If you watch my Gubba Homestead vlogs, you know that I am passionate about food storage and I have spent a good chunk of time building it up. Because of my efforts, I hardly have to visit the grocery store and I always have food on hand to make from scratch. Do you know how nice it is to not have to constantly run to the grocery store or be concerned when I run out of an ingredient? Let me share with you five ways you can build your food storage!
What is a food storage?
A food storage is extra food kept on hand in the kitchen, pantry, or in containers around your house. A food storage is more than a regular pantry, it is built with the intention of having extra food on hand in emergency situations or if you simply want to cut down on your trips to the store. It should be thought out and cared for.
How do you build a food storage?
You build a food storage by buying extra food of what you eat. You can use different methods like buying extra produce and freezing it or you can buy canned goods and store in your pantry because they have a long shelf life. You have to figure out what you and your family like to eat then simply pick up a little extra here and there. You don’t have to overwhelm yourself building a food storage—you can start small and slow.
5 tips for building a food storage
- Cans are the easiest way to build up a food storage. Canned goods like beans, corn, and fruit can be found cheap at places like Walmart and they tend to have long shelf lives. You might be wondering: how long do canned goods last? One pro prepper tip is that canned goods can last three years past their expiration date. Because of this, canned goods are a great place to start building up your food storage!
When I started building my food storage, I started with canned goods. I bulked up on canned beans, corn, and fruit. I would shop the sales at Walmart because I found that they have incredible prices on canned goods (or at least they used to!) I was getting canned beans for less than fifty cents a can. Because canned goods can last longer than their expiration date, they are a cheap and easy way to build up a hefty food storage.
General canned goods from the grocery store make for a good top layer food storage (food you use every day,) but did you know you can get canned goods that last 10-30 years? The canned goods from the grocery store won’t last this long, but special cans called #10 cans can store food for 10-30 years making them a great way to build your long term food storage. Yes, you will want to build a long term food storage consisting of food that can last up to thirty years, and you may be wondering how you can build a long term food storage. #10 cans are a great way to build your long term food storage and are easy to store. I get my long term food storage mainly from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Bishop Storehouses. You don’t have to be a member of the church to shop there, and they have great prices for quality food.
One downside of canned goods is that they are heavy. Packing canned goods in an emergency bugout bag would be a huge pain. You would have to pack a good chunk to make a meal and the cans would weigh you down. In an emergency situation you can’t be bogged down, but there are better methods of food storage that won’t weigh you down in situations like freeze dried meals.
- Freeze dried meals are a great way to build your short term food storage and your long term food storage. Because freeze dried meals have all of the water evaporated out of them from the freeze drying process, they are extremely light weight. They are an easy food to pack in a bug out bag or if you need a light weight meal for hunting.
You can get freeze dried foods two ways: buying containers from places like ReadyWise or you can get a Harvest Right Freeze Dryer. I would suggest getting a freeze dryer if your budget allows because it provides an easy and cost effective way of building up your food storage. How long do freeze dried foods last? Freeze dried foods can last up to 30 years and retain a majority of their vitamins and minerals! Because of this, freeze drying is one of my favorite methods of building up my food storage. Freeze dried food retains its taste when rehydrated with water, and I think that is so neat!
- Freezing is a cost effective method of storing food. The huge downside of freezing food for your food storage is that if the electricity goes out, you are in big trouble! You will need a back up plan for how to utilize the food in your freezers before it spoils if the electricity is out for an extended period of time.
The food that I freeze for my food storage, I rotate through it. I get frozen goods out of the freezer by either freeze drying them or canning them. I don’t let foods sit in my freezer too long because I don’t want them to succumb to freezer burn or deal with a power outage that ruins my food—that would be a huge bummer!
When freezing goods, I love to use my vacuum sealer. Vacuum sealing food keeps food fresher longer, and this is especially true for frozen goods. Can you vacuum seal frozen foods? Absolutely, and I would suggest you vacuum seal as much as possible in your freezer because this method keeps food fresh and it creates space in your freezer to store more.
With freezing goods, have a plan to use or preserve your frozen foods in case of an emergency power outage situation.
- Canning is one of my favorite methods of food preservation because of the delicious ready to eat shelf stable meals that you can make with canning. Canning is a great way to use a surplus of your frozen goods and get those goods shelf stable.
Learning how to can is an important priceless prepper skill because it doesn’t take much effort, you just have to give it a go. The basics for canning food include water bath canning which is for high acid foods and the time you can the goods is dependent on altitude. Pressure canning is for low acid foods and the weight you use on your pressure canner will depend on your altitude. The best way to learn is to start canning today!
I can up goods like fresh produce, frozen produce, meats, soups, stews, and more. All you need are a water bath canner, a pressure canner, some mason jars, and some lids and you are ready to can! Check out a book like the Ball Canning Book to help get you started canning. This book will come with easy canning recipes and is great for beginner canners!
Canning is a simple way to build your food storage and makes preparing dinners easy by having ready to eat meals on the shelf.
- Learning to bake from scratch is a great way to build a food storage and to utilize your food storage. Take time to prioritize making breads, soups, and other foods from scratch and watch how you are better able to manage your food storage. Your health will benefit from learning how to bake and cook from scratch too!
What is the easiest way to build a food storage?
Canned goods are the easiest avenue for building a food storage. That includes general canned goods from the grocery stores and #10 canned goods that can be used in long term storage. Canned goods are heavy and shouldn’t be used in emergency bug out bags. Home canned goods add a variety to the canned goods bought from the store because you are able to make your own home canned meals that you and your family enjoy.
Are freeze dried meals healthy?
Freeze dried goods retain a majority of their nutrients. Processed freeze dried foods that you will get from the mainstream manufacturers will be loaded with preservatives and funky ingredients, but they will get the job done in an emergency situation. The best way to make freeze dried meals is to make them yourself with your own freeze dryer.
What does a vacuum sealer do?
Vacuum sealers suck out all of the oxygen from a products container or bag it is sealed in. Oxygen degrades food over time, so a vacuum sealer is worth the investment if you like keeping your food fresher longer and creating room in your freezer to store more food.
How do you cook from scratch?
Follow along with easy recipes like I have here on my website. You may not be a perfect cook right away, but with time and perseverance, you will learn how to cook!
I hope this article helps you on your way to build a food storage. I think every person should have one especially with the weirdness of the world! Keep yourself and your family safe by having a food storage!