Here are some of the best things you can do now to be prepared for a food shortage and feed your family well.
Hi friends, first let me say that I am not trying to be bleak by talking about food shortages! But as we all know by now, certain foods are in short to no supply right now. Thankfully, most of the basics below can be found, but it may require a trip to several stores to find it.
Food shortage: Trying new things.
Melanie Shankle, a new friend who was my guest on this podcast sent me this text a few days ago. First, she is hilarious talking about the chicken. Second, she is so sweet to try to help me expand my horizons and look outside of the “chicken box!”
I plan to order my quail today. If you want to buy some, visit texquail.com. If you mention Melanie Shankle, you’ll most likely get a discount. I plan to make some of Melanie’s favorite quail recipes and share them in the days to come.
My friend Laura Silsbee tried had a ton of buttermilk that needed to be used, and she found this recipe for frozen buttermilk ice pops on the blog. Her boys helped make them, and they loved them. This made me so happy:-) She tried something new AND her boys had a fun activity to do during their “stay at home.”
Food shortage: Friends helping friends.
I’ve had my sweet friend Sophie find flour (White Lily at that) and bring to my doorstep along with a can of baking soda. How sweet is that? I’ve had myriad friends look for things that I need, and I’ve been able to find or give things to my friends as well. This is truly a blessing.
Now to the details……the practical ways to prepare for a food shortage…….
Always keep a well stocked freezer, refrigerator, and pantry.
Keeping these three well stocked can enable you to go weeks without having to make a trip to the grocery. Below is a list of items that I try to keep on hand year round. These have been a lifesaver on more than one occasion.
How to be prepared for a food shortage.
Keep a well stocked freezer.
A freezer is your best friend for food preparedness. I use mine to stay well stocked with the following items that will save the day if you can’t get food or you are stuck at home. The following foods freeze easily for several weeks (baked goods) up to two months (meat, seafood, and prepared casseroles.
- Meat & seafood: chicken breasts or tenders, shrimp, scallops, fish, roasts, short ribs, ground beef (browned and crumbled and ready to use), brisket (I keep at least one frozen in this marinade), and more.
- Prepared food. Casseroles, spaghetti sauce, pizza and other items are super handy. You simply pull them out, thaw or defrost, and heat through. The ones I almost always have in my freezer are this chicken tetrazzini, my best baked ziti for a crowd (divided into smaller pans), this recipe for the best spaghetti with meat sauce in the world (in a gallon ziploc freezer bag), and baked spaghetti pie with four cheeses.
- Sweet treats and desserts. None of us wants to get stuck without dessert, right? I prepare by keeping a few desserts in the freezer at all times. I freeze this ch0colate bundt cake, this strawberry bread (for dessert or breakfast), and these fabulous strawberry brownies. For a lemon craving, I often keep this lemon poppyseed cake in the freezer as well to serve with strawberries and whipped cream.
Keep a well stocked pantry.
A stocked pantry is one of the biggest ways to be prepared if a food shortage happens. Why? Pantry staples are some of the first things to sell out, as people begin making their own food at home. “Back to basics” and simple recipes like bread, biscuits, tuna salad, and more become the norm. This means you will want to make sure you have an ample supply of the follow.
- Bottled water. This goes without saying.
- Coffee. This goes without saying, too haha.
- Extra virgin olive oil and vegetable or canola oil. I’m never without both.
- Rice. Basmati or white rice is a must. Saffron rice pouches are good to have on hand also.
- Beans. I keep dry beans (red, white, pinto and 16 beans soup) on hand. For canned, I keep white beans, chili seasoned beans, and black beans.
- Bouillon base. If you keep a jar of beef, chicken and vegetable Better Than Bouillon in your pantry, you will have the broth of choice at your fingertips.
- Yeast. This will make breads, pizza crust, etc…. There is no yeast to be found as of this writing, so I wish that I had stocked this item in advance.
- Flour, cornmeal, salt, baking powder and baking soda. If you have these items, you can make non-yeast breads, biscuits, cornbread, pancakes and myriad baked desserts.
- Baking mixes. If you want a semi-homemade version the above baked goods, baking mixes can be your best friend. The mixes I most often keep on hand are Duncan Hines cake mixes (for the bundt cakes and brownies linked to in my sweet treats mentions above). Krusteaz honey cornbread mix is the foundation of this yummy pimento cheese jalapeño cornbread. Bisquick baking mix is a quick and easy way to make everything from pancakes to biscuits and more.
- Canned tuna and salmon. These are my top canned items to keep always~especially when meat supply is iffy. My family loves these crispy fried salmon patties made with canned salmon.
- Soups. Cream soups~mainly chicken and mushroom~make chicken tetrazzini, poppyseed chicken and similar cream based casseroles. I love having the classic chicken noodle and tomato soup on hand also.
- Canned tomatoes, tomato sauce (and paste) and jarred pasta sauce. Have these on hand to make soups, spaghetti, chili and more.
- Dry seasoning mixes. Keep ranch dressing mix, Good Seasons Italian dressing mix, taco seasoning, chili seasoning, au jus gravy mixes and more. These can flavor whatever meat you can find and make it flavorful.
Keep a well stocked refrigerator.
Dairy products are staples that we all want to have on hand to make good meals. Here are some you want to keep and their shelf lives.
- Pasteurized milk: 12–14 days. …Milk can be frozen (remove a cup to allow for expansion).
- Buttermilk: This can make great cornbread and also this chicken that everyone is making now.
- Yogurt: 4–6 weeks. Plain Greek yogurt can sub for sour cream if needed.
- Cheeses: Parmesan, Gruyere, cheddar, mozzarella and Swiss may be kept for several weeks to months if stored properly. Cottage cheese, ricotta and cream cheese last roughly 1–2 weeks.
- Butter. Most butter has a shelf-life of about 4 weeks, but it can be frozen.
- Ice cream and frozen yoghurt: In the freezer 2–6 months.
- Prepared pimento cheese. My Three Sons and Palmetto Farms are yummy and make for quick sandwiches or snacks.
I hope this has been helpful. If YOU have any tips to share with us on how to stay prepared, PLEASE do so in the comments! We are in this together; we will get through this (and be better for it). Be blessed and stay well, my friends!!!!