Doctor Prepper™ CPR

Preparedness Mama

The Mega List of Preparedness with Author Shelle Wells AKA Preparedness Mama

On today’s Critical Preparedness Radio program, Doctor Prepper interviews Preparedness Mama!

Shelle Wells, aka Preparedness Mama, is a busy mom, wife, preparedness enthusiast and blogger. She gave up her (boring) bookkeeping job for something better. She likes family history (when she has the time), action movies (which she should give up for family history), canning, preserving food, and gardening––she dreams about growing things!

Shelle recently traded her garden in the Pacific Northwest for one in Central Texas, where she’s learning a whole new way of gardening. She’s passionate about her family and church and about spreading the mainstream preparedness message––and without hype, hysteria, or hopelessness! Preparedness Mama brings you easy-to-do preparedness skills, food storage and gardening tips at least three times a week.

Shelle recently published an eBook – The Mega List of Preparedness: 512 Items the Ultimate Prepared Family Should be Stocking and Storing, which is a handy reference to help you identify what you might need in 14 different preparedness areas, including 72-hour kits, pantry items and water storage. Once identified, you can make a plan and stock up on items as they go on sale. The Mega List of Preparedness is available as a free download at

Shelle shares her passion to provide women with reliable, realistic and practical information about preparedness, self-reliance, gardening, food storage and everyday life. She’s an expert about how you can prepare your family for the big and small disasters in life. One mantra Shelle proclaims is: “Make your food storage an extension of your pantry.”

She advocates a do-it-yourself (for as little money as possible) food storage plan. You won’t see Preparedness Mama purchasing a year’s supply of ready-made food in buckets. She understands that while that may work for some, her family takes a different approach. They do not store food as a “stockpile” for the end of the world, but as a buffer against job loss and for their family’s financial security. She’s certain that philosophy brings peace of mind to the entire family. She knows that at a moment’s notice, she can go to the pantry and have a healthy meal for her family. It’s her security blanket to enfold the family.

Shelle indicated that several times in their 20+ years of marriage they needed to use their food storage as the main source of their meals. The recalls the first time was when her husband was attending college and was doing an internship for his job. They had three months of minimal income, and that experience taught her a valuable lesson in self-reliance that she has never forgotten.

Here are some of her tips she sent for beginning your own personal and family food storage plan she reveals on her blogsite:

Store only what your family will eat.

  • I’m not overly fond of creamed corn. You won’t find it in my food storage
  • Most families eat the same things – over and over.
  • Make a list of the 10 most common meals and the ingredients––use this as the foundation of your food storage plan
  • Talk about the importance of planning… you can’t just throw this together and expect it to be helpful.

Start looking for ways to purchase those things – inexpensively. You can:

  • Look for canned goods sales – my local grocer has one every fall and we stock up on a years’ worth of tomato sauce and paste.
  • Go to an outlet store like Grocery Outlet – just be careful of expiration dates. These are best used for short term storage, say 3-6 months
  • Buy produce in bulk. Join a group or look for roadside stands during peak season.
  • Shop at warehouse stores (but check prices)
  • Purchase #10 cans from an LDS Home Storage Center ( or Walmart
  • Buy a little at a time. Even setting aside $10 per week toward food storage will help.
  • Grow as much as you can of your own produce

Rotate your food – use it or lose it. Here’s the thing that trips up most people

  • The other day on Facebook a woman said that she had a small house and wanted to build her “stockpile,” but keep it hidden so it doesn’t take over the house. She’s putting this year’s canning under the beds…
  • Stockpiling is the wrong attitude to have about food storage
  • We use ours every day and are constantly buying, using, and replacing it.
  • It’s part of our daily life and saves a ton in grocery bills. The food you purchase today will be more expensive next month. It’s a buffer against the storm.

Learn to cook simple meals from scratch.

  • Soups and stews are the first thing that comes to mind. It’s healthy, filling and easy to add dehydrated food storage ingredients
  • Learn to make bread
  • Make your own yogurt
  • Make your own sauces and spice mixes for added flavor

Learn food processing skills

  • Learn how to water bath and pressure can your food. Ask a grandma to show you.
  • Learn how to use a pressure cooker, for quick meals and tough meat cuts
  • Learn to dehydrate that produce you purchased in bulk
  • Learn to freeze fruit and vegetables
  • Purchase dry goods (like beans & flour) and learn to store bulk items in buckets. We purchase 25 pounds of beans from Costco and store them in 5 gallon buckets. I have rice, quinoa and whole wheat flour in easy to access buckets.

What kind of dried or freeze-dried food would I purchase?

  • Powdered milk is used in all our cooking
  • Powdered eggs is a great addition in cooking, too
  • Freeze-dried meat (I’m currently adding one #10 can of Thrive chicken or sausage crumbles to my food storage each month. Even though it has a 25-year shelf life, we rotate it)

Don’t forget these items:

  • Any fruit or vegetable (that my family eats regularly) that I can’t grow myself. Which is why we purchase tomato sauce, I can’t grow enough (and I actually hate processing tomatoes!)
  • If you purchase what you eat, rotate it daily, learn some self-reliance skills, and store the food properly you will always have access to healthy food at a reasonable price. The biggest payoff is peace of mind.

Shelle is a member of the Prepared Bloggers group, a select aggregation of articulate and active preparedness, self-reliance, and homesteader aficionados.

Shelle is also highly ranked at


James Talmage Stevens Host ImageJames Talmage Stevens, Author

James Talmage Stevens (aka Doctor Prepper™) began his career in the preparedness industry from the days of his youth. His family lived with his Grandparents immediately following the end of WWII. He learned the basics on the Pace farm in rural Guilford County (NC). Farm chores and gardening were standard fare––plowing the back 40 behind a stubborn mule was substandard! In 1974, upon finishing graduate school with 4 young children and no prospects for a job due to economic conditions during a national economic slump, James reverted to his past experiences on the farm and chronicled in his notebook, along with some hand-me-down recipes from his mother and grandmother. Noting there were no viable books that dealt with all the basics, i.e.: a broad range of food products, he began to utilize his analytical skills, organizing handwritten notes, recipes, and food lore into one volume of information. He spent his spare time while job-hunting, and Making the Best of Basics was created. Before going to press, the subtitle Family Preparedness Handbook was added to distinguish Basics… from the emergency preparedness genre of the existing Civil Defense and governmental agency information.

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