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One of our favorite sayings is from Aristotle Onassis that says:

"Watch what everyone else does and don't do it."

This saying has worked out well for us for decades upon decades. So, before we offer our suggestions as to what TO do, we'd like to tell you what NOT to do.

I found this list pretty high in a search for prepping on Google. The reason I included this particular list is that it is similar to so many other lists that give the same bad advice. Why do people keep doing this? I don't know but I suspect it is because these people write but they don't do. On top of that, they declare that this is the "Ultimate Prepping List", which it is not.

  • All-purpose flour, baking powder, and baking soda - happy idea but flour may (if you're lucky) last almost a year. Then the oils in the flour go rancid and now you have a choice. Eat rancid bread or throw it out. Instead, store hard red winter wheat which MAY last up to 30 years but even if it doesn't it will outlast ground flour many, many, many times over. Also, flour is more limited in its uses. Whole-grain wheat doesn't have these restrictions. You can sprout it, you can grind it into flour, can boil it for breakfast, serve it as pilaf, use it for barter, etc.

  • Cooking oils, like canola or coconut oil - You'll have the same problems as flour when you try to store cooking oils long-term. They go rancid. You can still use them for oil candles, etc, but ghee is a better choice for longer-term storage.

  • Bottled water - Water storage is a good idea, but it depends on how you store that water. We found out the hard way that if you store the Costco water bottles for more than about a year they evaporate and you'll end up with crumpled-up water bottles that are only about 1/5 full. Disappointing! Make sure that your water storage containers are designed to store potable water. We like water bricks. These are also super helpful in organizing your preps.

  • Rolled oats - Groats are much more useful than rolled oats. Somewhat for the same reasons as wheat is a better choice than flour, but also because you can sprout them, you can grind them, they taste WAY better than rolled oats, etc.

  • Noodles - Or "pasta" if you've cooked anything in the past thirty years. Pasta is a good choice, so we agree with this particular item, but we prefer to vacuum pack our boxes of pasta and then store them in a dark, cool place.

  • Pasta sauce - Tomato products have one of the shortest shelf lives because of the acidic nature of the product. If you want to pick up some freeze-dried tomatoes and some dried herbs you'll outlast canned pasta sauce by many decades. And... if these are noodles, wouldn't you want to put up some "noodle sauce"?

  • White rice and brown rice - White rice YES! Brown rice NO! Brown rice won't even make it through your first year of storage. White rice will last decades IF you store it properly. So, we agree with half of this item and we disagree with half.

  • Dried beans - Good choice. Some beans last longer than others though so research your beans and figure out which ones you would actually eat.

  • Canned meats and soups - This one is kind of tricky for us. I know that lots of people like storing soup, and we do store some very specific types of soup but it isn't a primary element as we believe that having more canned content is more valuable for us, and storing water (water content in the soup) that's already been used doesn't make much sense to us. We just like the comfort properties of the soup. We store things to make soup out of because we can make much better soup. We can store much more food in the same space as soups. We store dehydrated soup mixes. So as far as saving space, we only store a fraction of our total preps in soup. Canned meats are a great item to store but you need to be selective in what you choose to store. Test everything you plan on storing before simply tucking them away.

  • Freeze-dried fruits and vegetables - Freeze-dried fruits and vegetables are good choices, but canned vegetables have one of the longest shelf lives right in front of canned meats. If you have the budget, freeze-dried is a great way to go.

  • Fruit leather - Not our favorite fruit choice, and as far as space economy goes, not very practical.

  • Instant potatoes, oatmeal, and hot cereal - Potatoes... ok. But most of the instant hot cereals and instant oatmeal taste more like wallpaper paste than human food. So, pass on the instant. Instant potatoes, dehydrated potatoes, freeze-dried potatoes, all good ideas.

  • Nuts and seeds - Some nuts and seeds to rancid rather quickly (as far as long-term storage is concerned), but some are ok. Be sure and research your choices and make your decisions accordingly. 

So, as you can see... this IS a prepper list, and it does have some good elements to it, but it also has some bad elements so we could not consider this the "ultimate" prepper list by any means. Be careful! You want to ge a "happy ending prepper", and not a sad prepper that has to throw out half of your preps. Happy Prepping!

Long-Term - 

Mid-Term -

Short-Term - 

Sustainable -

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