This post is part of a series of emergency food supply company reviews. If you haven’t already, start by reading the beginning post “Oh So Many Emergency Food Supply Companies“.

This post contains affiliate links. That means if you click on a link to a product, I may receive, at no extra cost to you, a small commission when you make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

AlpineAire offers a variety of freeze dried meal pouches that are prepared by adding hot water. They also offer three different “7 Day” meal kits: Standard, Vegetarian and Gluten Free. The manufacturer states that pouches will last 5+ years under proper storage conditions.

AlpineAire also offers food stored in #10 cans under the Gourmet Reserves label, which will be reviewed separately.

Tell Me The Nutrition Information

nutrition informationAlpineAire does provide the nutrition facts on their website. Each pouch is an average of 600 calories. Given that the “7 Day” meal kit includes 14 pouches, that is only 1200 calories per day, which isn’t much.

If there is some sort of emergency where you will be dipping into your long term storage, chances are you are going to be at least moderately active in your survival pursuits.

According to, you will therefore want to plan on the following approximate calorie needs:

  • Ages 1-3: 1200 calories
  • Ages 4-8: 1600 calories
  • Ages 9-13: 2000 calories
  • Males 14+: 2600 calories
  • Females 14+: 2000 calories
    • Add 200 calories while pregnant.
    • Add 500 calories while breastfeeding

As you can see, 1200 calories per day isn’t going to cut it for anyone except your toddlers and preschoolers.

The standard kit offer 30g of protein per pouch, the vegetarian kit offers 25g of protein per pouch, and the gluten free kit offers 28g of protein per pouch. This is 16-20% of the calories per pouch. 15% is a reasonable minimum amount of protein, so these are reasonably balanced meals. You will want to evaluate if this is enough for you and your kids.

So How Much Does It Cost?

Since this product is available from many locations, I needed to narrow down which website I would want to order from. To do this, I did a cost comparison of a handful of different products.

  • offered the second cheapest price per individual pouch on their website with $8-$12 shipping for orders less than $50. They offer free shipping on orders over $50. The 7 day kit costs $79.95.
  • is a little more expensive per pouch, but also offers free shipping on orders over $50. They do not carry the 7 day kit.
  • had the most expensive cost per pouch but had free shipping. The 7 day kit currently costs $79.95 here.
  • is a little cheaper than but has a flat shipping fee of $12 up until $499 at which point you get free shipping. They do not carry the 7 day kit.

shop for the best priceCost per pouch is cheapest as part of the 7 day meal kit. The cost of the 7 day kit is the same at as

If you want to buy individual pouches, and are more expensive than ordering individual pouches directly from The tipping point to choose over is 17 pouches. So if you are ordering less than that you will want to order directly from

In order to compare with other manufacturers in my future reviews, I have decided to use the following metric: cost per 2000 calorie day, with a minimum of 75g of protein. If you were to stock up using pouches from the standard kit purchased at or, cost per 2000 calories averages out to $19.04.

If you were to use this product for a full year’s worth of food storage, you would be spending $6,949.60, which seems pricey. It would take a long time to stock up with a budget of $100 per month. I am very interested to see how other emergency food options compare.

Review of the Reviews

Neither nor offer customer review ratings on their website. offers 9 products products with at least a 4 star average review rating. offers 10 products with at least a 4 Star review rating. Reading through the reviews on, the chief complaint is durability of the packaging. Some pouches busted during shipping. Also some flavors did not rate well due to taste, but most were deemed acceptable.

Unfortunately I was unable to find many other reviews from independent bloggers who appeared to have actually tried their products. One blogger did compare a couple of flavors with another brand, Mountain House and voted in favor of Mountain House. Other reviews on also compared and voted in favor of AlpineAire. So you will just have to see which, if any flavors suit you and your kids.

Are There Good Affiliate Programs?

affiliate marketingSince I am in the business of affiliate marketing, I took a peak at the affiliate programs of the websites where these products are available.

