with your food supply, and have an idea of what foods would go together. This way you can check your recipe sheet, get your ingredients, and throw a meal together if you didn't have a lot of time to be cooking and preparing. There are some food specific items that would go with your supply such as a heat source for cooking, can opener, utensils, cookware, recipe hard copies, and kitchen conversion charts. Shown below is a few pictures of these food supply gadgets that can be clicked to the original album. The can opener is an OXO Smooth Edge Can Opener (link in Amazon slideshow) and cuts without any sharp edges and leaves a lid that can be put back on for a decent seal, just like the Pampered Chef one. The Sterno alcohol stoves will last 2 1/4 hour a piece and can be used to cook, and the alcohol stoves with the denatured alcohol is also for cooking food indoors. A few other good things to have are measuring cups, a funnel set, and something to store food like plastic containers and zip lock bags.
Most people would already have these items in their kitchen or parent's kitchen but if not they would be very helpful when preparing your food preps and measuring out each serving to make sure you weren't using too much. For about $2 a day, a student can have a good size food supply and will sleep better at night knowing that you have your bases covered concerning food. This would all fit in a couple large plastic containers, inside your closet after some spring cleaning. I'm sure everyone could spare a little space to make room for your insurance policy. In later parts I will discuss water storage options, staying warm, and protecting and defending your food supplies.
CookBookPeople.com - Kitchen Conversion Chart
Prepping for College Students Part 1
Prepping for College Students Part 3
Prepping for College Students Part 4
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