Ordinary Canned Food For Preparedness


So often when considering long term storage of food for survival preparedness, people think of bulk rice & dried beans, buckets of wheat berries, and other such dry goods. Another additional consideration should be ordinary ‘canned food’ from your local grocery store.

Why? Because they don’t ‘expire’ as most people think they do, they’re easy to acquire (and often on sale), and you can buy just about any food ‘in a can’ these days…

First let me say this: A good long-term food storage inventory will be well diversified. Part of that diversification should be regular canned food.

The first thing you need to be convinced of is that ‘canned food’ from the grocery store does not ‘expire’. Nine out of ten Americans say they have thrown food away based on ‘the date’, because they are afraid that it’s not going to be safe.

Canned food does not ‘go bad’ on the date printed on the can. Instead of re-writing the justification for those statements, I invite you to read the following articles written awhile back. Then you can come back to this article and continue ;)

Use-by, Best-by, and Sell-by Food Expiration Dates
Sell-by, Use-by, Dates

Okay, back to the topic at hand… ordinary canned foods for your preparedness…

So first you’re going to diversify your overall ‘deep pantry’, a part of which might be canned foods. But within the canned food category you’re also going to diversify (there are so many choices). However one of the unique advantages to ordinary canned food is that you can buy ‘canned meat’ (protein). While you can also purchase freeze-dried meats for your storage, it’s expensive! Canned food is more cost-effective than that…

Canned Chicken (e.g. Kirkland Signature Premium Chunk Chicken Breast)
Canned Beef (e.g. Kirkland Signature Roast Beef)
Canned SPAM! (Related article: SPAM® For Food Storage!)
Canned Ham (e.g. Hormel Smoked Ham)
Canned Tuna (e.g. Kirkland Signature Solid White Albacore Tuna)
Canned Salmon (e.g. Wild Alaska Pink Salmon)

Beef Stew
Canned Sardines
Canned Bread (‘Brown Bread’ – great with Boston Baked Beans!)
Canned Butter

Note: Be aware of the calories. Check the total calories per can,
(#servings x #calories-per-serving). You might be surprised how few calories there are in some canned foods (especially vegetables). Having a case or two of canned vegetables may not add up to that many calories (lots of water instead). So choose wisely, especially if you don’t have that much storage space.

You get the idea… So let me ask you a question,

What are some of your ideas specifically for ordinary canned food for ‘preparedness’?


    1. How does your homemade beer last so long? Store bought stuff always develops a skunky-funk after >6 months or so. What’s your secret?

      1. @ McGyver

        Al-Natural I guess; and keeping the process very VERY clean a lot of sanitizer and sterilizing of equipment. Like a lot of home-made stuff I take great pride and care in brewing. The process itself kills 99% of everything you can imagine, from Boiling Wort for 60+ min minimal to the fermentation process. So basically you are starting with a very clean product, and using glass or SS to store it in.

        In addition to the brewing process, Good brew should be kept at a constant temperature for “aging”. For instance a good Russian Imperial Stout or a Honey Infused Pilsner should “mellow” for at least a year before opening. Never and I do mean never allow a great beer to be stored above 45-50 deg F.

        The biggest problem with Store Bought Beer is the shipping and storage. Imagine a nice Coors Lite (yucko) leaving the brew house in a semi heading to CA. It starts out at a nice 50 deg. than sits on a dock to be loaded and hits 80 deg. then heads down the highway in an enclosed truck at 90+ deg. travels over the Rockies that drop the temp to around 60 deg. next stop, the middle of Arizona at 100 deg. for an overnight. Onward to CA. for a nice cool 80 deg. sitting on the highway for a few days until it’s delivered to your local Store where it is finally loaded in the back area for a week or two at room temp. Finally it hits the “cooler” and is sold as “Rocky Mountain’s Finest” ohhhh yummmmm.
        So you buy it and toss into the truck where it bounces it around for the rest of the afternoon climbing back up to 70-80 deg. And low and behold it finally gets to your refrigerator for that chill to around 35-38 deg. and sits there for a few days-weeks.
        When you finally get around to popping the top on that Coors-Lite it literally tastes, well I can’t type those words here…. HAHAHA.
        Now compare that to a Home-Brew that’s brewed, crash-cooled, fermented, bottled/kegged, chilled, and kept under the guidance of someone that really cares if he servers a “good” brew to his friends and himself. I will guarantee that when I drag out a bottle of ten year old Imperial Stout from under the house and serve it to a good friend, it’s something I’m going to serve with pride.

        After all that, I recommend getting into Home-Brewing if you like “good” beer/wine/others… HAHAHA

        Just my 2¢ worth

  1. After reading many of Ken’s articles from the archives, and taking note of many of the comments on the threads here, I started paying a lot of attention to calories on the canned goods I was buying to be sure I was getting enough calorie-rich canned goods. A few that I stock:

    Roast beef hash (Hormel): A whopping 760 calories in a 15-oz can
    Dennison’s Chili (no beans): 540 calories per 15-oz can
    Bush’s Vegetarian Baked Beans (DH’s favorite): about 450 calories in a 16-oz can
    Glory Canned Red Beans & Rice: 300 calories per 15-oz can
    Canned Whole Cashews: 160 calories per serving (about 9 servings in an 8.5 oz can)

    A lot of these are high sodium and fat, making them poor choices for everyday meals, but in an emergency they have a lot of calorie bang for the buck. Also, I know nuts don’t tend to keep that well, but I found some cans with expiration dates about 18 months out, so I can rotate them before they expire. I was also thinking I can use canned nuts in 1-pan stir fry that would include a can of chicken, a can or two of veggies, and a couple of big handfuls of nuts (such as cashews). That could be eaten as-is or with rice to be more filling.

