Recent events may have you taking stock of what (if any) food storage you have. If you’re worried about your supply, here are some easy ideas to gather, store and properly use long-term food storage. We are promoting preparedness, not hoarding. It has been a wise practice for centuries to store food for times of scarcity.
Long Term Food Storage
What a weird time we’re living in, right? Quarantine, closures and chaos have people feeling uneasy and anxious. But you don’t have to feel that way when it comes to feeding your family. If you have gathered food for your 14 Day Shopping List and Meal Plan then you’re well on your way! Now may be the right time to take stock in a longer term food storage plan for your family. With a couple of convenient resources and a little planning you can rest easy knowing your family will be nourished in the longer term.
What Should I have in my Food Storage?
We took a lot of this good information from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints food storage guidelines. There are helpful tips there as you begin or continue your long term food storage supply. Basically, there are three main areas of food storage:
- Food Supply (three-month and long-term)
- Water Supply
- Financial Reserve
Long Term Food Storage
Make sure to store foods that your family actually eats, especially in your three month supply. That way you can use it and replenish as needed. Longer term storage is where you’ll want to utilize food staples such as wheat, pasta, rice, beans, oats and dried potato flakes. When properly packaged and stored in a cool, dry place, these items can last 30 years or more! Of course you can rotate them into your three month supply as well.
Click here for ideas on where to store food in your home.
How Much Food Storage Do I Need?
Planning out your long-term food storage can feel like a daunting task, especially with a large family to care for. You may be asking yourself, how much do I actually need to keep on hand? What if I store too much and it goes to waste? What if I don’t have enough? We found an amazing food calculator that can easily calculate how much you’ll need of all kinds of food storage staples such as wheat, fruits and vegetables, dried dairy products, beans, pasta, etc.
Food Storage Containers
In order to keep food safe for several years your food must be stored in proper packaging. The most popular include:
- Foil pouches, which can be purchased through LDS Church Distribution Services
- PETE bottles (made from polyethylene terephthalate). These plastic bottles can be used with oxygen absorbers to store wheat, corn and dry beans and can eliminate food-borne insects.
- Under certain conditions you can use plastic buckets for wheat, dry beans, potato flakes, dried apples and powdered milk.
Canned Food Storage
You probably have a good collection of canned goods, and that’s great! Bear in mind that canned goods purchased from the grocery store have expiration dates that range from one to four years. However, if you keep the cans in a cool, dark place you can actually double that shelf life from three to up to six years.
Click here for our 14 Day Shopping List and Meal Plan. This plan uses all non-perishable foods that can be stored for up to a year.
More Food Storage Links
Try some of these recipes and tips for building up your food storage. Remember, we’re all in this together!