How to get food after TSHTF

How To Get Food After TSHTF

How to get food after TSHTF

Food. We need it. Today it’s easy to get. We just buy it. What would we do though if we couldn’t just go out and buy it, or if there were scarcity at the grocery stores?

Here are a few notes outlining methods which may lead you in the right direction…


First of all, in ‘good times’, before TSHTF, you could just buy it…

You should seriously consider storing ahead a supply of food, to be used as a crutch while you work up a sustainability plan. A 1-year food storage is not difficult to obtain.

Purchase Food Storage

-Quick short term solution
-Advantage of buying anything and everything
-Advantage of storing ahead as much as you wish to spend
-Food rotation, first in – first out (until it runs out)

Consider one of the following methods to procure sustainable food…

Growing Crops

-Sprouting seeds (fast and easy)
-Hydroponics (unique knowledge, know-how, and equipment)
-Container gardening
-Square-foot gardening
-Large scale gardening
-Land, good soil
-Crop rotation
-Growing season, grow-zone limitations or advantages
-Knowledge and experience
-Harvest and preservation
-Heirloom varieties, save seeds for next season

Raising Livestock

-Selecting livestock
-Food and water
-Containment and equipment
-Knowledge and experience
-Health and medical issues


-Fish selection
-Tanks, ponds


-Experience and know-how
-Field dressing


-Knowledge of area ponds, rivers, streams, lakes
-Rod and reel, lines and equipment
-Cleaning fish

Foraging / Wild Edibles

-Plant identification
-Reference guide
-Local knowledge

While considering any method for procuring food, equally important will be the preservation of that food for ‘off-season’.

Do you have any additional ideas or methods for obtaining ‘food’?


  1. Bartering…. One might be able to trade a service that they can do or a thing they have for food and/or what they need to produce food.

    1. Absolutely, yes. Bartering labor for food was quite common during the great depression.

      I’ll bet that a nice farm could be established by the right land owner who can ‘manage’ people – with those willing to labor in exchange for food and shelter, which would also lend itself towards security in numbers for the farmstead.

  2. I’ve been reading about ‘aquaponics’, where you combine growing food with growing fish in one system. The fish water feeds the plants, and the plants clean the water for the fish. It looks like an aquaponics system can be as small or as elaborate as you want, depending how much material you can scrounge or are willing to buy. It’s made with plastic barrels, pvc, pump and aerator. You only need a small pump, so the electricity required could easily be supplied by a small solar panel.

    1. Would love to learn how to do Aquaponics! Could this be the subject of a post down the road? Also, chickens are great not only for meat, but eggs too. Some fowl, like some guineas are good “watch” animals and will make an alarm when visitors arrive. Dual purpose livestock is always good!

      1. Peacocks are good “watch” animals too and they don’t eat very much. You can feed “fodder” to livestock instead of expensive grains. A fodder system can be self made like the aquaponics. They only need minimal amount of hay when on fodder. Check out youtube for fodder and aquaponics. Learning to pressure can you meats and veggies for off season is important. Buy jars now and tattler lids which are reusable. Think self sufficient.

  3. Along the same lines as bartering and/or labor for food is to have connections. There are always people who know people who know how to get stuff. In my case, we’re working on getting ourselves away from the big city. We don’t know many people yet in the place where we’re buying property. We have met our closest neighbor who owns a restaurant which serves locally grown foods. He knows EVERYBODY! He and his wife are elderly and are impressed with my nearly grown kids and my husband because they all learned to speak German as a hobby; our new neighbors’ 1st language. We’ve only met once, but the guy’s already sizing up the kids to be dishwashers and pot scrubbers in the restaurant! It’s a small network so far,(HA!) but being helpful neighbors and establishing connections with people who can count on each other is something I think will always be essential; in addition to your own personal preps.

    1. @Laura;
      So true! The community we form with our neighbors will be very important. Sounds like you are getting some good ones. I have a couple of neighbors nearby (not many) who are from Mexico. I know enough Spanish to get by, so I’m teaching my husband too. Only the kids speak English in those families. But we already have a barter arrangement, because they have a feed store across the street from my house, I trade eggs and extra roosters for supplies. They raise cows, goats and horses. I’m working on trading for a pair of kid goats next Spring.

      1. Good work, Tammy. You sound like you’ve gotten yourself nicely situated. Across the street from a feed store! Lucky!! :^)

        1. @Laura;
          I wasn’t always so lucky with the building across the street. Years ago it was a Mom & Pop grocery/gas station. The tanks were old and leaky, had to be removed and all the contaminated soil excavated. Took 2 years for them to get it cleaned up. Then it was a Meth lab. More excavation and cleanup. Then it was a fighting cock arena. Those last two took a lot of calls to the Sheriff to get them closed down.
          NOW I’m lucky. LOL
          Organic feed isn’t common around here (we’re the home of GMO corn, after all) but I can get it across the street, and it’s less expensive than the places I have to drive 25 miles or more to get to.

  4. Wife and I have a nice size garden,we can our own food.Son-in-law raises rabbits and goats,he is fixing to start raising chickens too.We can slide by if needed,also have a rented climate controlled storage unit stockpiled,and add to it every week,just remember to rotate first in first out.Keep your powder dry.

  5. After the sewage hits the fan I’m afraid that all those unprepared people will be trying to steal food. We will have to have someone armed to watch over the garden at night. My grandmother told me about the depression and she said gypsy’s would roam around at night and glean a garden of everything . Country folks would wake up to nothing, months of work gone in one night. She said there would be so many of them pounce on a farm and spread out so the family couldn’t see where they all went when they came in daylight and they just didn’t care if you saw them enter your chicken house because at the same time ten others where picking your apples and twelve others were in your garden. I think gangs will be formed quickly and thieves will be quick to steal food and whatever. So don’t forget the guns and ammo.

  6. It will certainly add controversy, but if you consider those folks thieves, then also consider that post-collapse and perhaps many months after a serious collapse, say a pandemic with many dead from the illness or starvation or both, that YOU will be harvesting materials from stores to survive.

    It’s an ugly fact that such harvesting will inevitably happen as the length of a collapse lengthens and no help is coming and you have more people in your tribe to take care of than you initially planned for.

    For example, it’s highly likely that food will be commandeered from grocery warehouses post-collapse. City officials might do so to feed the survivors and to prevent outright theft from individuals. An ugly fact is that the military might do the same thing to maintain their supplies while civilians starve.

    Read any serious books on prepping for the long haul, and all of them have chapters on redeploying found resources i.e. theft later in the survival period.

    It is highly likely that prepper families could serve as hubs to save children who have lost parents, as well as picking up new tribe members who have skills. Your tribe will get bigger than you planned for, and your supplies will not be adequate.

    If everyone is dead around you, then you won’t let materials go to waste, but will harvest them.

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