How to Store Food Using the Copy Can Method and Grocery Store Food

How to Survive the Heat or Cold with the Power Out
January 23, 2013
How to Save Water Using Water Collecting Barrels, Water Purification, and Other Useful Sources of Water
January 25, 2013


Canned Goods

I mentioned in my blog about storm survival the need for food.  I didn’t go in much detail because for the acute storm scenario, none is really needed, but it is very important that you know how important in a more extensive scenario knowing how to store food is.  Remember when I wrote about how to prepare, We started with smaller food supplies for shorter periods of time?  Think of this post as being a more in depth look at the smaller, more likely, more localized disasters.  Think about how the storm post, the how to begin in emergency survival post, and all of the more in depth ones actually fit with each other.

When a storm hits and knocks out your power or a quarantine of a week or two occurs due to a bacterial or viral infection that is spreading, or a job loss, or even a regional disaster occurs, it is good to have some food stores, so you have one less worry. Getting food stores, in my opinion, is more important that the generator or battery bank. It is more important that stocking up on things like gas or guns and ammo. Every one of these things have their place, but let’s get a certain amount of food stores in place before we start throwing our efforts everywhere.

I learned the term “copy canning” and, yes, I do copy can.  That being said, I don’t do EVERYTHING that I will ever write about.  Some things I am doing well, others things are being learned or failed at, and others are good ideas that I have not done but needed to do some research to utilize.)  I just want to be informed and doing as much as I can to prepare and I want to inform you of what I know.  So let me share some of the copy canning with you.  We take inventory of what we have, what we buy in respect to grocery food store, and what we use.  We can use this to determine what we will use in a week, so we can set a goal to store up this amount of food using our survivalist grocery list.  I am talking about using non-perishable foods, especially the ones that take very little energy to prepare.

Enter the “canned food.”  When you eat green beans, you can replace it with canned green beans.  I am NOT talking about making canned foods your daily choice of eating.  That is not the healthy way to do it.  What I am talking about is having these things as a backup to what you eat.  They may not be as good as the frozen or fresh version of the food, but they can sustain us when we can’t get or store the other stuff.  All of this stuff is kind of a theory right now and has no substance to what I am saying so, let me give you an example of what you can do to copy-can your lifestyle.


Let’s say I decide to inventory, not my purchases, nor my pantry contents, but just what I eat for a week (which I will only show a day or two for my point) and the list looked like this:


Sunday- Breakfast               A bowl of oatmeal with cinnamon and honey with a glass of milk.

Lunch                   Peanut Butter and Honey sandwich

Dinner                  Fried Chicken, garden-fresh green beans, and mashed potatoes

Monday- Breakfast              Homemade Pancakes and maple syrup

Lunch                   Peanut Butter and Honey sandwich

Dinner                  spaghetti and meat sauce


Now we think about what it took to make these meals and how we will prepare for a week of isolation in our home by knowing some of the good replacement foods to store. (Try to think of how this can fit in with the plan that I gave you in the How to Prepare blog, where I actually gave some general steps for a methodical and low-cost food storage.)

DAY                        USED                                                                     REPLACE WITH

Sunday-               old fashioned oats                                                Instant or quick oats (flavored or non) because it uses less energy to make the final product

  Cinnamon                                                         get two bottles of cinnamon next time we buy it

  Peanut Butter                                                   get an extra tub of peanut butter

  Honey                                                               get extra jar when at the store (keeps for a really long time)

Chicken                                                             buy a couple cans of canned chicken to pan fry or grill

  Fresh Green Beans                                          get a couple cans of canned green beans which are not quite as good, but a decent emergency substitute.

  Potatoes, mashed                                             get instant mashed potatoes that keep for a long time and are quick to make.

Monday-                  Eggs, milk, flour, etc. for pancakes                   get instant, just add water pancake mix

  Maple syrup                                                       already keeps well, so just buy an extra one at store

  Peanut Butter                                                   see above

  Honey                                                               see above

  Spaghetti                                                          keeps well, so buy an extra box at store

  Hamburger, tomato, etc. for sauce                  just buy the dried packets of spaghetti sauce to store for longer term storage, but you could also just have a jar of spaghetti sauce as well.

So, by thinking about long term storage of the items we eat all the time, we can come up with good alternatives for the storage.  We can then eat well when there are extended periods without access to stores, power, or utilities.  It is much better that eating rice and beans for every meal for an entire week, or month even.  You want these foods to be foods that you would eat anyways, because that will enable you to eat it and rotate new supplies in its place, thus keeping the best foods in stock.  If survival preps are just for extreme emergency scenarios, and they don’t make your life better when those bad times aren’t around, then you have failed, because that is the point.  You should enjoy it and see the value, or you will quit and do yourself no good at all.

Obviously there are sustainable gardening and production methods to help with production of food, which will help your self-sustainability, but we are talking about early stage, acute preparations here, which can be done very easily with “copy canning.”  If this method was coupled with agriculture and other methods, it would be very easy to have food for a year, which would reduce your worry, by alot.

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Ken is addicted to fitness and mountain biking. He is such a thrill seeker, people are starting to be concerned!He enjoys MTBing, Hiking, Climbing, Geocaching, Orienteering, Weight Lifting, and Wilderness Survival.

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