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I will have to try the pickle juice, as I do get a lot of nocturnal leg / foot cramps. On another note, I did just get a unpleasant surprise. We had some very old Ramon stored (5+ years old) and decided to use some of it. Two cases, 48 packages had gone bad. I was under false impression that due to their being sealed, they would last almost forever. Better to learn now than when we needed them. I either need to find a better way to store it or find another item to supplement the menu.

We don’t have any Ramon, but do have a ton of pasta. Those are in Mylar bags with oxygen absorbers…put in sealed buckets.

Did the Ramon look funny or just taste bad? Can’t say I’ve seen pasta that went bad.
We have friends that own a grocery. When meat is a day or two from the best if purchased by date, they put it in a special place for my husband. This week we have been given 25 lbs Polska Kielbasa, hot dogs, 9 lbs of bacon, etc. We have a deep freeze and 3 side by side refrigerators that are full.

The people that help me with wood and work have been gifted. My husband also gave food to the guy who owns the liquor store.

I'm gonna have to start canning some of the meats that can be. Wish i could get lots of chicken for me to can.
Who is prepping from a food list with pounds needed vs calories?

I prep beaded on what I know or family eats in a year. I started doing calculations before we began prepping because I needed to calculate how many of certain things to plant and can.

None of the calculators ever made sense for our family.
Great feedback guys!! Since we all have different circumstances, I see there are varying methods being utilized. Which makes total sense. For those like me who are prepping for far more than their immediate family, we don’t really have the “specialty food selection” option as others do. Now that doesn’t mean mine and hubby’s favorites aren’t in the stocks! ;) But we don’t eat beets or parsnips…others very much like them. We also can’t gauge consumption of others. The only thing I can do is make certain there are enough calories, meat and fats in the preps.
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Fruit. I haven’t stocked many fruit on purpose. We have a vineyard and fruit trees as well as blueberry and blackberry bushes. It is a bit of a risk though as a seasonal crop can be greatly diminished.

What are you all doing about fruit?

We have fruit production on our property and the surrounding woods like blackberry, elderberry, huckleberry, mulberry, Mayhaw. Muscatine

I store canned, dehydrated and freeze dried fruits.
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One of my goals with the freeze dryer is to freeze dry items that i can buy cheaper in bulk (and that aren’t readily available)
Example 4 sweet potatoes at the grocery $5-6. 10 lb bag $10. Two of us wont go through that 10lb bag.
Other goal is for my Citrus when I have a bumper crop like last year.
When I run my smoker, it just as easy to do 2 Tritips as 1. FreezeDry the other.
Taking a work smarter approach, as well as less waste.
What are you all doing about fruit?
We are having terrible crops in the fruit area. I went scavaging for pears, apples and grapes. Canned pears and apples with brown sugar and cinnamon and made concord grape jelly. Do not have much space for fruits.
Helena loves a banana per day. She buys them a bit green and likes them that way. If they get ripe, yellow and little brown spots and are getting soft....their mine!
We don’t have any Ramon, but do have a ton of pasta. Those are in Mylar bags with oxygen absorbers…put in sealed buckets.

Did the Ramon look funny or just taste bad? Can’t say I’ve seen pasta that went bad.
Wife said it smelled rancid. My beef Ramon was fine but her shrimp Ramon had turned. So maybe something in the shrimp packages made it turn. Since Ramon is a very cheap food and in the past was easy to store, I will need to look into a better way to store it in the future. Maybe a vacuum sealer.
I've never used a calculator/planner. I try to keep all the food groups and a variety. I can a lot of all meats, veggies, variety of pickles, fruits, jellies, whatever is "cannable". I dehydrate foods, vacuum seal, use myler bags, I buy a variety of the bulk freeze dried foods also, and store what I can get out of garden. I have plenty of drink flavoring packets from Kool aid, tang, to the propel, and other brands with electrolytes, coffee, teas. Variety of salts/spices. We don't eat a lot of sugar but I have a fair amount stocked, as well as variety of honey, maple syrup, all that bottled stuff, along with dried/powdered milk and lots of store bought canned meat and other. Don't forget alcohol and tobacco to keep in your stash (whether you use it or not).

I'm running out of room. I do take inventory. The stuff we use out of the most is of course the stuff I replenish the most.

I'll have to check my Ramen noodles! I don't have those in vacuum sealed packs either.
Thought I would share a snippet from another writer. Selco Begovic, who endured and survived an entire year without electricity, grocery stores, no stored personal food, no running water, sewage disposal, our fuel during the Balkan War. There was no escaping as the city was totally surrounded.

Directly after the SHTF…

“First people ran riots on stores and looked for valuables like gold, money, TVs, stereos, and cars…then when they finally realized the situation they looked for weapons and fuel…then it was candles and batteries and food. Finally they started digging up people’s potatoes they could get to. People needed some time to realize what was really important. It didn’t take very long, but sometimes even a few days or a week is important.

In the first week folks even stole washing machines. The majority of the people could not imagine what was coming, so they could not fathom that a bag of AA batteries were going to be worth much more than 50 washing machines. Those were later used to plug a hole in a wall or to secure a door.”
Directly after the SHTF…
Somehow that all sounds familiar. Watched that happen in Sarajevo, Karlovac, Split and Zadar.
Your priorities change so fast when you find out that there is NOTHING left in the stores.
As I left the front once, I asked a friend, Thomas, from Australia, what could I bring him back the next day from the little town I was headed for. Cigarettes? Chocolate? Whiskey? Great BIG NO---just a roll of TP.....
Unfortunately, as I came back the next day with his toilet paper---he was no longer among the living.

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