Many preppers conclude the economy in the U.S. will collapse gradually, rather than overnight due to some cataclysmic event. Either way, your ability to find and secure meals for you and your family becomes the difference between life and death for your family. So, how do you prepare to survive in a world where food is scarce, and money is tight?
Following a SHTF event, the only certainty will be unpredictability. Depending on the event, your location, and how long it takes for the country to recover your options for cooking and food storage will change. Practice making a variety of different cheap survival recipes so that no matter what type of situation you find yourself in, you are ready to put a meal together that will satisfy your family. Below are several different ideas for your survival meal arsenal:
Chicken livers come in a carton and cost around $1.00. Boil with salt and pepper in either water or chicken broth. The beneficial thing about chicken livers is just a small amount with some whole grain bread, and a cup of milk will stave off hunger for several hours.
Pouches of instant potatoes are relatively inexpensive, typically under $1.00 at the local Walmart. Ramen Noodles are another very inexpensive food; you can buy six to 12 packages for under $2.00. Both are simple to cook as they require only boiling water. For variety, mix the instant potatoes with the ramen noodles to create a high- energy food called “ramen-bombs.”
Pasta is a great food staple to have on hand, and it can be used to create a variety of meals. Cook pasta and drain. Fry several eggs over medium and sprinkle with salt and pepper if you have it. Combine the eggs with the pasta and throw in cooked veggies, cheese, or meat. You can also mix cooked pasta with any salad dressing on hand and add fresh vegetables for a great pasta salad that will fill you up.
DIY Survival Recipes
If you are lucky and are thinking ahead, you will have the time and resources to create dirt cheap survival recipes to have on hand when SHTF. Sometimes, survival is about preparing to think or in this case, cook, outside the box.
You’ve probably made toast in a toaster at some point in your lifetime, but have you ever thought to try grilled bread? Use your barbecue grill or even a campfire with a grate. Grill the bread till it’s golden brown. And if you have cheese on hand, you can melt it between two pieces of bread and make a really tasty grilled cheese sandwich.
If you correctly store cornbread mix, you can make delicious johnnycakes or cornmeal hoe cakes in a skillet of cast iron over a campfire or even on the hot rocks of a fire. Add some syrup or sprinkle with sugar for an extra treat. If you must stay on the go, put leftovers in a zip lock bag so you can carry them with you as a snack on the road.
Native Americans relocated their camp several times a year as they followed the animal herds. They carried Pimikan, typically made from dried powdered meat such as elk, bison, moose, or deer, it was a portable food adopted by fur traders in later centuries who called it. Pemmican. Practice making this cheap survival food and add it to your stockpile. It needs no refrigeration and when properly made, can last for decades.
Include corn in your garden, or in a pinch scavenge ears of corn from a roadside field, wrap in aluminum foil with some butter and cook in the coals of a fire. If you prefer a grilled taste, soak ears of corn in water and cook on a grate over the fire to grill it. You can cook with the husks on or remove before cooking depending on your preference.
Stock up on those Pillsbury cinnamon rolls or biscuits in a can. When the power goes out, simply wrap the dough around a stick, and pinch the ends so that it won’t fall off. Hold the stick over your BBQ grill or campfire until the dough is a golden brown. Slather with butter and enjoy a tasty treat that you can carry as you eat it.
Include heavy duty aluminum foil in your stockpile of supplies. When SHTF, lay out a large section of foil and add chunks of potatoes, onions, or whatever vegetables you have on hand. Top with a chunk of butter and a little salt and pepper and then wrap it all up and cook over hot coals or the BBQ grill.
When SHTF, you may have food available that you can cook but will need to think outside the box a little when it comes to cooking without your traditional stove or oven. Planning ahead and knowing how to make some of these cheap survival recipes will help sustain you and your family whether you bug in or are forced to bug out.
Alternative Backcountry Food Options