Do You Really Need a One-Year Supply of Food?

one-year supply

In reading different blogs and posts on the internet one thing, I have been noticing is how many people feel that they only need to stock food for the short term.  By that, I mean six months or less.  Personally, I feel that we need to have at least a one-year supply and more if possible.

I know that many of you are counting on the food you intend to grow, gather or hunt.  The sad fact is that most of us are not ready for that type of existence.  Granted a few are.  But today most people are not raised on a farm and their total farming experience is raising a garden in their backyard.  Hunting is not something that a large percentage of the popular has any real skill in.

If some of the people I know here in California had to hunt for food, they would shoot each other and anything else that moved.  Cattle, horses and all types of domestic animals would become fair game.  Many of these individuals have a lot of firearms and ammunition.  The shoot at the range often, but have almost no hunting skills.  They also have little food in their pantry.  They tell me about how easy they can get food by hunting.  I predict that after a few failed attempts at hunting, preppers would become their real game.

The reason I feel you need a one-year supply is so that you can last over the winter and through at least one growing season without being too dependent on what you grow.  For most of us, the first year’s crop will probably not be our best.  There will be a big learning curve.  Plus you have to allow for unexpected things, like drought, crop failure, wildfires or raiders.  You may not be able to plant a crop if you are threatened by raiders.

See also  Preserving Meat and Fish

Food is still comparatively cheap and there are many ways you can cut your costs.  Home canning, dehydrating, gleaning the fields and gardening are some of the ways.  Don’t put yourself at risk by cutting corners and shorting yourselves by not having a one-year supply.  Maybe you don’t really need those 10 or 20 extra firearms.


10 thoughts on “Do You Really Need a One-Year Supply of Food?”

  1. Veteran Who Is Preparing

    It doesn’t help that most zombie/survivalist/post-apocalyptic films and tv shows show that you have to loot, pillage, and plunder to survive anything that happens. That is what most sheeple will do. Because that is what they are being trained to do when they watch this stuff and do not notice it for what it is. This I believe also influenced the rise of the “gun prepper” who is preparing to be a professional raider/bandit during a teowawki scenario.

    I have told people they should plan to have at least 18 months on hand. Enough to get you through the first year when raiders and looters would be at their worst so time to plant would be limited and what you plant will mostly get stolen. Then enough to cover getting you through that first actual planting season during the second year. This would be for a long term teowawki scenario. If you are talking a nuclear exchange scenario (old school but rising again as a current possibility) you would not want to plant the first year either. Let the rads lower over time and the weather wash away fallout with rains and melting snows. After that still dig off the top soil, compost/fertilize like he!!, and then plant. You wouldn’t be hunting and gathering that first year (or second), unless you want your family to not need flashlights at night.

  2. I will speak from experience. During and after the stock market crash of 1987 I lost my job and was out of full time work for over a year. The family I had to pull up stakes and move. We were unable to sell a house we were paying a mortgage on for 6 months, while conducting a job search and moving 600 miles to go where I found “temporary” work.

    I made a total change in career fields, leaving the defense industry, and deciding against a Federal government job, because I wisely chose not to “paint myself into a corner.” Looking back that turned out to be the correct decision.

    I ended up working as in local government for the next 24 years, exploiting my industrial engineering, workplace safety and QA experience. The work was a good fit for my temperament, being a subject matter expert, not a bureaucrat. Satisfaction was high in being able to make a difference in the quality of life where I lived. Today, I enjoy a modest, but adequate retirement well away from the city in a rural area about 100 miles away from Washington, DC.

    During that difficult 1987-88 transition having food storage was a great comfort. My wife and I did not have to worry where groceries were coming from. We could make our meager savings go farther, prioritizing what funds we had to weather the storms.

    My advice to an young couple starting out is to always have enough cash on hand for a month’s expenses. Tithe and save first. Live frugally, be wary of borrowing on credit. Live within your means. If you fail to save towards retirement in your 20s, it is too late to catch up in your 50s.

    1. Excellent post. Preparing is not just about the end of society, surviving rough times is just as important.

  3. gonewiththewind

    This issue is as complex as the number of people who are involved in it. there are 300 million different answers. I have a years supply of some essential but not everything I could and will eat. I have eaten the freeze dried foods and although I could eat them they are not “good”. I have tried rotation of canned goods and it requires a dedicated pantry and a dedicated home maker to do it. ANd then you are ALWAYS eating “old” food. What is the right amount? A month, 3 months, a year, two years, five years? There is no right answer and no matter which path you choose you won’t “love” what you eat and you will wish for something else. What I am doing at this time is storing wheat, rice, dehydrated potato, macaroni, oatmeal, sugar beans and various forms of oil. This gives me calories, a breakfast every morning, bread every day for a lunch or to accompany dinner and a dinner meal (beans and rice) that can be supplemented with whatever I can find/buy/grow. Is it “perfect”? No but again there is no perfect and very little that is even satisfactory about stored food. It’s saving grace is that stored food will save your life when you must have it. Until that day it will complicate your life and take up the space equivalent of two cords of wood.

