Food storage after job loss

We posted on our Facebook page:

We received the following message, what advice can you give? “I recently lost my job and had to move from Arizona to Florida. Money was tight and I could only take what could fit on a 5′x8” trailer and max load was 1000 lbs. Needless to say almost all of my prep gear and ALL of my food stores had to be given away. We have only enough money to buy food a 3 days to a week in advance. Any suggestions to build it to at least 2 weeks with no money would be greatly appreciated. I have 2 elderly parents a 7 yr old (garbage disposal) boy and myself to feed. Thank you.”Some comments we received:

Comment #1: Buy the salad greens that come in large, and solid plastic containers. Cut several half inch holes in the bottom of the container. Buy organic sprouting seeds, like alfalfa sprouts. Line the empty salad container floor with wet paper towels, then layer of seeds. Use a mister/spray bottle to keep things damp, spraying several times a day. You will have the container full of sprouts in just a few days. The more salad boxes you can buy up front, the more salad, and then more sprouts you will have. Its pennies to grow this stuff, and with some olive oil on top its cheap, solid, tasty, nutrition.

Comment #2: If you have an Aldi’s in your area they are great for buying cheaply…especially if you can get food stamps (I know it goes against the grain and a lot of folks hate to accept that kind of help, but….) they accept them and the food is a good quality. Food pantries are indeed good places to go to as well.

Comment #3: Dry goods go a LONG way while you are getting back on your feet. Been there done that, lived on fried flour and egg for several months back in the 80′s that’s what I could afford after bills were paid. For those facing similar decisions we have done the 5×8 trailer thing several times now, we have a blow up bed, folding chairs and folding tables etc, we can “furnish” a complete 2 bed apartment with it and we travel with a 2 month emergency food bucket. It’s not comfortable living but it gets it done not having the fluffy stuff. We wish you well and success in finding a job soon!

Comment #4: One of the good things about Florida is that you can grow a garden in most places, all year long. While heirloom seeds are great, go buy a few packets of cheap hybrid seeds of things like lettuce, cabbage, carrots, raddishes, etc. and surely someone has some potatoes with eyes on them. Cut them up and plant them. Grocery potatoes sometimes have been sprayed to prevent going to eye, but I’m planted them and you will get something. Also, depending on where you are, you might be able to forage for wild edibles. Cat tail probably grows very well down there, although, watch out for gators. Most of the above is free or very cheap and on your own. Local food pantries can also help, and I do most of my shopping at dent and bent/discount grocery stores. All the ones I go to are Mennonite and/or independently owned, so I don’t know much about actual dent and bent chain grocers. Walmart sells two pound bags of frozen mixed vegetables for 2.00 where I live and I put them in most everything. It adds a lot of cheap nutrition to pasta or rice, or can be thrown in the crockpot with some cabbage, seasoning, and water to make soup. If you eat meat, you can get a small cut and cube it up to add flavor. Eggs are also a great way to add protein to a meal of mixed vegetables and rice. I eat many dinners of finely chopped and sauted cabbage, carrots, onions with a little tomato paste for flavor. If you live anywhere near a heavily asian community, look for asian grocery stores, where you can buy bulk bags of rice and beans for very cheap. Iif there are flea markets nearby, sometimes you can find canned good for really cheap there as well. Lastly, if you have any Amish or Mennonite folks in the area, you might honestly explain your situation and ask them to trade food for work. You’ll work hard, but they are good people so they will deal squarely with you.

Comment #5: If you eat meat, look into a hunting/fishing license. You should have good fishing down there and could probably go after small game like birds and rabbits easily. If you don’t want to hunt them, you can also get a couple meat rabbits for cheap and start raising them(they don’t need alot of space and a little cheap lumber or even free pallets from the newspaper office and a little chicken wire makes a decent hutch, and they don’t make noise), although, I’ll be honest here, unless hard times force me, I can’t bring myself to butcher them. However, they are a very fast producing, sustainable source of healthy meat. You can also sell or trade some of your stock, and there are companies that buy the pelts after you skin them. I’ve found rabbits and most of the supplies available on Craigslist for cheap or free.


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