Planning Ahead For More Mouths To Feed

Prepping and Preparedness. Lets say that there are two of you in your house (as is the case with Mrs. J and I). You’ve planned ahead to have enough food stored away for ‘just in case’. For us, we’ve planned for a worst-case-scenario collapse, and have a wide variety of foods to keep us fed for a long time. We also consume, rotate, and replenish inventory as we go through it. However, what if the worst happens (requiring living off your stored food), and you potentially end up with more mouths to feed…

One example is as follows. This past week we had a dear friend and her two kids (and their dog) stay with us. We all had a great time. This morning as Mrs. J and I were taking our walk, I said, here’s a good topic for the blog…

What if (something we hope never happens), but what if we were all thrust into a scenario whereby we had to live off our preps for a time. Maybe even a long time. And what if you had some really good friends or family that were not particularly prepared for such a thing. And what if you wanted to take them in so as to avoid suffering on their part. Would you have enough for more mouths to feed? Should we plan ahead for that?

Lets face it… most people live their lives unaware of the potential systemic risks out there which could turn things upside-down. You know what? I don’t particularly blame (some of) them. We’re living within a system that disguises many or most of these risks. Some of us see it, while others do not. They go on as though everything will always be “okay”.

Well this past week it ‘clicked’ with me – the amount of food we went through compared to when it’s just Mrs. J and I. I thought, “I wonder how long it would take going through our food storage with 5 people compared with just 2. It would be a significant thing. I present it as food for thought. Something to think about.

Thinking about this past week, I know that I certainly would take them in, if the situation was really bad – and they wanted to come up here. Have I planned for that? Well, no. But, I do have lots of inventory. And of course one would have to hypothesize the length of time under which these worst-case conditions would be applied.

Here’s another thought. In my example, there are two kids. 8 and 12. And they’re accustomed to eating a certain way. Not only because they’re kids, but their own family eating habits which may differ somewhat with ours. (Although we all liked hamburgers and went through lots of them last week -lol)

I know what you’re going to say… “If they’re hungry enough, they’ll eat anything”. This may be true. However, again, this is simply food for thought.

My goodness I hope things never get bad enough for this! But it has happened before throughout history, and it most certainly will happen again (desperate times). Could it happen here in the good ‘ol USA? Well, it already is in many places. It just hasn’t spread far and wide (yet). You’re watching current events, right? There are lots of trip wires out there just waiting… There’s more uncertainty than ever in my lifetime. I definitely am not assuming that we’re all going to live happily ever after.

Anyway, just putting the notion out there. Have you planned for extra mouths to feed?

[ Read: Rice & Beans – A Survival Combination ]

[ Read: Food Storage Mistakes ]

49 Comments

  1. Hopefully more mouths to feed would bring more hands to help. I assume that most of us would have people knocking on our doors. The decision would be easier if I could burn less calories and spend time on more meaningful (long term) projects. Even non skilled people can be of help, but they need to be willing to do so. A big thanks to Ken and everyone else here.

  2. I have been building up stores for DW and myself. I started to see in shtf we might be feeding 10 people. So to prep for added mouths I have been adding cheap, quick protein in the form of beans and rice to stores. Also, this is changing what I have/ will have in the ground, 100# of potatoes this summer will go up to 200# next year ( figure 10x yield), also add carrots and beets. Also on my list of things to do is find recipes that kids (and adults) will really enjoy made from these basic food stuffs. (there could be a couple of kids that have their parents buffaloed into giving them only pizza and chicken nuggets. Yeah…they will starve until they learn to eat beans/rice/potates. So be it). Nice thing about potatoes that I am finding is I can do two crops a year where i am at. Put one set of seed potatoes in the ground in Fall, to overwinter for late Spring harvest, then re-sow another for Fall harvest.(different ground though, gotta rotate crops). It is doable, but gotta plan. If I don’t need all I harvest, I can donate, which I am happy to do.

    1. “Gotta Plan” is the key phrase regardless of the individual situation. For me, I have two adult children still living with me and my 28 yo son eats like a 3yo. Very picky and loves to graze all day long. After watching him do this over the last few weeks it has me thinking about how to deal with finicky eaters when variety is at a premium.
      As you said, its doable.

    2. I added long ago flavorings, spices, gravy powders.
      Tabasco!
      Satan’s blood hot sauce.. yes it’s real and unbelievably hot.
      Anything to make the basics tolerable, otherwise you may have a revolt regardless how thankful people might be for help given.

      Just think, day after day the same thing over and over and over.
      Even a little variation makes a difference.

