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Don’t Know What To Stock For Emergencies? 10 Foods That (Almost) Never Expire

Don’t Know What To Stock For Emergencies? 10 Foods That (Almost) Never Expire

People often make fun of me because I am what some may call a “mini-prepper” of sorts. By no means am I prepared for a long term food or water shortage, but my family is prepared to hold out for a few weeks. I simply do not have the space or financial resources to create the type of prepper setup that some folks have out there. Ours is limited to some MREs (meals ready to eat), water, and bare necessities in the event of a short term disaster, power outage or food shortage.

After seeing the way that things were during Hurricane Sandy, I knew that we needed to prepare. After only 3 or so days of shortages, people in NYC were becoming desperate and dangerous. My stash is not huge, but I suppose it is better to have something small, than nothing at all. For those of you who may be thinking about pillaging my home in the event of a disaster, I will also add that I have the means to defend my provisions. I’m just saying, don’t try and rob us!

All that being said, the following is a list of foods that you can acquire for long term storage, or simply if you don’t cook that often. These foods will stay edible for a very long time!

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White Rice

Not all rice is created equal. You would expect that brown rice and white rice would both last for a very long time. However, you would be wrong. Due to the oils found in the brown rice bran layer, it will last at best 6 months. However, white rice can last up to 30 years! Wow, that sounds like an easy decision to me! Although I would question how it can last so freaking long! That’s going inside of us! Woah! In order for this product to last the projected 30 years, you want to keep it in oxygen-free containers in temperatures below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

Honey

Allegedly the oldest jar of honey that has been discovered is 5,500 years old! Say what, who knew that honey could last this long? Well that is correct. The flowers and bees come together to produce this amazing concoction called honey. It is highly acidic and very low in moisture which creates an environment that is not very conducive to bacterial growth. Although honey can take in moisture from the air, when heated, strained and sealed properly, it can last indefinitely. This one is new to me, and I need to pick some of this stuff up! I can use it to sweeten up those dried MREs I mentioned before!

Salt

This one should be a given, I mean we use salt to preserve other foods after all! It is only logical that the salt itself could last for a long time. The commercial salts that we buy can only be expected to last about 5 years or so; this is due to adding iodine. Although who would go longer than 5 years using the same salt in an emergency type of scenario? 5 years should be more than enough time to sort things out, or get eaten by zombies.

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Soy Sauce

This is another item that should come as no surprise. Soy sauce’s shelf time is debatable depending on what is added to it, but even after being opened, it should keep for years in the fridge.

Sugar

The recurring theme here seems to be moisture. Sounds to me that if we can keep the moisture out, the food can last longer. That being said, how you store the sugar, and how much moisture it interacts with will determine how long the sugar will last. However, experts state that even old sugar is still edible once softened up. So hey, pour some sugar on me!

Dried beans

Now, I know from my own personal experience growing up in a poor household that these can last for a very long time. Whenever it was time for food, and we were in a bit of a financial pinch (which was often), we’d soak these in water for a few hours, and then cook them. Researchers state that even after 3 decades, though the quality of the beans may have decreased, they can still be edible! 3 decades, people! If any emergency lasts longer than 30 years, we have bigger problems than running out of food.

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Pure Maple Syrup

Words like “forever,” should not often be used. Our time on earth is so limited in the grand scheme of the universe, and forever is a mighty long time. However, that doesn’t stop Utah State University from stating that pure maple syrup could pretty much last forever. The makeup of this and other sugars ensures that it resists microbial growth better than many other food items.

Powdered Milk

Though not as yummy, this product will last much longer than fresh milk. We all have probably smelled ‘milk gone bad’. It happens relatively quickly, so it’s worth trading in some taste for duration. Such is life, and I doubt that you will be too worried about taste during a global emergency!

Hard Liquor

I learned this one through my own experiences as well. Don’t ask me why, but I often drank the flavored drinks as opposed to the pure hard stuff. However, I realized that the ‘fruity’ drinks would quickly become gross, while the real deal stuff would keep! It makes sense, adding fruits and the like would then put the liquor at the mercy of those items’ shelf lives. Keep the hard stuff, and so long as you are ready and willing to take a shot, the shot will be there for you!

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Pemmican

Now here is an item that I never heard of until recently. Sounds like beef jerky to me, but it’s called Pemmican. The Native American tribes invented Pemmican. Powdered dried meat, mixed with berries, and rendered fat produces a food that you could eat raw, stewed, or fried. Of course, given today’s health standards and so on, the recipes have been modified. Personally, I’d go for the dried meat by itself, but many swear by the staying power of this product.

If you’d like to try something other than MREs, these are some foods that you can add to your emergency stash. If you have any to add, please share them with me via Twitter! For further details on these products check out this article!

Featured photo credit: Phillip Stewart via flickr.com

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Last Updated on November 19, 2019

20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

Are you usually punctual or late? Do you finish things within the time you stipulate? Do you hand in your reports/work on time? Are you able to accomplish what you want to do before deadlines? Are you a good time manager?

If your answer is “no” to any of the questions above, that means you’re not managing your time as well as you want. Here are 20 time management tips to help you manage time better:

1. Create a Daily Plan

Plan your day before it unfolds. Do it in the morning or even better, the night before you sleep. The plan gives you a good overview of how the day will pan out. That way, you don’t get caught off guard. Your job for the day is to stick to the plan as best as possible.

