food storage works

How To Decide What Food Storage Works For You

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I keep thinking about a statement a very nice man made on my Food Storage Moms Facebook page about buying food storage. His comment has stuck in my mind for a few weeks, so today is the day I’m going to address how food storage works. He mentioned that only the rich can afford #10 cans of freeze-dried food or #10 cans of dehydrated food. He asked me to write about how a family with less money can afford to buy food storage. In case you are wondering what a #10 can is, it is a can filled with a variety of foods in a metal can that measures 7 inches (18cm) high and 6-1/4 inches (16 cm) in diameter.First of all, I wouldn’t say only the rich can afford #10 cans, I am in no way rich. Yes, I have purchased several #10 cans because I wanted to have some food that would have a longer shelf-life. Some of my #10 containers have a shelf-life of up to 25 years. Here again, it all depends on the temperature where it is stored. Here’s the deal, that was critical to me. Now, I do not store only #10 cans. I store a variety of food storage in different sizes and containers. I would really love comments from my readers on how food storage works for you. Trust me, your comments are read by many, and I really appreciate your thoughts and ideas. That’s how I roll.

Food Storage Works With #10 Cans

food storage works

I prefer buying basics like freeze-dried fruits, vegetables, meats, and cheeses. I buy a few #10 cans of dehydrated vegetables, but very few because it has a shorter shelf-life in most cases. This all depends on your brand and the product you chose to buy.

One really important thing you need to think about when buying #10 cans is comparing apples to oranges so to speak. I sign up for emails to watch for awesome sales and buy when the sales meet my needs. Please look at the ounces per can and the cost to ship it, if necessary. Don’t be surprised about the HUGE difference in cost per ounce including shipping. Money is money and we need to be careful before we push the click button to order.

I prefer #10 cans from Thrive Life and Honeyville. I have purchased a few cans from Augason Farms. I really only want fruit, vegetables, meats, and cheeses to use to prepare my own recipes. Please note, you don’t need a special cookbook to make your food storage work for you.

Read More of My Articles  5 Freeze-Dried Food Items I Recommend You Store

The food items I mentioned above just need to be hydrated and you are ready to cook any recipe from your grandma’s cookbooks. I promise. Vegetables are vegetables. Cheese is cheese. Meat is meat. Freeze-dried foods can be eaten right out of the can, so freeze-dried fruit right out of the can is perfect. Is it like freshly picked, of course not. But it tastes great. Is the cheese like freshly grated, no it is not. But it works great in casseroles. Here again, grab some cookbooks or recipes cards from relatives, that’s all you need.


Pros: food lasts longer

Pros: the food is already washed, chopped, sliced or grated

Pros: you can eat the food right out of the can

Cons: more expensive

Dehydrated Food

Pros: costs less money

Pros: the food is already washed, chopped, sliced

Cons: shorter shelf-life, typically 6-10 years maximum

Cons: must be cooked and uses fuel to heat it

Cons: cannot eat directly from the can (it’s hard as a rock)

Food Storage Works With MRE’s

These are similar to the MRE’s that are served in the military, but some have improved a little. I’m not interested in buying them or making them myself by filing bags or jars. I have always believed to do it right the first time. This doesn’t mean those who do choose to buy these or make the items themselves is wrong. Not at all. I personally will not eat them. We are all different and have different budgets. Please read the ingredients before you purchase them. If you can’t pronounce the words, think again.

What’s nice about them is typically you open the bag and add hot water, tepid water or boiling water. I have tried many and I have to say Mountain House is one of my favorites, although I chose not to store them because of their short shelf-life.

Food Storage Works With Pantry Items

food storage works

I would love this pantry:

Pantry item examples are things like flour, yeast (store in frig), sugar, honey, salt, spices, baking powder, baking soda, vanilla, chocolate (I had to add that one), and everything you need to make bread, crackers, biscuits, muffins, pancakes, etc. You know what I’m saying, everything you need to cook from scratch.

Food Storage Works With Home Canned Food

food storage works

There is nothing more gratifying than seeing those freshly canned jars sitting on shelves. I don’t can food like I did when I had a large family of six. When you have six in the family you can preserve a lot of food and save money, AND teach your kids to work. I can a few dozen jars these days, but nothing like I did when I had my girls picking, blanching, peeling and filling jars. I really miss making applesauce. Growing a garden gave us an abundance of vegetables to pressure can together. I can’t even think about all the green beans we all snapped together. Life is good with good kids!