I will always recommend purchasing from the supplier with the best price, barring a compelling customer service related concern. If the price is the same, I will recommend purchasing from the website with a better commission.

  • does not appear to offer an affiliate program.
  • offers an affiliate program with commissions of 5%.
  • offers an affiliate program with commissions of 4% on Grocery products.
  • offers an affiliate program with commissions of 10%.

So What Is The Verdict On AlpineAire?

The reviews seem favorable enough that AlpineAire products are worth trying. Since the pricing per pouch is best in the kit, and the kit is the same price from as the manufacturer, I recommend purchasing from (click here for my affiliate link: AlpineAire Foods 7 Day (14 Pouches) Meal Kit) and seeing if these pouches might have a place as a portion of your long term storage plan.

Have you tried any of the products available from AlpineAire? If so, please leave me a comment below and let me know what you think.

Read More →
Replies: 6 / Share:

Within the prepping community, 3-5 years worth of food storage seems to be the goal. This can be overwhelming if you don’t currently have any food storage.

Don’t rush out spend a lot of money just yet on MREs, large food supply kits, or even food that is on sale (that you wouldn’t normally buy). You need food you and your kids will actually eat. You will need to work up to a 3 month short term food supply first, then you can check out the emergency food supply companies for your long term food supply.

This post contains affiliate links. That means if you click on a link to a product, I may receive, at no extra cost to you, a small commission when you make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

short term food storageStart With Short Term Food Storage

To start out, pick an amount and add it as a line item to your monthly budget. $100 per month is a good goal, but start as small as your budget dictates.

Spend 1 week keeping track of everything your family eats, including condiments and beverages. After that, each time you go to the grocery store, spend some of your monthly budget on extra shelf stable foods that you are already buying that your family eats.

Work up to a week’s worth of food. Then just keep buying extra food until you have 2 weeks worth, then a month’s worth and then 3 months worth.

The 3 months worth of normal everyday food is your short term food supply. Ensure your pantry is organized so you eat the oldest foods first. This is called rotating your supply and will ensure that nothing expires before you eat it.

Then Add Long Term Food Storage

long term food storageThe next step is long term food storage. You want to start stocking this supply with food packaged to last 10-25+ years. This isn’t food you will be picking up at the grocery store.

You will probably be turning to the internet to purchase from one of the vast array of emergency food supply companies. A couple of google searches reveal that there are 25+ such companies to choose from.

At the bottom of this post I have started a list of all of the companies that I could find so far. It looks like it would be quite expensive and time consuming to order samples from every company in order to provide a first hand review.

I will go through the list below and narrow it down to 3 companies I want to try. Once I get those companies identified, I will come back here and edit this post to reflect my recommendations.

Know Other Companies?

Do you know of any other emergency food supply companies that I can add to my list? Do you have any experiences with any of the companies on the list? What qualities would you look for in a food supply company? Please leave your responses in the comment box below. I am looking forward to researching this topic.

Index of Emergency Food Supply Companies

Read More →
Replies: 8 / Share:

make all natural shampooMany shampoos have chemicals in them that aren’t very good for you. An all natural shampoo is better for you. There are plenty of all natural shampoos available for purchase, but what if there weren’t any available? Could you make all natural shampoo if you had to? Most of those all natural shampoos still have a lot of ingredients.

I did some research to see what sorts of simple all natural shampoos could be made from ingredients that could be included in a long term storage plan or could be made from renewable ingredients. Reading up on the options, they all caution that some work better for some people than others. So you will need to do a little experimentation to see what works for your hair before deciding what to prepare. One thing to note is that you aren’t going to get a lather like traditional shampoos.

Below I describe three shampoo options: soap, homemade honey shampoo and homemade apple cider vinegar shampoo.