  3. Yep, part of the plan. We know who’s planning to come, but never sure who’ll actually end up here. Comms will be a critical part of this. Everyone will work. Just a routine expectation. Won’t be a MAJOR change for most of them. Not aware of a single “work brittle” VIP or their families. Tons of those folks out in society. They won’t be welcome here.

  4. I’ve thought about this a lot. One question is…where/when do I stop? I’ve got a big heart, and I want to help everyone. Yes, I know all of the reasons for why this is not feasible, or even a good idea. How much extra do I buy? Let’s say we have enough for a year for the two of us, but my parents happen to be visiting when “it” happens, and now the supply is only enough for six months. What if my sister’s family is also visiting? We now have eight mouths, instead of two, and what should last a year only lasts three months. While I’d be super-happy they would be with me (extra hands to work being a good reason, but not the most important), there are all sorts of problems. If I plan for this eventuality, where do I store it all, since I’m already pretty full up? How do I afford it all, especially now? This doesn’t even count the neighbors who will need help. I have a hard time not buying, especially food, for this exact reason. I have to tell myself not to go to the store, that more is really not needed. The “what-ifs” can plague you, if you let them. Anyone have a good, accurate crystal ball that will let me know exactly when and what will be needed?

    1. Wendy…..the only advice is the adage ‘better to have it and not need it then to need it and not have it’ your listening to your gut will help pave the way. So a year minimum per person with two meals a day, forget the fruits and veggies get protein, carbs, the last thing you will have to worry about is eating healthy you want to eat to live period.

  5. If ever; the ‘rubber-meets-the-road’, this is a hard decision. It’s really something that I don’t think you want to be flippant about just to post something. You would have to definitely let your consciousness (aka, The Lord) guide you.

    I do remember listening to an interview that Selco did and the things he said regarding this. For those not familiar with who he is, he lived in Bosnia when their city was blockaded by Herzegovina in 1992. Their (the Bosnian people) were very relevant to us here is the U.S. in that it was a prosperous city in that region. In less than a week it went from that to the wild wild west, as we would say; no law, no order. The bad guys ruled. He and his family didn’t read the tea leaves as things were getting bad (remember we’re talking a week’ish) and he and his family were eventually trapped by the blockade. For one year it was as all the apocalypse books describe.

    I don’t remember his exact words but when asked the very same question he said that for him more people meant more security, not more mouths to feed. He lost, I believe two family members from sickness. He also said he didn’t know any loner’s that made it. The monsters found them and did what they wanted to. He also said in that interview that he was lucky because he had a fairly large family.

    It will call for the Lord’s wisdom…stay tuned in.

    1. Sydney,
      i have followed Selco’s posts for a long time. he has been there and done that. we should all be listening to what he has to say, i do.

      1. J.G. Martinez D is a survivor from Venezuela. his first hand accounts should be a lesson to us all.
        Jose shares his eyewitness accounts and survival stories from the collapse of his beloved Venezuela.

  6. I have been buying the Knorr Sidekicks each week. I consider these “handouts”. Maybe I will just leave them on someone’s doorstep. Maybe they will be used in trade. Maybe someone will do me a favour. It serves the purpose of helping people without showing them my pantry stuff. Do you really want to give out a pound of rice in a plastic bag? Surely they will wonder how much more rice you have.
    As I wrote in a few years ago, there are five questions to ask yourself before inviting people into your home.
    1. How long will the crises last?
    2. How widespread is it?
    3. Who and how many people are you responsible for?
    4. Is outside help coming?
    5. Has law and order broken down?

    1. Skeezix, Good to see you! Excellent questions. I would add one more – do I have power (electricity, gas, vehicles)? Power is such a force multiplier that it’s absence many more times increases the amount of human effort that must be expended.

      1. (part 2 to Skeezix) Thus increasing almost exponentially the value of goods already on hand.

    2. Skeezix
      I would like to make a suggestion that you look at the back of ingredients. Next how much salt/salt related products are in those packages?
      Thought I would toss that out to you, as many forget to look at that item.

      1. I know there is a lot of salt in prepared foods. I rinse canned chicken etc. and things like sidekicks with water first.
        As to the ingredients, well, the sidekicks I call “handy”. Most people who stop by my house leave with a little gift. During the hard times coming up I want to be prepared to continue doing that.

  7. Thoughtful comments. My DH has told a couple of people they are “welcome at the compound.” They laughed but their skills with the boom sticks and off-grid defense would be welcome. I have a spreadsheet that I think was originally LDS that will compute quantities needed, allow you to enter inventory on hand, and then calculates quantities needed basedon number of adults and children. If you want to go that far, you can enter unit prices and it will tell you what filling to max will cost. I have only been counting kids, spouses and grandchildren. I think I need to add for my defense team, spouses and kids in case they take up the offer. Having stores for them may be a deciding factor.

