Hi friends, welcome back to the Gubba Podcast. I’m Gubba, a first time homesteader following in the footsteps of my homesteading forebears. I talk about homesteading, prepping, and everything in between here on this podcast. And today I want to discuss what you should be stocking up on right now.
Most of us have seen the headlines: war, supply chain issues, and food shortages. It isn’t too late to start prepping but one day it may be too late so don’t wait. I don’t say that to scare you, but based on actual accounts of people who lived during wartimes and weird-times in history, at some point it does become too late. I don’t want to be waiting in a mile long line for bread in the future, do you?
Even if you think that is impossible, the security you feel by being prepared is truly priceless. To not have to fear every time you read a headline of impending food shortages or supply chain issues is truly comforting, and I want everyone to feel that same comfort I do! All it takes is some time, a little planning, and you are well on your way!
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What should I stock up on?
With all of the craziness going on, I would say the first thing to start stocking up on is the food you eat. I have a whole podcast dedicated to how to build a food storage and that involves buying more of what you eat! Especially now, a few months after I made that podcast, the tides in the world have turned. There is now a war which always brings uncertainty. Who knows how it will end up turning, could erupt into world war 3 or could fizzle. Better to have some extra food you like lining your shelves before SHTF. Prices of food are also climbing up, so you technically are saving your future self buying extra now then buying later and spending more.
How do you build a food storage?
Go open up your pantry and cupboards right now and see what is lining your shelves. What do you eat? Buy more of it. Purchase what is feasible to you. An extra box or two of pasta and more canned beans than usual. It is up to you to determine what you and your family need and how much will suffice. Did you know that you can store pasta long term in mylar bags? Pretty dang neat! Buy your pasta cheap now, store it up, and save yourself time and money down the road. Sometimes bulk grocery stores even carry mylar bags and oxygen absorbers, so look next time you’re there. One of my prepper friends was telling me how they scored on mylar bags and oxygen absorbers at Winco recently. I purchase my mylar bags and oxygen absorbers on Azure Standard because I like ordering online.
How do I store flour?
After you have stocked up on items that you eat like pastas and canned goods, think about your baking essentials. Flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, etc. Do you have enough of those? You can make a lot with the bare basics, so it is important to have those on hand. I recently heard from a friend that flour is going to skyrocket in price and become scarce due to the war in Ukraine and Ukraine being one of the largest suppliers of grain. Side note: upon hearing things like this, I always question the validity. Not that I don’t believe my friend, but I can’t help but wonder if it is a media ploy to cause panic buying and you know how the story of corporate greed goes. BUT flour is an essential and I would have told anyone to stock up on it even before the Ukraine stuff going on. Keep in mind, that flour has a shelf life of generally 6-8 months past its printed date. I’m baking and cooking with flour that is past its shelf date right now and it works great. You can store flour in mylar bags with oxygen absorbers and have it last up to 15 years. Buying flour in bulk then storing in mylar bags might be the best and most efficient way to go. If you took the time, you could have flour for many years to come.
What are wheat berries?
Another way to stock up on flour is to purchase the wheat berries. Wheat berries are what you would grind to get flour. Some people prefer this method because as soon as the wheat berries around ground into flour, they begin to lose their nutritional value so it’s best to eat flour right after it is ground. You can invest in a wheat grinder and purchase wheat berries to grind fresh as you are cooking or baking. There are electrical grinders and then actual hand crank grinders. Electric grinders are nice because they do the work for you, but being a prepper, hand crank grinders are more appealing because I can still use them if the power goes out. I’m all about that self sufficiency life. There are a variety of different wheat grinders available online, and I would suggest sourcing one that is high quality and is backed by good reviews. The last thing you want when SHTF is to be grinding some wheat berries you purchased in bulk then your grinder breaks. That would be a total bummer! Along with that, consider purchasing spare parts that would be necessary to keep your grinder running indefinitely. I believe some parts of the grinder will wear overtime, so grab those parts now before there isn’t a chance to or the price skyrockets.
How do I store sugar?
Along with flour, think about your sugar. Do you have enough sugar to bake or cook with? You can’t store sugar in a mylar bag with oxygen absorbers because the sugar will turn into rock hard so don’t try to do that. Pure cane or beet granulated sugars store the best along term along with honey. Honey will last indefinitely. I mean they found honey 1000s of years old in Egypt and it was still edible. Honey is a great way to store sugar long term. I bought a 10lb bucket of raw honey from Azure, and that is going to last me a long time. I love foods that never go bad. Think about sourcing a large bucket of honey for yourself and family to keep indefinitely. I love that I don’t have to do anything besides keep it in a clean plastic or glass container and it will last forever. I can use honey in cooking, baking, and for a sweet treat so its uses are versatile. I also keep a large 5 gallon bucket of cane sugar in my pantry fit with a gamma lid. This is my rotating granulated sugar that stays for long periods of times as well.
