Food storage kits are complex. They often have upwards of 150 cans of different foods, some freeze-dried some dehydrated, some with just-add-water meals while other kits require cooking meals from scratch. Then add to the fact that some companies will twist the details to make them look better than they are and you get one confusing shopping experience. That’s why a Food Storage Kit Comparison Checklist is wise.
A little bit of effort is worth it to make sure you’re getting the best deal on your large purchase. Big kits are popular as you can often get bulk savings of 10-40% off buying the food storage individually. That is a big reason to buy these large ticket items but you must learn how to shop these kits correctly so you can make sure you aren’t fooled as there is a lot of deception and bad items out there.
Price is the first thing people look at when shopping large food supplies but that doesn’t tell the whole story. First you need the sales price, the shipping and handling fees, and any applicable tax. Add those all up and you have your total cost, but you’re not done yet, you need to take that final number and use the next talking point, calories, to be able to see the true value of a food reserve.
A number of food storage companies will boast total servings while others will state calories per day. To truly compare apples to apples you need to break down each kit to get the total calories per day and later come up with the cost per 2,000 calories – don’t worry we will explain.
You need to first find out the total calories in a kit. Total servings count can be manipulated (one example add a #10 can of salt to a kit and increase servings by 2,300 servings!) while calories are much harder to fake… though we’ll cover that topic below. When a kit doesn’t state total calories or calories per day you need to do the following simple math which will require a little work.
See for our analysis of the bad deal the Food Insurance 632 Entree Meal Plan is
1. Start by listing the names of the items in the kit on a spreadsheet or piece of paper.
2. Find out how many servings of each item is in the kit and put that to the side of the items.
3. Next find out how many calories are in each serving of the different items and put that to the right of the numbers in step 2.
4. Multiply the numbers to come up with total calories per item from the food supply kit.
5. Add all of the total calories per item in the kit to get to a grand total of calories in the kit.
6. Divide the total calories number by number of days the kit is said to cover and you end up with calories per day or divide the total colories by 2,000 (for those that want to eat 2,000 calories per day) and see how long the kit would last if you are 2,000 calories a day!
While this takes some time to do it can be well worth it, we have compared some kits that were half the value of another kit yet were marketed to be comparable. No one wants to be on the end of buying a kit that is the same price as another but comes with 50% less food!
3. TYPES OF FOOD
Many different foods are put in food storage supply kits. Some are freeze-dried while others are dehydrated. Some foods will be just-add-water while others require cooking and much larger cleanup. You will want to know what percentage of each is in the kit so you know what you are getting.
Another point you will want to check into is the type of meat that is provided in the meals or cans. Is the kit full of the more expensive and better tasting freeze-dried meats of is it loaded up with imitation meat (textured vegetable protein)?
Lastly you will want to look at the brands of food. Some brands are simply not as good tasting as others. Buy small samples of the brands you are checking out before spending a lot of money on foods you haven’t tried. Some kits are mixed with brands so find out how much of each is in one kit.
Just because a kit has a lot of calories doesn’t mean they are good calories. The food storage industry is getting better at this but not too long ago you would find year supply of food storage kits that derived 50% of its calories from cases and cases of sugary drink mixes! So it’s important to look at what would be considered “filler” calories in the kits you’re comparing and come to a conclusion on which has more “good” calories.
Another important aspect that will make eating the food storage kit more enjoyable is the level of variety. No one wants to be eating the same thing every other day while they are out of work and using their year back up of food. A low variety of food would get old so fast!
Over the years most food storage supplies came in a #10 can or a mylar bag. The #10 can has been better known for its long shelf life, while also being more durable. The one real drawback to the #10 cans is usability. When you have smaller mylar pouches you can open up less food at one time and in some cases eat out of the pouch so you don’t dirty dishes!
TIP#1: Number of cans is often not a very good indicator of food as some brands fill their cans 60% full while others fill them to the top.
TIP#2: The shipping weight of large food reserves are also often not worth comparing. For one, kits with a similar calorie total might not weigh close to each other if one has food that is freeze dried (a lighter product by nature) and the other is filled with much heavier dehydrated items.
The final evaluation is a culmination of the previous 6 points. Take a look at the final data points and see which food storage kit is the better overall purchase. Looking at the final price is nice in some ways but it doesn’t factor in the calorie differences in the kits. So calculate the cost per 2,000 calories and you’ll see the overall price differences much better.
In our Face Off Review of the Emergency Essentials Gourmet 1600 Food Supply versus the Food Insurance 1264 Entree Meal Kit it isn’t until this step do you see just how much a better deal one of the kits is over the other.
So there you have it! Save big by crunching the numbers, it might take a hour of your time but it could save you hundreds if not thousands of dollars on your next large food storage purchase!