Reasonable price for dehydrated food, per serving

Discussion in 'General Survival and Preparedness' started by Ajax, Mar 20, 2011.

  1. Ajax

    Ajax Monkey++

    What do you consider a fair price to pay for dehydrated meals, like the #10 cans or whatever bulk containers they are selling, I haven't really looked into it much and would like to buy some to go with my dry grains and beans and canned food.

    I'm sure a fair price would vary but lets say these categories of dehydrated foods or whatever else I am missing.

    Meat, meals (like lasagna, beef stroganoff)
    Starch, potatoes, cubes, mashed, straws, whatever
    Fruit, any type of fruit concoction

    Also if you guys don't mind can you give me a few websites or names of big box stores that have decent prices on this type of stuff.

    Thanks much for your help.
  2. Tim1640

    Tim1640 Monkey+

    I look at my food preparations as a sort of pyramid:

    Top: At the top are quick and easy foods that take little to no preparation to eat. MREs, Mountain House meals, AlpineAire meals, etc. They typically don't have a super long shelf life, less than 5 years. These also tend to be the most expensive per meal. Costs range from $5-$10 per meal. I am striving to have a full four weeks of "quickies" on hand for the family.

    Middle: Mostly prepared family meals. Longer shelf life than "quickies", upwards to 15 years. Usually in "family" sized packages with enough servings for 1-3 meals for an entire family. Alot of options on this tier, Mountain house #10s, Wise Foods, eFoods, etc. Price per meal varies greatly. I am an IBO for eFoods since I was going use them for about half of my middle tier. They have a kit for $99.95 with 72 servings, which comes out to $1.40/serving. Their kits have pretty good variety (details below) and they make it easy to build up a reserve very quickly for a reasonable cost. I am striving to have 3-6 months worth of food in the middle tier on hand.

    Base: This should represent the bulk of your stored food. This is your staples: dry grains, beans, and bulk dehydrated foods. Lowest cost per serving and longest shelf life of all of the food storage categories. Food stored as ingredients rather than meals. Takes the most amount of time and effort for preparing each meal. I am planning 6-9 months worth for the base.

    Having sufficient food from each tier allows you to provide a very diverse menu for your family and helps manage how much time needs to be spent on preparing each meal.

    eFoods Variety Pack $99.95:

    The eFoods Global Variety Pack features 72 servings to give you a literal taste of what we have to offer and get you started on your food reserves program.


    9 Soups: 1 Cheddar Broccoli,
    1 Creamy Potatoes, 1 Minestrone,
    1 Potato Cheddar, 1 Chicken Noodle,
    1 Pasta Fagioli, 1 Tortilla, 1 Italian Chicken, 1 Corn Chowder

    8 Entrees: 1 Vegetable Beef Stew,
    1 Seasoned Instant Potatoes, 1 Chili Mix/Corn Meal Dumplings, 1 White Cheddar Sauce/Shells, 1 Cheesy Chicken Rice Casserole, 1 Chicken Pasta Alfredo, 1 Au Gratin Potatoes, 1 Beef Stroganoff

    1 Breakfast: 1 Granola

    For more information on eFoods please visit my IBO portal at: eFoods - Home - Food for Emergencies

    Tim Brown
  3. Ajax

    Ajax Monkey++

    Thanks for the info.

    Anyone else have input on what they have been paying per serving or good sites to buy this stuff?

    If I can just get a good baseline for the price per serving that will help with researching a good site to buy from too.
  4. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    It's hard to find #10 cans at a lot of online sites due to high demand right now, but we will see how it looks next month as the shipments receive a refresh supply. I would count on a continued draw, however. As with anything in high demand, prices will continue to climb as a result --it's an unfortunate result in a capitalist society (not complaining as much as stating fact). There are all kinds of good sites out there who do not mark up the products too much, but you're not going to find amazing deals anytime soon. Expect to spend around $30 - $50 per #10 can or more plus shipping depending on the food item: meats generally cost more than others, especially beef.

    I think the most economical freeze dried foods can be found through the major supply chains if they can keep stock; Mountainhouse, Amazon, Nitro-Pak, Sportsmansguide, etc., and followed closely by smaller retailers.

    If I lived anywhere near a LDS cannery, I would seriously be using that option.
  5. Ajax

    Ajax Monkey++

    Thanks for the info. I recently came in contact with some type of local buying group where you all pitch in and make a big order, like buying wholesale and there is only $3 shipping no matter how small or big the order is.

    I'm not sure if they have dehydrated foods but they have a lot of grains, legumes, spices and stuff like that. Hopefully that will turn out to be a great resource.

