We've probably all bought some of these at one time or another ~ side dish packets made with rice or pasta of some kind. And they are not expensive, usually around $1 to $1.75. I recently viewed a YouTube video where the guy showed how to fix up these packets to give you a longer shelf life so you can store them longer term with your emergency supplies. Basically you cut a slit in the package to insert an oxygen absorber then squeeze out all the air you can and seal with a piece of duct tape. Pretty cool.
However I think I can go one better. Make my own to save more money plus know exactly what is in it, then it can be stored in a recycled jar or one of those mylar bags they sell on ebay or amazon with an oxygen absorber. If you have a food saver type device you could use that.
Here's what you do:
First you will want to make up this recipe which will save you money also because you can stop spending money on soup in cans with all the preservatives, sodium and unpronounceable things.
Cream of "something" soup recipe
1 cup non-fat dried milk
3/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup bouillon cubes or powder whatever flavor you like.
4 Tablespoons freeze dried minced onions
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried thyme or parsley
1 teaspoon pepper
(For the equivalent of one can of condensed cream soup, mix 1/3 cup dry mix with 1 1/4 cup water. Cook until thick. Add salt after cooking.)
Store this in a jar with the recipe taped to it, refill as necessary.
Next you will need your rice or noodles or pasta, how much you want to use depends on how many you are feeding. The store bought packets seem to have about 3/4 to 1 cup of rice or pasta, maybe a bit more of the noodles or pasta. Then add in any dried vegetables you want if you have them, cheese powder and/or even freeze dried meat if you want. No real recipe, just go with what looks right remembering that they will swell up when cooked. Then add in 1/3 cup of the above recipe. Seal it up in your jar or bag with an oxygen absorber and label and date it, marking how much water to add when cooking.
You know what's in it and it is healthy. It is also a lot cheaper than the store bought stuff. Just a bit more time consuming on your part. You may need more than the 1 1/4 cup of water to cook it, especially if you added dried veggies, I would start with 2 cups water and add more as needed during the cooking.
Now if you are at home with your stocked pantry you may not need to make up these sides packages, but I bet it would make things super easy on a camping trip or a in a prepper's bug out bag.
If anyone has more suggestions, please leave a comment!