  2. Left off the tinned sardines. The Season brand boneless and skinless sardines in olive oil are great. About 300 cal per 4oz and 40 grams of protein.

  3. I have never paid the greatest attention to the dates on canned items, other than gauging based on these dates about how long beyond them they are good. I have used pre-roasted coffee beans, ground at the time of purchase, to their date and for 3 years beyond, with no ill effects, or loss of flavour.

    The only canned good I have tossed was in 2014, when I found a can of beef stew, no preservatives added, best by date of 1996 (older than me), stored in an attic (in Texas most of that time). I wasn’t even going to bother opening it even for the heck of it.

    Slowly, the rest of my family seems to be getting used to using some canned items past the “expiration” dates. However, I am trying to move us towards more dehydrated foods, as they have a longer definite shelf life, save space in comparison to cans, and are something my family isn’t very worried about. A good dehydrator is something I plan to acquire by year’s end.

    I eventually want to be able to can my own foods, but that is not possible for the time being, the primary reason for which my mom is still pretty concerned after treating a case of botulism where one died and the other was paralyzed – she doesn’t want us to end up the same way. Learning to can, and then doing it, is on the long list of things to do, though.

    1. Also, I’m kind of surprised they still make canned bread, I haven’t had some of that for a long time.

      1. Check above or below the baked beans. Bought a few earlier, but am in New England, so not sure if it’s more of a regional product. Even so, there are usually just a few cans of regular, and a few of raisin where I normally shop.

    2. I actually tried a can of Beef Stew from 1996. I didn’t die, did not get sick as I am here typing this. It was greasy and left a greasy taste in my mouth.

    3. In 1970, I was a homeless hippy crashing at a friend’s house whose father had expropriated #10 cans of government issue mushroom barley soup in 1945 and stored them in his basement. It was almost all the food I had for several weeks. It really did not taste that bad although I could tell it would have tasted better a quarter century before. I am alive and well 46 years later.

  4. I really don’t like most canned foods; I prefer fresh. But cans make up a significant minority of my stored foods, anyway, (after rice, pasta, dehydrated and freeze dried) because of cost and convenience.

    Once fresh foods become unavailable, I will have to eat stored, so I need to get used to eating them. Canned foods have many nutrients that you won’t get in dried foods, and they also have WATER, which could be a life-saver at some time.

    Many canned foods can be eaten without any preparation; some don’t even need to be heated up. So, whenever the power is out or I don’t feel like cooking, it’s easy to open a can of tuna or chicken, a can of peaches, and a box of crackers. Or, if there is power, a can of soup or some macaroni and instant cheese sauce.

    This past week I went through my canned goods and found a bunch of things I need to eat this week. I have to do that just about every month.

    SoCalGal, I keep my nuts in the freezer, along with lots of butter and processed cheese. These are things that will keep quite a while even if the power goes out, but they keep just about forever if they remain frozen.

    1. Hi DaisyK,

      My MIL keeps bags of walnuts and pecans in her freezer for baking, but I’ve never eaten any out of her freezer “as-is”. If you freeze cashews, almonds, etc… do they still have crunch after defrosted, or are they soft and really better for cooking/baking? Thanks!

      1. I use most nuts in things like oatmeal, baked goods, etc. But I eat cashews plain and they are ok after freezing.

      2. Processed cheese is still fine after freezing, but regular cheese comes out crumbly — good only for cooking in my opinion.

        1. Thanks, DaisyK, I am going to give freezing a shot. I have tried frozen cheese and agree that you wouldn’t want to eat it as-is… would have to eat it cooked as part of a casserole or something like that. Thanks again!

        2. Daisy K

          If you leave the cheese on the counter and let it thaw and heat up some it will go back together and not be crumbly. I do that all the time.

          1. I’ll try that. I’ve taken it out of the freezer and put it in the fridge.

      3. One year we had a bumper crop of pecans, so I canned them to free up freezer space. I toasted them at 250 degrees just enough to slightly change color, but not enough to scorch, put them in clean dry jars with ring and lid, then canned them with hot water bath for 30 minutes, but the water was only up to 2 inches below the top of the jars.

        Because of the air in the jars, they would bob around in the boiling water if the water covered the jars. I canned a year’s supply. I ate them daily chopped in granola and just for a snack out of the jar. Maybe that would work for cashews. I vacuum-sealed peanuts this year. I hope they will last.

        1. Thanks Rough Rider… and a thought would be in an emergency I could still give them a quick skillet toasting that would probably help crisp them up a bit as well. :)

  5. Back to Canned Goods form the local store….

    A MUST to have, all the FDs, Frozen, Dehydrated, Dried foods are good for the “bulk” of the cooking after TSHTF, but remember variety is the spice of life. A can of those old nasty Green Beans will taste mighty good after 6 weeks of Beans/Rice/FD-goo.

    And to be honest they (Canned Foods) are fairly cheap compared to Home-Canned foods, and the time to can is absorbent if you intend to store 400 cans of foods, and a lot of what you can get Ya just can’t grow easily.