  8. Food for thought, (had to say that) my plan is whatever event I prep for, adapting the “two is one and one is none” adage, I always add a % of extra it might be 10% or 50% to my different preps supplies… keeping in mind I will need or might need this extra for either barter items or as payment for needed services. I save clean plastic bottles for water and food, it’s a great way to redistribute small amounts of food, water, and other necessities to those ( I determine ) are in need. Remember when I was in need, years ago, I received “care packages” from my relatives…..the packages contained some food, garments, and a couple of dollars, it was indeed a godsend, never forgot the appreciation and love I felt at getting this. Believe we all at this site can understand that having some residual amounts of extras might serve a ‘Gods purpose’ instead of just our own.

  9. A few years back I had a friend who was a bishop for the LDS area we lived in northern Nevada since we were both like minded about prepping he one day asked me to help determine some of the local church needs and speak with some of the members about food types and storage. LDS is very organized when it comes to help their members they have a “food bank” to draw food from which was in Reno, nevada about 150 miles away this church. Their plan was to drive to Reno to get necessary stock of food items as needed, 2 problems were very apparent…first, they ‘assumed’ that they would always be able to get necessary food and other items from just doing a round trip to Reno. Second which really floored me was they stored their food supply’s sacks of staples and number ten cans of everything at the local church in a outbuilding that had no temperature controls. During the help sessions I was able to point out some immediate changes to both their distribution plan and also the need to move the foodstuffs to a climate controlled area….in the end they did have to trash a lot of the food items which had gone south. We all as an example need to plan not “in the present” instead our mindset needs to be for the “what if” situation. What if there is no travel, what if there is no stores, what if no electric or gas…..

    1. Those people must have been shocked when the storage centers shut down during the last two years, as well as when they went to carrying only necessities prior to that.

    2. Interesting. I was under the assumption that having a years worth of food/supplies was part of the LDS creed for every family.

      1. In talking with some of the LDS members, like some of us what they should do versus what they really do are two different animals. Some were to poor to afford a one year storage dictate, and current day LDS requirements are vague to say the least. Not knocking any faith but religion and the good book have taken a quiet lower tier in a lot of families.

        1. Some will remember and come back when the Lord turns up the heat. HE will get the attention of all soon whether they believe or not. :-)

  10. I live alone in a small senior park. I have tried to get people to wake up and for the most part with no success. I imagine that when the s*it there will be a lot of people needing or expecting help. I keep asking myself who I try to would help and for various reasons there is maybe a couple of them. I guess I would work through my church.

  11. This is the question that has overwhelmed me and my family’s prepping plans for decades (since 1993). The number of local family and close friends that would come to us for shelter is about 50. We’ve passed out instructions to each household as to what they should bring with them, if possible: sturdy clothes and shoes for each season, personal hygiene items, sheets, towels, pillows, all pantry food and supplies, tools, etc. We can provide shelter, heat, water, and rationed food. It’s the sanitation that has me worried. People who eat are gonna poop. The septic systems would be overwhelmed in a week. We have been kicking around plans to convert an old cabin into a campground style heated shower complex, but that doesn’t solve the toilet situation. We built two large outhouses and stockpiled wood ash. Another option is latrine trench that would be buried and extended each day. Other than a mini sewage treatment plant, I don’t know how to solve this one. In a SHTF scenario, I’m most concerned with the “S” part, and no, 600 rolls of TP is not nearly enough.

    1. AZoffgrid,
      Um, yeah. Those two “outhouses” would likely be overwhelmed by 50 people in short order, not to mention potentially contaminating any near surface water supplies you might have. They had better be sited far, far away from your water source, preferably downhill at the other end of the property. Best advice I can give you would be to install a really big septic system or composting systems, but those will be pricey $$$. People don’t realize that dug pit outhouses are introducing raw, untreated sewage directly into the groundwater system, ugh.

      1. Minerjim
        I guess that is why they burned the excrement’s during the time the guys were in Nam. Those 55-gallon drum barrels which if I recall were burnt either every day or once a week. Those old fuel cans came in handy, for outhouses for the guys when they were on base.
        Not so great for those who had to burn the stuff inside of them.

    2. Mr. says in Vietnam everyone had to take turns burning the sh it er. So there were metal boxes under the latrines, pulled them out and they would pour diesel fuel on them and burn the poop. Push boxes back in when done.

