20 Items To Start Your Food Storage Today

20 Items To Start Your Food Storage Today

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20 Items To Start Your Food Storage Today. Have you asked yourself lately, where or how do I even start a food storage list? Years ago most people stored wheat, rice, sugar, and beans. I am talking one hundred pound barrels of each. Mine were green buckets. Yes, I had a wheat grinder that you would crank for hours and be lucky to get two to four cups of freshly ground flour. I swear this is why I made white bread for 40 years.

When I heard about electric wheat grinders, I said, what? I can have whole wheat flour that is fresh without tennis elbow? You may have heard me mention, start with fresh ingredients and you will make fabulous bread! There is no secret to making bread, except start with fresh ingredients. And a good recipe. Wheat Bread Recipe or White Bread Recipe

Then, I learned about Hard White Wheat….oh precious, sweet, fluffy, whole wheat bread. So you will see why wheat is my second item I would suggest.

Food Storage Today:

1. Water

WaterBricks are awesome.

Water for drinking, washing dishes, washing clothes. We need a minimum amount of water for each of the following purposes:

  • 1 gallon per day per person to stay hydrated. If you live in a HOT area you might need more.
  • 4 gallons per day per person allows for personal hygiene, washing of dishes, etc.
  • 5 to 12 gallons per day would be needed for a conventional toilet
  • 1/2 to two gallons for a pour flush latrine.
  • This is critical for your food storage today because we need water to go with everything below

2. Wheat

Wheat for grinding, sprouting, cereals, muffins, pancakes and the list goes on and on. Please teach your neighbors and friends to make bread. Take a class, you will save so much money and you will know what is in your bread when you serve it.

3. Grains

Grains-  Kamut, Spelt, Barley, Millet, White Quinoa, Red Quinoa, Black Quinoa, Rainbow Quinoa. White rice stores longer than brown rice. Brown rice is healthier but goes rancid fairly quickly because of the fat content. These are just a few grains to start with…..

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4. Extra Cans

Extra cans of whatever you eat every day or every week. Not everyone can afford to buy several #10 cans every week or month. So buy 1-10 cans of smaller items of food products you know you can use throw a meal to together. My choice would be a cream of chicken soup or canned tomatoes. I can make most anything with these two items added to the rest of today’s list.

5. Canned Protein

Canned tuna or chicken. It’s all about protein. It is not frozen and only needs a can opener. This is critical for your food storage today.

6. Beans

Beans, beans, beans. We all need the protein. Plus they are usually pretty inexpensive.

7. Dehydrated Vegetables

Dehydrated vegetables are great for making soups. We must remember dehydrated foods do not last as long as freeze dried. They are cheaper and work great.

8. Freeze-Dried Vegetables

Freeze-dried vegetables are awesome because they cook faster, last longer than dehydrated, in most cases (depends on the type), read your labels. Some freeze dried veggies taste great right out of the can.

9. Freeze Dried Fruits

Freeze-dried fruits- most all freeze dried fruits, you can eat right out of the can.

10. Milk

Instant or powdered milk. Powdered buttermilk is great for making muffins, dipping/coating veggies, meats, salad dressings, etc.

11. Eggs

Eggs- by now you know my egg of choice for storage is OvaEasy Eggs. They taste like eggs because they are eggs. Yes, it is a shock when you first open the can and the crystals are slightly orange. Once the eggs start to cook it’s like magic they turn to yellow like the color we are used to seeing. They taste fabulous too!

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12. Spices

Spices-   you can make most any recipe with just a few spices. Look in your pantry and decide the 5-10 spices that are your absolute favorites. I would want cinnamon and basil to start with. Please tell me your favorites….

13. Cheese

Cheese-  freeze-dried cheese is awesome to start collecting one #10 can at a time. If we had a grid down we will not be worried about cholesterol, we will need the calories.

14. Peanut Butter

Peanut butter- in a jar or powdered (you can slip some jam into this number #14)

15. Honey-Sugar-Sweetener

Honey, sugar or sweetener of choice

16. Salt

Salt, we need it for so many recipes

17. Oil

Oil-  olive, coconut, vegetable or butter. I buy Red Feather butter, I have yet to taste a powdered butter I can tolerate taste-wise. I would rather do without butter than eat some of those. I do need oil to make my bread and cook certain food combinations.

18. Pasta

Pasta, pasta, pasta-it stores fairly well for about 8 years depending on the temperature of the storage area and the type of pasta. Who doesn’t love pasta?

19. Chia

Salba Chia is my favorite, the nutrients are so valuable to consume.

