Have you built up a small food storage and are looking to grow that into a year supply? There are a few things you need to know and will want keep in mind when planning for long term food storage so you can be sure you have the quality and type of food to fit your exact families needs. Once you know exactly what you need, then you won’t be wasting money and spending hundreds on items you don’t need.
Long term food storage planning
The type of food
What is the type of food that you cook best with? And what type of food are you willing to learn how to cook with? There are freeze dried meals which only take water. Dehydrated meals which take time and water. Canned meals you can just reheat. Or, everything from scratch. Scratch meals allow you to save more money and typically these ingredients store longer, but it takes extra time and prep work for a meal.
What type of cooking methods will you be using to cook your food? Most occasions you’ll need your long term food storage you’ll have electricity to cook with because you’ve probably run out of money and need it elsewhere. BUT there will be some times, you may not have the means and electricity to cook your food. In this case, you want to think about HOW you will cook it. Over a fire, dutch oven, a camp stove, use propane, an outdoor grill, etc. You want to be sure you know how to cook it without a basic oven, microwave or stove top.
How are you planning on storing all of your food…and water for it? This can be a difficult one. Not many homes are built for a year supply of food, let alone apartments. Freeze dried and dehydrated food, will take more water to cook with, so you’ll need to store extra water (or have a method to get lots of clean water). Canned food, typically have the extra liquid in them, so you don’t need to store as much water.
Then, you have a variety of can sizes. Freeze dried can come in smaller pantry sized cans, or large #10 cans. These will take up more space. Canned food comes in variety of sizes, which you can squeeze and fit anywhere. Home canned and dehydrated food take a bit more space since they are bottled in glass jars. These need to be supported and protected to keep from heat. Think about where and how you can store your meals, and plan accordingly. There’s no point in buying a 5 gallon bucket of wheat if you don’t have a place to store it.
How much money do you have for food storage? Knowing this allows you to plan around when to buy more expensive items and how to pick your meals for more frugal items. Freeze dried and dehydrated typically cost more. Freeze dried prices have become more reasonable over the years, with more reputable companies popping up. Here is a list of places I recommend purchasing long term food.
Dehydrated and home canned food can be expensive with the start up equipment, and all the canning jars, but more frugal as you garden and find good deals. Typically buying canned from the store, or purchasing bulk bags of grains and then restoring it in Mylar bars or buckets would be the cheapest way. Either way, storing a variety of types of food is the best and will probably be the cheapest option.
Long term food storage planing has a lot more work to it than “what do I want to eat”. Once you’ve decided your price range, what type of storage space you have, cooking methods and type of food then start a goal of storing food for about 2 months. Then move that up to 4 months until you start running out of space. Here is an article to help you decided how much food is enough for your family. You also may want to look into some pre-made food storage meal plans.
What of food storage do you like to use? Comment below.
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