Safecastle | One Shop For All Emergency Essentials: Cost Analysis on Preparedness Foods

There are two ways to sleep well at night ... be ignorant or be prepared.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Cost Analysis on Preparedness Foods

As a part of the work that went into our new calorie-based/budget-options food listings, we did some pretty in-depth research.

We found that the best estimates today, are that Americans spend an average of $2.88 per meal per person.

That's over $3100 a year per person to keep them fed (and in America, that really means, over-fed).

As a percentage of disposable income, food expenditures average between 10% and 11% per household.

How Does that Matter?

For our latest preparedness food packages, we were aiming to put together convenient, good-tasting foods that would not only satisfy nutritional/caloric requirements, but budgetary requirements as well.

Our calorie-based variety packages come in at over 2200 calories a day--not far under the average daily caloric consumption (after spoilage and plate-waste adjustments). Cost-wise, at three meals a day, we are looking at an average of $2.70 per meal in these packages--well under the current budgetary demands Americans are currently putting up with.

Much to Consider

It's important for people to know that a smart food preparedness program accounts for a number of factors:

1. Budget--obviously a key. People want to be sure they do not over-pay for their emergency rations. (With the rapid rise in food prices these days--well-packaged, properly stored emergency food actually appreciates in value with time.)

2. Nutritional value--nutritional value and caloric requirements are often not adequately considered, strangely enough, by those who put food away for a rainy day. If you want to eat like you're used to, you may need to store enough to eat about 2800 calories a day. Americans should have a minimum of 2000 calories a day stored away.

3. Variety, ease of use--perhaps the most important rule of all in food storage--"Store what you eat, eat what you store." In times of stress, it's important you have food that you are familiar with, that you enjoy eating, that you do not have food allergies to. Beans, rice, and wheat serve a purpose in most food storage efforts, as they are cheap and high in caloric value. But if that does not define your diet now, then you should be sure to also have on hand the kinds of foods you DO eat regularly--meats, pastas, stews, etc. And you should be comfortable with how your storage foods need to be prepared. Freeze-dried and dehydrated foods, you need to add water. Staples require more processing and cooking.

4. Shelf life--most foods at your local grocery store are good for months to a couple of years on the shelf. 50-pound bags of staples you might buy locally or online should be stored away in vacuum-sealed buckets to maximize storage life--as long as 10 years for many of those staples if done properly. MREs are good for a few years only, and as with most foods, they are very sensitive to storage conditions. Wet-packed meats, canned cheeses and dairy products canned for storage are often going to be good for 10-15 years. Freeze-dried and dehydrated foods will be good for 15-30 years.

The longer the shelf life and the better the storage conditions (consistently cool and dry are the ideal), the less you will need to rotate and replace the stocks.

Bottom Line

There is much more to a good and effective food-storage program than initial price. If you consider all the factors above for your personal situation before you make your emergency food purchases, you will arrive at THE best value. And THAT is what will result in peace of mind and real security.

Get Ready ... Seriously -

1 comment:

Ryan said...

Great analysis.