This post contains affiliate links. That means if you click on a link to a product, I may receive, at no extra cost to you, a small commission when you make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Soap, In Your Hair?

homemade soapThe most all purpose option would be good old fashioned soap. In the old days, you made your own soap and used it for skin, shampoo, household cleaning, laundering, in short, everything! If you want to know more about the history of soap that you ever imagined was available, check out COLONIAL SOAP MAKING- ITS HISTORY AND TECHNIQUES.

The most basic recipe for soap has just three ingredients: lye, water and one of the following types of fat: tallow (fat from cattle), lard (fat from pigs) or grease (used cooking oil). Despite the short list of ingredients, soap making is somewhat difficult, time-consuming and could be dangerous with curious small children around.  For these reasons, soap is something you will want to include in your long term storage.

Lots of people enjoy the art of soapmaking, however, so it could still something you might want to learn to make. When you first start out, I would recommend buying lye and some tallow, lard or oils rather than making your own.

Lye can be purchased quite cheaply at most local hardware stores, but it is very caustic and can burn your skin. Because of this, if you have have small children around, you will not want to keep any around as part of your storage plans. If you want to make your own lye, it can be made from the ashes of burned hardwoods. Here is a wiki-how article How to Make Lye that explains it well.

As I mentioned before, the fat can be one of three different options: tallow (fat from cattle), lard (fat from pigs) or grease (used cooking oil). Most likely you will store up a good amount of cooking oils, so that will probably be your first choice for fat.  If you do have cattle or pigs, you may want to use the waste fats from your animals. Here is an article How to Render Tallow for Making Soap describing how to render tallow so you can use it for making your soap.

Honey Shampoo

honey shampooThis option only has two ingredients: water and raw and unfiltered honey. The ratio of water to honey varies so you might want to try a few different recipes. The most common recipe I saw called for 1 Tbsp of honey and 3 Tbsp of water. Other recipes had as much as 1/2 cup of water per 1 Tbsp of honey.

Honey can mold easily, so the most renewable way to plan for honey is to keep your own bees. Since you may not have your own bees yet, here is a link to a raw and unfiltered honey that you can use to test this option on your hair. You won’t want to use the non-raw honey that is in most grocery stores as it is hard to know what it was processed with.

Caution: Children under 1 year old are not supposed to eat honey, so honey shampoo probably isn’t going to be a good option for infants.

Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo

This option also only has two ingredients: water and apple cider vinegar (ACV). The ratio of water to apple cider vinegar seems to be pretty consistently 1 cup water to 1 Tbsp ACV. Bragg Organic Raw Apple Cider Vinegar is the brand of ACV that we have in our refrigerator. As with the honey, you will want to make sure the apple cider vinegar that you choose is raw and preferably organic.

If you want to make this the most renewable way, then planting an apple tree is a good choice. Apple cider vinegar is pretty easily made by putting apple cores in a jar of water in your pantry without a lid for a couple of weeks.

Have You Used Any Of These As Shampoo?

I have used apple cider vinegar shampoo and it didn’t work well for me. I have not tried the other two, but I would like to try the honey shampoo option. Please leave me a comment below with your experiences.

Read More →
Replies: 6 / Share:

Do you use disposable diapers? What would you do if you couldn’t get them any more at the store? You could try stocking up, but disposable diapers are pretty expensive. Also if you were in an long term disaster situation, potty learning may not be an easy task with stress hormones running high.

The reality is that it would be hard to stock up enough disposable diapers. In this post, I’m going to discuss what you could stock up on in order to be prepared for baby cloth diapers, whether you use disposables or cloth for your primary diaper routine.

There are seven components to cloth diapering: a diaper (the absorbent part), waterproof cover, wipes, a place to store your dirty diapers, laundry detergent, a way to wash your diapers and a way to dry your diapers.

The Absorbent Diaper

Pad Folded Flat DiaperThe most flexible option is going to be two dozen flats. Two dozen will easily last 2-3 days for most babies. Flats are big (around 30″ x 30″ square) single ply pieces of fabric that you fold up into a diaper.