      1. Mrs. U
        Lol, I was in the middle of posting the same thing but had to go outside for an appointment.

      1. DJ,
        Brothers, sisters, their kids and grandkids, in-laws and a couple outlaws, and our closest friends. The number adds up quickly. Best case scenario, besides nothing bad will happen, is most of the families will have plenty of their own preps and can stay in their own homes. However, we always plan for the worst…a crowd with nothing. And thanks, DJ, I didn’t even think of everyone’s pets!

  12. I live in a liberal city. In the center of town is a walled-off senior center full of worn out liberals; they still have mask compliance checks at the entrance. Also, per ancient zoning all of the leftist dinosaurs there have an equal claim to a sectional interest in a city park which happens to be in the middle of their little elder-Karen community.

    Along comes an ‘investor’ (Blackrock) who offers each of the tolerant, spiritual liberals an offer they cannot refuse, huge cash in exchange for the community surrendering title to the park land. They all went for it and they got PAID!

    Not even a month later the investor is grading the land and pouring concrete for a…… wait for it….. a 500 room, 4 story homeless shelter!!!!

    HA ha aha ha haaaaaaa, Schadenfreude bitches! DEEEAL with it!

      1. “Guess who’s coming to dinner Nana! You ’bout to get woke from all that diversity next door!”

  13. It’s probably for JB little army coming across the border. Blackrock doesn’t do anything to be nice. They’re buying up property all over, so when you own nothing, you can rent from them. They cause a boom in home prices and young people can’t afford to buy a home of their own. I feel really bad for the young people.

    1. Deborah,
      land is a good thing to own, they don’t make it anymore. i preach and preach to younger people the importance of owning the roof over your head free and clear. it takes time, and yes there are always taxes, but don’t share it with the bank if at all possible. in hard times a bank can pull it right out from under you.
      i have some younger friends who saved for years and bought a small place a few months back, they had to finance some but it will be paid for in 3 yrs @250. a month. good for them. hell, i can fall down or step in cow s#t and make 250 a month.

  14. As a child, I grew up the youngest of 5 and that meant that I was recruited by my mom and put to work doing dishes at age 5. I also emptied trash as soon as I was big enough to move the containers and empty them into the garbage can. As I grew older and bigger, the job responsibilities grew as well. As far as diet goes, we were middle class and I saw and read about high inflation and the price of meat skyrocketing in the 1970’s. (If you grew up or remember the Administration of Jimmy Carter…this ain’t your first rodeo). At that point, our family traded beef from local ranchers for produce from farming relatives. We never went hungry though we ate a lot of soups, stews and casseroles back in those days. (best way to make 1 pound of meat or sausage feed 4 people without complaints of hunger). To this day, I still enjoy making and eating black beans with chorizo and peppers added. Spaghetti sauce has Italian sausage added to it. Fried rice is what asian kids learn to do with leftover rice before every home had a microwave. I know how Ken likes Ribeye steaks. I recall I did not see one until I left home and went to a high-end steak house as a young adult. For feeding lots of people, sirloin was what we fixed for large numbers of people. (sirloin to include tri-tip. Tri-tip is simply the tip of the sirloin portion of a cow) Logistically speaking: 2 adults and 4 teenagers in an asian house went through 6 – 8 80 lb bags of Kokuho Rose short grain rice on an annual basis)

    I was put to work as a child within the home. Later, it helped me get my start working in the kitchens of restaurants and fire houses. I would urge parents to put their children to work as well these days.

    1. I grew up in a modest household, never saw a steak, until I moved out at 17. The only beef served was Chuck roast or liver, pork chops or pork roasts. Turkey for thanksgiving and ham for Xmas….. but the great thing was I was never hungry and have fond memories of those meals with mom and dad. Truly believe we now have about 2 generation majority of spoiled, narcissistic me me me children and they are going to produce what…..

  15. The Bible says to take care of the poor, widows and children. It also says those that don’t work don’t eat! Our plan for disaster is to have hungry neighbors work for food. We have lots of work with gardens and farm animals. We also need land cleared, which is time-consuming by hand, and firewood cut. Security details would need to prepare defensive and offensive measures. We could also forage for food. People are always amazed when I say you can eat greenbrier.

    I think it would be very hard.

  16. As a youngest of multiple children, I married a lady who was raised as an only child. Being raised the way I was raised taught me to be resourceful in ways the many others would never think about. When I left home, I went to a small private college on a track scholarship. I met folks that came from higher income households that ate and enjoyed many luxury items I have seen but never bought: Haagen Das ice cream versus the Thrifty Drug Store 5 cent cone is one example. We have been married many years and there are still big differences in store purchases. These days, I keep my eyes open as a value investor. Not a bad thing to grow up on a brewski budget.

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