    I do have a lot of the Del Monty (and other) canned foods in storage, and I really don’t worry about “Best By” dates. After I get done cooking them, it all tastes like YUCKO anyways… HAHAHA

    Just remember to rotate your Deep-Pantry, and you’ll have no problems.

    Don’t forget the Spices and Salt.

    “Store what you eat, eat what you store”.


    PS; one more….” Use one, Buy two”.
    Plus DON’T forget the Toilet Paper for all those Canned Foods…. HAHAHA

    1. Hi NRP,

      You’re right about canned foods being pretty yuck-o Most especially veggies, which other than the salt they are packed in they really don’t have much flavor. I’ve been trying to use a few canned goods here and there in recipes to get used to cooking with them, and have LOTS of spices and bullion cubes on hand to add flavor.

      And, lots of TP to help get through the “getting used to different foods” syndrome that will be inevitable if we have to live off all this packaged stuff. :)

      1. @So Cal Gal

        Don’t forget that if you don’t want salt, buy the veggie canned without it. Bouillon cubes are loaded with salt too.

        Not a lover of canned veggies but are practical for storage.


      2. Whenever possible we try to buy no salt veggies. They’re healthier to begin with and we figure if the power is out, you can still use that water for canned soup, making rice or pasta, even drink it if you have to. I guess you could even use it to make coffee if you had to. I don’t know how it would make coffee taste, but you know what they say, ‘desperate times call for desperate measures’!

    2. You mentioned: “FD-goo”. Has this been your experience with FD products? I’ve been stacking them tall, but never actually opened a can yet to try it out. Does it all reconstitute to a bad form? Are some better than others?

      1. Hi McGyver, Some freeze dried foods are definitely better than others, or at least more to one person’s taste than to another’s. Before stocking up on #10 cans of them, we like to try the individual foil packages, especially while on camping trips.

        Even the varieties we prefer are usually better with some added spices. Some of the meat entrees benefit a lot from an added can of meat. Knowing that lets one plan for the extras to improve them, or at least let you know what to expect.

        In canned goods like canned chili, which trends quite bland, you can improve them amazingly by adding some chili powder and cumin powder. We normally make chili from scratch and freeze what we don’t eat in a couple days, but we keep some canned around for convenience and disaster supplies.

      2. Personally, I do not buy the freeze-dried “meals”. I think, what you will find with the prepared meals, like chili, lasagna, alfredo, etc., is that their idea of spices do not necessarily match what you are used to. In my opinion, these freeze-dried-just add water, “meals” are excellent for an emergency or camping trip. But, I’m not planning on them for my long-term storage.

        I buy only individual ingredients. I’ve sampled lots of freeze-dried foods individually. Chicken, hamburger, peas, corn, zuccinni, onions, pineapple (my favorite), apples, pears, etc. all GOOD!

        So, my advice is to store individual ingredients. Not necessarily the meals. Think about what you eat now, and only buy those individual ingredients.

        For instance. I’m allergic to bananas. So, I will not be stocking several #10 cans of bananas. But, I love apples, so I store them.

        P.S. Eating freeze-dried foods straight out of the can are the best snack ever! Be careful and remember to drink water or you’ll get too full too fast! Which can be uncomfortable.

    3. I particularly didn’t like canned veggies that much like you until FLAVOR was added like making 3 canned-bean salad, pickled beets, refried beans with Jalapenos (better have extra TP!) Canned creamed corn baked in 1/2 cornbread and 1/2 jiffy yellow cake mix and canned Hominy with butter and salt/pepper. Also, canned sliced potatoes smothered with canned Chunky beef soup, canned spiced mustard greens, and the list goes on. These are my favorite canned veggies with a little help… Dinner is at 7PM. Dress casual and bring a big spoon. ;-)

      1. Stardust,

        You are right. Canned goods by themselves need flavor. For one thing, one type of veggie all by itself is never as good as several veggies mixed together. But, as I live alone, I can’t open several cans at once.

        Even though I like fresh foods best, there are some foods that are good for making other foods taste better: canned soup, butter, cheese, herbs…

        And don’t forget preserved fruit and jelly. I have a bunch of different kinds of jelly stored. They keep almost forever and a spoonful over almost any type of vegetable or meat makes a huge difference.

        1. DaisyK

          I am not a fan of most canned veg, as the one’s I’ve tried seem a bit overcooked, a bit mushy. I have some, “just because”.

          However, I have been now thinking of ways I could use them if I had to/use up older ones. Here’s what I’ve come up with..

          -squished up as a thickener for stews
          -squished up and added to veggie or burger patties
          -squished up and added to meat or salmon loaf or meatballs
          -pureed in a squash soup
          -some, like carrots, could be pureed and added to cake/muffin batter

          1. Anon

            You would be surprised how good most things can be if you add cream of mushroom soup and cheese to them. I have stored LOTS of Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom Soup.

          2. DaisyK

            yup…”cream of mushroom soup and cheese to them”…can make a whole lot tasty and edible..grin. (I too have a fair bit of canned mushroom and canned tomato soups..)

            Lots of black pepper is good too….improves a lot of things..grin.

  6. Will try to add more items to the list later but one of my fave canned foods is Bumble Bee Red Sockeye salmon. It is SO GOOD!

