General chatter - How long could you survive on the food in your house?

09-07-2011, 02:37 PM
Just a fun poll/question! :D

Assuming you still had power (for cooking/refrigeration) and a water supply, how long could you and your family survive off the food that is currently in your house right now? (You cannot go to the supermarket to buy food... you are trapped in your home.)

09-07-2011, 02:49 PM
For just me alone - probably a month to 6 weeks (depending on how fast some foods spoil). For the family of 5 who all live here - 2 weeks. I just went to the store yesterday and I keep things well stocked. Plus, I home cook/bake everything.

09-07-2011, 03:25 PM
I'd say about a month.

09-07-2011, 03:33 PM
3 weeks and those would be some creative non-nutritive meals that last 7 days probably

09-07-2011, 03:38 PM
well just went shopping and including cans and the cereal and pb a j we stocked up on cause it was less then half price at least a month for three. U usually only do one big shop a month. Without the 24 year old who works hard manual labor 12 hour shifts 14 days straight I d say closer to 7 or 8 weeks

09-07-2011, 03:45 PM
maybe 2 weeks. I use mostly fresh produce (some frozen) and don't use anything canned or processed. I shop every week.

09-07-2011, 03:51 PM
Several weeks, but it certainly wouldn't be any fun. I keep the house pretty well stocked with food since with winter coming we could be snowed in, the roads could be closed - that sort of thing.

If the power were off, and that could happen in the wintertime, it would be a shorter time since cooking would be difficult, plus what is in the freezer and the fridge would spoil quickly.

09-07-2011, 04:02 PM
For my husband & me, I buy 12 eggs, 1 gal skim milk, 2-3 kinds of meat and 4-5 kinds of veggies every week. I have some frozen veggies like edamame and peas to toss in a soup, and some minimally-processed dry/canned goods in the pantry like tomato sauce, buckwheat groats, quinoa, flour, etc. So I would be able to last about 1/2 - 1 week.

I try not to stock my fridge too well because I tend to waste more food that way. So I try to plan my meals every 3 days or so.

April Snow
09-07-2011, 04:04 PM
If I wanted to stay on plan, about a week If I was willing to eat anything that I had, at least another week beyond that - I still have lots of non-plan (carby) food around from before I started on May 22.

09-07-2011, 05:20 PM
Survive? I long time, although I'd be hard pressed to put a number on it. Fruit in veggies would probably run out in the first 7-10 days. The only meat is some salami. That's probably go pretty quick. There's plenty of milk, and some frozen berries, so smoothies for a while. Probably a package or 2 of dried beans or lentils. Those would probably last nearly a week a piece. There's some rice. There's flour, so I could make bread. I could last a good long while, but I bet I'd be sick of it all long before it was gone.

09-07-2011, 05:22 PM
If I cook all the meals than our food would last two weeks, perhaps three? But when my husband cooks, the food lasts less than a week. lol

09-07-2011, 06:46 PM
Not very long at all. Maybe a week? We don't keep a lot of food in our house and don't have the space for it either. Plus, fresh fruits and veggies are mostly what we eat so we go to the store pretty often.

09-07-2011, 06:50 PM
Maybe I'm taking the question too literally.

You can go a month without food (as long as you have water) before you die of starvation.

There are alot of calorie dense things in the house. Bottles of canola oil and olive oil, PB, crisco, bag of sugar etc

If I calculated how many calories are in the kitchen and gave myself a 800 kcal diet. Then add into it surviving a month without food it would probably be much closer to 6 months. Though it wouldn't be fun at all.

I just went through all this when deciding against stocking up for Irene.

Though to the point of the question. If I ate like I eat now I could probably maintain it for a month or 2 on the food in my kitchen.

09-07-2011, 07:00 PM
Survive? Probably at least 6-9 months - not because the pantry is that full, but because we have several months worth of fat stores on our body.

We do keep the pantry, fridge, and freezer fairly well-stocked, because we're extremely frugal and the best way to spend the least on groceries, is to stock up when you find an extreme bargain on foods you regularly use.

The most economical way to buy rice, for example is in 20 lb bags. We don't eat enough rice for that to be practical, so we buy rice in 5 lb bags (which is much cheaper than rice in 1 lb bags).

When we learned that my family was going to be visiting from Illinois this summer, we had my sister bring us 8 lbs of dry tvp (textured vegetable/soy protein) and we reimbursed her. TVP looks like grapenuts cereal or beige gravel, but it's a dehydrated ground meat substitute that's much cheaper than ground beef and almost fat free (I use it to extend ground beef). In their area in Illinois it's only about $2.50 per lb, and around here it's almost twice that.

