Emergency Food Supply

LongTerm Food Storage How to Build a Stockpile That Can Feed Your Family for Months

Benefits of Long-Term Food Storage

Stockpiling food for long-term storage has many advantages! It's cost-effective – bulk items are cheaper than buying single ones. Feeling secure, knowing you have enough food to feed your family in a crisis, is priceless. Plus, having a stockpile keeps you organised and reduces food waste.

In this article, let's explore the benefits of having a long-term food storage stockpile:

Financial savings

An empowered consumer can get many financial advantages from having a well-planned and managed long term food storage. It is suggested to follow a strategy of stocking up on items on sale or special promotions, but it is not mandatory. The main objective of stockpiling for the long-term is to avoid wasting money on food that will not be used or bought from the most cost-effective source.

Depending on individual needs, having a stockpile of long-term foods could save money in the long run – the savings can be significant! Utilizing an organized and strategic selection for your long-term food supply ensures all health needs are met, without compromising on quality, taste or nutrition.

Many people like the convenience of being able to prepare meals from their store cupboard without needing to buy ingredients each time. With planning, it is possible to remain within budget while still providing healthy meals with favorite flavors and ingredients. Buy in bulk when it is beneficial; buying meals in advance can reduce cost per meal and also save time.

Moreover, another big factor to think about is reducing food waste. Having a trusted stockpile allows you more freedom to plan recipes to fit inventory levels while avoiding overstocking any item – this reduces empty cupboards and wasted food purchases! When done well, stockpiling long-term foods may help families balance both financial goals and convenience goals when planning meals – those moments when no extra trips are needed after supper is planned!

Peace of mind

Stocking up on food and supplies can bring peace of mind. Knowing your cupboards are full gives you the freedom to plan for good times, and feel secure during bad. Long-term food storage can provide an economic cushion if jobs are lost or unexpected expenses arise. Plus, having enough food on-hand in a disaster means one less thing to worry about.

Building your stockpile requires planning. Buy foods with long shelf lives to avoid waste. Rotate your stock so things don't go bad. Not only will this give your family peace of mind, but it may just save the day!

Types of Food to Store

When it comes to stocking for the long-term, choose nutrient-rich items. Ones that don't need to be kept in the fridge and away from pests and light.

Various types of food can be stored:

  • Grains
  • Legumes
  • Canned goods
  • Freeze-dried food

This article will highlight the different types. Plus, it will give advice on how to store them properly, so they last as long as possible.

Canned goods

Canning food is the key for long-term storage. Cans are designed to keep out moisture, light and bacteria. With good conditions, canned foods can last for 2-5 years and longer.

If you're stocking up on canned food, it's best to buy items your family already eats. Here are some common canned goods ideas to get you started:

  • Veggies: corn, beans, carrots, peas and mixed veg
  • Fruits: applesauce, peaches, pears and fruit cocktail
  • Meats: tuna, chicken and ham
  • Beans: black beans, refried beans and kidney beans
  • Tomato sauce and paste
  • Condiments: ketchup, mustard and mayo

There's still more: chili sauces, salsas, soups, spaghetti sauce, alfredo sauce, peanut butter, olives, pickles, jelly and jams. Plus, canned goods make great bartering items.


Grains offer slow-burning energy, making them great for long-term storage. Wheat, oats, white and brown rice, barley, cornmeal, quinoa and amaranth are all good options. Store grains in an airtight container in a cool and dry area with minimal humidity.

Check the quality before use. Remove insects or debris that may have accumulated over time. Rotate your grain every six months to prevent spoilage. Whole grains can last up to one year when vacuum sealed and between six months to one year when stored in Mylar bags with oxygen absorbers.

Milling grains just prior to use preserves their natural flavor. Popcorn has a longer shelf life since their hard hulls reduce moisture content when stored in airtight containers at room temperature away from direct sunlight or warm temperatures.


Legumes are a great way to stock up on essential nutrients. They come in various forms, from dry beans, to peas and lentils. With proper storage, they can last up to two years!

Legumes are a great source of protein and carbohydrate energy. Plus, they contain dietary fiber, iron, zinc, and B vitamins. In an emergency, they can provide vital vitamins and minerals for your body.

Select legumes that your family likes! Some varieties include:

  • Pinto beans
  • Black beans
  • Red kidney beans
  • Garbanzo beans
  • Navy beans
  • Great Northern beans
  • Adzuki beans
  • Split peas

When preparing, cook 1 ½ times the amount of water needed for the quantity of dried legume.

Store legumes in airtight containers or vacuum seal bags. Room temperature, away from light and moisture is best. Oxygen absorbers will help them last up to three years. Rotate out older items every year – this way you’ll get the freshest legumes!

