What would you put on your apocalypse shelf?
August 7, 2006 12:23 PM   Subscribe

What would you put on your apocalypse shelf?

Imagine you had a few cupboards in the kitchen that you wanted to put non-perishable items in, in case you found out one day that money was tight and you wanted to ride it out.

Imagine you had about 20 a week for a few months to fill it up, and a few cheap grocery stores around.

What items would you start buying for it?
posted by jon_kill to Food & Drink (27 answers total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: hypothetical chatfilter

Tuna fish and black beans. First aid stuff. And booze (to barter, not to drink).
posted by orthogonality at 12:26 PM on August 7, 2006

Wait, so what's the question? Preparing for an apocalypse or preparing for temporary poverty?
posted by amro at 12:29 PM on August 7, 2006

posted by Izzmeister at 12:35 PM on August 7, 2006

Response by poster: Sorry, amro, I used the term apocalypse loosely... either/or, but I imagine a personal financial apocalypse a little more likely in the near future.
posted by jon_kill at 12:36 PM on August 7, 2006

Yeah I'm not sure either.

Temporary poverty: Basmati rice, beans, some canned tuna. Maybe get some canned fruits and veggies when they're on sale. Buy the rice and beans in bulk and it is dirt cheap, nutritious, and will last quite a while. Nothing else if you're really trying to make the money stretch. But $20 a week will buy a lot more than beans and rice...

Apocalypse: save up the money for a few months then buy a shotgun, a good pistol, and a boatload of ammunition. With those items you can get whatever else you need.
posted by Justinian at 12:37 PM on August 7, 2006

What orthogonality said. Plus a (manual) can opener.
posted by inigo2 at 12:40 PM on August 7, 2006

Ramen noodles are the cheap, long term solution. Every poor college kid knows that.
posted by JJ86 at 12:44 PM on August 7, 2006

water, energy bars, and a hunting rifle; the first two to be able to silently wait out the initial anarchy, the last item for picking off people with supplies you'd want.

If you just mean 'in case I might be poor' the standard rice, pasta, dried beans, canned meat, etc., are the way to go, perhaps along with powdered milk, protein powder, ensure drink packs, etc...which are surprisingly economical as protein sources, if not regular food.
posted by little miss manners at 12:45 PM on August 7, 2006

Peanut butter. The biggest damn jar you can buy.

Popcorn. ditto.
posted by contessa at 12:46 PM on August 7, 2006

Those Chef Boyardee Overstuffed ravioli cans are about a dollar a piece, and at 500 calories each they're pretty filling.
posted by borkingchikapa at 12:46 PM on August 7, 2006

Guns and ammo.
posted by frogan at 12:46 PM on August 7, 2006

Coffee, if you drink it/find it hard to function without it.
posted by mikepop at 12:51 PM on August 7, 2006

One place to look for information is amongst Latter Day Saints websites. They're big on self-sufficiency and food rotation. 72 hour emergency kit checklists, for example, are common.

One really clear principal they offer is that you shouldn't store food you wouldn't otherwise eat (because even canned food eventually goes off) and that you should rotate the food - ie, but lots, eat some, replace what you ate, eat more from the initial lots, replace it, so that you're always eating the oldest stuff before it's been around too long.
posted by jacquilynne at 12:53 PM on August 7, 2006

Toilet paper.
posted by pieoverdone at 1:06 PM on August 7, 2006

For the end of civilization, you might want to check out suppliers like this who can get you a large supply cache with no muss no fuss.

For financial hard times, lots of rice, beans, canned tuna, canned tomato sauce, and some spices would be good. You can supplement that with chicken wings, cheap beef, and fresh fruit&veg. I've lived on that regimen for a while and was able to keep my monthly food bill under $50/month without any pain. But at that point there's not much reason to stock up.

Look, if you want to do this right, just make sure you have a few hundred dollars stuffed somewhere that will *only* be used for food during your financial emergency. If you don't have $50 a month to buy food, you probably won't have a place to store or cook a months worth of food anyway.
posted by Wizzlet at 1:11 PM on August 7, 2006

You may want some luxury item to keep your spirits up, like a jar of Grey Poupon mustard.
posted by StickyCarpet at 1:15 PM on August 7, 2006

Rifle, guns and ammo? Did some people forget to read the OP? This isn't about stocking up for the end of the world.
posted by JJ86 at 1:21 PM on August 7, 2006

I'm not sure I would do the tuna--mercury levels. It would be bad to have some, but I'd do peanut butter. I'd also be putting away whole wheat pasta, canned veggies on-sale. Chick peas, would also be on the list and canned tomatoes/tomato sauce.

Pasta has pulled me through some tough times--I couldn't do the Ramen Noodle bit because of MSG.
posted by 6:1 at 1:26 PM on August 7, 2006

And ramen noodles tend to have both MSG, which causes some people problems, and high sodium content, which makes them a poor choice for "Real" emergencies, anyway.
posted by baylink at 1:30 PM on August 7, 2006

Since everyone is addicted to sugar, you might want some candy to barter with.

Plus, a shotgun.
posted by interrobang at 1:30 PM on August 7, 2006

Beenie Weenies. The cans are small, so if you're rationing, they won't go bad during the long, unrefrigerated stretches between meals. A tin of Skyflakes brand crackers from the Filipino market: they're dense and more satisfying than saltines. Peanut butter also doesn't need to be refrigerated. Bottled water.

If it's the apocalypse, get a shotgun and rid yourself of any qualms about cannibalism. If it's the rapture, get yourself a beehive hairdo and a bible.
posted by evil holiday magic at 1:53 PM on August 7, 2006

Seeds. In either the Apocalypse or poverty, it's pretty easy to grow some basic staples assuming you're in the right climate.
posted by spaltavian at 1:53 PM on August 7, 2006

JJ86 - check the OPs comments in the thread. He is interested in both times of economic hardship and apocalypic scenarios.
posted by Justinian at 1:54 PM on August 7, 2006

A bulk bottle of Acetominophen or Aspirin
Gauze & medical tape
Rubbing alcohol
Pet food
Macaroni & Cheese
Canned soups
Toilet paper
Instant coffee
Tea bags
Powdered milk
Granola bars
Pasta & Sauce
posted by tastybrains at 2:03 PM on August 7, 2006

I gots me some lifeboat rations that I might finish putting into a bug-out bag if my paranoia ever outgrows my laziness. They look pretty similar to these. Also: Multivitamins. My latest paranoia was inspired by reading an exerpt from Parable of the Sower.

For personal one-off financial apocalypse, I'd be more worried about shelter than food. There are a lot of resources for food, ranging from Food Not Bombs to your local church to the local bakery cast-offs. If you're really worried about this, doing some upfront research about where these resources are would be a good (and free) strategy.

I imagine that being homeless and being a megakatrina refugee are asking for the same preparation, plus or minus the shotgun.
posted by Skwirl at 2:09 PM on August 7, 2006

Do you wear contact lenses or glasses? Having extra pairs of either (or both) could make a big difference.
posted by hermitosis at 2:17 PM on August 7, 2006

When I was in Japan a few years ago, the prefecture I was in gave backpacks to all incoming residents, which we called "apocalypse kits." The backpack itself was made to carry a large plastic bag with a water nozzle. Then there was a first aid kit with bandages, rubbing alcohol, etc., candles, a sealed pack of matches, a flashlight, sealed batteries, a tarp, a tin of anchovies, maps, and I don't remember what else.
posted by scottreynen at 2:17 PM on August 7, 2006

« Older How did Blindness win a Pulitzer?   |   Tossing out a lifeboat on the S. S. Dreamhost Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.