Are you wondering about a monthly food storage plan? This COVID-19 pandemic has caused significant changes in how we approach food and how we consume food and the way we produce it. Yes, you should think of a food storage plan. Restaurants in many parts of the world have closed their regular service, while physical distances have compelled people in supermarket chains to interact differently.
In such tough times, having food storage with a 1-month food stock and even a meal map for 12 months is crucial for you, your family, and the society as a whole.
Be Prepared for Emergencies
Other than the pandemic eruption, there are several calamities, including floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, and avalanches. This is why organizing food storage for long-term food supply is a smart idea.
However, if you are a beginner or have no experience with the food storage, it can be daunting. Where do I begin? What should I start with? What should I store? How much should I save? What are the best prices for me? All such questions can be trouble for you. Thus this article is designed to address these questions and concerns.
This article will help you get started. Additionally, it is also a useful review for more proficient preppers. By the end of this read, you will be taught about the fundamentals of food storage so that you can continue storing the right amount of food in the right place. Hence after any catastrophic event, your family has plenty to eat. Keep reading!
What Should You Buy? Prepare A Food Map!
Keep the distinctive tastes and needs of your family into consideration while mapping food for the pantry. You will not switch eating patterns from north to south or counterclockwise. Keep the list of commonly consumed food items your family enjoys. In periods of crisis, they boost morale and offer a feeling of peace. Try to include foods rich in calories and high in nutrition that your family will truly appreciate.
I recommend some of the following best storage food items. These are long-lasting foods (can last for a year or longer:
Begin with Water and Beverages
What sort of food do you have to buy? Where can you buy it? Don’t think too hard and just begin with Water. Water is a fundamental and crucial element in any survival kit. In optimal circumstances, a water storage source can technically be stored for an indefinite period. Other beverages such as milk, tea, and coffee are also excellent choices for storing. Drinks can boost your strength and help you eat less solid food. When correctly stored, instant milk has a longevity of 20 years.
White rice is the best nosh in the storage food preparation list. This is at the top of the list of foods that are healthy and cheap and easy to get. At your local grocery store, you can find a great variety of rice.
A rice meal is suitable for your stomach and can help you overcome stomach disorders. It can endure for more than 25 years or maybe more in the correct packaging and right atmosphere. Brown rice may be a better option on the flip side, but white rice has a longer shelf life comparatively.
Storing food involves both food quality and healthiness. Canned products have a shelf life of a year and a half, whereas the manufactured canned foods have almost five years ( canned foods bought at a grocery store )
This ensures that you can store foods in ample quantity without fear that they will be rotten, especially in times of power failure or other disasters. The low price of tinned food can make it easier to store various fruits, vegetables, meat, and soup to remain healthier and more balanced.
20 Best Canned Foods to Store for Emergency Food Stock
Best canned food to store includes the following:
- Baked Beans
- Beef Stew
- Diced Tomatoes
- Green Beans
- Pie Filling
- Vegetable Medley
- Black Beans
- Diced Tomatoes
- Coconut Milk
- Salsa Verde
Food items like dried beans and dried meat are something that every family member can happily accept with no trouble. They are the ideal source of protein. The fantastic thing about dried foods is that they can be easily stored with no extra labor.
Take dried food items and place them in sealed plastic and metal jars and enjoy for months or even years. Dried foods that you can store include fruits and vegetables.
28 Best Dry Food to Store for Emergency Stock
Best dry food with a long shelf life is given below:
- Jelly and peanut butter
- Crushed drink mixes
- Dried fruits and nuts
- Dried beans, peas and lentils
- Protein bars, fruit bars, and granola bars
- Beef jerky
- Tea and coffee beans
- Instant soup mixes
- Baking basics
- Pickled vegetables
- Powdered milk
- Trail mix
- Comfort food (for example chocolate, cookies, and candy bars)
- Condensed milk
- Oils (olive oil, coconut oil, and vegetable oil)
- Pancake mix
- Chicken, beef, and vegetable bouillon cubes
- Liquid flavorings (including vinegar and soy sauce)
- Liquid sweeteners (for example honey, chocolate syrup, maple syrup, and agave syrup)
- Spices (such as salt, cinnamon, powdered ginger, and onion flakes)
- Packaged foods (such as cheese, macaroni, and instant potatoes)
- Canned meats (such as oysters, sardines, tuna, turkey, chicken, spam or sausage)
- Formula food for young babies
During the early 19th century, the idea of preserving food through freezing was born. In actuality, freezing is nature’s pause option. It maintains freshness, lessens enzyme reactions, and enhances food life by changing the length of time it takes to contaminate. Frozen foods have a long life span of approximately one year. More than a third has also decreased the expenditures of preparing food from frozen food. You can pick up and enjoy your food; just bend into your freezer and take the dinner out.
