Today I’m sharing my food storage tips you need to make your stash exactly what YOU want. We all have different budgets and space to store food for our family. Yes, we have to be creative sometimes. I’ve heard people say “my house is too small” to store anything. Unless you have a tiny house like 200 square feet, you may have room and you don’t really know it. I store #10 cans of wheat in my Master Bedroom closet. You may not want to do that. I decluttered my home so I could store the things I need.
My guest bedroom has fifteen 6-gallon buckets of hard white wheat lining one of the walls. I have 56-gallons of water stored under the bed in WaterBricks. My grandkids guest room has Costco racks with #10 cans, it’s too hot here to put anything in the garage, except my preps. As I write this I’m thinking or actually giggling, would my girls have wanted wheat in their bedrooms growing up? If I had a tiny home, I would have a shed with heat and air conditioning.
Let me be clear here, I like a clean, orderly home, it’s very important to me. My guests understand my passion for food storage and emergency preparedness. They just roll with the “stuff” in the guest rooms.
Brands I Recommend
I can only recommend brands I have tried, so here we go. Please compare shipping costs, and per ounce cost before ordering. Just because it’s a #10 can doesn’t mean it’s filled to the top. Volume can vary greatly between companies. Just get your calculator to find the best deal. Some of these companies only sell “meals,” I realize some of you may prefer just to add water to the packaged meal.
- Thrive Life
- Honeyville Grain
- Mountain House
- Wise Company
- Legacy Food
- Food Insurance
- Augason Farms
- Lindon Farms
- Be Prepared
- Valley Food Storage
Can I Purchase Food Monthly?
Yes, you can. I stop and start deliveries according to my budget. I go through Jodi Weiss at Thrive Life. I try to buy $100.00 a month because then I get FREE shipping. This works for me and I keep my food stash building to what I need to prepare meals. This may or may not work for you. Thrive Life Website
Food Storage Tips
A few days ago I talked about canned food which I believe we need. Let’s talk about freeze-dried food and dehydrated today. Please keep in mind, if you dehydrate your own food it will have a shorter shelf life than commercially processed cans. When Mark and took classes to get our Master Canning and Preserving Certificates we were taught that home canned and home dehydrated food have a shelf-life of 12, maybe 18 months.
Yes, I grew up eating peaches that were four years old, I’m sure. My point is that the quality and vitamins are reduced each year the item is stored. Enough said. Let’s get started with Freeze-Dried and Dehydrated food.
Pantry Size versus #10 Cans
The only company that I’m aware of that sells smaller freeze-dried and dehydrated food in Pantry size cans AND #10 cans are ThriveLife. Here’s the deal they are smaller and therefore you don’t have to open a HUGE #10 can. They work very well for smaller families. In fact, I just ordered jalapenos in the Pantry size cans because I like certain foods in the smaller containers. I can empty the Pantry size can right into my quart mason jars.
Remove The Oxygen Absorbers
After you open the Pantry size cans or #10 cans, discard the oxygen absorbers.
How Do I Store The Food After Opening?
You remove the oxygen absorbers and discard them. Store the food in the container it comes in or put it in an airtight container. I use mason jars after opening my freeze-dried and dehydrated food.
Let me explain in a nutshell what freeze-dried food is. The first step to freeze-dried food begins with freezing. The second step is the frozen food is placed in a vacuum chamber under low heat. Then the third step starts when the frozen water crystals evaporate directly from ice to vapor which is a process called sublimation.
What’s really nice about freeze-dried food is the fact that it lasts longer, depending on the manufacturer. Please always look at the cans and see the shelf-life. You can eat the food directly out of the can and therefore it uses a whole lot less fuel, if any, when it comes to meal preparation.
Freeze-dried foods usually have an open shelf-life of 1-2 years. Here again, please look at the #10 can or on the website of said company.
Lasts 20-25 years, depending on the company where you purchase the food. You can also eat the food directly out of the can. You don’t need to slice, chop, or cut the food into bite-size pieces. It uses less fuel to prepare, if any.
It is more expensive, but remember you use less fuel.
Okay, most of us buy dehydrated food every day. We purchase cereal, spices, pasta, beans, baking mixes, etc. Dehydrated is the way the water has been removed from the products. The water is slowly cooked out of the food without actually cooking it.
It’s one of the most affordable, light-weight and compact ways to purchase food for our storage or everyday cooking. We need to be aware of the dehydrated term, it generally takes longer to cook. You can’t “snack” on it right out of the can. It’s too hard. This is fine for soups, stews, etc.
We need to remember that typically dehydrated food doesn’t last as long as freeze-dried. It usually has a shelf life of 5-8 years. They usually have an OPEN shelf life of 6 months to 1 year.
Dehydrated food is a lot cheaper. It’s ready to stir into a pot of soup or chili. No need to chop, slice or cut into pieces.
Shorter shelf-life and you can’t eat the food right out of the can. It must be cooked, and therefore uses more fuel to prepare a meal.
Food Storage For Long-Term
I personally don’t buy ready-made meals because I can cook from scratch with all my freeze-dried and dehydrated foods I buy. You don’t need a special cookbook with food storage. ANY cookbook will work, I promise. Please don’t be afraid of those #10 cans. They are food in a preserved state. Just rehydrate them and they are close to fresh. Not exactly, but very close, let’s be real here.
If you have a casserole that needs green beans, you use your #10 can with green beans. Easy peasy. If your recipe calls for grated cheese, grab a #10 can of grated cheese and add tepid or cool water to rehydrate it. Warm water will cook it, I know because I did that ONCE. It was a learning curve.
- Instant Milk
- Sour Cream
- Cream Cheese
Everything comes washed, chopped, or sliced and ready to use. Look at all these options!!!
- Carrots (dehydrated)
- Green beans
- Red bell pepper
- Green bell peppers
- Green onions
- Potatoes (dehydrated)
- Squash (just a note, I do not care for zucchini that is freeze-dried)
- Chili Peppers
- Butternut squash
You may want to try some of this fruit with my Peach Glaze Recipe. All you do is make a glaze with the fruit you love to eat and scoop it over ice cream, or cake. Life is so good when it’s homemade! If you love strawberries all you do is trade out the peaches for some strawberries, etc. Check out all the fruit choices!!
Please be aware freeze-dried or dehydrated meat store differently. You would think meat would have the same shelf-life, it does not. Another thing is the fact that some meat must be consumed within 2 weeks after you open the can. Yikes! If you buy a #10 can you need to be able to eat it within those two weeks, I wouldn’t be able to do that. This is fine if we have a freezer to store the excess, but what if we lose power for extended days, weeks or longer? Remember to check all meat for shelf-life unopened AND open.
- Hamburger/Ground Beef
- TVP, Textured Vegetable Protein (dehydrated) Chicken, Beef, Ham, and Bacon
Thanks for stopping by today, I hope my food storage tips help you gather the food you need for your family. Thanks for being prepared for the unexpected. May God bless this world, Linda