    WalMart had a sale the other week $5.78 per can. It has protein obviously, also has skin and bones, great fat and calcium source (the bones are slightly crunchy but mostly soft) it tastes good not weird. Yum Yum…my cats love it too.

    I have tried regular Bumble Bee salmon, whole foods canned salmon, and others…The Bumble Bee Red Sockeye is awesome! Looks great deep pink color, great amora and flavor.
    It has 7 servings per can, but lil ol me, can get 4 servings out of it.
    Love it.

    God bless you, luv you!

    1. @ Shepherdess

      Agreed on the Bumble Bee Salmon, good stuff.

      Unfortunately I have to pass on the Canned Chicken, after I purchased 80 pounds of boneless skinless chicken breast from a restaurant suppler (cheap), and canned them myself; I will NEVER go back to the dark side… hehehe


    2. DW loves canned salmon made into salmon patties. We joke about when we asked our investment counselor what we should invest in. He said “canned foods and ammo”. Wife took it to heart and bought hundreds of cans of salmon. I picked up a brick of 22LR and wish I had bought as many bricks as she bought cans!

      Salmon has a long best by date also and has increased significantly in price over the past few years.

    3. Still eating seafood? We love fish/seafood but we’ve been very leery of it since the meltdown in Japan and the risk of radiation exposure. Anyone else worried about it?

  7. We have a lot of canned goods in stores. Have made a point to store some things we’re not crazy on (canned veg), and some things we like fried up, such as canned potatoes (but don’t use often), for variety etc…

    Thing about canned stores, ours at least, we waited to buy most (always had some, but now much more) until each item was on stupid cheap or cheap managers’ sales. We have gotten good at spotting the one or two items marked down, for whatever reason. Then we stock up….

    One thing we have yet to find on stupid cheap (canned goods) sale, is canned fruit. Right now that is at the top of our scouting list. However, because we have a good stock of food in, we are content to wait…(until we find canned fruit cheap).

    We buy a few items at regular, almost regular price, but not much. It is reassuring, and frugal, to have “stores”.

    Just for any who are interested, we have purchased bags of salad croutons, come packaged in foil bags, and bought over a year ago. They are at least six months expired, and seem just the same as a year ago (fine/crunchy/good tasting).

    1. Hi Anon,

      I’ve stocked up on sales just as you described, my local Kroger’s and Vons have sales where you get the lowest price if you buy 4 (or sometimes 5) of one canned item or brand for that week only.

      So, one week I may stock up on tomatoes and pineapple, the next may be whole potatoes and chicken breast chunks. A recent sale was Hereford’s canned roast beef for $2.99/can (usually about $6/can here) and while it’s not gourmet, it’s not bad for canned and works great in veggie beef soup or in quickie tacos.

      1. I just bought 99¢ block and shredded cheese at Krogers…buy 3 to get that price.
        And cream cheese.

      2. So Cal Gal


        I am at the point, now, where I pretty much only need to purchase (for pantry) very cheap sale. Usually the kind of thing where someone has ordered ten times too much, and it is put on at ten per cent of normal price to clear out. Doesn’t happen all the time, but, when it does, I stock up. Even if there are limits, I will make several trips through the till, or get family to do same.

  8. My local favorite ready-made meals include soups (broth, tomato, goulash), chili, meatballs in cream sauce, sausages, ratatouille (which can be made into tabbouleh adding couscous).

    But I also have a lot of vegetables and stuff that can be used in cooking including crushed tomatoes, kidney beans, corn, olives, mushrooms, baked beans, coconut milk (wonderful with chicken and Kerala curry).

    Since I live in a country where winters are long, cold and dark (Sweden) I also have lots of canned fruits for vitamin C including pears, peaches, apricots, mandarins/tangerines, pineapple slices.

    And perhaps most important of all – espresso coffee.

    1. I’ve never been to Sweden, what is the country like?
      If you had a chance would you move to America?

      1. I’ve been to the States a couple of times, and the place where I felt most at “home” was the New England countryside (we have distant relatives in New Hampshire.)

        Many of the Swedes who emigrated to the United States in the late 19th century settled in Minnesota, which is supposed to resemble Sweden, but I’ve never been there so I can’t make a personal comparison.

        I like where I am, but would move in case of a Russian invasion. Scotland would probably be my first destination, though – it’s a country I love deeply.

        1. DH was born and raised in a very small town in Minnesota on the US/Canadian border. Direct descendants of Blond, blue-eyed, Swedish immigrants.
          We may be related! :>)

  9. I prefer fresh or frozen over canned but do have canned stuff. What I am having a heck of a time is finding canned fruit/veggies that say they are actually a USA product. Lots of it says from China etc. on it, is ‘packed’ in the US but doesn’t say product of the USA. I don’t like food from China.

    1. aka, you shocked me! I knew a lot of our frozen fish comes from China, but I always assumed that my canned goods were made in the USA.

      After I read your post I ran to my cupboards and looked at the labels. Some said “Distributed” or “Packed” in the U.S., but most didn’t say where the food was grown. Packages of Golfish say, “partially produced with genetic engineering.” Some Jello said, “Product of Canada” and some mandarin oranges said “product of China” but most didn’t say.

      The few exceptions I have found so far are a bunch of chewing gum that says it was made in the USA and several cans of things by Western Family that have the Made in USA symbol on the cans. Western Family is our local grocery store chain.