    1. Better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it.

      Seriously, are you a troll who is just on here to discourage being prepared and thinking outside the mainstream? You do seem like it from your posts.

      1. gonewiththewind

        I don’t know how you can function in modern society because it seems you cannot accept or ignore ideas that do not mimic your own. I don’t see anything wrong with my post. That is exactly what I do with my food storage today. I evolved to that position after trying other ideas that have been presented in various forums. There is some value to know what others think works or does not work even when, god forbid, their thinking is different from yours. Instead of whining and throwing around the “troll” explitive try presenting a rational arguement/discussion in favor of what you believe in.
        By the way after rereading my post I noticed I did not mention that I also can some food that I grow and some meat. I have been really pleased with that component of my food storage even though it requires more effort to rotate it and use it before it goes bad. I am still searching for the optimal food storage solution and haven’t found that yet. Perhaps you have found it and would like to share it.

        1. There is still a huge disinformation/discouragement campaign going on against prepping and survivalism. Your posts in the 1 year food supply and the alternative medicine posts reek of it. You are playing the devil’s advocate card. “Yes I do it or checked into it; but you know I found it is too much work, doesn’t satisfy my taste buds, I could cite numerous examples that show this isn’t a 100% solution so it’s not worth trying, etc….” In the alternative medicine post you push vaccines like you work for a company that makes them but worded it like a “regular joe” to give it that appearance. I have seen this stuff over and over and over again online. So much of it that it does jump out at you when you come across it. In this blog post you post that you store basic items (ones that most people will cringe when they read them) and how you have enough calories but it would be arduous to eat it. Plus you played the beans and rice card which is a stereotype image regularly used to discourage prepping. And that stocking anything different than these items would require too much work. You mentioned nothing about home canned in the original post and only mentioned it after being called out. Maybe you are a real preparer, if you are and do intend to help and not discourage than read your posts a few times before posting them. Having things to add to the discussion is greatly encouraged. But your post does seem intentionally structured to discourage, like a troll.

          As for me I do stock the basics you mention. Plus store bought canned items of things we use regularly, freeze-dried and dehydrated items in cans and pouches, MREs, meats in the freezer, home canned, and grow our own during the summer. I do not find rotating these items to be any hugely difficult task. I also see what other people recommend and modify that to suit our needs, tastes, and capabilities. How much you store and what is up to each individual or group. But don’t tell them they shouldn’t and actively discourage it. Unless it is something truly stupid or dangerous like building your own death star or planning to live only on vitamin supplements and butter bars. Food storage is a basic tenet of prepping/survivalism and if a person does not have that then they are as good as dead if something major happens.

          1. gonewiththewind

            There may be a huge discouragement campaign going on but I’m certainly not part of it. I’ve been a prepper longer than you’ve been alive and I’m an advocate of it.
            I was not playing the devil’s advocate Having just moved and having just moved 50 five gallon buckets about the same number of #10 cans and an uncounted number of canning jars full of food I am sooooo aware of how difficult it can be to manage a large cache of food. Something I think is worth thinking about before running out and buying all that food. I’m in the process now of using it and only replacing what I feel I don’t already have too much of.
            I actually did mention canned food as in ” I have tried rotation of canned goods”. I have some 6 year old turkey that I canned. Love it but I worry every time I open some.

            “only mentioned it after being called out”! LOL Is that what you thought you were doing! I thought you were whining because someone on earth didn’t agree with you.

            I like rice and beans, in fact I love rice and beans. But I don’t eat them every night. My wife doesn’t like beans at all. So yes I expect that rice and beans will wear on us if that day ever comes.

            I have zero MRE’s. They are OK, kind of expensive and I would prefer my home canned food over MRE’s.

  4. Carter Henderson

    I believe a years supply of food is necessary for some people. As mentioned in the article some people are not ready for a hunting and gathering life style, as these skills are regularly practiced by few.

  5. gonewiththewind

    By popular request ;>) I am going to quickly describe a food storage idea that my family really likes. At tthanksgiving and Christmas the Winco usually has a sale on turkeys for $0.18 / lb if you buy $50 worth of food. We buy an extra turkey for these holidays and can them. What we have been doing is cooking them from frozen because it is so much simpler. This takes most of a day so after letting it cool for awhile we put in the fridge overnight. Next day cut all the meat off and put all the scraps and carcass into a large pot with 12 gallons of water and after bring to a boil let it simmer for at least 3 hours. The meat goes back into the fridge to wait. It is so much easier to remove all the meat from a cold turkey so it’s worth letting it refrigerate overnight. Once the broth is ready I filter it through cheese cloth. Get the pressure cooker going and fill (partially fill) about 7 quart jars with turkey meat and top off with broth. Can it according to your altitude etc. Usually there will be 7 quarts of turkey with broth and 3-5 quarts of broth which I can in the second batch. The broth makes awesome gravy and the turkey is enough for three meals for my wife and me and one and one half meals if any of our kids and their kids show up. It’s like thanksgiving whenever I open up one of these jars of turkey.
    I usually like to make mashed potatoes from my dehydrated potato stash. It’s fast, tastes good (especially with turkey gravy) and it helps me keep rotating my food storage.

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