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The Complete Guide to Long Term Food Storage

Our American experience has been run on radical levels of debt inflated currency and that is finally driving up the cost of goods and the cost of food. The government does not have an answer for how to get out of it.

The complete guide to long term food storage

Long-term food storage is an answer to the problem of hunger and starvation in times like these. During the likes of the great depression, your ancestors would have really liked the option of a closet full of long-term food storage.

Well, we still have time to make that happen in this generation and I am going to tell you exactly how in this complete guide to long term food storage.

Food Storage Calculation

How much food storage do you actually need? We’ll discuss that in this complete guide to long term food storage. It comes down to how long you want to be secure. How long do you want that food storage to take you? Another question to ask is: How long will the crisis you are preparing for last?

Look at every person in your home as 2000 daily calories. That is what they will require, at the least. You can go higher than that but you better not store less.

2000 calories per person per day.

Simply multiply the number of people in your home or the number of people you plan on feeding by 2000 and you will get your daily caloric needs. i.e 6 people 6 X 2000 = 12,000 calories a day.

Now you just take that number and multiply it by how many days, weeks, or months you would like to be prepared for. Are you prepping for 1 month, 3 months, or 1 year?

Grocery Shopping for the Long Term

The next thing we will discuss in this complete guide to long term food storage is what you can already find at the store. One of the easiest ways to start the whole process is to take advantage of your weekly grocery shopping trips. Most people don’t realize just how much food they can put up in a short period of time by simply spending a little more at the grocery store.

Purchasing non-perishable groceries

Thanks to soaring inflation and global food production issues it looks like everyone is going to be spending more at the grocery store.

What I mean is that you buy just a little more food each week. This can go a very long way and in a matter of months will have you much more prepared for natural disasters.

Long Term Food Storage at the Grocery Store:

  • White Rice
  • Canned Meats
  • Dry Milk
  • Beans
  • Oils & Crisco
  • Pasta
  • Flour
  • Sugar
  • Jerkey

The process is easy, when you buy your next bag of sugar, simply buy 1 or 2 extra. This will give you some backup. Do this with all of these items listed and with some of the things that you and your family eat a lot of.

One of my favorite items to buy extra of is Parmalat. This is shelf-stable milk that lasts 6 months and is the perfect buffer for high milk prices or milk shortages. You can buy it as 2% or as Whole and it is great.

If you bought 5 extra items each time you went to the supermarket in 3 months you could put up 60 extra food items. That is a lot no matter what they are!

Buy and Store in Bulk

The supermarket is hardly the only place to go for the food you are looking to store. You might also consider hitting places like the Sam’s Club and Costco because these stores allow you to buy foods in bulk.

You could also consider online restaurant stores that sell bulk foods, too. A great example of this is the Webstaurant Store for bulk foods, too.

You can buy foods that are low in moisture content and that will store for a long time, like white rice, in 50lb bags at places like these. These types of food or true survival foods because they last on the shelf for a very long time.

DIY 25-Year-Shelf-Life

So, how do you take a 50lb bag of rice and turn it into a supply of food that lasts several decades? The process is actually a lot easier than you might think. if you already have low moisture, dry food then you are well on your way.

You will need 5-gallon-buckets and oxygen absorbers to get the most out of your bulk stored survival foods.

  1. Divide the food up into 1 gallon Mylar Bags
  2. Add a 500cc oxygen absorber to the food in each bag
  3. Heat seal the Mylar bag with an iron or hair straightener.
  4. Place the bags in your buckets and secure the lid
  5. Date and Label

It’s that simple to take shelf-stable survival foods and turn them into long-term food storage with a 30-year-shelf-life.

Freeze Dried Meals

Another important topic we will discuss in this complete guide to long term food storage is freeze dried meals. Companies like Valley Food Storage and Augason Farms put together survival food kits that are perfect for an emergency food supply. This freeze-dried food is another delicious long-term storage option for emergency situations.

The benefit of these freeze-dried meals is that they merely need to be reconstituted in simmering water and then they can be enjoyed.

Freeze drying food

Valley Food Storage offers a wide variety of meals from breakfast to dinner to snacks. Augason Farms is another great freeze-dried food storage company that also offers a wide range of meals and individual ingredients that are already packed up in airtight containers for long-term storage.

Freeze-dried foods have a naturally long shelf life because of their almost nonexistent moisture content. These meals will be there when you need them.