      I need to go to my basement and check the rest of my preps.

      Funny thing, I have been checking my dog and cat food and treats for years to make sure they are USA — ever since that scandal when dogs were dying from eating Chinese food.

      Have you heard that if TPP is passed, it will be illegal to advertise or label food as being from a particular country? We will be completely in the dark.

      1. DaisyK

        I have watched quite a few documentaries and “exposure type” shows, on this issue…

        the labels you mentioned (made in/product of/distributed by) mean little…

        for example, to put a “product of…Canada/U.S.” does not mean the product is grown/process/packed necessarily in that country…

        It is weird, but is something like you can get fish from China (or wherever), ship it to Norway, have it frozen there, ship it to Canada, have it canned there, ship it to U.S., and have the label slapped on there, and then the label, can pretty much say what you want..

        If a certain amount of the work/processing is done in some country, it can then be labelled as a product of that country…

        Very odd, but watched quite a few “exposure type” shows on this.

        1. I guess I am going to spend a whole lot more time at the grocery store from now on, reading labels.

    2. Hi aka,

      When I get home this afternoon I am going to take a look at my cans of fruit. I may not have been paying close enough attention to the origin… thanks for the heads-up!

    3. @ aka and all

      Just to mess with people, When I give some of my home-grown-home-canned stuff away, I have a small “Made In China” stamp and stamp the lids…. HAHAHA

      The looks are priceless…


      1. I know a Japanese-American kid, (now an adult) whose Gai-Jin father stamped on his foot, “Made in China”, and had a great laugh about it.

        The 19 Y/O young man turned out pretty well so far, and no, he wasn’t “Made in China”, I believe the story is that he was conceived in Jackson, Wyoming.

  10. This past week I worked out what we usually eat and how much we would need to store–bottom line, I need about another 400 bottles and places to store them! :)

    Canned is OK, but I prefer knowing where my food came from and what’s in it. So it’s bottling and dehydrating for me. The list still applies, though.

    With bottles, you have to take into account that a pint bottle may be one serving, or a quart two servings, while the can, while smaller, may be concentrated so a can makes three or four servings after water is added.

  11. All our canned goods we are currently using have 2013 dates, the only trouble we have ever had is with things like Spam or Dak hams that have the pull and peel tops, we had some Spam left in the camper for 5 yrs. and it got fairly warm during hot weather so the cans spooched out.

    As a final note DW is a career groceries employee and has seen dating added to a lot of products just so customer’s will discard them and buy new.

  12. Wow, another timely article from Modern Survival Blog!! Just spent the entire morning rotating my store bought canned food. Recently was at a local store canned goods sale and stocked up on some of the things I don’t grow in garden.

    Canned meats included: Tuna, salmon, chicken, turkey, and ham. Yes high in sodium, but I drain and rinse the meat for everyday use. For SHTF use I would use every last bit that came out of the can.

    Store bought supplements my home canned meats and veggies.

    We do have some freeze dried in case it’s TEOTWAWKI to tie us over until …

    Storage of all this has become a slight concern. Guests in the guest room sleep on top of a yrs. supply of dog food (under bed), the closet stacked to the top with extra canning jars, ammo, water filter, solar lighting, buckets of grains and a case of dry bean powder. Some baby food jars for barter. The book shelves in room are used for all the store bought canned goods.

    For the purpose of OPSEC only family gets to spend the night with us.

    By the way–you might want to keep some store bought baby food on hand. For people with stomach issues/ illnesses, baby food is very easy to digest. Our Kroger store will occasionally have the tiny pure fruit and meat only jars on sale. A Sam’s or Costco might also carry it.

  13. Probably typical canned items (and yes, I can eat it all since I have always been a food vacuum and eat “most” type of food, except tripe-bleck:

    Dinty Moore beef stew (hey it’s got something that looks like beef)
    Good old Beefaroni, ravioli.
    Veggies (peas, green beans, corn, cream corn)
    Canned Hershey’s Chocolate (in our family chocolate is a food group!)(have the old can opener ready, pre-pull tab, triangle punch holes)
    Fruits (pears, peaches, fruit cocktail)
    B&M Baked Beans Original (IMO, the best, but it’s subjective and Duke isn’t giving away the recipe.)
    I have forgotten the rest since the inventory list is not with me.

    1. Going some when I screw up my own Alias, “I need a vacation”.-One of the Terminator movies.

      1. @ Gery Lensman

        Just figured you did not know how to spell your own name… HAHAHA

        OR you been hitting the moonshine a bit :-) :-)


        1. NRP,

          I was even using a laptop and still goofed up, alias should be Mr. Mistakes!? It would fit. Moonshine, I wish, but the hangover would probably deck me. I have some moonshine daughter and fiance gave me as a gift, tasty when cut with something, doubles as fire starter in a pinch?!

  14. I buy a lot of meat in cans. Other things I buy are soups, ravioli, and chili in a can. I reason that these are ready to eat meals that can be heated up or even eat cold. I have lots of Bacon SPAM, it is yummy. :)Don’t forget Beanee Weenee’s ha ha.

    1. A can of ravioli is one of the things I had to get rid of this week, as it expired recently. I don’t like it (the reason I kept it until it expired) but it is OK if you heat it up with lots of processed cheese and ketchup.

