When beginning a food storage pantry many people's first question is "but what should I store and how much?" Well, this is going to depend on your family size and what you eat. In general though, there are some guidelines to follow.
How much food store to have...
When women canned they usually stored up a years worth of food. I think that is a pretty fair amount for the most part although my husband and I were out of work for nearly two years. So, you need to decide for yourself. If financial analysts' recommend having at least 6 months income in the bank then I would say have no less than 6 months food storage. Food is perishable, so more than two years may be useless, and you will want to rotate your food store. Perhaps donate to a local food kitchen or your church pantry.
What to store...
The first thing about what to store is that it has to be based on what you eat. Another thing to consider is what you could cook in an emergency and finally, store items that go together. So all this being said following is my list.
Water (multiply 1 gallon per day times 3 days times # of family members)
Organic Canned Corn
Both Dried and Canned beans
Home Canned fruit
Canned tuna, salmon, chicken and clams
Home canned cream soups
Home canned sweet potatoes and pumpkin
Home canned soups
Canned Organic Ravioli
Honey (Did you know that honey is rich in vitamins and non-perishable?)
Natural Peanut butter
Flour (Wheat is good but how do you plan to grind it if the electricity is out?)
Organic instant mac and cheese
Dried Gravies and Sauce mixes
When considering how much of this food to store up I consider how much I use in a month and take that number times 12. So if I use 2 cans of corn per month that means 24 cans should be in my pantry. I suddenly feel the need to go to Costco and buy more corn.
Many people understand the need to store food up for hard times like job loss and disaster but they don't really know what to store. Below are some helpful links for deciding what to store up in your pantry. There are two general rules of thumb to follow.
1. Store what you eat. It won't do you any good to have a stock pile of Spam if you don't eat pork.
2. Store foods that are easy to cook with in an emergency situation. For example, you may want to have some store of dried foods but what if there were a water emergency....you need canned goods too.
"Top foods you should store in an emergency"
Emergency Dude on "Emergency food."
If you are trying to build up your food storage on a small budget, you may consider taking up home canning or devoting just $5 out of each paycheck to storage items. You will be surprised at how fast your storage fills up.