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Food Storage

Updated: Feb 12

If tragedy struck, would you be prepared with enough food to sustain you? Experts recommend that everyone prepare at least a three day supply of food properly stored to get you through an emergency. While impossible to predict the future, having food storage will provide peace of mind and potentially save your life.


Reasons to have food storage:

  • Self-reliance

  • Save money (buy in bulk and on sale)

  • Potential job loss or unemployment

  • Supplement unexpected medical expenses

  • Placing yourself in a position to help others

  • Protection against economic crisis

  • Natural disasters

  • Man-made disasters

  • Feeling of security


What are the 3 types of food storage?

  • Food supply (three months)

  • Water supply

  • Financial reserve


Ways to store food storage include:

  • Freeze-dried

  • Dehydrated

  • Canned

  • Packaged


What is the best food storage?

The saying goes: Store what you eat and eat what you store. In other words, the best food storage is one you know that you and your family will eat. Food storage should include food needed to make meals that you like and eat often. Focus on comforting, satisfying meals with enough calories. Make a list of your “go-to meals” and keep a watch for when those foods go on sale. Store foods that are a part of your regular diet,


You can check out recommendations for the best emergency food suppliers in 2021 at buyersguide.org/emergency-food



What should I have in my food storage?

Focus on food staples:

  • Flour

  • Grains

  • Canned soups, fruit, and vegetables

  • Peanut butter and jelly

  • Nuts and dried fruits

  • Jerky

  • Trail mix

  • Comfort foods (cookies, candy bars, chocolate)

  • Oils for cooking

  • Evaporated milk

  • Water (two gallons of water per person per day)

  • Chicken and beef bouillon cubes

  • Canned meats (tuna, sardines, chicken, spam)

  • Protein bars

  • Vitamins


Foods that have the longest shelf life include:

  • Beans

  • Peas

  • Lentils

  • Wheat

  • Rice

  • Oats

  • Dry Pasta

  • Sugar

  • Salt

  • Dried Apples

  • Potato Flakes

What is a food storage system?

You may feel intimidated by the idea of starting food storage. You don’t have to get everything in one go. You can build it up slowly over time. These are some steps to help you with your preparation.

  • Plan where you will store your food storage (extra bedroom, closet, under the bed, pantry, basement, under the porch, garage)

  • Decide what type of storage you want (freeze-dried, dehydrated, canned, or a mixture of these)

  • Plan how you will pay for it (Save up to purchase food to store, payment plan, emergency money)

  • Create an inventory list (those things you know you will eat)

  • Shop case lot sales

  • Buy in bulk

  • Plan what to buy each month

  • Be consistent

  • Restock food items when necessary


Tips for building up food storage:

Pick up a few extra cans of food every time you go shopping. Take advantage of coupons. Check the expiration date or “best by” date (can still use, but time to put it in front) when you shop and jot it down next to the food item purchased on your food storage inventory list. Bring food storage items to the front of your so you can use them before they expire.


Incorporate these food storage items into your daily meals, so you do not waste food. It would be best if you stayed on top of your inventory. Set aside some time each month to check your pantry and rotate out food that will expire soon.


Shop from your food storage rather than running to the store for the ingredients you need. It will save you money because you may need something that is at full price at the store. Stocking up ahead of time when items are on sale is ideal. Most food items go on sale quarterly, so keep an eye out for the items you know you usually eat.


Purchase a freezer when you can afford it. Freezers are usually on sale in January and February. You can build or purchase shelving to store your food storage or save money by making your own.


It is best to buy produce when it is in season and then bottle or pickle them. You will save money by doing it yourself.


Other items you could include with your food storage:

  • Can opener

  • Grain mill

  • Water purification tablets or bleach

  • Soap

  • Hand sanitizer

  • Disposable utensils and plates


Containers to keep your food storage in:

  • Glass canning jars - best for the environment

  • Stainless steel cans

  • Airtight food-grade plastic buckets

  • Mylar bags with oxygen absorbers

  • Cloth food sacks

Remember to use containers that are bug resistant, airtight, and moisture tight. Food items can be preserved by curing, freezing, sugaring, salting, canning, and vacuum packing.

Start now to build a long-term store of food to carry you and your family through a disaster or emergency. Home food storage helps you save money and prepares you for potential emergencies or disasters. In times of distress, you need healthy, sustainable food to keep you going. For disasters, It is best to have food storage that will last for three months.













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