  15. Couponing is a great way to stock up on canned goods for free or cheap.

    You may have a local store that doubles coupons. A canned item goes on sale for one dollar per can, and you use a 50 cent coupon which makes it free after doubling. There are coupon clipping services that will supply all the coupons you want for only pennies apiece.

    Couponing is how we started our preps.

  16. On the topic of expiration dates….the US army hired some outside chemists and pharmacists to see if pills(OTC and Prescription) can be still used after their typical 1 yr ex. date. The study was classified secret but it leaked out eventually. The experts said they were still good and effective 3 YEARS after their ex. date!

    Drug companies went nuts! BTW, this only applied to dry pills….not creams or liquids or gel caps etc etc.

    Warning…. this does NOT apply to cycline drugs! (Tetra…mino etc.) they do become toxic shortly after the ex. date.

  17. NRP- I can just see you putting the made in China label and laughing your hinny off!

    My frozen organic broccoli from Wally world has a made in China label on it also. I thought that frozen used to usually be local – guess not.-

  18. We eat from a very diverse menu, so naturally our LTS goods will reflect that to a degree. Here is what I’ve learned about “ethnic” canned foods from various parts of the world:

    Goods from the Middle East, Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, etc., do go bad within a couple of years and I’m not sure why. Swollen cans, effusion past the seals, stuff like that. Different product, different canneries, doesn’t seem to matter. I avoid those canned foods now.

    Goods from China… I don’t really have a fundamental problem with it. There have been some isolated incidents that have been promoted by the media. But honestly… China has a population of 1.5 billion people… Common sense suggests that they cannot really be distributing poison-food to any great extent. That said, these goods are almost universally over-salted, probably to extend shelf life. Easy to adjust for it if you are aware at the time of meal preparation.

    Goods from elsewhere in Asia, Japan, Korea, PI and Indonesia, etc are quite fine; never a problem for me.

    Goods from Eastern Europe, Bulgaria, Turkey and Russia are quite delicious and keep for a long time without a problem. ‘Dimes’ juices and ‘Zergut’ and ‘Athenos’ canned items are a favorite staple.

    Acidic goods from anywhere, don’t last very long at all. Tomato-based products, citrus juices, etc tend to get nasty after just 1-2 years.

    Lastly… Loma-Linda canned goods seem to last a very long time with no degradation of taste and without a ton of salt. They do a really good job.

  19. Also useful to have some backup can openers – my preference is for the butterfly type, with the small folding military issue ones for when away from home. Have carried one of those in my wallet for years.

    1. I too like the butterfly type. There is a good one you can get on amazon. I believe Ken posted a article about it. Made in the USA and works good. We have several.

      As far as the small ones for emergencies. We have a p38 and just added a p51 (not sure if that’s the number) to our key rings. The 38 is good for small things but the 51 is a bit larger and gives you more torque without killing your hands. Both will work in a pinch.

      Plus they both are good little screw drivers and bottle openers.

      Adapt and Overcome.

  20. Consider dates, that is one indicator, however there is an additional factor that is sooooo overlooked in the prepper community, that being temperature be it extreme cold or moderate to high heat.

    When I first started out on my prepping journey I stored food canned, freeze dried, MREs, in whatever environment that was at hand. When they freeze, the signs are pretty obvious, however heat is the silent, hidden killer of canned food, and also other foods. They destroy the food value 1st and foremost, second they turn the taste.

    Note even freeze dried manufactures have printed the temps ranges, now 74 degrees is the suggested max temp. So I use my nose and taste test any canned item before using. All canned foods are not alike, for sure, the majority are edible way beyond the dates on the can which by the way are just a legal block more then I feel a consumption date.

  21. Remember the axiom – store what you eat and eat what you store. Little good all the canned goods if you don’t like eating them now.

    1. I don’t completely agree with that. I don’t really like canned foods with a few exceptions like canned hash and some soups but I do store chili, stew, meats, ravioli etc. because they are edible in a pinch. Do I reach for them on a daily basis, no, but would I eat them if I was hungry, hell yeah.

    1. Love that stuff cold right out of the can, I know, I know, I’m not gourmet material.

    2. kynase
      Sounds like my dh and my niece, they can eat that stuff. Dh still gets through his feeding tube, better him than me.

  22. On Spam, I’m looking at a can of Spam that says 6 serving of 2 oz. with each serving being 180 calories with 140 of them from fat. Cost is $2.65 a can at Wally World. 1080 calories per can. You probably shouldn’t eat Spam on a regular basis because of the fat but it is a lot of calories if you’re trying to add to your other food preps.

    I was in the Dollar Tree the other day and in the canned food section they had cans of Classic Luncheon Loaf. I picked one up to try. Same size can, 12 ounces. Same amount of servings, 6. Calories per serving 140 with 110 being from fat. 840 calories per can. It’s Dollar Tree so each can is a buck. If I had a hundred dollars to spend I could get a 100 cans. for the same price I could get 38 cans of Spam.

    Doing the basic math is you get 220 more calories for an extra $1.65 for the Spam. I hadn’t opened the can until a few minutes ago. It’s not bad and I think I’ll be able to find space for a hundred cans without to much difficulty. Pick up a can next time you’re at a Dollar Tree to see if it’s palatable to your taste.

    Best by date on this is 7/18/19 which puts it right out there with our canned salmon.

