Why I don't buy pre-packed deluxe or ultimate 'kits' when it comes to emergency food storage

It's been awhile since I've been so busy, but it's time for another "Rambling over coffee" installment.  I've got coffee in hand (bad idea at 6:pm and all... but eh) and I was bopping around the internet looking at more emergency storage food. 

Now, if you are new around here, I'm not going to get into the 'why' of it all - but yes, having emergency food and other items on hand in case of various natural disasters, economic downturns or the loss of a job is very important to me.  Due to winter storms knocking out power for up to a week and being snowed in a few times, as well as summer storms that left us without power and stranded in a flooded area; I absolutely feel more secure having emergency food, water & ways to cook and prepare it on hand.

And so, let's talk those 'easy' pre-packed kits you see for sale all over. 

I want to start by saying there is nothing wrong with them.

They are freeze dried and dehydrated foods of various kinds to fill the needs for your entree dinners, lunch, breakfasts, fruits and vegetables, breads and baked goods, dairy and beverages. They are pretty expensive but usually cheaper than if you were to buy all the cans individually.  And if you have a chunk of change available, perhaps from a tax refund or a bonus and you don't want think about it, take a lot of time researching or don't really care too much about 'what' you get;  you just know you want some good, healthy foods on hand that if stored correctly will last up to 25 years... then these are for you.

But I want to talk about why I don't buy them.

One:  I don't usually have $1200 or so to spend.
Two:  I like to research.  I'm weird like that but I love reading and researching... and taking notes! I have a penchant for 3-ring binders and color coding index systems!
Three: (And this is the BIG reason) I only want to buy what I know we like to eat and will use.

I decided the best way to chat about why I don't buy the 'kits' is to show you a typical kit and what I do and don't like about them.

I am choosing a kit AT RANDOM but it's pretty typical of one of the 'deluxe' kits you will see advertised everywhere.

Cereals and Grains
  • 6 Hard White Wheat - 51 servings per can (I like this because I DO grind our own wheat for bread already.  If you do not have a wheat grinder, or know what to do with wheat berries, you would have 6 cans that are totally worthless to you without a way to use them or recipes to make with them.)
  • 1 Creamy Wheat Cereal - 36 servings per can (We hate cream of wheat style cereals. HATE them.)
  • 1 Super Nutty Granola - 23 servings per can (We like this but they offer 'better' versions like blueberry and also some with the milk already added as well)
  • 6 Long Grain White Rice - 47 servings per can (Not big rice eaters in our family. Dire emergency? Sure.)
  • 6 Elbow Macaroni - 26 servings per can (Takes too much water to boil and make - in an emergency situation water may be hard to come by or precious so you don't want to waste it boiling macaroni)
  • 2 Quick Rolled Oats - 22 servings per can (This is fine but you'll need water or powdered milk, and probably some sort of sweetener, fruit or syrups to make it more tasty).
Baking (Any cans with rising agents in them generally do not last longer than about a 2 years.  The research I've read says they go bad or start to bulge and are not safe to eat.  Also, a lot of 'honey' powders or granules are mostly sugar so you have to read the ingredients list closely!)

  • 1 Shortening Powder - 178 servings per can
  • 2 Chocolate Fudge Brownie Mix - 45 servings per can
  • 3 Blueberry Muffin Mix - 40 servings per can
  • 3 Honey Cornbread Muffin Mix - 42 servings per can
  • 3 Buttermilk Pancake Mix - 21 servings per can
  • 2 Blueberry Pancake Mix - 19 servings per can
  • 2 Honey Wheat Bread and Roll Mix - 49 servings per can
  • 4 Honey White Bread and Roll Mix - 49 servings per can
  • 1 White Granulated Sugar - 595 servings per can
  • 1 Honey powder - 15 servings per can
Vegetables (FOUR of these are potato products. Yummy, but cheap. And the carrots and peppers are dehydrated - not freeze dried.  Our family prefers freeze dried vegetables for the taste and ease of reconstituting.)