So, what frozen food items can be stored well?
11 Best Foods to Freeze for Emergency Food Stock
Here is a well-researched list of long shelf foods to freeze for emergency usage:
- Dairy food items, such as butter, milk, yogurt, cheese, and eggs
- Vegetables and Fruits
- Grains, nuts, and beans
- Both raw and roasted seafood and meats
- Tempeh and tofu
- Baked noodles and pasta
- Casseroles, soups, and stews
- Tomato paste
- Tomato sauce
- Bread and tortillas
Spices and Flavorings
Food and snacks can help you live. However, you can spice up their richness and tastes with spices and herbs. Spices and seasonings can make the food savory and a perfect meal for balanced eating. If you keep your seasoning and flavorings such as salt and black pepper in your closet in their original packaging, you can rely on their freshness for 1 to 2 months.
Where and How You Should Store the Food?
Have you ever heard of a gigantic ghost named HOLT? No? It is the acronym of humidity, oxygen, light, and temperature. These factors are eventual food killers. Below are details about these elements and crucial guidelines for protecting your food from them:
Humidity not only destroys the mechanical structure of houses located near the seashore, but it can ruin your food as well. It encourages both bacteriological and fungus progression. And it can occur covertly in what you think is in a sealed metal container, so moisture shouldn’t reach it anyway.
Warning: While storing food, always ensure that your food is dehydrated and will be stored tight at a humidity-free place.
Oxygen is among the key factors which, over time, can deteriorate food quality. Promote the use of oxygen absorption systems and seal the food in a container for food products to avoid rats eating it. If you can find a high-quality plastic jar or container, they will facilitate the storage of food.
Warning: Store the food in airtight jars.
Light is not always a source of enlightenment. Instead, it can cause changes and damage to food. It can alter the taste and coloring of a meal and can lead to bad flavors. Thus light can deteriorate food value and presentation.
Warning: Preserve survival food in a dark environment and prevent the entrance of sunlight in your food storage area.
To mitigate the possibility of microbial contamination, many foods must be stored at low temperatures. Universally accepted ideal food storage temperature is 50 to 60 ° F.
Warning: Put food in an underground room or in a refrigerator that is much cooler than on the upper floors.
7 Highly Recommended Food Storage Locations
You probably have some places in consideration for storing food. Not so far? Don’t worry; I have prepared a list of 7 highly recommended food storage locations that could make perfect food storage areas:
- Under beds
- Spare bedroom.
- Linen closets.
- Root cellar
What should You Buy, and How much will it cost you to prepare for 12 months of food?
It is hard to calculate how much extra food you should buy for emergency food supply as serving sizes can be confusing. To make things easier, I have prepared a table chart below with the usual serving sizes.
I also have calculated the typical costs of food items. There is an excellent variety of various price ranges. A can of tuna can be purchased just for $1. However, a half cup of almonds can cost twofold that. I tried my best to gauge and reckon the typical costs of each food so that you can have a perfect estimate of the costs.
|Food Item||Meal serving per day||Serving Size||Quantity (per day)||Total Number of Calories||Cost (per day)|
|Grains||7||½ cup cooked||3 cups||630||$0.12 – $0.50|
|Veggies||4||½ cup canned||2 cups||65||$0.60|
|Fruits||3||½ cup canned||1.5 cup||180 – 300||$1.00|
|Dairy||4||1 cup milk with the help of powder milk||3 cups||230 – 370||$0.95|
|Proteins||3||3-4 oz. meat, 1 cup nuts, and ½ cup beans||½ cup black beans and one can of tuna or 3oz roasted beef and 1/2 cup nuts||160 – 650||$3.00 – $5.00|
|Oils\Fats||3||1 tsp eatable oil||2 tsp oil||90||$0.10|
|Totals||1350 – 2200||$5.77 – $8.15 per day, per person|
How Much Food Should You Stock in Total for 3 Months?
To store an emergency food supply, always begin with a 3-month emergency stock strategy. Here is how it work:
Grains: Store around 30-40 pounds of grains per family member for 90 days.
Vegetables: Store Around 90 cans per family member for 90 days.
Fruits: Store around 60 cans per family member for 90 days.
Dairy: Around 36lbs of powdered milk per family member, to re-form into 230 cups per individual.
Proteins: Around 16 cans of beans, 46 cans of tuna, 35oz beef and 39 cups nuts (12lbs) per individual
Oils: 16 oz. Coconut oil.
