Freeze Dried Foods - What companies I order from and which ones I no longer order from

These first paragraphs are from my Emergency Preparedness page found in the header links above.

Whether it's a hurricane, tornado, earthquake or a man made disaster (think; the water situation in Michigan),  there isn't an area to live where you shouldn't prepare to provide for yourself or your family in the case of a disaster.  

If you've read my website for any amount of time, you have probably noticed me mentioning in passing food storage, stocked pantries, cooking in my solar oven, dehydrating foods, reviewing freeze dried long term storage products, etc.  It's not a topic I preach on, but it's a way of life for our family and millions of people in America.

This used to be a way of life for almost everyone.  Our Grandparents (and parents) kept a stocked pantry at all times. Usually had home canned goods in the basement and a stocked freezer.  When hard times hit for one reason or another they were prepared to help themselves and get through it.

It's only in the past 30 years that people have started to rely on everyone but themselves in case of emergencies; small or large and it's gotten especially bad in the last 10 years!  The thing is, it's not the governments job to take care of you in case of emergencies.  It's your job to take care of you (and your family).  We all have personal responsibility.  Sure, they may send in help eventually, and they will send out a humanitarian effort, but even the government itself tells you to have an emergency bag you can grab if you need to evacuate your home quickly and to have at least 3 days food, water and medications in your home at all times. 

And that is how today's post starts. 

Yesterday I got an email special from a company I used to buy from about 4 years ago but over the past two or three years, many of the things they've done have left a 'bad taste in my mouth' so although I opted into their emails, I don't purchase from them often unless I find a really good deal.  The email yesterday sounded like a pretty good sale ($60 off orders of $175) so I clicked.  Looking through the products I was sure the prices were far, far higher than I seen just 2 months ago so I dug out the catalog I had in my emergency files and price checked.  WOW.  Huge, huge increases in their prices from just Christmas time - and the new "SALE" prices on their site were sometimes double the cost of the product "regularly" priced.  And it's due to the cost of the food or process or water storage items because their competition with the SAME products are still being fair and reasonable with pricing.  It's only this particular company who has progressively been getting a little too big for their britches lately and doing things I just don't agree with (which I'll get to in a minute).

And that is why I decided to grab a cup of coffee and post some thoughts this morning.

I buy from many different companies and stores.  My own storage ranges from canned goods to freeze dried goods and everything in between.  I'm not 'married' to any one company - no one sponsors me or or pays me to be their ambassador and I pay full retail for all my emergency storage.

Over the past couple years I've been focusing on building up our freeze dried storage (see photo to the left) - which I love, and can store for up to 25 years - but I also use many in our everyday cooking, snacking and baking.  I also buy canned goods, dehydrated foods, water filtering items, bug out bag items, first-aid, camping and other products.

Companies I use include Walmart, Sam's Club, Costco and local grocery stores for some items, but most of my freeze dried or dehydrated foods, as well as water, emergency survival items, solar oven, etc. all come from online ordering.

Since 2011 I've used;
Harmony House
My Food Storage
The Ready Store
Mountain House items from various places
Walton Feed
Wise Food Storage
Auguson Farms 
Mayflower Trading
Emergency Essentials
Thrive - Shelf Reliance
Sportsmans Guide
Valley Food Storage
Various Amazon retailers
LPC Survival
Pleasant Hill Grain
Rainy Day Foods
And a few more but I can't remember the names of them off hand right now

What companies do I order from the most?

I like Emergency Essentials the best for our freeze dried foods.  I like Pleasant Hill Grain for canned meats like bacon, and butter.  I use Honeyville for almond flours but hate how they've raised their prices (almond flour went from $34.99 to $54.99).  Their quality is top notch though.  I like Valley Food Storage foods (taste great) but I'm not into purchasing 'pouches' right now - more focused on cans. Mountain House is good for our camping trips and a couple items in our bug-out bags but I don't have them for long term storage due to the cost and quality I do better through Emergency Essentials.

What companies do I not order from anymore?

I like Walton Feed and Rainy Day Foods but the shipping was outrageous as they ship based on weight (or at least they did when I was ordering from them).  Great prices - BUT my order for $60 cost me $21 to ship a couple years ago - and I've never ordered since.  I like the Thrive foods quality but the price is about 1/3 higher what I can buy elsewhere.  I like Auguson Farm products but prefer to order through Sam's Club because when I order from their site they take forever and a day to ship.  I did note they started a 3 day ship offer in an email last week - not sure if that is going to be a new 'forever' thing or if it was a special 'limited time' only but waiting for Auguson Farms and Rainy Day Foods to ship was crazy long shipping times.

And then there is the Ready Store.

First:  About 2 (?) years ago they decided to really push reviews.  They were offering $.05 credit for every review.  What you now see on the site are reviews by people who have apparently never used it, and many times haven't even bought it.  Overwhelmingly I read the generic;  "This is a great product to have in your food storage" or even worse;  "I'm going to buy this for our food storage" - over and over!  Some are posting the same phrase to numerous products - (cut and paste, cut and paste) so there is NOTHING about the actual product.  The taste, flavor, texture, ease of use...  worthless reviews.

Second:  They give you points for your orders but you have to build a huge number of points before you can redeem them AND they disappear and are wiped out if you don't use them for 12 months.

Third:  PRICES HAVE GONE THROUGH THE ROOF.  This is really the reason for this post.  If you want to order from, please price check with a few other sources.  Even if you compare serving size and ounces - the prices are crazy.  Even items like their IoStat tablets - last night were on their website for $20.  You can buy them almost anywhere else for about $7-9.  They have good products but just be aware pricing is not comparable or competitive with market pricing.

Last night during my price checking the current products verses what the exact same items were priced just 2 or 3 months ago, I found overwhelmingly the prices have jumped to levels I know I can't afford to pay (nor would I want to as I spend considerable time price comparing before I order anything online!).

Here is my latest catalog from them with the price of the item at Christmas time, verses my hand written "SALE" price from their website last night (March 24, 2016).  This is just to give you an idea of what I'm talking about by price increases that do not compare to the same products you can buy elsewhere.

Water was $45 now on sale for $103
Chicken entree selling for $26 is now on sale for $44
Oranges (which I currently need) were $30 now on sale for $38
The berry pack at $166 is now a great 'sale' at $209
Peaches (another item I was going to order but not now) were $25 just weeks ago - now on 'sale' for $40
And for the bigger purchases?
The 6 month 2000 pk that was $1750 just  2 months ago is now a huge "SALE" item you can buy for $2133.

Again... good products - but just be aware you need to price check various sources if you don't have unlimited funds to spend!

I just grabbed these out of my pantry really quick for a photo
to show you, my readers that I really do purchase and use
many "long term storage" products in our home for every day use as well
as emergency storage.  I am currently a "housewife" having not returned to the
the museum or Chamber of Commerce work place since relocating here
with my husbands job - so we are a 1-income family and
price checking and budgeting is a MUST for our family!
I assume it is for yours too.

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