How to USE Food Storage. Yes, You NEED to USE it!

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Do you have hundreds of pounds of wheat in your basement or you spent hundreds on freeze dried food storage? Here are some tips how to use food storage

Do you have hundreds of pounds of wheat, oats and rice in your basement?  Have you spent hundreds of $$$ on freeze dried food storage?

Don’t worry… everyone else has too.

It’s not a bad thing… you just need to learn how to use food storage right?

Here are some tips how to use food storage so YOU can be rockin’ your pantry and NOT feel guilty about all that wasted time, space and $$$ in your basement (or wherever you store your food storage).

This post may contain affiliate links.  Read my affiliate link disclosure here

How to use food storage

Grab your 3 step strategy and today, start to build a food storage you’ll ACTUALLY eat!

1. Move the basic food items upstairs and into your pantry.

Do you have hundreds of pounds of wheat in your basement or you spent hundreds on freeze dried food storage? Here are some tips how to use food storage

If you want to USE your food storage and rotate it, you need to move it upstairs so you SEE it.  This will help you remember, and use it more often.  It also gets you thinking about what meals you can use it in.

It’s not the best picture, but this is what I use.  I have white flour, oats, sugar, powdered milk, and salt all right above my cooking space and ready to use.  In the freezer I have yeast, and wheat flour.  In the pantry next door are my basic sizes of baking powder and soda, vanilla, and spices.

When buying food storage items, I recommend buying it in the basic containers you use it in… such as baking powder, baking soda, vanilla, ect.  This will help you use it often, it will fit in your pantry, AND make it easy to rotate.

2. Think about what meals you are already making

and think about what you already have stored.  Does anything match up?  If so, start swapping out some fresh ingredients and adding in some freeze dried, dehydrated or canned ones (not a lot, just one item or two).

Nothing matches up?  Can you turn some of your food storage into a side dish?  A side of rice, or beans, or corn bread?  My Pinterest board with some food storage recipe ideas.  Or another link to 100+ food storage recipes.

3. You don’t have to cook with everything

I’m sorry, but my biggest pet peeves is “Thrive Q”.  I HATE it!  Why would I want to spend all this money on freeze dried food and USE it when it has a shelf life of 20+ years?  That is expensive!

You don’t have to use and rotate ALL your food storage.  The long term items that have 20+ years shelf life… learn how to cook and use it.  Then cook with it every couple of months.  I suggest opening 1-3 #10 food storage cans and using them for half  a year.  Then, open up some different ones to use the rest of the year.  This allows you to rotate them, AND learn how to cook with the different items without becoming overwhelmed.


Your basic pantry/baking items, and canned food items from the grocery store you should be using more often and regularly.  This is why I recommend buying most of your food storage in sizes and cans you already buy and use.  AND you should be planning food storage meals that your family love and ALREADY eat.

It’s important to use food storage… but it’s also important to have it there for when you need it.

4. Grind your wheat…then use it

Wheat seems to be a major part of food storage, and EVERYONE has loads of it.

A tip for wheat when you want to use food storage is to grind 5-6 cups and store it in a bag in your freezer.  If you don’t have a wheat grinder, I have heard of some stores where you can grind wheat there (Hy-Vee).  Grinding it in bulk and putting it in the freezer makes it easy to incorporate into your meals.

I typically don’t use whole wheat flour ALL the time.  But I do use it 50% of all my recipes.  Wheat flour is great in pancakes, waffles, muffins, pizza, bread, and even cookies!  To be honest with you, I really need to use wheat MORE but get lazy.  That’s why I try to grind a lot at a time, then I have a good months worth of wheat flour in my freezer to use.

5. Try powdered milk

And I don’t mean DRINK it!  But DO cook with it.  First, it saves tons of money (when you buy it from Home Store Center) when you use it to cook instead of regular milk.  Second, you don’t go through milk as fast.  Our family of 5 only goes through 1 gallon a week of milk from the store, we used to go through almost 2!  Then, I started using powdered milk in my recipes and saved the space in my fridge.  Third, like I just mentioned, you’ll save space in the fridge.

How do I cook with powdered milk?  Well, it’s easy!  MOST of the time it’s 1/4 c powder per cup of water (but it might only be 3 Tbsp depending on brand).. EITHER WAY if you use 3 Tbsp or 1/4 c (which is 4 Tbsp) it really doesn’t make a difference.  You just add the dry powder to your dry ingredients, then add water to your liquid.

Here are some recipe ideas that I ALWAYS use powdered milk for:  bread, waffles, pancakes, cracked wheat cereal, biscuits, rolls, muffins, ect.  Pretty much anything that you put milk in, you can use powdered milk.  I even used it to make yogurt!

TIP:  The only thing I don’t use powdered milk for is pudding.  You can, and I have and I will in an emergency, but it just doesn’t seem to set up right and my husband hates it.

So, put that powdered milk container on your counter so you can start incorporating it into your recipes ASAP!

6. Try new meals

This might sound a little scary… but it’s not if you only try one new meal ONCE a month.

Grab your 3 step strategy and today, start to build a food storage you’ll ACTUALLY eat!

Using your basic food storage storing blocks, you can try: oatmeal, oatmeal bars, cracked wheat cereal, whole wheat muffins, and try different seasonings to spice up your rice.  Try adding rice as a side to most meals.  My kids eat rice better than us adults do and it’s easy to keep plane or spice up.

If you are looking to try out your freeze dried food storage, look up multiple recipes using ONE item.  You don’t want to open up a TON Of cans because you might not use it all and it will go stale or sticky (in Omaha humidity).  So, open up that freeze dried broccoli, learn how to cook with it in 2-3 different meals.

Another idea to help you try new meals is Pinterest!  It’s so easy to pick a specific ingredient and search for hundreds of recipes with that one ingredient.  This can help you A LOT with rice and bean recipes!  My most recent favorite black beans recipe is from Our Best Bites.  And Store This Not That sales my favorite bean recipe book!

Again, try a new recipe once a month and decided how you like it.

Using your food storage doesn’t have to be difficult

but you DO have to take some effort to mentally think about what you can cook with it.

What meals are you already making that you can add one ingredient here or there from your food storage?

In conclusion

It is important to learn how to use food storage, cook and rotate it.  If there is an emergency (or even if you loose a major source of income), there will already be a lot of stress.  Don’t add extra stress by looking at your hundreds of food items and NOT KNOWING WHAT TO DO WITH IT.  Not using your food storage is one of the #1 food storage fails.

Learn how to cook with your freeze dried and dehydrated items.  Eat your rice, wheat, and beans so your body is prepared for it.  Use your canned food so it doesn’t go bad in your pantry.

Start using what you have (but don’t use it all!).  Read about what you may be forgetting in your food storage to be sure you have what you need.

If you are someone who stores a lot of freeze dried items, I KNOW how expensive that is.  Use a #10 can here or there, but don’t use all of them.  It is made to sit for years, so save your money and use fresh or frozen.  But PLEASE learn how to cook with it.

What do you have in your basement/pantry that you don’t know how to use?

Further Reading

5 Reasons WHY you Need Food Storage
Store This Not That Book Review– a great book with recipes on how to use your food storage
The Ultimate List of Food Storage Websites

As always, if you love what you read or have found it helpful, please PIN, share or comment below. You can also like my Facebook page to get updates or subscribe to my email list. Thanks for reading!

This post may contain affiliate links.  Read my affiliate link disclosure here

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