Read More of My Articles  Survival Food And Emergency Food Storage

Each week my girls would eat freshly baked bread with a quart of peaches they helped preserve. Life is good working together as a family to preserve food together. Here again, food storage works.

Food Storage Works With Grocery Store Cans

Now, let’s get serious here. I have cases or bags (stored in air-tight containers) of the following foods that I can make many meals with:



Corn-disclaimer here: I went against everything I believe in and bought some corn that was genetically modified (it does not taste like corn, I repeat it does not taste like corn). Okay, I got that off my chest. I will never buy corn unless it says USDA NON-GMO. I was shopping with Mark, who does not know as much as I do about corn, and I caved and bought the cheap stuff. I am returning it to the store. I had to throw out the pot of soup. I thought it was the corn, I opened another can of that brand corn, it tasted like pesticides. I kid you not.

I look at corn on the cob totally different these days. It makes me sad because my girls and I used to blanch, scrape and freeze bags of corn. It was delicious, but that was back in the 70’s before Monsanto came into the picture the way they are now. How can seeds, a growing organism be patented? I just shake my head in disappointment.

Green Beans



Peanut butter



Beans (every kind of bean in cans-ready to eat)

Beans in bags



These are just a few items to help you feed your family after any natural disaster or unforeseen emergency, and if your house is still standing and you have not been evacuated. This post will give you even more ideas: Critical Pantry Items by Linda

Food Storage Works With Water

As you know water is needed every day. I recommend four-gallons per person per day. You need it to cook, to stay properly hydrated, for personal hygiene, washing clothes, or at least your underwear.

All I can say is just do it, one can at a time, a bag of rice, a jar of spaghetti sauce, etc. If you missed my free printable here it is: Where Do I Start-Planning Schedule

Emergency Food Storage by Linda

My favorite things:

Soup Pot 

Butane Stove and Butane Fuel

Copyright pictures:

Cans: AdobeStock_74796041 by Freshly

Bottles: AdobeStock_68269335 by Shelley Stuart

Grains: AdobeStock_54588440 by Marilyn Barbone

Pantry: AdobeStock_181283597 by Iriana Shiyan

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  1. If you store any serious amount of wet packed cans of food then it’s a good idea to build (or buy) a can rotation rack. I can say from personal experience, once you reach a certain level of can storage, it’s a bear to keep everything in date order unless you have a rotation rack…
    And for folks on a super low budget, consider buying some mylar bags and then storing rice and dried beans in those bags. The bags can be stored carefully on a shelf, or for more resilience, put them in plastic buckets or tubs.
    And while #10 cans of premade entrees seems like a splurge, I consider having some of them essential for when everyone is sick, or at least the cooks are all sick at the same time. Being able to measure out some FD food and add hot water is something anyone can do even if they can’t cook…I never tell folks to start with #10 cans of meals, but once a basic supply of other foods are laid in, then it’s worth considering.

    1. Hi Dmwalsh, I totally agree with you. I wish my small pantry could have a rotation rack. I had some when I had a bigger home. I saw one with 2 by 4’s and the cans rolled down through them if that makes sense. Inexpensive and a great way to rotate cans of food. Great comment as always, keep prepping! Linda

        1. If you are short on space you can build or buy rotation racks that will fit onto a wall or for a talented woodworker would be installed in between wall studs. There is even a design I’ve seen that fits in a cupboard like a 4-sided lazy susan. When you live in the sticks like I do, food storage is a priority because it is too far to make multiple trips to town. Also it is really a blessing when inclement weather is expected not to have to make a mad dash to the store! Love this blog and everything I’ve learned here. Thanks.