  23. I try to have an assortment so I am not eating the same thing everyday. MH freeze dried, MRE’s, rice, instant mashed potatoes, canned meats, assortment of canned vegetables, canned fruit cocktail. I also have Ice Tea mix for a change of pace.

  24. We have long stored what we normally eat, and only what our normal “menu” is. We use a two week rotation, (2X26 weeks=52 weeks/One year) with extras for variation.

    Basically, we live off the normal rotation of our food storage year round. Trying to figure out how to get a solar powered freezer big enough to store the supply of Tillamook Ice Cream. Stuff is so rich and creamy, it should be outlawed for being that good.

  25. My comment about Chef Boyardee was supposed to have at the end of it. Computer must of ate it. I usually eat pretty simple. I am not a gourmand. I like to know where it came from and what is in it. I try to stay away from chemical cocktails. But I still like canned tamales etc. Most of the time anything from a can be made OK by topping with cheese or sour cream.

  26. Lauren

    Well, I am starting to feel cheated with missing smileys etc. :(
    Hadn’t considered bottling sour cream. Sure that someone would think about it though. Hum, interesting idea. I have a download on how to make it though it wouldn’t turn out using non fat milk! Have it in LTS but hear that it doesn’t work well as a topping.

  27. Store purchased canned is great for back up… its also can be (can… haha) good for barter. If you are growing your gardens, and you are water bath/pressure canning… and have enough space for all your favorite veggies… your garden can sustain you until the next growing season(or longer).

    Canned fruits and jellies from local sources is awesome in the winter. Apple butter, and apple sauce. Apple cider vinegar. Pears, Peaches. Crab apple jelly. Peaches! :D Pears! *My fav* — Salsa!!! Its a staple in this house. I use it instead of tomato sauce for my stuffed peppers!

    If you go fishing – pressure can your catch of the day if you caught the max. Home canning claims to not last “as long”. However, I believe that if you are doing this correctly and keeping up and down with the pH of the food and canning according to strict guidelines, keep the jars in a cool dark non humid environment – you should be good to go.

    As long as I can garden – I will can up my harvest for a great winter/spring bounty.

    Keep Calm and Garden On. — Don’t forget to grow extra due to weather problems, and curious animals. If have a great harvest, and you can’t preserve all that you have – donate some to family or neighbors, or take it to work… sell it, or give it away.

    Someone ALWAYS appreciates home grown garden goodies. Its a way to start a conversation about growing their own food — I have my neighbor on the garden bandwagon for next spring. She is already planning it. haha! Awesome!

  28. In the United States, federal law requires ONLY that infant formula be dated. Baby formula. That’s IT. (The .Gov actually NOT controlling this? FOOD? Quite amazing, you may say? Not at all. They’re giving free reign to corporations to further fleece the sheep.)

    Run a Search.

    The Federal Gov’t does NOT require, regulate, enforce, or mandate ANY dating of processed food products, except infant formula (which is loaded with heavy metals but, hey, they’re OK with that—it’s just kids’ brains, right?)

    Manufacturers can put ANY date they want on any can or package of processed food. They have sold this great Ponzi Scheme to the American people because it means you wind up throwing it out and buying more of their product.

    Fleece The Sheep.

  29. Last time I went to Costco they had no fruit in #10 cans. Just small cans in 8 packs.They had no peaches. Just pears and fruit cocktail.

    I store quite a bit of canned corned beef. The palm brand in round cans from New Zealand. It has about 1,000 calories per can and a long shelf life.

    TPTB hiding where the food originates from is a huge concern and a big red flag to me. Soylent green anyone?

    Growing our own food now is a priority to me now that I got back in shape. I’m ordering a whole bunch more seeds this week. I believe we are being forewarned to take control of our food production. Every little bit helps.

    Speaking of food, since I got back into shape other than a few slices of bacon I cannot eat any pork products. It makes me sick to my stomach. Can’t stand the smell or taste of hard liquor either.

    I guess my Scotch is for barter now…

    1. Bill Jenkins Horse
      You were stating that you are now having a reaction to pork. If you have Cash & Carry in your area I would recommend trying their bacon which has very little additives to the meat.

      It could be that your body is reacting to what they are preserving the meat with, I apologize I can not tell you the exact name of the manufacture.

      Read the labels and chose the one with the least amount of preservatives.

      1. Hi Antique Collector,
        It’s funny. I have alot of thick slice Hormel brand bacon in the freezer. No problem eating it. I eat a pork chop or my wife makes a pork roast and I feel lousy after ea ting even a little. So now I just don’t eat pork anymore. If the wife wants it I just cook chicken or some beef for me. I find I can’t eat alot of meat of any kind anymore. Guess it’s a good thing…

        1. BillJenkinsHorse

          You might take a close look at the packages and see what the meat has been injected with. Also what spices your DW is using- could be a spice that doesn’t agree with you.

    2. In the Phoenix area there are several Costcos. There is only one Costco business center and they stock a lot more #10 cans and much more stuff in large quantities along with cheaper brands and halal food. You can go to costco.com and search for a business center near you.

  30. I work 40 hrs a week so that is the primary reason I do not yet can but purchase canned food in quantity. My wife and I are big fans of Progresso brand soups, Ethnic soups like Menudo and Pozole. Canned chilies, and fruits like mandarin oranges, fruit cocktail, peaches and pears. I will eat canned hash with eggs and toast in the morning before work.