  • 2 Dehydrated Potato Dices - 20 servings per can
  • 2 Potato Gems - 45 servings per can
  • 2 Potato Shreds - 21 servings per can
  • 1 Dehydrated Potato Slices - 28 servings per can
  • 3 Freeze Dried Sweet Corn - 23 servings per can
  • 1 Dehydrated Chopped Onions - 217 servings per can
  • 3 Freeze Dried Peas - 19 servings per can
  • 1 Freeze Dried Broccoli Florets and Stems - 28 servings per can
  • 2 Dehydrated Diced Carrots - 29 servings per can
  • 1 Dehydrated Diced Red and Green Bell Peppers - 113 servings per can
  • 2 Honey Coated Banana Slices - 21 servings per can (HATE HATE HATE these. Prefer freeze dried banana slices - and not honey coated.)
  • 2 Dehydrated Apple Slices - 32 servings per can - (dehydrated -  not freeze dried)
  • 1 Freeze Dried Sliced Strawberries - 18 servings per can (good!)
  • 1 Freeze Dried Whole Raspberries - 22 servings per can (good!)
Eggs and Dairy
  • 6 Country Fresh 100% Real Instant Nonfat Dry Milk - 39 servings per can (Great but we are not 'milk' drinkers so I would only use it for mostly baking in my breads, granola cereal, etc.)
  • 8 Morning Moo's Low Fat Milk Alternative - 93 servings per can (See above - not milk drinkers)
  • 4 Chocolate Morning Moo's Low Fat Milk Alternative - 57 servings per can (Good!)
  • 1 Cheese Blend Powder - 43 servings per can (Love it!)
  • 1 Butter Powder - 204 servings per can (Awesome for cooking and baking with)
  • 4 Dried Whole Eggs - 71 servings per can (Good for baking, iffy on made into scrambled eggs, etc.)
  • 2 Dried Scrambled Egg Mix - 92 servings per can (Freeze dried is awesome - dehydrated - not so much)
Meats  (These are good - but only 2 cans of real meat in the whole kit)

  • 1 Freeze Dried Beef Chunks - 13 servings per can*
  • 1 Freeze Dried Chicken Chunks - 15 servings per can*
  • 1 Vegetarian Meat Substitute Bacon Bits (flavored) - 192 servings per can (Great in eggs, gravies, etc.)
  • 4 Pinto Beans - 52 servings per can (We like these made into refried beans but time consuming & take water to cook)
  • 2 Black Turtle Beans - 49 servings per can (These are good but again; water and cook time)
Soups and Sauces  (These all work good for our family)

  • 1 Chicken Bouillon - 921 servings per can
  • 1 Creamy Potato Soup Mix - 25 servings per can
  • 2 Southwestern Chili - 34 servings per can
  • 2 Beef Gravy Mix - 38 servings per can
Drinks (Not a fan of drink mixes and we don't have little kids to 'entertain' with flavored drinks)

  • 4 Apple Delight Drink Mix - 103 servings per can
  • 2 Orange Delight Drink Mix - 99 servings per can
Entrées (Love entrees - these work fine for our family but they are not our favorite entrees - there are others offered for sale we like just as much or better)

  • 4 Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo - 14 servings per can*
  • 2 Asian Beef Teriyaki - 20 servings per can*
  • 2 Spaghetti Marinara with Beef - 20 servings per can*
  • 2 Beef Stroganoff - 14 servings per can*
  • 2 Chili Mac with Beef - 24 servings per can*
Misc. (I already own this one - as well as a good quality electric grinder.  This works great but you will only want it in a true emergency as it's a pretty good work out on your arms to crank out enough flour to make a loaf of bread with.  Took me about 45 minutes to get 5-6 cups).

  • 1 Wheat Grinder

SO!  Now you can see my little 'chatty' notes next to the items and why it's not really a good fit for our family - but there is nothing bad or wrong with the food or the kits.  You just need to make sure you are storing what you eat - and you eat what you store.  In the case of a serious, long term situation you BET we would put all of it to use... and be thankful to have it!  But for short term power outages, camping trips, or just supplementing our regular pantry foods, I do better researching and buying individual cans or single cases of 6 or 12 of the items I know we like.

Now, my coffee is almost gone - and what is left is cold.  Time to wrap it up! 

Hope I didn't ramble too much.  It's just the coffee talking again....


Products related to this post available through Amazon affiliate links;

Augason Farms Deluxe 1-year, 1-person Emergency Food Storage Kit, 120 Count

Augason Farms Emergency Food Storage Kit (1 year/4 people)