          1. Hi, JoEllen, thank you for your kind words. It’s funny because I have learned from you!! The yeast packets just today! I love my readers commenting because we learn from each other. I’m like you I do not want to make multiple trips to the store. Great comment as always! Linda

    2. Hi Linda,
      I love your website, I love your videos and of course your book. Hmmm there is a theme going on.. I have a question for you. My husband and I built a house almost two years ago. All of my prepping supplies, including long term food is stored in my basement which has a good temperature and humidity level for storing food. I keep even my everyday canned food in the basement on shelves and rotate everything. Back to the long term food storage. Since I was building a house and selling a house during a one year period I don’t feel my long term food storage was properly stored in the best climate, as it is now. There was a time when the food could have gotten warmer than recommend. Plus it was my intention to put all food in totes. Most is, but not the #10 cans. They remain in the box they came in. Do you think the #10 cans could be infected with bugs since I didn’t put them in totes? And do you think the other food items, like Mt house and other veggies,and fruit in pouches, ordered through various long term food storage companies would also be okay. All total, I have been prepping for about five or six years. So that would be the oldest. I am now ready to start organizing my prepping supplies in my new home but am a little concerned about any degradation. Thanks.

      1. Hi, Gram to 6, you have several questions going on here. When you say totes, are you talking about 5-gallon air-tight containers? It depends on the MH products you purchased. When they first came out, they had a shelf-life of 5 years. Now they are stating 25-30 years. I would open a few of them and try them out. If they were stored in a hot garage then yes, they may need to be eaten now. I would spot check a few pouches. All you can do is check a few of them and start using those every day that you have a question on. I may need to call you. Linda

        1. You answered my question exactly. I agree with your assessment that I should open a few. I have always used, periodically, my long term food. Because I wanted to make sure I liked it and I wanted to incorporate it into my regular food cooking. And yes, most of my long term food is in plastic totes and five gallon food grade buckets. However, not the gamma lids, just regular lids. The only other question I have is the #10 cans. They were stored in the original box (6 in a box) and I didn’t get to set them in a big plastic tote for extra protection. Do you think the containers may have held up well enough that I wouldn’t have to open? They do have a long shelf. Boy, I don’t know if people realize you have to keep an eye on your food and how you store it. Thanks for the information, you have been super. Also, would you please let me know the name of the place you got your Berkey from. I think if I get one it will take care of an area I need to work on. Thanks again.

  2. I only have one No. 10 can in my pantry that is freeze dried…, it is bacon bits and I don’t dare open for just me…. I do get the No.10 cans of hominy and fruits from the local store, not freeze dried but such a savings, a one No.10 can of hominy , some Calif dried chilies and a chicken can feed an army. add a bit of dried onions and what ever in seasoning and it will fill them up.. A large No 10 can of Hominy is under $3, and many times I can get a dent can for under $2.. I have No. 10 cans of hash, country gravy,Chile without beans. corn, fruit cocktail and a few others that can be bought at WalMart or other big box stores. Many after opening, I dehydrate so nothing goes to waste.. dehydrated, it goes back on the shelf for future use.. My family love to investigate the pantry, something there they can take some home. and many of the days and nights I just eat out of the food storage.. so much easier than driving to the store and buying the items at full price..Thanks for all the info I get here, no one around me understands survival and food storage. i survive better each month by watching prices and items I can stock my pantry with.. Even the few members of my church would think I am a hoarder I believe… but my family comes first if in need and there is always some big sacks for them to take what they need.. to me it is Christmas all year long for the folks that can go in there and fill a sack….

    1. Oh, Jeanne, I love this comment! You are awesome at what you are doing with food storage. I agree with the “it is Christmas all year long for the folks that can go in there and fill a sack…” I LOVE this, you are amazing, keep up the good work. And keep sharing your knowledge of how to cook from scratch and saving money. God bless you, my friend, Linda

  3. Great post again Linda. As you said there are many options for food storage, we all  must decide what is best for our family Thank you for helping us to learn about the options. The most important thing I think is to do something! 

  4. Great article Linda!  Living in a very small house, we’ve had to get extremely creative to find storage.  We have two shelf units/bookcases that comprise our everyday pantry. One shelf unit has store bought canned goods, the other dry goods like flour sugar rice beans, as well as prepackaged mixes.  I can’t tell you the number of times family and friends have hit hard times.  We’ve been able to put together a basic food box and tide them over for a week  or two.    We’ve done the same when our area has been hit by massive hurricanes;  rural areas being among the last to get help.

    We do have some long term food storage,  freeze dried,  simple to use, nutritious.   Working on mastering gardening so we can dehydrate any excess crops.   Multiple layers/options of food storage gives us  choices.  

    This wasn’t accomplished in a week, but over the course of 20 years.   It started with extra cans of tuna or tomato soup.  Only in the last 5 years have we had the resou to add freeze dried long term food items.    Remember,  it’s a journey not just a drive around the block! 

