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February 24, 2014

Book 14 of my 2014 Goal

Prepper's Pantry: A Survival Food GuidePrepper's Pantry: A Survival Food Guide by Robert Paine
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book's information goes beyond that of prepping for any kind of disaster although that is its intent. This is information that can be used any time, for example I could have used this information two years ago when I had my garden and had so many tomatoes that I was giving grocery bags of them away to strangers because we just couldn't eat them fast enough. Then when the winter hit, guess what I did? Yes, I went to the grocery store and had to buy tomatoes. Why? I haven't a clue what to do with them to keep them. I never 'canned' anything in my life and don't even know where to start. After reading this book, I do now! No, the book don't give you "how to can tomatoes" instructions but what it does give is good information on the different containers for different foods and the pros and cons of each including canning. It also does give the cost of the machines involved in preserving food so you have some ideal of price involved. The price for the basic dehydrator is said to be about $50 in the book and that is around what I paid. The vacuum system is said to be up to $200, I also have one and it was on sale for $160. So I am assuming the rest of the prices in the book are pretty accurate depending on model, make, or features. Also mentioned is the difference methods of doing the same thing. A water bath canner is mentioned and it says it can run between $40-$60 while the pressure canner can run between $100-$200. I didn't even know there were different canners so that is why I said at least now I know where to start. And even if the prices have gone up from the book's price listed, I know the water bath canner is cheaper than a pressure canner and I can now research each to see which one will meet my family's needs.

After reading about preserving food there is a whole section on how to obtain the food and save money on your grocery bills. (I just finished reading a whole book on saving money on your grocery bill and this book which isn't even totally on this subject has more useful information in it than the one totally on the subject!) There are methods to save time and money which I can use now for my family even if I don't plan on stockpiling food for any kind of disaster. I can take advantage of a sale on cherries and buy bulk and either freeze or can them, that way even in winter we can have some cherries instead of waiting for them to 'come into season' or pay high prices for cherries shipped from somewhere else. The author even put a list with common fruits, vegetables, meats, etc. and the best method on how to cook, preserve them and even when they go on sale (e.g. beef roast or brisket goes on sale around end of May while a pork roast is usually going on sale the beginning of May).

Since there is a lot of information that is in this book that I think would help save every family money on their grocery bills (I know, the meats are a problem since not all of us have extra freezers but not everything has to be frozen) no matter if you're stockpiling for a disaster or not, I highly recommend this book to everyone.

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