20. Chocolate

20. Chocolate….I have to have chocolate. Period. Preferably dark chocolate for those moments when you just need a treat, or to make cookies!! I am adding cocoa to this #20.

Please start today to choose some of these for your food storage today. Not tomorrow. Today…you will be glad you did.

Survival food storage by Linda

My favorite one to use for this recipe


  1. Linda, this is a great help, and I love your suggestions! I am working on those very things right now! And you are SO right about the worry over cholesterol and storing freeze-dried cheese! YAY! We will still be eating tasty and healthy things in case of an emergency! Thanks for your suggestions! Deb

    • Hi Debbie, I think sometimes the food storage ideas can be a bit overwhelming so I tried to break it out to 20. Yes, I will want cheese too! Everything tastes better with cheese and bacon! LOL! Hugs! Linda

  2. I have read that Organic Palm Oil Shortening when stored appropriately can last for decades. Do you know if this is true?

    • HI HoppyGirl, where did you buy your Organic Palm Oil shortening? I have never used it. I would love to do the research on this. Is there an expiration date on the container you purchased? Please tell me more I am very interested in knowing how you use it as well. I have had friends who thought Olive Oil lasted for years, they do not. They had to throw out the rancid stuff.
      Thank you for this great question! Hugs! Linda

  3. i love how you didn’t forget the chocolate! many forget a small luxury like that, and when hard times come, no one wants to eat just beans ;0

    • Hi Heather, I love that you love chocolate too! I am sure we would all see smiles if someone brought out some chocolate! Happy Monday! Hugs! Linda

  4. Spices? My top four are garlic powder, cumin, oregano, and cinnamon. The first three I add to my beef for Mexican dishes. (Burritos, tacos, taco salad, enchiladas, etc.) of course I’d want salt and pepper, too. (I use Moton’s Lite Salt, less sodium.)

    Thanks for putting this list together!

    • Hi Cassie, those would be my favorite spices too! We are having tacos tonight for dinner! I could eat Mexican food every night…!!! Hugs! Linda

  5. Hi Linda, Thank you for this information. Have you heard of storing your chocolate in mason jars using a jar sealer attachment? I just recently taught a food storage class and shared this idea. 4 years ago I learned how to store certain foods for long term. Crackers, granola bars, cookies, chocolates and even brown rice. Place the food in a mason jar and use your food saver jar sealer attachment to pull all the oxygen out of the jar. The food is safe from spoilage. I opened a 3 year old jar of hersheys almond kisses in front of the class and had them all try the candy. They could not believe how fresh the chocolate was. It will stay that fresh for many, many years. I sealed my brown rice 3 years ago too. You can also seal almonds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, chocolate chips, peanuts, etc. I place all my jars in a box with either clothes or paper towels around them so that they do not break if the box is dropped or we have an earthquake. As long as the seal is not broken your food will stay fresh.

    • Hi Susan, I love my FoodSaver. I seal everything in mason jars. Thats what I give as Christmas neighbor gifts: Halloween candy sealed in jars! Have you heard of the JarBox? My blogger friend designed them. Her name is Jeri. They are somewhat expensive right now but Jeri is trying to get them mass produced to get the price more affordable. Thanks for the tips! I always say we all learn from each other! Hugs! Linda

  6. I make sure to get fresh, local, unfiltered, raw honey every year from a gleaners group. On average, I get four gallons worth and put it into quart size jars. Each year, I don’t end up using the full four gallons, but I continue to purchase the same amount so that I will always have extra if I am unable to get it at one point. And it last forever 🙂

    I also just finished canning 58 quarts of pinto beans (I can them in the winter when it is cooler and I am not all burnt out from canning our garden produce). That way when we want beans for a meal, I don’t have to soak them and cook them for hours. I just open the jar and warm them up. I still keep beans sealed in a bucket that are dry, but I can a years worth at a time since most home canned food only lasts two years.

    And my favorite spices I must have are cayenne pepper (great as a first aid item also for shock, heart attack, and to stop bleeding), cinnamon, garlic, and real unrefined sea salt. I also stock up on bouillon so I can put a quick soup using my freeze dried items when time is short.

    • HI Vicki, oh my gosh we think so much a like! I have to have cayenne pepper in my cupboard all the time! I am going to mention this idea about canning beans in the winter, great idea!!! Hugs! Linda

    • Somewhat expensive?? Uh–huh.
      Anyhow, I dehydrated my farm fresh eggs and sealed them in mason jars using the jar sealer; gorgeous.