This can be a little bit intimidating at first when you see how some people fold their baby’s diapers. I personally don’t use any fancy folding techniques. I fold it in half, fold it in half again, then fold it into thirds. I then lay it into a diaper cover with snaps (I’ll discuss covers more in the next section).

There are lots of quality flats available online. I actually don’t own any of those. So especially for an emergency stash, I recommend you go to the kitchen supplies section of any of your local retail stores (Walmart, Target, Kmart, etc) and pick up two dozen 100% cotton flour sack towels.

Yes, I am talking about the kind people use to dry dishes. These are cheap, quick drying and can be used to dry dishes while you aren’t in an emergency. Unlike most other cloth diapering options, these are not sized and are therefore flexible enough that you can use the same ones for any size baby from newborn to toddler.

The Easy Snap Cover

Flip Diaper On ToddlerWhen it comes to covers, you have plenty of options, but for your emergency stash, I recommend a minimum of (6) one-size diaper covers with snaps. A quantity of (6) should get you through 2 days.

With this quantity you aren’t changing the cover every time you change the diaper. You wipe out the cover and reuse it with a new flat as long, as it didn’t get poop on it. If your baby poops frequently, you may want to increase the number of covers that you stock.

A one-size diaper usually means from average to large size newborn until from 30-40lbs, depending on the brand. You are going to want to pick a cover that lasts until at least 35-40lbs. I will write a product review soon for my favorite diaper cover, the Flip brand Diaper Cover.

Cloth diaper covers come with either snaps or hook and loop. The hook and loop fastener is more similar to a disposable diaper and you can get a better fit on smaller babies, but they wear out too quickly after being washed and open/closed on a regular basis. Snaps are much longer lasting.

Have You Ever Used Cloth Wipes and Wipe Solution?

Disposable wipes have much the same issue as disposable diapers. There aren’t a huge amount of other functions they can serve, so it would be hard to stock up enough. For reuseable wipes, all you need is any little bits of cut up cloth and a squirt bottle with a wipes solution.

A basic wipe solution has three ingredients: water, oil and baby wash (or any liquid soap). Just fill up the squirt bottle 2/3 of the way with water and put a couple tablespoons oil and a couple tablespoons of baby wash. The coconut oil or olive oil that you would stock up on with your long term food storage plans will work perfectly. Whatever baby wash you use on your baby to bathe them, stock up a little extra on that and you are set.

Dirty Diaper Storage

Diaper Pail LinerYou need to have a place to put the dirty diapers between washing. The easiest solution is to use an old trash can with good quality generously size pail liner, like the Kanga Care Cloth Diaper Pail Liner. I rotate two, one in-use and one being washed.

One of the best features is that this bag can be turned inside out and washed in the same laundry load as the diapers. Another function for this bag (so it isn’t necessarily just sitting in your emergency stash) is as a laundry bag when we spend the weekend away at your in-laws.

Washing Diapers Without Electricity

If you don’t have electricity, this will be tricky. I have read about a few different ways to do this, but don’t currently have a great solution. I am going to do some research and post back here with a link to a new post on how we could effectively plan for this.

Cloth Diaper Friendly Laundry DetergentFor now, we have switched to washing all of our clothes in a cloth diaper friendly laundry detergent and stock up a bit on just one detergent. For a nearly comprehensive list of detergents and a rating of cloth diaper friendliness, check out this Detergent Chart.

Drying Diapers

The best route for this (if no dryer is available) is an old fashioned clothes line. Get some durable paracord and 30+ clothes pins. Hang diapers and covers to dry in the sun. A benefit to drying in the sun, is that ‘sunning’ your diapers will really knock out most staining and keep your diapers bright and cleaner looking.

