Awesome! Let’s go.
Which Types of Food are Best for Long-Term Storage?
A lot of people push freeze-dried or dehydrated foods for preparedness food storage. I’m not going to do that to you.
I’m not saying that freeze-dried and dehydrated foods have no place in your food storage. What I am saying is that they are expensive – and probably aren’t what you eat every day.
Remember: Buy what you eat, and eat what you store.
You should prefer shelf-stable foods though – things that have a long shelf-life with no need for refrigeration. That way, if you have a power outage, your food is still good.
Think canned fruits, vegetables, and meat. While not the sexy choice, they certainly do last a very long time, and – bonus – all you really have to do is open the can and eat the contents.
Yes, I prefer to heat mine up too. The point is, you could safely eat without electricity. Just make sure you keep a non-electric can opener around!
As you can see, building long-term food storage doesn’t have to break the bank.
How Much Food Should I Store?
Unfortunately, because each of you reading this are different sizes and shapes, are prone to different activity levels, and have different levels of health, there’s really no way I can tell you how much food you need to store for one day.
You eat every day. You know better than I do what you eat, how much you eat, and whether you are gaining, losing, or maintaining your weight.
Learn from that, and make a plan based on that.
The guidelines say that an adult male needs 2,500 calories a day to maintain his weight; females need 2000. I bet there are those among you who would struggle to eat that much, and some who would starve on that.
One of the risks I see in boiling it down to calories is that you might want to run out and buy a bunch of rice and beans and call it good. I know – everyone pushes it. Don’t be like everyone else.
Again: Buy what you eat, and eat what you store!
Start with Three Days of Food Storage
Alright! So, now that you’ve come up with a good idea of how much you should buy to have three-days worth of meals, go to the store and pick it up. Bring it back home, and put it into rotation.
Yes! You want to cycle through your food storage. Canned goods can last a very long time – and then a little longer – but studies show that the taste starts to go eventually.
Increase Your Food Storage from Three Days to One Week
At this point you’ve got a three-day supply of shelf-stable food. That’s a great start, and it’s what Ready.gov recommends.
We’ve got a lot of examples of the government not responding in 3 days though.
As you progress from your three-day supply of food into having a whole week of food for your entire household, you’ll be moving into a place that a very small percentage of people have made it to. It’s likely that, in addition to no longer running out of things you commonly need, you will probably also notice that you are saving some money.
When you run out of stuff, you make unplanned trips to the store. Trips cost money – for gas. They cost time too. If you have a one-week supply of food on-hand at all times, the likelihood that you run out of something is pretty slim.
If you do run out of something you need, learn from it. Make sure you store extra going forward.
You don’t have to go from 3 to 7 days of food storage all at once. If you can, that’s awesome, but – if that just can’t happen – just make sure you make it a priority.
I Thought This Was About How to Store Food Long Term!
Now that we’ve talked about how much food you want, you’re probably wondering one thing:
How the heck am I going to store all of this food?!
There are a lot of options here. It’s amazing where you can find space to store food if you just think about it a bit. Let’s look at a few.
Under the Bed
Okay, some of you are keeping way too many pairs of shoes under your bed. Isn’t food more important though? Think about it!
For the rest of you, buying canned goods at a location you can also get the little cardboard flats with them will help you store canned goods under your bed. Just slide them right under. Depending on the height of your bed from the floor, you might be able to stack them two high.
In a Closet
I don’t know about you, but my closets had a lot of empty floor-space in them before I started storing food.
Even if you’re hanging long coats or dresses in a portion of your closet, it’s very likely you can still stack canned goods at least a couple of high on the floor – or a portion of the floor.
Buy a Shelving Unit
Depending on your food storage goals, you may consider buying a shelving unit – if you have space for it.
Shelving units can be a great way to organize your food storage. Rotation becomes a bit more difficult, unless you have space in front of and behind the shelf so that you can load from the back and take from the front.
If you just don’t have enough space to be able to load the shelves from the back, you probably want to consider getting those little organizers for canned goods. Then, you can load and take from the front and still make sure your food storage is rotated!
There are even DIY plans for the organizers, if you’re the handy sort.
And That’s How To Store Food Long Term!
I sure hope you’ve found this article helpful. Please remember to comment to help me understand what you liked and what you didn’t.
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