Let’s say you are planning what to eat tonight for your family.  You know the food your family likes and dislikes.  Once you decide what to eat for tonight’s meal what is your next move?

Do you get in the car and go to the store for the food you need?Grocery food shelves

Doing this puts you at the bottom of the food prep levels.  You would not last long in a disaster due to your lack of preparedness.  Stores are quickly going to be without supplies and your family will go hungry,

You won’t be alone.  The majority of Americans are at this same level of preparedness.  They are too accustomed to grabbing something on the way home, going out to eat or relying on the government to provide for them during a disaster.

Please think about the items in your panty.  How many meals do you have in there?  How long would you last without resupply?  Don’t put yourself in the position of going hungry during a disaster.  Take steps now to get ready for when an emergency happens.

Do you go to the pantry to see what food you have to make a complete meal?

man and an empty fridgeDoing this may place you in the 2nd level of food prep.  I say ‘may’ because you still may not have enough food put back to last long in an emergency.  At lease you may not have to go to a store to eat.

Getting started in food prep takes a little planning around the foods your family likes to eat.  Then when you go to the store you simply buy extra.  We like the BOGOs that our grocery store runs on many items we like.  We buy one item and the free one goes on the shelf in the pantry.  Doing this over time and we quickly built a stock of items that we regularly use in our daily food diet.

As you expand this concept to soups, vegetables, pastas, sauces and even canned meats you will soon find yourself able to prepare meals your family regularly eats that you can count toward being prepared.  Soon, you will find yourself ready to move to the next level of food prep.

Consider yourself prepared to the 2nd level when you have enough supplies to last 90 days without resupply.

Do you go to the pantry and open cans/jars to mix to heat a fully prepared meal?

Full food pantryThis is the top level of food prep.  You have already pressure canned, vacuum sealed, stored or bought all the ingredients of the meals your family likes to eat.  Almost all of the ingredients needed to prepare a meal that your family will eat is in your pantry.  All you have to do is find the jars/cans/bags needed and add together to make a meal.  You have the ultimate in “heat and serve” meals in your pantry.

This is not fantasy.  With the proper planning and effort this is a very doable plan.  It may take years to complete if you are on a budget but it can and should be done.  Not rushing things will allow you to build you food preps on a budget.

The goal is to have a full year’s worth of ready-to-eat food that you family actually enjoys.  Begin today and do something every week toward this goal.  You will be amazed how fast your food preps will build.  It will take time but a year’s worth of prepared meals is an attainable goal.

During a real disaster you may not have the ability to cook a meal.  You have got to prepare for the situation where you may only have the ability to heat a meal and nothing more.  The smart thing to do is use resources now to prepare meals in case you do not have the ability to cook later.  The meals-in-a-jar concept allows you to do just that.  Look into this way of preparing to see if it is right for you.