Other: Salt, honey, herbs, and basic spices.
- The total estimated cost for a family of 4 persons over 90 days is $1,690-$2,965.
- The total estimated cost for a family of 4 persons over six months is $3380-$5930.
- The total estimated cost for a family of 4 persons over 12 months is $6760-$11860.
At the estimated rate above, you can build food stock for 6 and 12 months following the 3-month food stock strategy.
How Can You Build a Perfect 12 Month Food Stock Using the Monthly Food Storage Plan?
It isn’t easy as you may think. Preparing for an emergency will cost you an extra, and, understandably, everyone cannot afford it. So, the simplest and best way to develop a pantry stock is by adding 25% of your purchases to the pantry every month. This is a budget-friendly idea, or you can invest more in case you want to get your stock prepared all at once.
How Much Food Should You Have on Hand in A Disaster?
This is a ubiquitous question. It usually is recommended to keep a supply of 1-week emergency food with you. But some catastrophes and calamities such as hurricanes can be so destructive that it can take a week or more for emergency relief to reach trouble areas, and it can take months for even essential food chains to pull through.
So the first thing here to do is to evaluate what emergencies are likely to happen in your region and what types of emergency cases are most likely to occur in nearby locations. I advise you to store food for 1-3 months if you are a resident of an urbanized area or a high-risk geographical region and buy a high-quality water purification system. Individuals and communities who store food for six months or more are comparatively safe and can survive an immediate crisis.
However, as per the current COVID 19 scenario, I strongly recommend storing nonperishable food and water for at least a 12-months.
What If COVID 19 Interrupt Our Emergency Food Stock?
The COVID-19 eruption has put us all on a disaster foothold, with unprecedented precautionary measures to control further spread and strategies for fundamental utilization of general funds to battle the danger posed by a destructive coronavirus that sees no limits. Our very successful and comprehensive emergency food supply plans can fail even with sound and robust ideas for our food chains.
As more countries are heading toward the lockdown in a struggle to mitigate the COVID-19 disaster, the risk is that we can suffer a destructive food crisis. Be ready for the worst. But be prepared to fight. We can always fight calamities no matter how giant they are. Keep yourself equipped with the best emergency survival seeds. Once you feel your emergency food stock can be interrupted by the pandemic start growing more. Start developing the seeds.
Top 10 Emergency Survival Seeds
Here are the best emergency survival seeds that you can grow fast, so never forget to stock these:
- Tomatoes and Cucumbers
- Winter Squash
- Sunflower Seeds
Essential Fertilizer to Stock to Grow your Emergency Plants
Remember, you cannot grow plants without nutrients. Natural fertilizers that every plant needs to grow are below:
Never Forget to Rotate Your Stock
Well, prepared home pantries can save you money and keep you equipped for possible emergencies. But, if you do not look after your inventory, it can also be a waste of money.
Neglected food can rot or expire so that it can’t be consumed. Therefore, you always have to spare some time to check your store regularly and rotate any food you are about to eat.
Best Food Rotation Technique
Once you have stored the food items, keep rotating your pantry stock following the first-in-first-out (or FIFO) technique. This guarantees that you are eating things stored first before things stored more recently. The FIFO technique is useful for refrigerated, frozen, and dry foods. Below are some simple steps that you can follow to adopt the FIFO method:
- Categorize the food by expiry date.
- Place the food with the earliest expiry date in front of food items with later expiry dates.
- Once on the pantry board, consume the things stocked in front first.
Get Your Food Storage in order.
Keep your food pantry well organized. Prepare a list of foods your family can eat for seven days straight and split them into when you eat them. Break them down by breakfast, lunch, and dinner. If desired, you can add any mid-day snack options as well. Keep it in mind when it is about snacking, the more nutritious, the better.
Be very definite with your meals and their specific amounts. Ponder, for instance, how many eggs your family will consume in one week? This method is the basis to keep your food supply under control for months and avoid wasting food and money.
Never forget, eggs and dairy do not have a long shelf life. Therefore, in case of an extended emergency, stock your food storage with as many nonperishable substitutes as possible.
Never underestimate the power of being prepared. Getting ready is one heck of an endurance test for preparers. You need to stay reasonable and peaceful all through the procedure to ensure every detail we tried to convey to you with this article.
Spare some time out from your busy schedule and build up your food stock. Be very careful and research a lot. You can check out the article here for building out your food supplies.
Finish it in a manner that will please your family and give you peacetime, making sure you can put a meal on the dining table no matter what catastrophe crosses your way.
I hope you are going to take full advantage of the guidelines and recommendations mentioned above. Please feel free to leave your thoughts about the article in the comments section below.