Yo, Food Is Expensive! Budget Meals, Emergency Meal Kits.

Today, I will share two more DIY emergency meal kits that are shelf stable and you can easily take them with you in an emergency. Why would you want to do that? Because eating out is way more expensive than getting a hotel with a microwave or even better a kitchenette. I would honestly take a hot plate or electric frying pan with you, just in case.

These meals are not meant to be healthy. They are meant to be affordable, even cheap, portable, shelf-stable, and easy to make. You put everything you need into a Ziplock bag. I can not find the really big bags right now, at least not for a price I am willing to pay, so I am using the gallon bags and it is a tight squeeze. I also put the date of the earliest item that will expire. That way I know to use it and replace it by that date. If you have ever had to evacuate for a hurricane or other natural disaster, then you know how much money you could be spending on just feeding your family. You don’t see pet food in any of these kits, but please don’t forget to have extra pet food for your pets as well as water.

These are also budget meals and can be thrown together quickly on a busy night when you are tired. My husband hates freezer crockpot meals, but that is another option for busy, working moms.

You could buy organic options for these items, but they are way more expensive and do not last as long in your pantry. So, you would need to pay closer attention to the use by dates.

One suggestion I would make, especially if you have CKD, is to learn to cook and then can your own meats. This would contain way less sodium and phosphorus than canned or pre-packaged varieties and are shelf stable for long periods of time. I will try to see if I can find a video on that topic.

The first budget meal kit is so easy. You don’t even need a can opener because it has pop tops and cost me $2.25. This will feed three of us, and possibly four if there was a younger person with us. It is Spaghettios. Each of these cans is about 16 ounces and while it says one cup can be a serving the whole can is 290 calories. Besides the ease of this meal, the nutrition stats are not horrible for these, and honestly, I like them. There are phosphorous additives in here, and high fructose corn syrup which I generally do not consume, but in a pinch it is OK. Of course, the sodium is high as well. But, there is some fiber and very little fat. So, compared to a take-out cheeseburger I think these are way healthier. The date I have to use these by is Feb 2024. I may just make a few more of these kits.

The second budget meal kit is tomato soup with these little pasta pieces that look like broken spaghetti. Campbell’s is kind of expensive for soup, so you could get a generic and save more money. The pasta is 7ounces and is about 30 cents at my Walmart. Each can contains 2.5 servings, and that is before you add water to it. This meal is hearty, easy, and will easily feed at least 4 people a good warm meal. This soup does not have high fructose corn syrup, but it does have phosphorus additives. Make sure you read your labels to try and stay in compliance with any diet restrictions you may have. The pasta can cook right in the soup, so the one bottle of water is probably enough, but you may want two to be safe. At my Walmart, each can of soup is about $1.25 for each, and the pasta is 35 cents. That means this meal costs only $2.85.

Don’t forget if these are emergency meal kits, to have a way to cook it, including a pan or bowl, something to eat on and with, and then store it if you need to. But, I recommend you eat it all and not have to store it.

So far I have 4 of these kits, and I would like at least 14. Why? Because, if we ever have to evacuate again, and say it is 7 days, at least we will have two hearty meals a day and not bust our bank account in the process. Plus, if we ever go to a shelter you need to bring your own food and water. So, that is another good reason to have them ready to go. You could also gift these to people who may be having a hard time right now, or just hand it out your window to a homeless, hungry person. I have several other ideas rolling around in my head. Now, you can buy shelf-stable food that is a little more gourmet, in meal kits. But, they are super duper expensive. Those cute gallon sealable bags are not Ziplock but they came from Aldis.