Customizing Food Storage to Your Family’s Needs

by Erich

This is a guest contribution by Lee Flynn. Lee Flynn is from the Greater Salt Lake area and grew up in a family where everything they did was outdoors. Lee was raised with survival and preparedness as a way of life. After graduating from college, he began a survival course teaching basic survival knowledge and preparedness advice and has been doing this now for 10 years.

food storage basicsNow that you’ve made the decision to create a food storage system based on your family’s needs, the first step is to determine where you’ll put it. You may only have enough space to store a few weeks’ worth of surplus food if you’re short on space. This is the time to get creative when it comes to building your emergency food storage. Whether you live in a house, condo, or apartment, every bit of available space has the potential to serve as a place to store extra food.

Food Storage Tips

Store your emergency food in a space that gets a limited amount of light and generally stays anywhere between 50 – 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Pantries, cupboards, or basements work great. Some families store surplus food in their crawl space under their home, provided the food is properly sealed and contained.

As long as food isn’t stored in extra warm temperatures or kept near hot pipes or furnaces, it probably won’t spoil. However, be sure to always check the expiration date on your storage food prior to eating it since it could possibly be bad. Many people also like to store food in a basement freezer chest with a variety of frozen foods as well.

What Kinds of Foods Should Families Store?

While you’re trying to figure out what kinds of foods to store, stop and consider what types of foods both you and your family actually like to eat. Don’t buy things you know your kids won’t touch. In order to build an effective food storage supply, stockpile the foods you’ll actually eat since you’ll be rotating your food supply anyway. Also, if you’re not accustomed to eating a particular food, you may find yourself with some unpleasant digestive issues in the end.

Here are some ideas for food staples that many people choose to stockpile in their emergency food supply. Again, consider the tastes of your family along with any special diets anyone may need to follow and adjust your supply accordingly.

Canned Vegetables and Fruits

Several canned vegetables and fruits are not only full of healthy vitamins and minerals, but they have a shelf life of at least three years.

Beans and Legumes

Dried navy beans, kidney beans, great northern beans, and a number of legumes can last up to 20 years if properly stored and they’re an excellent source of protein as well. Cook them and simply eat them plain, or put them in tasty homemade soups or other recipes.

Iodized Salt

Most people don’t realize the importance of salt. Your body needs the iodine found in salt in order to survive. Therefore, if you want to create a long-term food supply, put iodized salt on your list.

Dried Produce

In many cases, dehydrated fruits and vegetables last longer on the shelf than several bottled or canned versions. A few produce items aren’t good for drying, but foods like peas, apricots, carrots, bananas, apples, and onions work especially well for dehydration.


It’s obvious you need water in your food storage. Ideally, your water should be stored in large polycarbonate barrels and kept in a cool, dark area. Figure one gallon per day per person; one-half gallon to drink, and the other half for hygiene and cooking. Also, the water inside your hot water heater can be put to use as well. Just be sure you have a quality water kit or purification tablets to ensure it’s usable enough for cooking and/or drinking if necessary.

Powdered Milk

If you want to use powdered milk in your back-up food supply, make sure it’s never exposed to any moisture and keep it cool and dry. Stored properly, powdered milk can last on the shelf as long as 18 – 24 months.


Not only is rice an excellent of source of energy for your body, it’s fairly inexpensive and makes an excellent staple to have on hand for various recipes or just plain. Rice can last 8 – 10 years on the shelf if it’s properly stored.

Your emergency home food storage supply can provide both you and your family with great peace of mind and satisfaction knowing your food requirements are met in case you ever need them in the face of an emergency. It also helps financially as well. With a solid plan, you can start building your food storage as soon as today, which will enable you to be fully prepared in those unfortunate times of economic or personal instability.

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Comment by Mark
2015-05-23 12:46:36

Goof book

Comment by stephen
2015-05-23 21:51:47


Comment by recipes food
2015-06-15 09:16:49

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Comment by Deano Harris
2015-07-11 09:57:21

Nicely written also tinned goods although they do have a shelf life most twins that do not contain tomato sauce and the likwa can actually last many years longer than the given best before satw – remember this is exactly what it says as a best before and not a use by date. Good blog my friend keep it up

Comment by Novella
2015-07-16 15:17:34

Very useful tips, thanks for sharing! I’m making my own food storage for the first time this year, so they will definitely come in handy!

Comment by Pat
2015-08-26 01:46:13

For those that have their own well, you can buy a shallow or deep well hand pump. You can connect it directly to your home water supply with a garden hose connected from it to an outdoor faucet. If you put a check valve on it you can keep water flowing right out of your kitchen faucet. Here is the one I have and you can really install it yourself. It goes down your well right along side your submersible pump.

Comment by Pat
2015-08-26 01:47:19

Forgot to leave the link for the pump.

2017-05-07 16:41:45


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