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How to build basic food storage

How to build basic food storage

I am big on food storage. We have short term food storage and long term food storage. I still have things I need to add, and we are always cycling things so it’s fresh. But I wanted to share these tips on how to build basic food storage so that you can get started on one, or make sure you have everything you need for a 3-month supply.

The first thing you will want to do is figure out what you have and keep track of what your family actually eats. There is no point in storing 10 bags of black beans if no one in your family likes them. So for the first week or two, write down everything your family eats, and what you shop for the most.

The important thing to remember is that you don’t need to get it all at once. Figure out if/what extra money you can spend and just use that amount. It took us about a year to get a good short term food storage, but now that we have it, it is easy to maintain and I am grateful that we have it in case of emergencies.

Start buying a few extra items

Once you have a good idea of what your family likes, then you will start making a list of meals and what you will need for those meals. When you are making your list, take into account EVERYTHING you use. From spices to oils, baking supplies, dairy, etc. You can’t really store 3 months of dairy, fresh fruit, and veggies, etc. But you can make sure that you have a week or two week supply in your fridge.

TIP: You can store butter in the freezer for up to four months if it’s not past the use-by date. Once you take it out of the freezer, you have about a month to use it.

After you have made your list, you can start building your basic food storage when you go to the store. You will buy a couple of extra items (or however much you have budgeted for) and add them to your short term food storage. I highly recommend that you watch for sales on items and stock up on those when they are on sale.

Keep doing this until you have a one week supply built up, then two week supply, and on until you have your 3-month supply. One thing we do is we “shop” from our pantry. This means that we are regularly cycling out what we have in our short term storage so that my kids are used to eating what we store and we know how to cook and use all of it.

Food storage stock up example

For example, our local grocery store has pasta on sale for $0.49 every couple of months. The limit is 5 with the coupon, so I always buy 5 when the sale comes. It has taken several months, but we have a nice stockpile of dry pasta and we paid way less than we would have just going to the store and buying it. Now I can cycle out the pasta and restock it when the sales come around.

If you use coupons, I shared a post about using coupons and building a stockpile that may also help you.

Other resources

I love this pamphlet from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints that talks about home storage. It gives tips on short term storage, long term storage, water supply, and financial reserves. You can read/print/download it here.

There is also a link to a printable 3-month supply list to give you an idea of everything you could store. It is linked HERE under “three-month food storage list”

I will be sharing more tips on building your long term food storage as well as water supply, personal hygiene, household items, pet supplies, and more. If you have any tips or questions, please let us know in the comments below!

Pin the image below to reference this if/when you need to.

How to build a basic food storage

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