  7. Was reading this on Facebook and then was looking at some more posts when I remembered you mentioned the egg’s.
    Make sure of your lot numbers if you have the eggs

  8. Spices- other than those I grow and dry- #1 black pepper, #2 cumin, #3 paprika, #4 tumeric, #5 ginger, #6 vanilla, #7 teriyaki powder. There are a few other I can’t think of off the top of my head. I grow an herb garden for rosemary, thyme, basil, oregano, peppers, etc. I also make my own garlic and onion powders and salts. I dehydrate peppers and chiles and grind in a coffee bean grinder to chili powder. For shelf life coconut oil is best……Thanks for the tips there are quite a few things on this list I will be taking a look at and a couple I will be reevaluating…..

    • Hi Dan, thanks for the chili powder recipe! I have never done that! It sounds like you are so prepared, I love it! I store more coconut oil than any other oil too! Thanks so much for the tips!

  9. that egg company just got put up on the news . they are recalling alot of the products due to contamination…..i’ll try it when they have resolved their problem. just for your info…thank for the other tips though

  10. Elizabeth Rachal says:

    Where do you get freeze dried food? Thanks for putting together the list.

  11. Just an FYI…there is a recall just issued on all OvaEasy egg crystals due to salmonela.

    • Hi Michelle, I had 2 readers tell me that yesterday so I posted it on my post. My post went live on the 17th. The RECALL came out on the 15th. Good to know. Thanks for telling me! Linda

  12. So glad I read your post tonight. I currently have 6 packages of OvaEasy in my pantry and they are part of the recall. Thanks so much for the heads up.

    • Tricia, I am so glad we both saw the RECALL! I looked at the cans I have and I only see 2521 (I am hoping that is the Julian date) What number did yours have? And where is the number located? Linda

    • Tricia, is this the number you found? “INSPECTED EGG PRODUCTS PLANT 21493G” This is on my cans! Linda

      • Linda…Yes, mine have the same plant number of 21493G. On the back of the package just above the “best by date” is a series of numbers. The last 4 numbers of mine are “0853”. After checking the USDA web site this matches with the 4.5 oz. packages that I have. I bought mine through Amazon, a bag of 6 packages for $33.99. I contacted Amazon last night and within 2 hours had an e-mail from them saying they would refund the full amount including any shipping charges. This morning had another e-mail that the refund had been approved and no need to return the product. Needless to say it will be going in the trash. So glad I didn’t feed this to my family. Last thing we would need during a power failure with no running water would be salmonella.

        • Tricia, Oh this is good news! I saw the series of numbers on the bottom of the can above the expiration date. The last four numbers on mine are “2521”. I thought I was okay but then I was second guessing is it because of the plant#….I think I am okay. I am not worried about products from them in the future. They will be extra careful now hopefully. Sometimes I think this is why there is so much intestinal flu in some families. My motto is “when in doubt, throw it out”! There seems to be recalls on a lot of things nowadays. I wonder how many should be RECALLED and are not. I am so glad you had your money refunded so quickly! Hugs! Linda

      • Linda…not sure if I posted correctly so I’ll try again. My packages of OvaEasy have the same plant number as yours. Just above the “best by” date is a series of numbers, the last 4 on mine are 0853. These are the same numbers found on the USDA site. I bought mine on Amazon and have already e-mailed them and they have already approved a refund. So glad I had not served it to my family yet.

  13. If anyone else has a problem with or allergy to MSG like I do, you might be interested to know that most, if not all, cream of chicken soups contain MSG. I used to use it in place of chicken gravy with rice or rice and canned chicken. Was having problems shortly after eating it with face flushing, ears burning and generally feeling sick for a couple of hours afterward. Friend told me about MSG, found it is in a lot of foods I used to eat. Also discovered it is in most soups, in particular Campbell soups (as far as I know it is NOT in their tomato soup). It is in most flavored chips, a lot of cheese products, and almost all hamburger helper. People who start with a mild reaction can have that reaction progress to where it can become life threatening, as is the case with a close friend of mine. MSG is also particularly bad for the neurological development of children and is believed to have a place in ADHD disorders. I now avoid it, and have to admit I get funny looks while shopping as I check the entire ingredient label of any new product I consider buying and reject anything that contains MSG.
    I have both my own veggie garden, my own herb garden and two olive trees, blueberry bushes, a peach tree, a lemon tree and an orange tree and am buying another peach tree, olive tree and lemon tree at the end of this month. Most of these are varieties that can be grown in planters or buckets, on patios or balconies. I received cuttings from a friend yesterday for three grape vines and a passion fruit plant, and she is mailing me cuttings for a male and female elderberry plant soon. The elderberry can be grown for food, medicine, and/or wine. I do not drink wine but it would make a good item for barter.
    I am going to order some vines to homegrow hops as I do make my own beer, which is legal in Texas up to a certain amount per year, so long as it is for personal consumption or for you and your friends, it is not legal to make it at home for sale. Once the kits I have stored are gone, it would be nice to have homegrown ingredients to be able to continue having beer or use or barter if the situation should make it otherwise difficult to obtain.
    I am also having a couple of separate small chicken coops built and will have one for a rooster and hen(s) for reproduction, and the other for hens only for egg production.
    Have a water bob, two 52 gallon rain barrels, and have a 104 gallon rain barrel coming in a week or two. Also save most bottles that can be used for water storage, and try to keep them full and ready at any time should they be needed. Keep a lot of them in the freezer when the freezer is not full of food, so if power goes out they will keep what food is in there colder longer as a full freezer retains the colder longer than a partially full one, even if it is only frozen water filling it.
    I also grow my own sprouts and usually use them now in salads and on sandwiches over any type of lettuce. Broccoli sprouts are wonderful, I was eating them even before they started talking about the health benefits of doing so. And easy and cheap to grow, sure beats buying sprouts at the store that you have no idea who might have handled them or what might have been used on them, etc. Basic cleanliness will prevent any problems with the sprouts, and certainly that should be used with anything you grow and/or eat.