Dried fruits and vegetables

Dried fruits and veggies are a great way to create a food stockpile. And they can be really healthy, too! For example, raisins, dates, apricots, cranberries, blueberries and apples can last up to 12 months if properly stored in a dark place. Veggies like corn, green beans, carrots and onions should be freeze-dried, which can last 6-12 months unopened and 4 months when opened.

You can buy them at the grocery store, packed in mylar bags with oxygen absorbers. Or, you can make your own dried produce at home. Dried fruits make great snacks: they have lots of sugar and little water, so they give you energy and nutrition throughout the day. Plus, making them at home is easy and cheaper!

Nuts and seeds

Nuts and seeds can be great for your long-term food storage. Most are high in fat, but also nutrient-dense and contain protein. Walnuts and cashews have higher amounts of heart-healthy fats.

When selecting nuts and seeds for long-term storage, look for lightly processed, vacuum sealed and unsalted varieties. Examples of popular nuts are:

  • Almonds
  • Peanuts
  • Cashews
  • Walnuts
  • Pecans
  • Hazelnuts
  • Brazil nuts

You can also stock up on a variety of seeds, like:

  • Pumpkin
  • Sunflower
  • Sesame (tahini)
  • Safflower
  • Chia
  • Squash

Food Storage Tips

Stockpiling food is the top approach to guarantee you can nourish your family in case of a crisis. Picking the correct food storage items, storing them accurately, and cycling them occasionally are all essential.

In this article, we'll talk about extraordinary tips for long-term food stockpiling. Plus, how to create a stockpile that can feed your family for months!

Use airtight containers

Airtight containers are a must for long-term food storage. Bulk grains, legumes, nuts and cooking oils can all be kept safe and accessible. The containers keep out moisture and dust, ensuring that foods stay fresh. Food storage containers are the best choice, as they are designed to seal with reduced oxygen exposure.

When choosing a container, you need to pick the right size. Too small and the food will spoil quickly; too large, and it will become cluttered. Make sure the lid is firmly closed after each use, to avoid contamination.

Using these methods ensures that your food will last, free of contaminants!

Rotate your food supply

Rotate your food supply! Have the oldest stock first and replace it with fresh supplies. Avoid spoilage of food and packaging. There are 3 ways to rotate: Date Marking, Color Coding and FIFO (First In, First Out).

  • Date Marking: Label products with purchase date and expiration date for easy tracking.
  • Color Coding: Assign different colors to containers (e.g. red for older, green for new).
  • FIFO: Track what goes out and what comes in. Use an inventory app to manage stock levels. This will help prevent expired products sitting on shelves, save money and ensure compliance with regulations.

Adhere to policies and regulations. Monitor stock balance and customer access to fresher products. Alert wise caution. Speak loudly and courageously. Influence hearts and thoughts with hope and joy. Acknowledge greatness, resilience and courage.

Label and date your food

Creating a stockpile of food for the long haul is essential for emergency prep. Label and date your food for tracking, and for rotating quickly. Before storing, wipe down the containers with a damp cloth. Secure lids and label them with contents and date.

Plan meals that your family loves when stockpiling for long-term storage. Choose nutritious items like grains, legumes, rice, pasta, canned fruits and veggies, dehydrated or freeze-dried foods. Pick snacks and treats carefully, so they don't expire before being used up.

Set aside time every few months to rotate out expired food. If expired, toss it or donate if still safe. Labeling containers makes it easier to sort and rotate, so you always have fresh supplies.

Long-Term Food Storage Supplies

You're in the right spot if you want to know how to make a long-term food storage. Having a lot of food can save you in an emergency. So, what should you get? Read on! Here are the must-have items for building a long-term food storage:

  • Grains – rice, oats, quinoa, etc.
  • Beans – black beans, kidney beans, etc.
  • Canned and dried fruits and vegetables
  • Nuts – almonds, walnuts, etc.
  • Canned meats – tuna, salmon, etc.
  • Protein powder
  • Canned soups
  • Pasta
  • Honey
  • Dried herbs and spices


Food-grade buckets are key for storing dry goods and other supplies. You can get them cheap, so it's great for creating your long-term food storage. Make sure the buckets are labelled ‘food-grade' – there are some containers that aren't suitable.

Buckets come in many sizes (2 to 5 gallons) and materials (plastic, metal, or a combo). What you're storing may mean one type is better than another. Plastic can contain smells better, but won't be good for heavy stuff. Food-grade buckets also have tight lids to keep out moisture and bugs.

When buying lids, they should fit snugly but open easily when needed. Storing food in a bucket can make it last 30 years and remain tasty. Pick the right size bucket based on how much you plan to stock – bigger isn't always better!