    The staples are much cheaper but it would be nice to have some other options to break up the monotony of eating plainer foods, even with spices, oils and soup bases it would be nice to have something different available every now and then.

    I'm sure the prices stink now since there is a shortage but still would rather make sure I'm not paying over fair market price.

    What is the deal with the shortages, is it that people are more concerned about disasters and are buying a lot more? It seems like it has been this way for a while now so you would think the companies producing the food would up their output a little more.

    I've heard there was a big government buy up that caused/causes the shortage/s but then I've also read that that is not true and it is people that are stocking up more causing the outage.
  6. BAT1

    BAT1 Cowboys know no fear

    Thanks for the link. I like the fact they have a feature to see the nutritional data.
    Most of their entrees have 20% or more salt, but a few have reasonably low salt levels.
    I'll pick some of them out and order. Does any one know where you can get low salt storables?
    I'm having a hard time finding those.
  7. Tim1640

    Tim1640 Monkey+

    I was requested to change the name of my eFoods IBO storefront the new link is: eFoods - Home - Food for Emergencies

    They also have a really good sample package consisting of 12 servings of three different dishes(tortilla soup, creamy potato soup & cheesy chicken rice casserole): Free Gourmet Reserve Mealsthe sample pack is free, you just have to pay $9.95 shipping which is a pretty good deal.
  8. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn RIP 1/13/21

    When it comes to #10 cans of bulk items as discussed in your first post IMHO to get the most bang for your buck, you can not beat the prices at an LDS cannery.
    The following is a review that got my attention;

    Some ideas to consider, based on how I did it:

    1) Find the nearest Mormon dry pack cannery. That's where I canned most of my dry food. You don't need to be a member of the church (I'm not) to go there. The prices are outstanding! Go to Provident Living Home and click on the Home Storage Order Form in the right hand column.

    Most of their food has a 30 year shelf life, and is fresh and of high quality.

    At the dry pack cannery, I canned up dried apple slices, hard red wheat, hard white wheat, dried onions, dried carrots, dried milk, potato flakes, rolled oats (recommend the regular oats as the gluey texture of quick oats gets old), white rice, pinto beans, black beans, white beans, sugar and refried beans. I really like the refried bean mix, which is tasty and filling eaten dry as a snack. It cooks up in minutes in water, although I add dried onions first, let them soften, then add the bean flakes and some salsa. Sometimes I pour in a can of black beans (rinsed) for interest too.

    For compliance and insurance reasons, you can't bring your own food into their facility, but they will sell you empty cans, lids and oxygen absorbers, and they have a portable electric can sealer people can check out. I went that route and canned up a bunch of bulk millet, quinoa, amaranth, lentils, red beans, split peas, tea bags, kidney beans, jasmine rice, sticky rice, brown rice, brown/wild/red rice medley, etc. in order to flesh out my menu.

    Some of these things I added have a short shelf life, even canned with oxygen absorbers, so I store them in a cool dry basement room. In the winter I open that room's window to refrigerate them!

    2) Start eating from your stock right away. A delicious breakfast is rolled oats with some apple slices, both from the Mormon cannery. If you wish, you can mix up some of their powdered milk, too, but regardless be sure to add in some cinnamon.

    There are all sorts of things you can do with beans and rice, with my favorites ranging from mexican to cajun.

    The hard red winter wheat can be soaked overnight and cooked for breakfast. Or, you can keep rinsing it every few hours and have wheat sprouts, which you can eat or bake into your bread.

    You'll need a good hand grinder for wheat. There's the Country Living Mill, and then there's the rest. Do this right the first time.

    Then learn to bake bread. Bread is becoming quite expensive at the store, and there's nothing at the store that's as good as fresh home baked whole wheat bread, particularly when the homemade stuff costs less than a buck a loaf to make and puts that wonderful fragrance into your house.

    There's always more, but if you build up a supply of the store-bought stuff you like and find a handful of recipes you enjoy that use your dry stocks, you'll be in dang good shape.
    Ajax likes this.
  9. Ajax

    Ajax Monkey++

    Thanks for all the info, that helps lay it out really well. If I understand it right you can buy the items and food from them and then go in and pack it yourself. Or you can but the canning items, take the lid sealer home if they allow you and then can your own food?

    I looked at the PDF for a minute and it seems like the prices are really good for the cans and lids a little over $1.25 or so for the can, lids and O2 absorbers.

    There is a Hoe Storage center about 1.5 hrs away from me in a town I visit regularly so it would be easy to go up there one day when I'm off and can a bunch of stuff.

    Once you get the hang of it about how many cans can you complete in an hour?
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