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It doesn’t take much to get a rumor started. Rumors can twist and turn and evolve into myths that are passed along between friends, family and even complete strangers. The rumor gains fuel and before you know it, it is taken as gospel.
In the homesteading and survivalist world, this happens often. Some of the myths have scared newbies away from stockpiling – and some of the myths are even held by experts.
We are here to debunk some of the most common myths surrounding stockpiling. Here are eight myths that simply are not true:
1. It costs a lot of money to stockpile. It does cost some money, but you can spend $10 to $20 a week and build up a pretty nice stockpile. It is all about shopping smart. Take advantage of sale prices and don’t be afraid to buy generic. You don’t have to only use commercially prepared food. You can save a ton of money by growing a garden and preserving what you have grown. If you are a hunter, then you have another option in finding meat.
2. Buying in bulk is best. Absolutely one of the worst myths out there. Who can use a five-gallon can of ketchup or sit down and eat a five-gallon can of chili in a single sitting? If you are stockpiling food for just you and your small family, you need to think in those terms. You are not feeding an army. During a crisis, you may not have a working refrigerator to store the unused portions. When you open that can of whatever, it needs to be eaten within a few hours to ensure it is safe and isn’t going to make anyone ill. Buying in bulk is OK if it includes individual servings, but don’t waste your money on bulk cans of foods that will require refrigeration after opening.
3. You need a lot of space to stockpile. This isn’t entirely true. People who live in small apartments or tiny homes can still build up a stockpile. It will just take a little creativity and ingenuity. It is all about maximizing the spaces we all have. You can stockpile food in the back of the closet, under the bed, in the voids in your furniture and in the space between your ceiling and roof. Adding shelves around the top one foot or so of your bedroom will also give you plenty of room to store supplies.
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4. You will end up wasting a lot of food. Stockpiling means you will be constantly rotating your stock. When you go grocery shopping, pull out the food that has been on the shelf for a while in your stockpile, eat it and add the fresh food to the back of the pile. Constantly freshening your supply means you will never waste anything.
5. It takes a lot of time and energy to stockpile food. It takes about as much time and energy as it does to put away the groceries after grocery shopping. You will want to check on your stock occasionally and maybe do a little organizing, but it doesn’t take hours every week. If you have a system built in that allows you to add fresh supplies without moving everything around, that time will be cut in half.
6. Freeze-dried foods are the only option. Absolutely untrue. Freeze-dried foods certainly offer some benefits, but few people can afford only to stockpile freeze-dried foods. Other foods, like dried grains and beans, can last just as long as freeze-dried foods when stored right. They are about a fraction of the cost and provide more flexibility. There are certainly some perks to the huge buckets of freeze-dried meals, but you can use dried foods and still achieve the same variety. Ideally, you will want to aim for a nice combination of freeze-dried, canned and dried foods. This way you will always have an option for dinner that offers a little variety from the night before.
7. Your stockpile means you never have to worry about food again. Your stockpile of food is only going to last so long. If you are dealing with an event that completely upsets the world, it could take weeks or months (or longer) before commerce is built up again. You need to learn hunting and gardening skills. The longer you can stretch that stockpile of food, the better off you will be. Being able to add fresh fruits, veggies and meat to your diet is also going to be healthier for you and you will appreciate the flavors of the fresh food.
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