Food Storage Items From Supermarket : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

I would appreciate any helpful advice regarding items from the supermarket. I've been stocking lot's of pasta and some canned items this month.

As there are roughly 13 months until things get really serious, which items should I concentrate on in terms of long term storage? Although canned goods are the best, I've been told they are heavy and cumbersome, and not very mobile true, but what other items can be considered long term storable from the supermarket? Thank you kindly everyone out in cyberville for your expertise



-- MC Davey (, November 21, 1998


Dried beans (pinto, navy, black, great northern, lima, etc.)

Honey (never spoils, can be heated if crystals form)

Granulated Sugar (doesn't spoil but can cake)


Rice (long grain enriched white - 2 years)

Canned vegetables (2-10 years, depending, fruits however do not last as long)

Canned tuna (up to 5 years)

Spam (if you can stand it - it's also extremely high in fat)

Dried fruits and vegetables (expensive but easy)

Toilet paper (no, you can't eat it, but if you're buting food, you'll need it)

All this is contingent upon proper storage and how long you intend to keep what you are storing. A great source for further information is:


Also, the book:

Making the Best of Basics: Family Preparedness Handbook by James Talmage Stevens

Hope this gives you a start.


-- Arnie Rimmer (, November 21, 1998.

How long do you think those little Danish canned hams will last. They are about $2. and they taste better than Spam.

Don't forget the baby wipes. If you are skipping days between baths or showers, a baby wipe can come in handy.

Wine, we're going to need it.

-- Bill (, November 21, 1998.

Crazy question but was wondering if anyone had thought about birds as a food source in a pinch (and i dont mean chickens:-)


Bill at MS;

I have several of the Hormel Black label hams with a drop dead (sell by) date of May 4, 2000. Don't know about the Danish but I'm going shopping in a few hours so I"ll check on it here locally.

Spam: Yes, spam has fat in it, but that just saves you some cooking oil really. And if you ever got really hungry - after three or four days - you would think spam was the very best. Trust me, you would love it. Spam & eggs is better than nothing.


-- sweetolebob (La) (, November 21, 1998.

"Crazy question but was wondering if anyone had thought about birds as a food source in a pinch (and i dont mean chickens:-) "

Not a crazy question at all. This is how my great great grand-parents survived during a devastating fire that engulfed an entire region, where I was born and raised. In the mid 1800's, in Lac St-Jean, Quebec, villages around the lake (60 x 25 mile lake) and forests perished to the fire. There was an abundance of a bird called "tourte", imported from france during the colonization, the bird was in the tourterelle family. Potatoes and these birds had survived the fire and both were aboundant. They diced potatoes, lined a big pot with pie dough, and added as much of the meat of the tourte as potatoes, covered the mixture with water, seasoned with salt, then covered with the top layer of the pie dough (thicker than usual pie dough.) Baked it slowly, and the finished product is called Tourtiere, a delicious, nutritious dish that this region is famous for to this day. The tourte birds are gone now, over killed to stuff this dish that took on wild popularity even when things had come back to normal. The meat used now is a mix of half beef/half pork, (some use chicken but I don't find it as good.) My mom once made a Tourtiere during a camping trip, with a bird called Padrix (a kind of quail found in Quebec), she baked it in a braise pit with a cast iron pot. It was THE best tourtiere (heck, food!) I ever tasted! Although erhaps the atmosphere and circumstances added special taste in my memory ;)

I would guess that many kinds of birds would be good in this dish. Or any kind of dish. But don't trust those fleeced canadian geese! ;)

-- Chris (, November 21, 1998.


"Four and twenty blackbirds cooked in a pie"

Quail hunting?

Dove hunting?

Pheasant hunting?

Stay away from the vultures though. Their "normal" diet seems to make them bad medicine.

Most others are fair game.


-- sweetolebob (La) (, November 21, 1998.

MC, you said you were storing lots of pasta. How about spaghetti sauce? I just picked up some Ragu- the expiration date is Oct. 2000. Sure would be a quick, easy meal that requires very little cooking time.

-- Gayla Dunbar (, November 21, 1998.

We are including pasta sauce in the JAR in our food storage for the purpose of quick, easy meals....We use this stuff weekly now anyway and love it. The last batch we bought had a sell by 08-27-00 date stamped on it.

-- Lurker (, November 21, 1998.

"Birds as a food source in a pinch."

Bird and sunflower seed does attract them. Much as I hate to say it, if you have cats and other pets who also need food, it's a good alternate source.


-- Diane J. Squire (, November 21, 1998.

Attracts squirrels too.

-- Diane J. Squire (, November 21, 1998.

A couple random thoughts on food. Store a lot of salt (at least 100lbs). Salt is a "primitive" way to preserve food. Its also an excellent barter item. Also store large quantities of sugar. Again, barter, fermentation for ETOH supply, cheapest form of calories. Join one of the big super stores (Costco, Sam's, etc). I picked up a case of canned yams today at 0.20/can. Don't forget some "funfood" especially chocolate in any form.

-- R. D..Herring (, November 21, 1998.

