Thursday, September 12, 2013

My Not So Extreme Hippie Prepper Ways

My family lives in a small basement apartment. We don't have room (or a desire) for a TV because the drum set, piano and computer desk take up most of the living room space. So why would I even consider having an extra three month supply of food encroaching into our living space? What possessed me to fill five gallon buckets and stash them in every conceivable place I can?

Being a Prepper Is Cool

Obviously, I'm overly anxious concerning the state of the world. Today it is food storage in my apartment, but it is just the beginning of a slipperly slope. Next thing you know, I'll be living in a bomb shelter with a seven year supply of food and filtered rain water with a 60 foot ham radio antennae as my main source of contact with the outside world. Just in case. When an earthquake, nuclear weapon or quarantine situation strikes, I will be safe while everyone else wishes they were as cool as me.

Or maybe, just maybe, there are other reasons being a prepper is wise.


I do happen to live near a major earthquake fault and we are overdue for an earthquake. If an earthquake or other disaster hits, we have a few days of water and some easy freeze dried food, as well as 72 hour kits and first aid type supplies. But within a week or so after a huge disaster, things will probably mostly return to normal, so that still doesn't justify my extensive supply.

(As an aside, I recently went to a preparedness fair and the lady at the sanitation station excitedly showed me "look! Here is a diaper that you can wash and reuse!" I then took the opportunity to show off Critter's diaper which will wash even easier and quicker than the one on display.)

There are other types of emergencies I like to be prepared for. If something happens and we lose our income for a few months, we won't starve. If we have unexpected bills come up, we can use our savings and normal income to stay out of debt without worrying about if we can afford to eat as well. If I'm having one of those days (or weeks) when getting myself and Critter presentable enough to go to the store seems like too much of a chore, I don't need to.


Have you ever shopped at CostCo or Sam's Club? Why? You probably like the prices (and the samples), and have found that most of the time it is cheaper to buy in bulk. I buy wheat in 50 lb bags and I even have a 25 lb bag of popcorn in one of my buckets. If I know I'm going to go through that much food eventually, the shelf life will last long enough for me to eat all of it and the price is better in bulk, why not?

Less trips to the store also saves on gas. It helps eliminate  last minute impulse buys. I like that I can buy food when it is on sale and have it on hand instead of buying it when I need it and dealing with an inconvenient price. I bought 40 lbs of peaches for $17 this week. I just canned 14 qts (half of them) so I can enjoy them in the winter even though they won't be in season then.


I believe that a Prophet of God has encouraged us to be self reliant. There are lots of fringe benefits (as seen above), and by being self reliant I have a lot more freedom and opportunities available. But even if I didn't benefit from this choice, I would still do it to be obedient. Remember, it wasn't raining when Noah built the ark. You can read a little more about self reliance here.

A Hippie Prepper

Lots of Mormons have food storage. There are usually buckets of wheat that will store forever because the owners don't know what to do with them. The local CostCo sells 72 hour kits and ready made three month supplies. Freeze dried is the new popular thing, I even sold it door-to-door for a summer. Food that is dehydrated or freeze dried just needs water (or sometimes not) to make it ready to eat. There are lots of ready made meals in this form.

But my storage is different. I don't have room to store food just for the sake of storing it in case of a horrible emergency. I store what I eat and eat what I store. I don't want to eat refined white sugar, so I don't store it. I grind my wheat into flour for home made bread and we make oatmeal and granola from scratch. The system we have isn't perfect, but it is progressing and when we have a home with more space I have some exciting goals (like growing more fresh fruit, veggies, and raising chickens and goats for eggs and dairy).

I like knowing what is in my food, and one of the easiest ways to do that is to prepare it myself from as basic ingredients as possible. It is usually cheaper to do it that way as well. The more I am involved in my own food prep, the better. This year I've been able to pick about 5 tomatoes off of my tomato plant and occasionally some herbs. But one day I hope to have trees and bushes and plants and animals that produce delicious food that is free from preservatives and other junk.

The Contents

In case you are wondering, here is a list of what we have in our storage right now. I have Gamma Seal Lids on some buckets I use most often, and we transfer other things to smaller more accessible containers that store on shelves. Most of the stuff in our food storage is from Azure Standard. They have high quality food and often better prices than WinCo or anywhere else. Lots of food comes and goes from our freezer as well, but that is currently housing 2 half gallons of Blue Bell ice cream that my grandma brought from out of state. :)

Glass Jars

 Lots of chicken from Zaycon Foods
Peaches with rapadura sugar syrup from Crandall's
Lots and lots of empty jars waiting for food. Any suggestions?

5 or 6 Gallon Buckets w/ Gamma Lids

Hard Red Wheat Berries
Hard White Wheat Berries
Rolled Oats
Basmati Rice
Whole Oat Groats (we grind it into flour, oatmeal or put it in the crock pot whole for oatmeal)

5 Gallon Buckets w/ Normal Lids

Rapadura sugar
Pinto Beans
Black Beans
Multi Color Popcorn
Pink Beans
Rye Berries
Vital Wheat Gluten
Steel Cut Oats
Garbanzo Beans
Extra Hard Red and White Wheat

Smaller Containers

Stuff from the 5 gallon buckets
Adzuki Beans
Glutinous (sticky) Rice
Various cans (pineapple, olives, etc) from case lot sales and such.



15 gallons of plain tap water in 5 galllon storage containers
A Royal Berkey Water Filter to filter the chlorinated tap water on a daily basis


My food storage system is still in the develoment phase, but it has been working pretty well for us thus far. Having healthy, whole food on hand has helped us to eat more healthy, home cooked meals. It takes a little more effort to cook from scratch, but it really isn't so bad once you get use to it. I'm lucky that I have enough time to do such, but I think that these principles would still apply if adapted to any individual situation.

What do you think of my food storage? What do you have in your storage?

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