    • Gena, what a wonderful comment you have left here. I love hearing about items you have discussed here. I too believe that so many processed foods are causing so many health issues. I love the fact that you have room to have two chicken coops. Love it! I have veggie gardens but I am limited to the space I have in my yard. But I make do with what I do have. It sounds like you are so prepared for the unexpected disaster. I love the word barter. We must be prepared to barter….you are a excellent example to the world. We must teach everyone to be prepared for the unexpected. I also want to get some rain barrels. I have been slowly getting a little at a time. You will love the 160 gallon tank. It has to faucets. Thanks so much for sharing! Hugs! Linda

  14. Hi Linda, I’ve enjoyed reading over your list of 20 foods to start your food storage. My wife has food allergies and beans cause her problems. I have taken Minute Rice and poured it into clean, 2 liter bottles for waterproof, long term storage. Minute Rice is already partially cooked white rice (which stores longer than brown rice). The fact that it is partially cooked means it takes less water and less energy to prepare it. I also think Old Fashioned Oatmeal & Cream of Wheat has a place in food storage with long shelf life, needed carbs and vitamins. I’m remembering some years ago, two women trekked across Antarctica to the South Pole, and surviving on oatmeal during their journey. Another item I have in our food storage is applesauce. I can find no sell by date or expiration dates on any applesauce, found in any retail stores. Once opened and lack of refrigeration, it won’t last long but I still think it’s a good addition to our supplies.

    One other thought I have about powdered milk. I grew up on this stuff…made it by the gallon and chilled it in the refrigerator and probably was drinking almost the whole gallon a day, by myself. Dairy products are another of my wife’s allergies so I learned to cook without milk and only using regular tap water. You’d be surprised…you can’t tell the difference. Unless you’re making some sort of cream sauce for a dish, I think most of us can or could use tap water. I haven’t used milk on my corn flakes or Cheerios for years. Trust me, close your eyes, you can’t tell the difference. I’ll stop rambling now. Thanks for your blog !

    • Hi Scott, thanks for commenting. I love your ideas. I do not drink milk so I would not miss it at all. I did ask my husband if he would consider water on his beloved cereal. He would love whole milk. I said that 1% milk you keep saying tastes like water. LOL! I went and looked at my applesauce jar after you told me that. My Treetop jar does have an expiration date. I think I will dehydrate some and make leather with it. I too believe in rice and oatmeal! I am so glad you shared your thoughts and ideas with me! I love It! Linda

  15. My herbs/ spices etc would be:
    Dried onion (ok not really a spice, but necessary)
    Salt & Pepper
    1 – Garlic granules
    2 – Cinnamon
    3 – Italian mixed herbs
    4 – Lemon and pepper seasoning
    5 – Basil
    6 – Chives
    7 – Season all
    8 – Chilli flakes
    9 – Curry powder
    10 – Mustard powder
    11 – Mixed spice

    • Hi Shazinoz, it looks like we like the very same spices!!! What is “mixed spice”? I need to check that one out! Thanks for commenting, Linda

  16. Garnet Barkley says:

    one item I always keep a supply of is mc cormicks no salt seasoning. I have blood pressure problems and have to limit my salt intake. I put it on meats, vegetables, potatoes and in soups and stews. It took a few times using it to get used to no salt but now keep several extras on hand. It is a mix of ground spices and herbs. I found it at Marc’s….a discount grocer. No MSG in it.

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