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A Basic Food Storage Plan

A Basic Plan


There are many ways to build a food storage system, and this is just 1. It spreads out the costs over an entire year, as most don’t have the free cash to do it all at once. This plan is based on spending $100-$150 per month. If your goals are longer or shorter, you will need to modify or make your own. Also, whether you buy whole wheat and popcorn depends on having a grain mill with the right bits to grind it. Check our blog for more info, and feel free to substitute what works for you!


If you have access to an LDS Cannery, that is by far the most inexpensive way to acquire much of the bulk food. Otherwise, check out your local coop or Sam’s Club. Please note this process should not take place in a vacuum: for example, store as much water as space allows while simultaneously building your food storage.


Goal: 1 Year of Food Storage


Month 1: Inventory your current system.
 Double canned vegetable and soup supply. (Many stores do BOGO once a month on soup and a dis-count on veggies, so wait for a sale)
 At least one case of canned fruit.


Month 2: Separate your food storage supply from your main pantry.
 Acquire ‘now’ foods that can be eaten without cooking.
 MRE’s, peanut butter and crackers, canned chicken and tuna, pop tarts, Slim Jim Meat and Cheese.


Month 3: Get your cooking essentials in order.
 Shortening, flour, sugar (granulated and brown), baking soda and powder, yeast, salt, honey, spices.
 A special note: dry milk is essential, 25lbs.
 Always rotate your food storage FIFO (first in, first out)


Month 4: Get 2 food storage cookbooks.
 Multi-vitamins plus Vitamin C
 25lbs of white rice, dry beans, dent corn or popcorn, and wheat berries
 Buckets or containers to store your food


Month 5: Use your bulk foods in meals at least once a week (preferably its just a regular part of your pantry and isn’t considered separate), ongoing.
 Refresh your canned vegetable and soup supply.
 Gelatin, fruit juice powder, cocoa powder, and hard candy.
 25lbs of pasta, legumes (Soy, or Lima Beans, Split Peas, or Lentils) and flour.


Month 6: Have a way to cook food without electricity (extra propane, wood stove, camp oven, fire pit)
 Check in on your cooking supplies. Add vinegar, tomato paste and sauces, and olive oil.
 25lbs of wheat berries, oats and corn meal.


Month 7: You are halfway there! Check your storage and top off anything that has gotten low; at this point your food storage should never be ‘empty’ of any items.
 25lbs of rice and wheat berries.
 One case of canned fruit.
 Mayonnaise, Salad Dressing and extra condiments (ketchup and mustard)


Month 8: Learn to bake bread, both rising and flatbreads using ground wheat and corn meal.
 25lbs. of wheat berries
 25lbs Instant dry milk


Month 9: Turn off your power one weekend and see if you are prepared to cook without electricity.
 Top off your propane, charcoal or other cooking fuels.
 25lbs of wheat berries


Month 10: Check your storage and top off; learn to use pool shock or bleach to purify water.
 25 cans condensed and evaporated milk
 2 gallons of canned Apple Juice
 10lbs of canned meats (Spam, chicken, tuna, corned beef, canned ham)


Month 11: Experiment with creating ‘meals in jars’ using your dry goods.
 25lbs of wheat berries
 10lbs of canned nuts (peanuts, walnuts, cashews)


.Month 12: Celebrate the journey to having more food stored than 99% of the world.
 Evaluate and inventory your system and top off all items, as you should be using most of them!


****Please note this is just a very short guide and is not intended to be even close to a ‘perfect system’, because no families’ needs are exactly the same. If you do follow this guide, at 4-6 months at the latest, you will likely be changing the program to fit your needs, adding foods you know will work better for your family, and becoming comfortable with the entire process. The most important aspect of a food storage system is not to consider it a ‘separate’ part of your life, but to incorporate it into your regular grocery shopping, budgeting, and cooking.