How do you store baking soda?
As you are storing up your flour and sugar, think about ways you will use it. For baking, often these essentials go hand-in-hand with other essentials like baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Do you have enough of those on hand to last? You can purchase all of these in bulk from Azure Standard, club-stores like Costco, and bulk grocery stores like Winco. You can store baking soda indefinitely in an air-tight, moisture free environment. This is where a vacuum sealer comes in handy because you can vacuum seal the small containers that baking soda comes in. If you purchase bulk, you can leave it in it’s large bag, but once it is opened transfer it to jars and be sure to vacuum seal the jars. Baking soda loves to absorb odors so make sure the jars aren’t stinky or anything. Another way to store baking soda with vacuum sealing is to transfer it to brown paper bags then vacuum seal the brown paper bags. There is a variety of ways to store it, so that makes it easy to store! Plus, baking soda has a plethora of uses in cleaning and baking, so I love having some on hand. You can use it in toothpaste, laundry detergent, household cleaner, and more.
How do you store baking powder?
Baking powder generally comes with a best-used-by date of 18-24 months, but if properly stored, you can store baking powder for a long time. As with most other long term storage items, a moisture and contamination-free environment is required. Again, I would recommend gallon buckets with gamma lids. Do not store them directly on concrete because moisture wicks through barriers and this would activate your baking powder and contaminate it. Personally, I’ve been using a container of baking powder for quite a while now and never noticed a loss in potency. If there was any, it was minimal. I believe baking soda and baking powder last for very long times even if not stored in long-term storage containers.
Along with these two essentials, make sure you have salt. Salt is essential for life and it also makes our food taste better. I don’t know about you but I definitely want to have my food salted when SHTF. Contrary to main stream narrative, salt is good for you. I personally strive to have 1-2 teaspoons a day to keep my cells happy. The key to keeping salt long term is to keep it cool and dry, like most everything else. Keep salt away from odors like you would baking soda because it will absorb those odors. You can use food-grade buckets, mason jars, and other moisture free containers. I have purchased my salt in bulk from Costco and Azure Standard.
How do I store food in the freezer?
A great and easy way to stock up on what you eat is to utilize your freezer. Say you enjoy hash browns, buy some frozen hash browns. Same thing goes with vegetables and fruit, buy extra and store in your freezer. You can make a plan of how you want to preserve your frozen goods, or if you even want to. You can freeze dry all of it, or you can can the vegetables and fruit. I know that my best purchase of 2020 was a garage freezer. That allowed me to stock up on food before the rona so I didn’t have to venture to the store as often. I didn’t experience power outages often, so that didn’t affect me. If it did, I would have considered other methods of preserving the frozen food. I believe frozen goods are a great thing to stock up on especially if you rotate them through what you and your family are eating and utilizing. Again, I buy bulk frozen items from Costco and Azure Standard.
I would suggest bulking up on miscellaneous necessitates as well. What are your hobbies? Do you enjoy painting? Get extra paint supplies now. Do you enjoy sewing? Get extra sewing supplies now. The cost of goods appears to be on the rise, so think about what gets you through your days and bulk up on those items. For me, I enjoy reading books so I’m always on the lookout for a good book and that is an activity I can enjoy at any point in my prepping journey. Miscellaneous items can also include items such as paper towels, cutlery, blankets, candles, first aid, vitamins, etc. Your whole goal should be to strive to function the same as you do now under any conditions. It seems impossible, but you can get close to achieving that goal by considering how you function each day.
Stocking up is looking towards the future and preparing for it. Not only are you preparing for any situation, but you are creating a comfort net for yourself and your family. Crazy scenarios like nuclear fallout aren’t the only thing people prep for. A food storage and prepping supplies can even come in handy during a job loss. The future is never certain but you can try your best to provide normalcy for your future self.
I would like to thank you so much for tuning into my podcast. I hope these episodes help you in your journey towards being self sufficient. We don’t know what the future holds but we can move forward in joy by being ready. I hope that you have a wonderful day and don’t do anything a Gubba wouldn’t do!