The main concerns for a prepper/survivalist are safety, shelter, and calories. There is a myriad of companies out there addressing those concerns as prepping becomes more popular. Most visible among these are food storage companies, like Wise (https://www.wisefoodstorage.com), Legacy (https://www.legacyfoodstorage.com) , and Patriot Foods (https://mypatriotsupply.com), to name a few. These companies offer freeze-dried meals, pre-packaged and ready to be stored for up to 25 years in your prepper pantry. These days you can find their products most everywhere, including discount stores, grocery stores and sports/outdoors stores. Many also have aggressive on-line marketing efforts.
While all those companies offer similar products, namely freeze-dried gourmet pre-packaged meals, they do so at premium prices. Depending upon the quantity you purchase, a single meal serving can range from about $2 up to about $9. It is easy to see that any type of long-term food supply is going to cost thousands. We did the math, based on their prices and servings per container, and it looks as though a family of 4 can expect a food cost of roughly $800 – $1000 per month, assuming they consume 3 meals a day per person. Of course, the price per meal drops if you purchase a larger initial quantity of meals. Our numbers were based on purchasing a two-month supply, or 720 individual meals.
There is an alternative to those companies however, which can provide meals for your family for pennies a day per individual. It is well established, offers dehydrated foods with a shelf life of up to 30 years, and does practically no advertising for its products whatsoever. In fact, I never would have known about them if it weren’t for word of mouth.
The alternative is the LDS, otherwise known at the Mormon Church. The LDS has long been an advocate of its members maintaining a long-term food supply, to ensure the survival of their families in the event of a disaster. To that end, the LDS has established a network of food pantries around the nation, located in larger cities. These pantries are open to their members and to the public. They offer freeze-dried or dehydrated foods, packaged and ready for long term storage with your food supply. Offerings include items such as rice, pastas, varieties of beans, wheat, flour, honey, peanut butter, carrots, etc. The major advantage their products have over the others is price. A case of beans for example will yield over 300 servings, for the in-store price of $33, or 10 cents per serving. So, instead of it costing $6 to $27 a day to feed one family member with the food storage products mentioned before, the LDS products can conceivably feed a person for less than a dollar a day.
Most products are sold in cases of six #10 cans. A #10 can is the very large can you might see in a professional food service setting. It holds 12 ¾ cups, or just over 3 quarts. Typically, one case of their dried products will yield about 300 servings, given that 1 serving = ¼ cup of the dry ingredient. Many of the items offered have a 30-year shelf life if stored properly. There are a few exceptions, like the non-fat dry milk, with a shelf life of 20 years or the refried beans, with a shelf life of 5 years.
It is important to note, these are dry ingredients, not the gourmet freeze-dried meals some of the other companies are offering. They are not seasoned, they are not “gourmet”, but they are the calories you and your family need to survive. The LDS pantries don’t offer any types of meats, but they do offer raw ingredients like flour and sugar, in addition to the dehydrated foods. Their protein sources are beans and peanut butter.
At the very least, use the LDS foods to supplement your meals. Mix them in with the survival food you already have, or plan to have. For example, the higher priced gourmet beef stew poured over the LDS white rice, adds volume, calories, and cuts cost per meal. My survival pantry will have a mixture of both.
You can visit their website here. https://providentliving.lds.org/food-storage/?lang=eng