In the movie Zombieland, one of the goals of Woody Harrelson’s character had was to find a store that had Twinkies. He was obsessed with getting a hold of a Twinkie stash he wouldn’t let anything, including a bunch of zombies get in his way. It might have been just some product placement but they still had a valid point – a disaster does not make you stop craving for treats.
At the worst of Hurricane Ike, which sent me on my path to preparedness, I really wanted cheese and crackers. When the stores finally opened, there was no dairy to be found, including any kind of cheese whatsoever, even Cheez Weez was gone. After that, I made sure I have cheese on hand, including cheese spread – I know it’s fake, but it’ll do. I admit I happen to like artificial cheese flavor – Doritos and Cheetos Cheese Puffs.
Adding snacks and treats to your food storage
What Snacks and Treats should you Include?
The answer really depends on you – the items you really crave, as well the amount of space you have. Some ideas:
- Chocolate A lot of people crave chocolate; I do enjoy a good bar of plain Hershey’s on occasion, as well as my all time favorite, Heath Bars. You can even rationalize that it is good for you, especially dark chocolate. You do need to make sure you buy it well ahead of expiration dates, and the packaging must not be broken. When I first started working, I had the misfortune of opening up a bar of Rocky Road Marshmallow Chocolate (these used to be my favorite) and it was full of maggots *shudder* I bought it from a convenience store in my office building at the time and it must not have been stored properly.
- Crackers and cookies Cookies and crackers can be satisfying treats, and not just for the kids. Again, pay attention to the packaging and dates. You already know what you and your family like, just pick up a couple of boxes and save them.
- Nuts and seeds Nuts and seeds are both satisfying and healthy – pick up a few cans or jars of peanuts, cashews, macadamia, almonds etc.
- Dried fruit Again, they are both tasty and good for you. Pick up raisins, dehydrated strawberries, blueberries etc. Or better yet, pick up a food dehydrator and dry them yourself. (one of my “to-do’s”)
- Chips Okay, these are not so healthy but I like them. Between salty and sweet, I am partial to salty snacks. Go on, pick your favorites and have a few bags on hand, just in case.
- Bacon The only person I know who hates bacon is a vegetarian, everyone else loves it. Bacon comes in a can, so you have options.
- Soda I am not a soda drinker, but I do like carbonated water. Some people swear by 7-Up to relieve stomach aches so who am I to judge. Keep a liter or two in your pantry, you can always use the plastic bottle for water storage. Or, learn to make your own soda at home.
- Make sure the items you keep are shelf stable, that is, no refrigeration needed.
- Buy items that have long expiration dates.
- Pick up items while on sale and stock up. Halloween is coming up in a few weeks – now is a good time to stock up on chocolate and candy. You can even freeze them for later use and use them for making other desserts.
- Follow the same tips to avoid food storage mistakes, as you do other foods.
As an added benefit, your non-prepping teen or spouse will feel a little more receptive to preparing if you include their wish list to your storage. In an emergency, having favorite snacks would boost family morale. And, if nothing happens, then you still have your favorite treats on hand for cravings.