Remember glass jars containing liquid are likely to break if they freeze.

-- Tom Carey (, November 22, 1998.

"Remember glass jars containing liquid are likely to break if they freeze."

Ooops...I keep forgetting about freeezing weather, having lived for 30+ years in a temperate climate!

-- Lurker (, November 22, 1998.

It doesn't seem that we do have 13 months left to prepare. It is more apt to be only seven months, for the twelve that will follow; six on each side of rollover (the minimum, imho). As this forum is getting larger so goes the demand on the supply system. As the radio/talk shows re y2k proliferate, they will alert people too late for reasonable preparation but serve only to alarm people to "strip the shelves" as it were. The retailers won't be able to resupply as the demand will exceed supply.

I sincerely hope we do have Willie's scenario but until then, I have the willies.

So, from the posts on this forum, advice from survival mags and elsewhere; my recently obtained "expertise" would be that canned goods are in fact one of the best for quick action.

As for glass containers freezing and breaking, if the top is open it will expand right out of the container without breaking the bottle. When I was a kid, our milk was delivered to an attached but unheated shed. It would freeze and push the cardboard cap about an inch and a half up on a solid column of creme. Its likely that whatever it is will stay good frozen just as well as bottled. Put several cans into large freezer bags so if they burst you will see it quickly upon thawing and you will probably be able to salvage the situation.

You can bury lots of what will not be needed right away. Down below 3-4 feet, it is not likely to freeze. Again I would advocate styrofoam. A storage container, open to the earth at the bottom and well insulated on all sides and top, could be put into the ground, with the bottom at 4 feet and the top at 2 feet then covered with earth. Hidden, protected and fairly easy to reach when necessary. Keep a pick ax on hand if you think a mid winter retrieval might be necessary.

Don't worry about portability for the majority of food. You can't carry a 50 lb. container of wheat very far either. Buy now or pay later; don't worry about length of storage. That seems to be a trivial matter at this point.

If a barrel held anything meant for human consumption, it is *good enough* and much better than no barrel. If you have garbage pails for storage, use them. Get a couple of plastic deposit return bags from the local grocery store to use as liners if you are so inclined, and then, buy stuff to fill them. Fill freezer bags, large beer bottles with screw caps, or other sealable containers with whatever; spagetti, noodles, wheat, beans and the list goes on. Enclose an envelope full of dry silica gel and throw it into the larger containers. Freeze wheat, beans or other such bulk or "unprocessed" food for at least three days to kill of any insects or larva prior to packing away. Kept dark, dry and airtight, it seems just about anything will last years and years. While nutrition may deminish, it will retain taste and consistancy.


-- Floyd Baker (, November 22, 1998.

Sam I am. Sam I am. I do not like that Sam I am. Do you like powdered eggs and Spam? I do not like powdered eggs and Spam!

-- Bill (, November 23, 1998.

Someone in a private e-mail called me on the carpet for an earlier post:

I live across the bay from you & have read this board since June. I have been intrigued by some of your posts, but this time I need to call you on the carpet. My husband & I are professional naturalists. It has been a well known fact that the house cat is the single greatest factor in the down fall of the north & central american songbird populations. We love our pets as much as anyone, but what you have posted is extremely irresponsible I am distressed by your chauvinistic ignorance on this post!

I responded and now expand upon that response:

I love birds and squirrels too, please don't get me wrong. I feed them at every opportunity. When the snow was on the ground, in my former mountain community, I made sure the ones around me had daily food and water.

But IF the worst case scenario happened -- which I'm not convinced of -- and IF we run out of pet food, what does one do? Eat the cats? Not me.

I'd much rather create community so that "eating the birds" doesn't become a remote necessity.


-- Diane J. Squire (, November 23, 1998.

Funny attitude there - not mentioning people or possibly neighbors' children going hungry, but frightfully worried about the songbirds getting killed in a cat, who otherwise would not be eating either.

Cats aren't vegetarians. What's their alternative?

-- Robert A. Cook, P.E. (Kennesaw, GA) (, November 23, 1998.

"Much as I hate to say it, if you have cats and other pets who also need food, it's a good alternate source.

Diane! Did you really say that or is somebody stealing your ID?

I have two cats. One has decided that if TSHTF, he will catch and eat mice. The other has prepared for Y2K by eating as much as possible before the big day and so will live off his 'foodstores'. I'm not too worried about him - he started preparing for Y2K back in 1995.

Frankly though, I been looking at our local population of Canadian geese with a whole new perspective recently. If I can just figure out a way to get the cats to catch then and drag them back to the house, I won't need to stock up on canned hams...


-- Arnie Rimmer (, November 24, 1998.

"It has been a well known fact that the house cat is the single greatest factor in the down fall of the north & central american songbird populations."

Now if we can just get the cats to eat pigeons . . .

-- David (, November 24, 1998.

Get those geese early and feed them something other than slugs, and they might taste halfway decent.

-- Karen Cook (, November 24, 1998.

Yep Arnie, I really did say that. Amazable. I have two cats too.

-- Diane J. Squire (, November 25, 1998.

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