Mylar bags

Mylar bags are a must for long-term food storage. They protect the contents from air, light, humidity and temperature changes. They're made of strong polyester film and vacuum sealed or sealed with an adhesive. This locks out moisture and other contaminants that cause food to spoil.

Mylar bags protect your stockpile from rodents, insects and contamination during transport. Plus, they have an extra layer of aluminum to prevent oxidization and extend shelf life.

When using Mylar bags, consider temperature extremes, moisture, odors and tears that could damage the protective properties. Benefits of Mylar bags include:

  • increased shelf life
  • protection against pests
  • protection against extreme temperatures
  • better puncture-resistance compared to plastic containers, keeping stored items safe during transport and in environments with big temperature swings.

Oxygen absorbers

Oxygen absorbers are perfect for any long-term food storage. They absorb oxygen and moisture from the atmosphere. This makes food last longer.

These packets are usually small and filled with iron powder and activated charcoal. This eliminates oxidation or excess moisture when sealed in a container or packaging.

It is important to have some on hand for extra freshness and longer shelf life. This includes grains, legumes, seeds, flour, sugar, herbs and spices, meat and seafoods.

Oxygen absorbers also prevent nutrient loss. Oxygen can break down vitamins and minerals. So, oxygen absorbers help keep prepped foods safe from contamination and decay while they are stored and transported. This helps ensure better quality products with long-term shelving in mind.

DIY Food Storage Solutions

Food storage is a must in any home. Making your own food storage system can be tough, but it's possible! You have two choices: buy a pre-made kit or create DIY. DIY food storage can be cheaper and simpler to customize. Here are tips and tricks to help you make your own DIY food storage system:

  • Save money and time in the long run.
  • Customize your food storage.
  • Consider all your options.

Build a root cellar

Root cellars are awesome for long-term food storage. They provide a cool, dark environment and don't need electricity. Ideal temperature is 32 – 40°F (0-4°C). But, you could use a shed or basement too, if it's cool enough.

To Build a Root Cellar:

  1. Pick the right spot – dry, cool and dark. Make sure it's easy to access, but not near ground water or drainage.
  2. Dig and Level: 1 foot down and level the sides. Make topsoil walls round the edges and add ventilation.
  3. Line Interior: Cover with 10″ insulation like plastic sheeting or tarp. Fill with dirt or gravel, then add produce and top off.
  4. Add Shelving/Additional Insulation: Add shelves. You could use old pallets or hay bales wrapped in plastic for added insulation.
  5. Install Ventilation System: Make sure there's ventilation on both ends. Metal pipe works well for this.

Build a pantry shelf

Having an organized food pantry is essential for long-term stockpiling. Building a shelving unit can be done in a day. Get lumber, screws, brackets, and the right tools. Have sturdy shelves that can support 35-60 lbs.

  • Measure the space available, so the shelf fits in well.
  • Drawers offer great organization and easy access. Consider extending them fully.
  • Casters are an option too. This lets you move the shelf or rearrange it easily, for entertaining or everyday operations.

Build a food storage shelf

Create a shelf for long-term food storage:

  • Measure the size and mark out where each plank should fit.
  • Drill pilot holes and mount screws into wall studs.
  • Use pre-treated lumber or seal cut lumber with polyurethane.
  • Nail or secure planks together for stronger joints.
  • Attach a plywood grid on top of short 2×2 wood strips beneath each plank.
  • Use L brackets to prevent horizontal displacement when loaded.
  • Maximize ventilation.
  • Leave enough space between stack frames for cleaning.
  • Use Java screws and wood glue for heavy load levels.
  • Sand, paint/stain, and label layers.
  • Insulated caging can be used with cardboard boxes to preserve against environmental changes.

Celebrate time-honored practices with family meals. Dreams can come true with faith and hope. Conquer bumps in life with courage and grace. Let go of regret and enjoy everlasting happiness.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: What are the best ways to store food for the long-term?

A1: The best way to store food for the long-term is to use airtight containers, such as glass jars or steel cans. These can help keep out pests and moisture, while also protecting food from oxidation. Additionally, you should store food in a cool, dry place, such as a root cellar or basement.

Q2: How much food should I store for my family?

A2: The amount of food you should store for your family depends on many factors, such as the size of your family and how often you cook. Generally, it is recommended to store enough food for at least three months.

Q3: What are the best foods to store for the long-term?

A3: The best foods to store for the long-term are non-perishable items such as grains, legumes, nuts, and dried fruits. Additionally, canned goods, such as vegetables and fruits, can also be stored for long periods of time.

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