    The 3-bean salad recipe I like uses almost entirely canned vegetables with the addition of a fresh sliced red onion added to the salad. Most days I eat some fresh goods. The more tired I am, the more I open cans when I return home from work.

    There is also a fair amount of Chef Boyardee products sprinkled in the canned food pyramid as well. Spaghetti sauce is from a jar. Canned food augmented with fresh ingredients can be tasty and healthy. Same can be said of frozen foods as well.

    The last memory of expired foods I remember was a throw-away pile of canned c-rations that were vintage Korean War being given to us an a big fire in Southern California back in 1984. The dates indicated manufacture pre 1962. The cans were frequently “oilcanning” when tested. Many young men got sick that day. I guess some one discovered an old Conex container out in the desert some where filled with this stuff.

  31. For canned meat, I purchase online from Werling and Sons. It is specifically made for long term storage. I made stew and used a can of their beef. It was delicious. American owned and operated.

    Hormel products use a different canning method. The can is filled, sealed and then heated. Shelf life is extremely long. Other products under Hormel are Dinty Moore and several others all preserved this way. I suggest you check it out.

    1. Hi Pieface,

      I also buy from Werling. The only item of theirs I did not like was turkey, everything else has been good to very good, and I am about to order some more.

  32. I think canned meats make a lot of sense, chunked chicken can contents combined with pasta or rice will go a long way in non refrigeration scenario.

  33. Right now 100% of our food preps are from the normal grocery store. When we first decided to start prepping, DH thought we only needed to buy 3 years worth of Ramen noodles and multivitamins. I thought otherwise and purchased canned goods.

    Then I made meals entirely out of the preps and hid the empty cans. He’s come around to eating canned chicken, provided that I rinse it sufficiently. He refuses to eat canned tuna (I love it, even prior to prepping). I need to find other canned meats and experiment with new meals.

  34. Great easy canned chicken recipe.
    1 can chicken
    cooked macaroni
    steamed broccoli
    1 chicken bouillon
    1 cup water
    shredded cheese
    Boil water/bouillon-pour in cooked macaroni–add chicken and simmer till hot—top with steamed broccoli and cheese
    Very good dish

  35. I use Keystone meats. At one time their web site did say their product would be good at least 5 years after processing, don’t quote me but I thought they guaranteed it but My brain is swiss cheese these days. Nothing on site as of today though, so I don’t know if they’ve changed that time frame. They do a great Turkey, So Cal Gal, Just meat,sea salt and cooked in the can.

  36. I have a little of the Keystone and remember the website saying that too. I believe that it also said something about it being OK long after that. Must be some new gov regs. or cya.

  37. @ Lord Snow. Season Sardines.

    Yes! They are very good. Amzn has a $5.00 off Coupon under Today’s Deals Coupons (It was there last night.) Makes it $1.24 /can. They’re 4.3oz cans, Not the 3.7oz cans at local grocery for ~2.00 can.

  38. @anon
    Don’t know where you live but I get sardines for $.69 on sale. Regular is $.99.
    Use them a lot for both me and the dog.

  39. Bill Jenkin’s horse:

    It sounds like you are working out so much that your body is unable to process large amounts of really rich foods anymore. This is based on your prior posts about how much you have been working out to get into shape.

    I had this same tendency when I was young and training with 100 mile weeks of distance running and/or 300+ miles on the bicycle. Once your body fat drops to a certain percentage, you have to eat smaller meals of nutrient dense foods to eat and not be nauseated afterwards. (and you find yourself having to do this more frequently)

    Sounds like you are in great shape now. Now the tough part is staying that way with the Holidays coming up after the harvest festivals of the Fall. With deer season coming up just remember that hauling out your animal in parts or whole is “very aerobic”. (you will burn off a lot of calories to pack out your protein)

    1. CaliRefugee, thanks I’m in better shape now for sure. It wasn’t only all the exercising but the losing of some bad eating habits. Snacking late at night for one. Cutting back on baked goods another. For the holidays I’m going to have to show some discipline. I’m going to eat just take smaller portions. (No more 4″×8″ high mounds of potatoes and gravy!Lol!). My Doc says most guys problems are we eat with a shovel! Told me I should use a small spoon. It’s better to eat 2 or 3 spoonfuls than 1 big one.. Slow down and savor the flavor.
      I’m not walking as far as I was but I still walk everyday. Spending the time on building up the garden areas on the homestead and putting in a few more cabins here. Working with a couple of other groups sharing skills and knowledge.
      We had a meeting this week to discuss something that happened to one of the groups this past weekend..
      I will share some of it on our weekend free for all. Some may find it useful. It has to do with security…

  40. I also 100% prep from grocery store sales. I practice “survival rice” once a week, variations with beans, chicken and corn with mexican seasonings or beans, ham and green beans with savory herbs or tuna, mixed vegs and powered cheese. All from cans and large bottles of dry spices always on hand. My family loves it all.

  41. Hormel Spam has gotten a lot of mention at MSB but surprisingly very few recipe suggestions. We have only prepared it in one way, sliced and fried. But I’ve run across countless recipes from just Hawaii alone. There are 16 varieties of Spam that would have unique recipes.
    Spam has been slammed, troops have said that the reason why “war is hell” was because of Spam. I think the success of Spam has a lot to do with the way it is packaged, in those little cans.

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