Looking to start your food storage? Picking food storage meals can be pretty overwhelming. Will my family eat it? Will it taste OK with powdered ingredients? How do I convert my usual meals into powdered or freeze-dried ingredients?
Here are some tips from what I’ve learned over the years that make GREAT food storage meals.
Updated October 2020 – This post may contain affiliate links. Read my affiliate link disclosure here
Tips for Picking Food Storage Meals
Pick a meal your family eats.
Make sure it’s a meal that your family ALREADY eats, if it’s not, it’s a waste of money, space and time. In other words, Using meals your family is already eating on a regular basis will increase the chance of you rotating your food storage and enjoying in a time of need.
Find recipes with 10 ingredients or less.
Using 10 ingredients or less is not a MUST, but it definitely makes your life easier. When planning food storage meals it takes a lot of math, organization and space. Less ingredients will save you space and brain power. If it has more ingredients that’s fine… But you don’t want lots of ingredients with every recipe. (lots of spices can be taken out of the 10 or less count)
Try to limit the “fresh” fruits and veggies for storage meals
Recipes with lots of fresh fruits, veggies and meats can get expensive; especially if you use freeze-dried ingredients. Canned fruits, veggies and meats are much cheaper. Typically I buy these items freeze-dried, then store them for long-term, then when I make the meals during the week, I use fresh, frozen or canned. It’s important to add some nutrients though, so be sure to include some meals with fruits and veggies.
Use recipes with “full” ingredients
In other words, use recipes that call for a whole can of tomatoes, beans, or creamed soup. This way you don’t have to cut the can in half and waste the rest… or figure out how to use it. Using a WHOLE can of ingredients saves you refrigerator space, and allows you to use what you have.
Try to pick recipes with basic, common ingredients
“Common ingredients” are foods that you typically buy on a regular basis, and you don’t have to go to an extra “store” to buy it. When using recipes with basic ingredients, you can use those ingredients in other recipes and help you rotate through your food storage. This will also be cheaper (more often than not). Here is a great article on 11 things every pantry needs to give you some ideas.
Rice, Pasta, Beans and Potatoes for Food Storage Meals
When picking food storage meals, recipes that include these ingredients are amazing because they are very filling and easy on the wallet (aka cheaper). Beans give you great protein too! Like I said, fruits, veggies, and meats can be very expensive to store and rotate in your food storage. So I typically only cook 3 out of 7 meals each week that have “meat”. I bought this book and have loved including beans more into our diet. Rice and pasta can be very filling too and make simple food storage meals.
When you are cooking your “food storage” meals, it’s easy to add veggies and meat during your regular cooking or as a side dish. Check out my products page for some ideas of food storage meals you might be interested in.
Basic Recipes when Picking Food Storage Meals
Again, keep it basic. When picking food storage meals, spaghetti or Alfredo sauce and noodles are great! That gives you 2 ingredients to buy for a meal! Then, when rotating and using those ingredients for your meals, it’s easy to upgrade. Add veggies, seasonings and sides to make it more appetizing.
REMEMBER: Food storage is basic… It doesn’t have to be an extravagant 3 course meal. Keep it simple.
Store This Not That is a great book to get that will give you some great inexpensive food storage ideas.
A FEW Extra Tips:
- Using recipes with similar ingredients will help make shopping and organizing easier.
- If you want to keep your food storage frugal, try to use potatoes, rice, and beans to add “filling” meals… and minimize your use of meats (I recommend at least 3 meals a week to include some type of meat/protein)
- Think about how you typically enjoy cooking… if you like to use the stove or oven, find recipes that use that. You won’t enjoy using recipes that use an “unfamiliar” cooking method.
- When storing food for long term food storage, you want to keep in the back of your mind how to cook them when electricity is out… but you typically won’t be cooking meals for a year without electricity…
- Include some comfort food… for bribery for the kids, and to keep your spirits up if times are tough.
Keep in mind…
Finally, keep in mind you are planing meals for BASIC food storage… if you NEED to eat them, you have them!
Of course it DOES NOT MEAN you have to eat them all year long. BUT… when you make them throughout the year add them into your meal planning and upgrade them. You can ALWAYS add more yummy fresh ingredients! These are basic recipes to get you by during that emergency.
Here are some tips from the experts about those starting out with food storage to keep in mind.
So, I’ve got my recipes, now what?
Once you’ve found your recipes, you’ll want to start building your supply. It is really important to KNOW what you need before you start buying. You will save time and space in the long run. So, start with 7 recipes, and try to get 4 meals worth of ingredients for each of those recipes. You can also read 5 tips to start your food storage to keep you rolling. I recommend starting with a 3 month supply, then building from there. If you start with fewer recipes and ingredients, the task isn’t as daunting.
Here is a quick video for some other tips.
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Need more ideas?
If you still aren’t sure where to start, here are some other posts:
I hope this helped you get an idea of meals! Read more about my Meal Planning for Long Term Food Storage.
What is one of your go-to meals you like to use with your food storage?
Comments from Readers
Linda- “Great ideas about food storage! I love the idea about choosing a recipe with ten or less ingredients! Great post!”
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Thanks for reading!
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my affiliate link disclosure here