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Food Storage

Updated: Oct 6, 2020

Try to have a year's worth of basic food items stored in your home; grains, milk, sugar, salt, oil, and beans. Also important is to have a two-week supply of water stored.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been encouraging its members to store food for emergencies for decades. They have a wonderful site that explains how much each family should store of the basics. They recommend that families store three months of regular recipes and a year’s supply of these basics:

Grains (wheat, flour, rice, corn, oats, & pasta) 400 lbs./person

Dry milk 16 lbs./person

Sugar or honey 60 lbs./person

Salt 8 lbs./person

Oil 20 lbs./person (2.5 gallons)

Legumes (beans, split peas, lentils) 60 lbs./person

Water (two week supply) 14 gal./person

Child's Portions

3 years and under 50%

4-6 years 70%

7-10 years 90%

11 + years 100%

Young children and mothers who are pregnant or nursing will require more milk.

Store What You Eat

I was gaining weight! But that didn’t stop me from eating scrumptious, homemade meals from our food storage pantry. My wife, Debbie, had been experimenting with food storage recipes for five years and as she got better, I got bigger, about twenty pounds bigger. She was determined to find recipes that we would not only enjoy eating, but recipes that we could rotate as well. It was her mission to not waste any more food from accumulating food storage.

To most food lovers, food storage meals are often meals to be feared, but Debbie has transformed these recipes and I have had a hard time these past several years telling the difference between “food storage” meals and our favorite “fresh” grocery meals.

For years, our family stored the basics: wheat, honey, salt, powdered milk, etc. Unfortunately, buckets of food sat on our garage shelves, and many items were never used. The honey expanded and solidified, making a huge mess on the storage shelves. The powdered milk had to be thrown away after years of storage. We gave away our wheat and other usable storage items when we went on a mission to the Philippines, as all of our belongings were going into storage for the eighteen months we would be away, and would not be temperature controlled. Returning home, we decided that we would try storing food in a more efficient and cost effective way.

Now we only store food that we eat on a regular basis. After purchasing a wheat grinder along with some white wheat, the search was on for great wheat-bread recipes. Next, our favorite meals were analyzed to see which meals were made of ingredients that had a shelf life of one to two years. Finally, we did some research on how to substitute perishable ingredients with storable ingredients, and turned many of our favorite recipes into food storage meals. It is important to find substitutes that taste great and don’t affect the flavor of your favorite meals.

We have been storing food for over forty years, and with advancements in food preservation methods, and the increase in the variety and quality of food storage available, there is no reason why food storage should be anything but delicious and nutritious! The days of eating boring and tasteless food storage meals are over; as are the days of spending a lot of money just to see food go to waste as the expiration date passes. We still store the basics, but now we know how to cook with them. With a little planning, and with help from Real Meals Food Storage, recipes can be developed for great meals (ours or yours) using your stored food.

Getting Started

Begin with the recipes on this website. Choose meals that you and your family will enjoy eating. Working on one recipe at a time, calculate how much of each ingredient you will need for a three month’s supply if you were to fix that recipe once or twice a month. Below is an example:

Chicken Chili Three-Month Supply (once a month)

1 bottle chicken 3 bottles of chicken

1 can chicken broth 3 cans chicken broth

1 (15 oz.) bottle chunky salsa 3 (15 oz.) bottles of chunky salsa

3 (14.5 oz.) cans white northern beans 9 (14.5 oz.) cans white northern beans

1/4 teaspoon poultry seasoning ¾ teaspoons poultry seasoning

1/4 teaspoon garlic salt ¾ teaspoons garlic salt

1/4 teaspoon salt ¾ teaspoons salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper 3/8 teaspoons pepper

1 cup freeze-dried mozzarella cheese, 3 cups freeze-dried mozzarella cheese,

reconstituted reconstituted

Purchase the required ingredients and then start working on the next meal. Always make sure to check the “best by” date on each container of food you purchase. Sometimes food sits on the supermarket shelves and is close to its expiration date. If you are going to store that food for three months to a year, it will be important to purchase food with a full year to the expiration date. Once you have a three month supply of food, you will have a better idea of how to use your basics in everyday cooking. We continued with purchasing food for a six month supply. We found that a six month supply was all we could store of our regular recipes without wasting food. We often go out to eat with friends or eat meals that aren't food storage meals, and we couldn’t store a year’s worth of regular recipes without the ingredients expiring.

Take advantage of case lot sales and meat sales. When sale items are purchased in bulk, a lot of money can be saved.

Once you have learned how to substitute storable ingredients by using these recipes, begin experimenting with some of your own favorite recipes.

In following blog posts, we will give you suggestions on how to store ingredients, how to substitute storable ingredients for items that need to be refrigerated, and how to calculate the amount of food that needs to be purchased for your year supply by listing how many teaspoons, tablespoons, etc. are in each store bought container.

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