Food Storage Basics: What You Need to Get Started on Food Storage for You and Your Family

Food Storage Basics: What You Need to Get Started on Food Storage for You and Your Family  via
Guest post by Anita Ginsberg  Photo Credit

It never hurts to be prepared for an emergency. While you don't have to store food to live on for an entire year, a three-month supply of essential foods can get you through small emergencies like a winter storm, loss of a paycheck due to sickness or problems with the water supply. If you purchase extra supplies each week, you can have months’ worth of food without having to purchase 50 cans of tuna all at once. 

Start With the Recipes

First, you should determine the foods you want to eat for a long period of time. While you might enjoy tuna, you might not enjoy it every single day for three months. Instead, you might decide to purchase chicken in a can. Think about your favorite recipes and make a list of things that your family will eat. If they'd like spaghetti and meatballs every night of the week, it makes sense to purchase and store spaghetti, sauce and meat. It helps to watch for sales and stock up during that time. 

Where to Store Your Food

Once you start buying items in bulk, you have to consider how you'll store them long term. If you're buying rice or dry beans, you can store them in large barrels that are food safe. You can dedicate a corner of your finished basement, unused closet or pantry to the extra food you'll be storing. Wherever items are stored, it should be clean and dry. 

Building a Water Supply

With all the food in the world, it wouldn't guarantee your survival without water. The average person can only last three days without water. In an ideal world, you should be storing at least a gallon for each person in your home to drink per day but for at least two weeks. If there are four people in your home, you need four gallons for a day of water and 56 gallons to last two weeks. You should consider a water filtration system beyond that time. 

Non-Food Items

While you're storing food items, don't forget about batteries, candles and fuel. Propane tank heaters from Powerblanket are great for increasing the efficiency of your propane tank. They can prolong the use of the propane that you currently have in the tank. While you're saving all these food items, you'll need to be able to cook it. You might need heat in the winter if you live in a cold climate too. 

Personal Hygiene

You need to keep yourself clean to remove bacteria and germs from the body. In an emergency situation, you need soap, deodorant, shampoo and toothpaste. These items should be stored with the extra supplies of food. 

You can start your food storage slow while steadily increasing the items that you have stored. Make sure you are rotating the items that you're using, so that the food doesn't expire.


  1. Anonymous8:37 AM

    Excellent Tips!!

  2. I am currently working on all this myself. I went years ago when my city I used to live in was totally flooded without power for a month with a new born! I learned a lot back then! I totally learned how to wash my hair & body and a toddler & newborn in only one gallon of water! Kid you not I felt like it was the apocalypse back then! The army had a temp bases set up in farm fields to release water to us etc. Tuff times I had to cook outside. It was so hot too! It ingrained in me to be ready at all times. My stash is always changing & growing as I learn. I know how now how to build my own make shift water purification system in the event I had to get water from a river source. I know how to build my own solar oven etc!!

    1. Whoa!!! Sounds like you know what to do now if that ever happens again. I can take some tips from you!

  3. I have the food down but not the toiletries at all. I am thinking about using one of those boxed services to help when I don't have time to get to a store.

    1. I have the toiletries down, but not the food. I need to work on this.

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