If you’ve read our article on “How to Start Prepping for Beginners“, you’re probably slightly overwhelmed with what exactly you’re supposed to do next.
Be practical. That’s one of our values here at American Patriot Survivalist.
You don’t have to build out your food storage now AND stock it up for the next 30 years.
You just don’t have to purchase every bit of bug-out gear and all emergency kits out there on the market.
And, you definitely don’t have to grow a beard. Even if, dear reader, you are a lady.
In this follow up series on How to Start Prepping for Beginners, we’ll outline a 14-week outline for your homestead to start:
- Your First Long-Term Food Storage Stockpile
- Your First Basic Fast-Growing Crops in Your Garden
- Your Kitchenware and 10 Crock Pot Recipes for 30%-60% of Your Home-Cooked Meals
The Best Way to Start Prepping, Practically
The absolute best way to start prepping is to start with your food. Let’s assume we are going to be removing processed foods from the diets of four people, in one family household.
Let’s say you have a few items scattered throughout your cupboards, in your refrigerator, and in your storage. Your kitchen has basic components and appliances, and your cooking skills are good enough to make chili, no matter how it tastes or if it’s different every time 😀.
Within 100 days, you can potentially prepare 1,200 meals or additional side dishes for four people with one Crock Pot.
The 14-Week Plan
100 days is about 14 weeks, or a little over three months. By the end of this series, you should have at least a few crops growing, a few stacks of meals in your freezer, and a very solid sense of your home’s food storage needs.
Never mind supplying every single meal and snack for your family from a crock pot. We, as people, demand variety in our food options. No one is meant to follow a regimented meal plan for every meal for 100 days. Only consider replacing 30%-60% of your meals with solid, home-cooked meals that make your grocery budgets more beneficial, and the betterment of your family’s health.
Your first $40 goes to one Crock Pot. One crock pot enables you to have one cooker going at most times for meal rotation in a family of four.
Next, your portable crock pot. Anything made from the “home” crock pot can be ladled into the portable version for easy consumption. Acting as an enhanced “thermos”, your setup is almost complete at $70.00. Any adult can take this portable crock pot to lunch for the day, or for a nice addtion to dinner. A good rule of thumb in prepping is: nothing goes to waste.
Lastly, your glass containers with airtight lids. This is the best way to store your crock pot meals in the freezer in terms of sustainability and reusability. It costs approximately $10 for 90-gallon freezer bags on Amazon, while a set of the best glassware will cost you about $50, to be used into the future in any disaster situation or normal homestead life.
Your First Essential Crock Pot Recipe: Good Ole’ Fashioned American Chili
In each week of the 14-Week Outline, a featured recipe is included to improve your cooking skills with classic crock pot recipes. Generations of families attest to their success in any kitchen and dining table.
The Best Crock Pot Chili Recipe
- 1 Crock Pot
- 1 Non-stick Skillet or Frying Pan
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 1 lbs ground beef
- 2 1/2 tbsp chili powder
- 2 tbsp ground cumin
- 2 tbsp granulated sugar
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 cups beef broth
- 1 can tomatoes, diced or fresh from your garden
- 1 can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 can tomato sauce
- Saute aromatics, add to crock pot. Heat olive oil in a large and deep non-stick skillet or frying pan over medium-high heat. Add onion and saute 3 minutes, then add garlic and saute 30 seconds longer.
- Add the ground beef to the skillet or frying pan. Break it apart with a wooden spoon. Cook for 6-7 minutes, until the beef is browned, stirring occasionally.
- Add the chili powder, cumin, sugar, tomato paste, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Stir until well combined.
- Drain all contents of the skillet/pan into your crock pot.
- Add the broth, diced tomatoes (with their juice), drained beans, and tomato sauce. Stir well.
- Set your crock pot on low to medium heat for 2-3 hours, stirring hourly.
- 15 minutes before serving, turn up your heat to medium.
- Serve and enjoy.
Reheating Your Crock Pot Meals
If you’ve completed your creation, and after your crock pot has cooled, now’s a good time to spoon tomorrow’s portion into your portable crock pot, and half of your (approximately 2 servings) into the appropriate stackable glass container. Place your freshly-made crock pot meal into the freezer knowing that it’ll last for about three months.
Your first slowly cooked chill can be enjoyed at the end of 90 days if you’ve sealed it properly and organized it safely within your freezer at sustained temperatures. You can go with a slightly more economical route with freezer bags, but note that you’ll have to cut away any plastic if you plan to cook at more than 190 degrees Fahrenheit.
Spices and Wares Going into Your Food Storage
Out of all the ingredients for classic, slow-cooked chili, only two are considered perishable items: ground beef and fresh vegetables. All the other ingredients for your first crock pot meal can be used for another recipe, and upon first purchase, enable you servings upon servings of additions to your meals. This is the beginning of the chef prepper. 👩🍳 + 🗡
Salt. We like packaging that lasts a long time. A long-time classic, Morton’s was established in 1885. This package of 491 servings will last up to 5 years in dry storage.
Ground Black Pepper. Pepper is used by the sprinkle or tablespoon; purchase one of these tried and true containers of black pepper every three years and your food storage has black pepper. The flavor fades after time, and if you plan to store for decades, your best option is to repackage the black pepper in mylar bags with oxygen absorbers.
Olive Oil. Great to cook with anything, and available in sturdy glass containers or metal , olive oil is a staple in most kitchens. With a shelf life of 12-18 months, one can of olive oil will be all that you need to stock.
Chili Powder. Good for bloodflow, the production of blood, and overall immunity, chili powder is a great staple spice for any prepper’s household.
Ground Cumin. The staple of any chili or many Indian stews and dishes, cumin is a spice that gives you a Middle-Eastern, Cajun, or Latin flavor to most recipes.
Granulated Sugar. Best within two years of purchase, sugar can be stored for more than three decades if in a dry, cool, dark storage area.
Tomato Paste. Added to a wide variety of recipes, tomato paste makes for a healthy, flavorful way to thicken any stew. Properly stored, an unopened can of tomato paste will generally stay at its best quality for about 18 to 24 months, although it will usually remain safe to use after that.
Garlic Powder. When fresh garlic is hard to come by, garlic powder is the next best thing. At a shelf life of 3 to 4 years, the nutrients you’re missing from fresh garlic are available in powder form, along with a great way to make garlic bread.
Beef Broth. With one package at 28 servings, this container of beef broth is a way to hydrate your slow-cook dishes and give it that quintessential beef stew taste. Plan B is beef essence cubes mixed with water.
Canned Tomato Sauce. Great for spaghetti and ground beef, classic comfort food in any situation. As a homecooked meal, the traditional water content of tomato sauce makes for the best beef spaghetti sauce.
Canned Red Kidney Beans. The only human to ever run a full marathon in less than two hours eats kidney beans on a weekly basis.
100 Days: Your First Week of No-More-Processed Foods
Running Total: approximately $300 bucks and easily at least a week’s worth of emergency sustenance for one family of four.
At the end of the first seven days, your setup will provide you enough to survive beyond the initial 72 hours that most households are prepared for. Able to cook almost anything with the items above, the items you add beyond this week expand your food options as your food stores grow. Lasting up to three years, your initial “non-perishables” are staples of your food storage.
Now, it’s time to start thinking about your garden and ideally, if you can possibly house any chickens.
Related read: 100 Days: Your Second Week in No-More Processed-Foods [#2/14]
“Always Be Ready” Max