2. Peg a Time Limit to Each Task

Be clear that you need to finish X task by 10am, Y task by 3pm, and Z item by 5:30pm. This prevents your work from dragging on and eating into time reserved for other activities.

3. Use a Calendar

Having a calendar is the most fundamental step to managing your daily activities. If you use outlook or lotus notes, calendar come as part of your mailing software.

I use it. It’s even better if you can sync your calendar to your mobile phone and other hardwares you use – that way, you can access your schedule no matter where you are. Here’re the 10 Best Calendar Apps to Stay on Track .

Find out more tips about how to use calendar for better time management here: How to Use a Calendar to Create Time and Space

4. Use an Organizer

An organizer helps you to be on top of everything in your life. It’s your central tool to organize information, to-do lists, projects, and other miscellaneous items.

These Top 15 Time Management Apps and Tools can help you organize better, pick one that fits your needs.

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5. Know Your Deadlines

When do you need to finish your tasks? Mark the deadlines out clearly in your calendar and organizer so you know when you need to finish them.

But make sure you don’t make these 10 Common Mistakes When Setting Deadlines.

6. Learn to Say “No”

Don’t take on more than you can handle. For the distractions that come in when you’re doing other things, give a firm no. Or defer it to a later period.

Leo Babauta, the founder of Zen Habits has some great insights on how to say no: The Gentle Art of Saying No

7. Target to Be Early

When you target to be on time, you’ll either be on time or late. Most of the times you’ll be late. However, if you target to be early, you’ll most likely be on time.

For appointments, strive to be early. For your deadlines, submit them earlier than required.

Learn from these tips about how to prepare yourself to be early, instead of just in time.

8. Time Box Your Activities

This means restricting your work to X amount of time. Why time boxing is good for you? Here’re 10 reasons why you should start time-boxing.

You can also read more about how to do time boxing here: #5 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity.

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9. Have a Clock Visibly Placed Before You

Sometimes we are so engrossed in our work that we lose track of time. Having a huge clock in front of you will keep you aware of the time at the moment.

10. Set Reminders 15 Minutes Before

Most calendars have a reminder function. If you have an important meeting to attend, set that alarm 15 minutes before.

You can learn more about how reminders help you remember everything in this article: The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder That Works)

11. Focus

Are you multi-tasking so much that you’re just not getting anything done? If so, focus on just one key task at one time. Multitasking is bad for you.

Close off all the applications you aren’t using. Close off the tabs in your browser that are taking away your attention. Focus solely on what you’re doing. You’ll be more efficient that way.

Lifehack’s CEO has written a definitive guide on how to focus, learn the tips: How to Focus and Maximize Your Productivity (the Definitive Guide)

12. Block out Distractions

What’s distracting you in your work? Instant messages? Phone ringing? Text messages popping in?

I hardly ever use chat nowadays. The only times when I log on is when I’m not intending to do any work. Otherwise it gets very distracting.

When I’m doing important work, I also switch off my phone. Calls during this time are recorded and I contact them afterward if it’s something important. This helps me concentrate better.

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Find more tips on how to minimize distractions to achieve more in How to Minimize Distraction to Get Things Done

13. Track Your Time Spent

When you start to track your time, you’re more aware of how you spend your time. For example, you can set a simple countdown timer to make sure that you finish a task within a period of time, say 30 minutes or 1 hour. The time pressure can push you to stay focused and work more efficiently.

You can find more time tracking apps here and pick one that works for you.

14. Don’t Fuss About Unimportant Details

You’re never get everything done in exactly the way you want. Trying to do so is being ineffective.

Trying to be perfect does you more harm than good, learn here about how perfectionism kills your productivity and how to ditch the perfectionism mindset.

15. Prioritize

Since you can’t do everything, learn to prioritize the important and let go of the rest.

Apply the 80/20 principle which is a key principle in prioritization. You can also take up this technique to prioritize everything on your plate: How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

16. Delegate

If there are things that can be better done by others or things that are not so important, consider delegating. This takes a load off and you can focus on the important tasks.

When you delegate some of your work, you free up your time and achieve more. Learn about how to effectively delegate works in this guide: How to Delegate Work (the Definitive Guide for Successful Leaders)

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17. Batch Similar Tasks Together

For related work, batch them together.

For example, my work can be categorized into these core groups:

  1. writing (articles, my upcoming book)
  2. coaching
  3. workshop development
  4. business development
  5. administrative

I batch all the related tasks together so there’s synergy. If I need to make calls, I allocate a time slot to make all my calls. It really streamlines the process.

18. Eliminate Your Time Wasters

What takes your time away your work? Facebook? Twitter? Email checking? Stop checking them so often.

One thing you can do is make it hard to check them – remove them from your browser quick links / bookmarks and stuff them in a hard to access bookmarks folder. Replace your browser bookmarks with important work-related sites.

While you’ll still checking FB/Twitter no doubt, you’ll find it’s a lower frequency than before.

19. Cut off When You Need To

The number one reason why things overrun is because you don’t cut off when you have to.

Don’t be afraid to intercept in meetings or draw a line to cut-off. Otherwise, there’s never going to be an end and you’ll just eat into the time for later.

20. Leave Buffer Time In-Between

Don’t pack everything closely together. Leave a 5-10 minute buffer time in between each tasks. This helps you wrap up the previous task and start off on the next one.

More Time Management Techniques

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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