Because 1 lb of tvp is equivalent to about 4 lbs of ground beef, I have the equivalent of almost 30 lbs of ground beef in my pantry (in two large plastic canisters).

We don't have much easy-to-snack on (and therefore binge on) food in the house, but we wouldn't have to go mealless for at least a couple months.

09-07-2011, 09:14 PM
3-4 weeks comfortably. Quite a bit longer than that uncomfortably. Although I have fresh food, most of that would come from dry, canned, and frozen foods I have, as well as my disaster supply kit, which contains a week's worth of canned food (among other things).

09-07-2011, 09:18 PM
I have enough dry beans alone to probably sustain us for about 2 - 3 weeks. If you add the other foods in the house, we'd make it about 6 weeks. Maybe a bit longer if we start eating "non-food" items (i.e. condiments, olive oil, sugar, flour, etc.)

09-07-2011, 09:47 PM
How long can 3 adults survive on 45 quarts of green beans and 10 pints of lima beans? Add about 21 cans of soup, 8 boxes of rice, 8 boxes of cereal and 2 boxes of oatmeal. It might not be pretty once the fresh foods are gone or when the milk, coffee, tea run out...but we could "survive" for several months on all that plus the meat in the freezer.

09-08-2011, 01:05 AM
I would say about 6 to 8 weeks but my toilet paper would run out first and that would not be fun.
Of course I do have a hand held shower head. :)

09-08-2011, 08:43 AM
Me & my husband, a good year at least. I have giant 20lb bags of rice (sushi rice, thai rice, all from a specialty store that can last for years). My baby, oooh, probably just as long but he'd be very very grumpy without his milk :(

09-08-2011, 09:59 AM
You guys are better prepared than most! Some people I talk to say "24 hours." lol

My one friend said "3 months, but I'd be eating undesirables like canned pumpkin pie filling for dinner." lol

09-08-2011, 10:40 AM
I think my family and I could get by for about 2 months,maybe slightly longer(alot less if my oldest son was home).It wouldn't be the best of meals towards the end,but we could make it work.

09-08-2011, 12:00 PM
Probably about two months or so- we have meat to last us longer than that.... but we would be out of veggies and the one pound of rice we have in the pantry long before that. Though we do have an orange tree outside....

09-08-2011, 12:25 PM
Hmm, a few weeks to a month I guess, but we'd be eating a lot of spaghetti.

09-08-2011, 12:37 PM
We would starve in a few days because I tend to avoid the grocery store until I absolutely have to go in there........too many temptations.

09-08-2011, 12:38 PM
I think I could go at least two months, realistically, and that's not including the big box of Wonderslim products I have in my laundry room (we tried it and didn't like it, but I kept the remaining products as a sort of disaster-preparedness kit since they're vitamin-fortified and last a long time and are reconstituted with just water).

I've been thinking about how wasteful we are with groceries lately, and a couple of times a year I try and force myself to "eat down my pantry" before I go buying any more non-perishables (I allow myself a small grocery budget for fresh foods/go-withs). I'm thinking about doing this again.

09-08-2011, 02:38 PM
With me on plan: Probably a good 2 months since I have lots of frozen lean meats and veggies. We would not be happy after a few days since we would run out of milk, Silk, tofu, and eggs, but we'd be ok.

Off plan: We could survive for probably 6-9 months, possibly more, since we buy our dry goods in bulk and could live on the rice, wheat, quinoa, beans, etc. that are in the pantry for a long time. We might not be very happy with our meals, but we could survive.

09-09-2011, 12:10 AM
For my husband, me, and 18 month old-- 6 months to a year. If I were really trying to make it last and stretch, we could last a long time. It wouldn't always be tasty stuff, but between the freezer and pantry, I have a lot of stuff.

I can in the summer, too, so a lot of the stuff I can is meant to last us a whole year, but some stuff lasts longer. I also coupon shop and stock up when stuff is on sale, so we have a big freezer full of stuff.

I think people would be surprised at how long they could actually "survive"-- most Americans at least have tons of food on hand compared to the rest of the world. It wouldn't be fun, but I'm sure we could all last a lot longer than we think.

09-09-2011, 10:58 AM
I'd miss milk. My in-laws have chickens, so we'd have eggs. Plenty of fresh meat, cause DH can always kill a deer/rabbit/squirrel, etc.

We've been canning lots of tomato juice & soup mix from our garden & neighbor's garden this year.

We also have lots of jams & jellies, mostly wild muscadine & possum grape, but some other berries mixed in. Margarine NEVER goes bad. We'd have to make sourdough biscuits to go w/these items--as long as the flour holds out.

We have "wild" fish in local ponds. Bass, crappie, brim, catfish.

The fall fruits--persimmons, pears, apples, etc. will be ripening soon if they haven't already.

We could make it forever.

09-09-2011, 10:59 AM
My wife and I have enough food to get us through close to a month I guess as long as we were rationing it out a bit. I keep a lot of soup on hand as I buy in volume when it is on sale since I usually have a can a day for lunch.

We are also Costco shoppers and buy meat in volume, although not nearly as much as when our 4 kids lived here of course.

HOWEVER! after our major power outage of 10 hours last night I may think twice about stocking up on that meat :D

So glad we had propane in the tank and burgers though last night...just like campin' ;)

09-09-2011, 11:02 AM
Side note: I went through a phase of trying to keep lots of bottled water (gallons, 20 oz. bottles, you name it) in the house in case of emergency. Of course, we always drink the water to keep it rotated.

I've been thinking lately, though, if something were to happen "long term" and we couldn't go to the store and had no clean tap water supply--all that bottled water isn't really going to last very long. Certainly not long enough to keep two adults and two active toddlers healthy.

I'm going to buy a couple of Brita (or similar) pitchers for the house w/extra filters to keep in our emergency kit. I'll still buy bottled water, too. But you can always boil rainwater and/or spring water (I'd have to walk 5 miles to the spring and back, but I could do it for my kids) and then run it through the Brita.

09-09-2011, 11:39 AM
For those interested in water bottles that filter, we sold these at our church school for a fundraiser for our science class a few years ago...

my wife and children/spouses still use them as their water bottles of choice in their classrooms and offices...

my step-d's boyfriend also thanked us a month ago saying his came in super handy visiting Israel this summer!

My family swears by them....

Here is the product if you are interested ~

09-09-2011, 03:42 PM
Well, since my husband is a hunter, we have a lot of deer meat in the freezer. We could probably live comfortably for about a month or so, and uncomfortably for much longer. We also have chickens, so I'm sure they would help us get by even longer.

09-09-2011, 04:36 PM
You can also purify water for drinking with bleach: 1/8 teas bleach to 1 gal water.

Water can also be purified for drinking with sunlight.

I don't keep a ton of bottled water in the house... maybe a case or so. And we're on a well. So if the power goes out, that means the well won't work. Which means no water. I've been thinking about keeping more water in the house, but the problem is rotating it. I'm just not good about that.

Fortunately, we don't live in a super arid area. I suppose we could always collect and purify rainwater if necessary. Or make a solar still.

I think most people would be surprised at how much food you really need if you were waiting out a disaster. If anyone's curious, here's a calculator to see how much food your family would need for a year. It doesn't include meat, so "your mileage may vary," but it's an interesting exercise.

Arctic Mama
09-11-2011, 08:46 PM
My family and I could eat fairly well for about a month. We have lots of grains, dried beans, canned and frozen produce, meat aplenty in the freezer, and I'm a from-scratch baker and cook :)

09-19-2011, 04:44 PM
Without reading too much into it, I'd say 2-3 weeks. But, to be fair, I've been trying to get rid of foods/haven't shopped in two weeks now that I'm moving at the end of the month.

09-19-2011, 07:04 PM
I would say at my fiance's (where I am currently) we could survive on what we have for about a month, possibly 2. We just stocked up on shelf stable items, so while they wouldn't be the most healthful meals, they'd keep us going.

09-20-2011, 01:02 PM
easily 2/3 months, freezer is stocked, the cupboards are full and I cook from scratch. it would only fresh that would be gone in about 2 weeks.

09-20-2011, 02:36 PM
A month, possibly two...depends on how much I want or would eat in a day ie 3 meals or 1

09-27-2011, 01:18 AM
probably the 6 of us could last a few weeks. Lots in the freezers ( 2 ) and a pantry I should get grips on.

09-27-2011, 01:55 PM
It depends I guess. If I am trapped on my property with access to the garden and food storage I could survive for several months if not closer to a year. but if I was trapped in just the house I think we could make due and get by (without resorting to eating the pets) for several months and not as close to a year.

My husband and I were actually talking about this recently but it was more in lines of how and would we survive the zombie apocalypse.