Fair warning... this post rambles...:-)
I started writing about something very practical...A prep that is easy, cheap and works for people as well as chicken feed. Split peas. I realized that people don't know that they hold for over 8 years when you vacume pack them, and if you keep them longer, heck they make a great chicken feed.
I buy mine in a huge food grade barrel that is sealed. Suggest you get a big one. Or just buy in bulk online and vacume pack. I think if you can get them at .50 a pound or less you are doing good. (and it has 9 grams of protein per serving!)
In troubled times you may find yourself feeding it to chickens... so what else is cheap that you can get in BULK and works for humans or chickens (or grazer). I like organic Corn. About .13 a pound and holds forever. And you can plant it..!
But, Corn for consumption for people or animals needs to be cracked so here I suggest the best all around mill I know of JSP MaltMill. It has adjustable rollers so you can make malt (to brew beer) or roll oats or crack corn. You can hook it to a fly wheel etc... more info here....
Which brings me last (but not least) to my other little project that warms up the feed room AND my house. Solar inside widow heaters. The Easiest ones are shutters. And in my house they are old darkened pine so in the winter I just close them except for a little crack on each joint and they heat the room right up by creating a solar space between the window and the shutter.. the dark wood collects the sun heat and it rises up through the joints which are pulling cold air from the bottom and exiting it on the top. I also made some super simple ones with insulated foam that work better. The aluminum side goes tight against the window in the summer keeping the room cool and in the winter I reverse it... put it on sticks 8 inches from the window and have the side that I have painted dark facing the window and just far enough away that cold air comes in the bottom and out the top. (experiment) It makes a little oven that heats the whole room.. At night... just reverse it again and push it up agains the window to keep the heat in and cold out. This picture isn't mine... I just used a 3 inch piece of foam board, painted one side and put duct tape around the edges to keep the board clean.
If you have read this far.. you probably also know we have a few steel plates that we can slide up from inside the wall. they have shooting holes in them and guess what... when those are in the open position and the plate isn't all the way to the top now THAT makes a great solar airflow heater... :-)