A Summary of the Cloth Diaper Emergency Kit

So in conclusion, a good emergency cloth diapering kit would include the following:

  • (24) flats or flour sack towels,
  • (6) one-size diaper covers with snaps.
  • A clean squirt bottle (wipes solution will be made from products included in your long term household and food storage)
  • (2) Pail Liners
  • Paracord and 30 clothes pins

The following are items needed from other long term household and food storage:

  • Water
  • Coconut or Olive Oil
  • Baby Wash / Liquid Soap
  • Cloth Diaper Friendly Laundry Detergent

So there you have it. The basic diaper emergency kit. Do you have any other tips or have a good non-electricity solution for washing clothes? Leave me a comment below.

Read More →
Replies: 6 / Share:

This post contains affiliate links. That means if you click on a link to a product, I may receive, at no extra cost to you, a small commission when you make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

  • Product:
    • Graco Contender 65 Convertible Car Seat
  • Price:
    • $139.99 (retail)
  • Cheapest Place to Buy:
    • The prices change regularly. Buy when less than $115.
  • Patterns available from
  • Patterns available from
    • Arabella, Black Carbon, Charter, Chili Red, Glacier, Sapphire, Stephanie, Steven
  • Patterns available from
    • Brave, Cheer, Glacier, Piedmont, Sapphire
  • Width:
    • 18.5″
  • Expiration:
    • 7 Years
  • Fits a Newborn:
    • Yes
  • My Rating:
    • 9.7 out of 10

graco contender 65 newbornAre you shopping for a new convertible car seat? It can be overwhelming when you start shopping and realize that there are 25+ convertible car seats on the market.

Since you are here, I am guessing that you have read about the Graco Contender 65 convertible car seat and want to know if it might be for you.

Well, you are in luck. I own 5 of these and am here to tell you that they are a great choice when you balance price, usability and features.

Reasons To Choose The Graco Contender 65 Convertible Car Seat

  • Chart from Graco Manual - RF LimitsSuitable for a Newborn:
    • The lowest harness strap position is at 7″ with the infant insert. My third and fourth children born around 7.5 lbs and the straps were comfortably below their shoulders.
  • Suitable for a Toddler:
    • My daughter rose rear facing in one of these seats until she was 3.5 years old (38in tall and 35lbs). This was the point when her head approached 1″ of the red handle. My oldest never rode in this seat, but he was able to fit in it forward facing until just recently. He was 7 years old, 60lbs and 49.5″, so pretty much right at the manufacturer’s maximum limits.
  • Chart from Graco Manual - FF LimitsCost:
    • This seat retails for $139.99. It is available in many different patterns. I regularly see many of the patterns priced below $115.
  • No Re-thread Harness:
    • This seat has a no re-thread harness. This means you can use it for different children at different times. Even if only child uses it, it is very easy to adjust as they grow.
  • Ease of Installation:
    • This car seat is the easiest to install that I have ever had. It is extremely easy to switch back and forth between rear and forward facing.

Reasons Not To Choose The Graco Contender 65 Convertible Car Seat

There aren’t a lot of reasons not to choose this car seat, but in the interest of providing a balanced review, I tried to think of some.

  • Not necessarily suitable for an older child:
    • If your child is already 5 or 6 (and you aren’t expecting more), you may want to read my page about booster car seats.
  • Standard Latches:
    • It doesn’t have premium latches like Graco MySize 65 Convertible Car Seat. If your hand dexterity is lower, you might prefer the MySize 65 instead. This is why my parents own the MySize 65 car seats instead of Contender 65 car seats.
  • 1 Cup Holder:
    • If your child is used to having two cup holders, they might be disappointed that this car seat only has one cup holder.

Yes, I Own 5 Of These Car Seats And I Love Them All

I am still extremely satisfied with this seat, so much so, that I bough another pair for my fourth child who was born in July. This brings me up to three in my van and two in my husband’s van.

If you have a child between the ages of 0 and 5, I strongly recommend the Graco Contender 65 Convertible Car Seat.

Just click on the “Shop Now” button beneath the image on the right to shop for this car seat on


Read More →
Replies: 5 / Share: