Affordable Long Term Food Storage: A Pragmatic Guide
Are you prepared for an emergency situation? Having a long-term food storage plan is an essential part of any emergency preparedness kit. However, it can be costly to purchase pre-packaged survival foods from companies that specialize in this. Luckily, there are many affordable options for long-term food storage that can be purchased from regular grocery stores. In this guide, we will explore different methods for affordable long-term food storage that can help you and your family survive in an emergency situation.
Why is Affordable Long Term Food Storage Important?
In the event of a natural disaster, pandemic, or economic crisis, having a long-term food supply is crucial. FEMA recommends having a three-day food supply, while the CDC recommends having at least a 14-day supply of food. However, in 2020, we learned that even longer-term food storage may be necessary in certain situations.
Since pre-packaged survival foods can be expensive, it's important to know how to create an affordable long-term food storage plan using regular grocery store items. With proper planning and storage techniques, you can build a long-term food supply that is both affordable and sustainable.
Cheap Survival Food Ideas
When creating a long-term food storage plan, it's important to choose items that you and your family will actually want to eat. The last thing you want is to have a stockpile of food that no one wants to eat. Here are some affordable survival food ideas that can be bought from regular grocery stores:
- Rice (white, brown, or wild)
- Pasta (spaghetti, macaroni, etc.)
- Canned fruits and vegetables
- Canned soups
- Canned meats (tuna, chicken, etc.)
- Canned beans
- Canned chili
- Cooking oil (vegetable, olive, etc.)
- Spices (garlic powder, onion powder, etc.)
- Bouillon cubes
- BBQ sauce
- Soy sauce
Storing these items properly can extend their shelf life. It's important to keep them in a cool, dry place and away from direct sunlight. For example, rice can last up to 30 years if stored properly.
Tips for Storing Food
- Store food in airtight containers to keep out moisture and pests.
- Use Mylar bags and oxygen absorbers to increase shelf life.
- Rotate your food supply by using the oldest items first and replacing them with new ones.
- Store food in different locations in case of an emergency. For example, keep some in your pantry, some in your basement, and some in your garage.
A great resource for growing and storing nutritious vegetables is the book, Bootstrap Survival Garden, which provides guidance on how to grow and store vegetables for long-term food storage.
Repackaging Bulk Dry Goods for Long-Term Storage
Bulk dry goods like beans, rice, and grains are a cost-effective option for long-term food storage. However, they are vulnerable to moisture, oxygen, pests, and sunlight. Here are some tips for properly storing bulk dry goods:
Repackaging Dry Goods
- Remove the dry goods from their original packaging and place them in airtight containers.
- Use Mylar bags and oxygen absorbers to increase shelf life.
- Label each container with the name of the item and the date it was stored.
Storing Dry Goods
- Store the containers in a cool, dry place.
- Avoid storing the containers in areas that are prone to flooding or high humidity.
- Keep the containers away from direct sunlight.
Preventing Insect Infestation
- Freeze the dry goods for three days to kill any insect eggs or larvae that may be present.
- Use diatomaceous earth to prevent insect infestation. Diatomaceous earth is a natural, non-toxic powder that can be sprinkled on dry goods to kill insects.
Properly stored bulk dry goods can last up to 20+ years. This method of long-term food storage is budget-friendly and can save you money in the long run. For more detailed instructions on how to properly store bulk dry goods, check out this article from Art of Manliness.
DIY Long Term Food Storage
When it comes to long-term food storage, it's important to have a variety of options to choose from. Here are some recommended food options for long-term storage:
Rice and Soft Grains
Rice and soft grains like quinoa and barley are great options for long-term food storage. They have a long shelf life and can be used in a variety of dishes.
Canned and dry beans are a great source of protein and can be used in a variety of dishes. They have a long shelf life and are easy to store.
Canned and Dry Meat
Canned and dry meat like tuna, chicken, and beef jerky are good options for long-term storage. They provide a good source of protein and can be used in a variety of dishes.
Canned vegetables like green beans, corn, and peas are a great way to add variety to your long-term food storage. They have a long shelf life and can be used in a variety of dishes.
Olive Oil or Coconut Oil
Olive oil and coconut oil are good options for long-term storage. They provide a good source of fat and can be used in a variety of dishes.
Natural honey is a great sweetener and has a long shelf life. It can be used in a variety of dishes and can also be used as a natural remedy for sore throats.
- Freeze-drying: Freeze-drying is a great way to preserve food for long-term storage. It removes moisture from the food, which helps extend its shelf life.
- Canning: Canning is a great way to preserve food for long-term storage. It involves sealing food in airtight jars and then heating them to kill any bacteria or microorganisms.
- Pressure Canning: Pressure canning is used for low acid foods like meats and vegetables. It involves using a pressure canner to heat the food to a high temperature, which kills any bacteria or microorganisms.
Jams, jellies, pickles, and fermented foods are also good options for canning. For more detailed information on DIY long-term food storage, check out this article from Practical Preppers.
Comparing Survival Food Companies for Long-Term Food Storage
Several companies sell freeze-dried and dehydrated foods for long-term food storage in case of emergencies. When choosing a company, it's important to consider factors like shelf life, variety of products, packaging, and price. Here are some companies to consider:
Wise Company provides gourmet freeze-dried and dehydrated meals for long-term food storage. Their meals are easy to prepare and take up minimal space, allowing for a year's supply to fit in the space of a washer and dryer, and a 3-month supply to fit in a basement or closet.
Mountain House is another popular company that sells freeze-dried and dehydrated foods for long-term storage. They offer a variety of meals and snacks, and their products have a long shelf life.
Legacy Food Storage
Legacy Food Storage offers freeze-dried and dehydrated meals in bulk. They have a variety of options to choose from, and their products have a long shelf life.
Augason Farms offers a variety of freeze-dried and dehydrated foods for long-term storage. They have a wide range of products to choose from and their prices are reasonable.
Comparing Survival Food Companies
- Wise Company vs. Mountain House: Both companies offer freeze-dried and dehydrated meals, but Wise Company offers more variety and takes up less space.
- Legacy Food Storage vs. Augason Farms: Both companies offer bulk options and have a wide range of products to choose from, but Augason Farms is slightly more affordable.
For more detailed information on comparing survival food companies for long-term food storage, check out these articles from Down to Earth Homesteaders and choose a company that meets your needs.
Final Thoughts on Affordable Long-Term Food Storage
Long-term food storage is an important aspect of emergency preparedness. By properly storing food, you can ensure that you and your family will have enough to eat in case of an emergency. Here are some final thoughts on affordable long-term food storage:
Consider Your Budget
When it comes to long-term food storage, it's important to consider your budget. Buying in bulk and repackaging dry goods are cost-effective options, while buying pre-packaged meals can be more expensive.
Store What You Eat
When choosing food for long-term storage, it's important to store what you eat. This will help prevent waste and ensure that you have a variety of foods to choose from.
Rotate Your Stock
To ensure that your food stays fresh, it's important to rotate your stock. This means using the oldest food first and replacing it with new food.
Learn to Cook with Long-Term Storage Foods
Learning to cook with long-term storage foods can help you save money and ensure that you have a variety of meals to choose from. Experiment with different recipes and find ones that your family enjoys.
Affordable long-term food storage is an important aspect of emergency preparedness. By following these tips, you can ensure that you and your family will have enough to eat in case of an emergency. Remember to store what you eat, rotate your stock, and learn to cook with long-term storage foods.
Start Your Affordable Long-Term Food Storage Plan Today
By now, you should have a good understanding of affordable long-term food storage. Whether you're preparing for a natural disaster or a pandemic, having enough food to eat is crucial. Here are some final tips to help you get started:
Assess Your Needs
Before you start your long-term food storage plan, assess your needs. Consider the size of your family, any dietary restrictions, and the length of time you want to store food.
Make a Plan
Once you've assessed your needs, make a plan. Decide what types of foods you want to store, how much you need, and how you will store them.
Buy in Bulk
Buying in bulk is a cost-effective way to store food. Consider joining a food co-op or buying from a bulk food store.
Repackage Dry Goods
Repackaging dry goods in Mylar bags with oxygen absorbers can help extend their shelf life. This is a great way to store bulk foods like rice, beans, and grains.
Store Food Properly
Proper storage is key to long-term food storage. Keep food in a cool, dry place away from light and moisture.
Check Expiration Dates
Be sure to check expiration dates regularly and rotate your stock to ensure that your food stays fresh.
Check Out Our Other Great Content
For more information on emergency preparedness, check out our other great content. We have articles on everything from first aid kits to bug-out bags.
Remember, affordable long-term food storage is an investment in your future. Start your plan today and be prepared for whatever comes your way.
Who needs affordable long-term food storage?
Anyone who wants to be prepared for emergencies.
What are some budget-friendly options for long-term food storage?
Buying in bulk, repackaging dry goods, and storing what you eat.
How can I store my long-term food supply properly?
Keep it in a cool, dry place away from light and moisture.
What is the shelf life of long-term food storage?
It depends on the type of food and how it's stored. Some can last up to 20+ years.
How much food should I store for long-term storage?
It depends on the size of your family and how long you want to store food.
What if I have dietary restrictions?
Consider storing specialty items or finding alternative sources of nutrition.