    1. Hi BDN, this is a powerful comment! I love it! It is a journey and we don’t do it a day, week, it takes a few months and years to accumulate what we need. I love your comment, its a journey not just a drive around the block!! Love it! Linda

  5. I grew up in Wyoming and my mom was a Depression Kid, so between locale and mom’s need to have extra in the house, I grew up with prepping as a way of life. When I lived at home, she was more into bulk buys…but when I got married and moved out, I didn’t stock up much at first (mostly due to a very tight budget). And then my Hubs got sick with cellulitis in his legs at 27…and he’s had repeat bouts ever since, sometimes 2-3 times a year. If the docs at the hospital listen when we get there, he can be in-and-out in a couple days…or several weeks. Point being? We had no idea what brought it on, we had no warning, and we had four small boys. People can’t afford some sort of food storage? I say you can’t NOT afford it.

    When he got out of the hospital the first time, I started slowly learning to garden and can and put extra food in our pantry. I never worried about whether my kids would be fed again. We could lose the house…but I knew I had food for the boys. Now we have a variety, from short to long term; it’s not nearly as complete as I’d like it to be…but is it really ever? It’s been several years since his most recent bout and I realized that my canning jars are mostly empty and collecting dust at the moment. We’re in that transition to empy-nesters now and might be facing a PA to Iowa move in the next couple of years, so we’ve been discussing how we want to deal with the stock we still have. One thing is for sure, with a variety in your pantry, you can be ever-evolving with your preps! 😉

    1. Hi Stacey, oh my gosh Cellulitis is so dangerous!! My daughter has had it a three maybe four times, you are right if the doctors listen to you they can prescribe the right medication. Now, my daughter TELLS them I need this_______ ASAP. Luckily they know her now and get her started on it ASAP. I can’t imagine having your husband the breadwinner it sounds like and having four little boys with that many bouts of Cellulitis. I love hearing you grew up prepping before prepping was a word. It was a way of life for both of us. I LOVE your statement: I say you can’t NOT afford it. Now if we can teach the world to “get it”! I love PA, PA is on my bucket list to go see it once more. I have never been to IOWA! My bucket list is to step foot in every state in the US. Good luck on your journey to empty nesters. Mark and I are in that phase. Life is good! Linda

  6. When our family was young we moved out of the BIG city to a very small town in the north west. The pay difference was huge but we felt it was a much better place to raise our boys. The money was very tight! So we planted a big garden and canned everything that we didn’t eat up fresh. My husband is a very talented man and was able to do extra jobs beyond his daily carpenter work. Sometimes the pay was money but many times it was trade. He built a shed and the payment was half a hog. When people at church had finished putting up what they wanted out of their gardens they would call me to see if I would like to come and pick the produce still coming. And I did. The boys and I would go and pick the last of the green beans, cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes, etc. And again we would can up their extras. There were people that had grape vines or fruit trees and they just didn’t want to deal with it. They would ask us and again we’d load up and go pick their free fruit. In the spring we would pick asparagus free from the roadside. Back then you could still glean the fields and we did for potatoes. (Now the disk goes right behind the digger so that any remaining potatoes are destroyed and people can no longer glean…which is sad)
    A 25# bag of rice, some wonderful beans and split peas, all make for a healthy filling meal. Oatmeal in bulk is not expensive and is a yummy breakfast. (I would recommend freezing it for a week- that kills any eggs that may want to hatch later.)
    The reason I’m sharing this is say that food storage doesn’t have to be expensive – we had very little money but ate well.

    1. Hi, it sounds like you and I did the very same thing raising our kids. We were thrilled when others did a shout out for extra fruits. We grew all the vegetables we could preserve and give away as gifts. We saved so much money and our family worked together to harvest our bounty. Then we preserved it and it taught my girls to work. Great comment, you are so right, food doesn’t have to be expensive. God bless your family. I love your comment! Linda

  7. I do all of the above. I have #10 cans, 5 gal buckets of rice, wheat, oats, and I love to can. The USDA book about canning has this great recipe for chili. It is fantastic.

    1. Hi Janet, you know I love hearing you used a chili recipe from the USDA canning book! I love chili! They have the safest recipes for canning. I love hearing you are so well prepared, keep it my friend, you rock! Linda

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