Buying long-term freeze-dried food storage is going to cost you more than bucketing up your own shelf-stable foods, like those mentioned above. However, ready-made meals have their benefits.

My Favorites in Freeze Dried Food Storage

  • Augason Farms
  • Ready Hour
  • Readywise
  • Emergency Essentials

Preserving Foods

You can certainly buy your way to survival food freedom. It won’t be cheap but you can buy 1 year’s worth of food. The people who will be most prepared for this food crisis will be those with multiple layers of survival food.

Not only should you be going to the closet for your food but you should also be going outside to your garden and to your chicken coop. Thanks to modern technology like hydroponics almost everyone can grow some kind of food!

The meals you cook at home, the food you bring indoors from the garden, and even the wild foods that forage from the woods around you can all be preserved for long-term storage.


Canning is an absolute miracle. Using a pressure canner you can literally put food on the shelves for years. This is could be strawberry jam you made, this could be chili that you cooked at home or it can be something else entirely.

Canning food for emergencies

Your best ally in canning and learning to can is a good book full of effective recipes
The Complete Guide to Pressure Canning by The Canning Diva on Amazon


Another affordable method of creating your own long-term food storage is the process of dehydrating. Dehydrating foods is easy to do and you can buy a simple dehydrator for $45 which will turn things like apples, carrots, berries, and most fresh foods into dehydrated foods you can store in small mylar bags or even just ziplock bags.

Sliced thin, foods can dehydrate overnight using your own dehydrator.

Sun Drying

If you have no money for a dehydrator or even some ball jars for canning, you can literally use the sun to dry things like herbs and other foods. You can build a solar dehydrator or you can slice and hang fruits in the sun and wind which will dry them over time.

Preservation is a means of extending the shelf life of foods that is rarely used in this day and age.

Freeze Drying

Read my Beginner’s Guide to Freeze Dried Survival Food for more on freeze drying.

Fuel and Cooking for Long Term Food Storage

Fuel and cooking in a survival situation is the next thing we’ll discuss in this complete guide to long term food storage. Once you have all the food on your shelves you have to start thinking about how you are going to prepare that food. You are going to need hot water no matter what the situation is. You will need some kind of fuel source for boiling water.

Small camping stove to store for emergencies

If you have power and running water then all of this will come easy but I highly recommend that you store up a simple camping stove and a fuel source so that you can cook no matter what the situation is.

Having an emergency water source is critical to preparing for disaster situations. That water source will also be used to reconstitute and prepare your food storage. Just a few basic supplies for cooking will assure that you can cook your emergency food no matter what the situation is.

I store a Triton stove by Coleman and plenty of fuel for cooking.

Helping Others

Helping others is one of the most important things we can cover in this complete guide to long term food storage. In the months and years to come, we may hear the word “hoarding” come up a lot. People with resources could be labeled as hoarders. If you happen to have lots of dry milk because you prepared you could fit the bill.

In the face of disasters and emergencies, hoarding and price gouging are very real. We saw that happen with COVID-19. The toilet paper, the hand sanitizer, and the N95 masks were all gobbled up in no time flat.

Hoarders are often people who panic. When you panic you hoard and buy entire shelves of items that everyone around you needs. It’s horrible.

While it might be daunting to put up all this extra food, remember, it also gives you the power to help others. Not everyone is going to take these steps or some people simply might not have enough food to outlast a longer catastrophe.

Sharing emergency food with others

If you have plenty of survival food, then you could be the person that makes a difference in their life. You could be the person that comes to their rescue. We all worry about people in a disaster. We worry about bad guys and what they might do when they get desperate.

Your best weapon against that is a well-fed community of neighbors. So, having extra food gives you the ability to help others, and that can go a long way. That’s why I chose to include this section in this complete guide to long term food storage even though it may seem a little unexpected.

Wrapping Up the Complete Guide to Long Term Food Storage

The truth of the matter is that we could be short on time. The problems being presented in the world right now are serious. The production of food and the inflation of its price means that now is the time to act – and one good action to take would be to follow this complete guide to long term food storage so you can be sure your household is prepared.

Putting up long-term food storage over time has been how I have prepared my family for moments like these. It’s a good idea to refocus some money and time on fortifying your emergency food supply. You could be really grateful for it in the future and after reading this complete guide to long term food storage, you have a good idea of how to get started.

Have you considered preparing a bug out vehicle to bug out of town in an emergency survival situation? You can find out more in this Bug Out Vehicle Options and Preparation article.