Preparedness blog

Build Your Own Food Storage - A Month to Month Guide

By Elena from Ready Store
More from this author

Preparation is bigger than having a first aid kit and bug-out bag under your bed. Preparation is about protecting your family from whatever might come your way- whether it's war, a natural disaster, or extended unemployment. Building up your food storage is one of the best ways to protect your family from almost any emergency.

It can feel overwhelming to build your food storage. Where do you start? How much do you get? We've made it easy for you. We have 1 year, ready-to-buy kits HERE.  If you are on a budget or want to create a storage according to your personal or family needs, you can be flexible. Here is a basic breakdown of a month-to-month buying guide for your pantry staples.

Note- These are truly basic building blocks for good food storage. You can substitute according to your family's needs/wants. Suggested substitutions:
Wheat ----> Flour, bread mix. biscuit mix,
Beans -----> soups, entrees, TVP/proteins
Rice------> pasta (or vice versa)

Items written in black- Staples. These are the very basics you need to survive for a year.
Items written in green- Fruits/vegetables- You can survive without them, but they are important to add to your storage.
Items written in blue- Extras. These are meats, flavorings, sweets, and any other indulgences. Think hot chocolate, freeze-dried ice cream, crackers, etc. While they are good to have around, you can survive without them.


Unless noted, the quantities are set for #10 Cans.

Use this with our ReadyQueue option to help you build your perfect food storage. Remember,  #10 cans have a 20-30 year shelf life, according to the climate in which they are stored. Also, once a can is opened, the food inside is good for 6-12 months.

7 years ago
Karen Heggerud
7 years ago at 3:30 AM
Is this for an individual or certain family size?
Frank Carnes
7 years ago at 8:11 AM
Nowhere does it mention salt. Absolutely essential. Besides flavoring, curing, smoking,pickling preserving and inexpensive .Makes one wonder about the authors credibility.
7 years ago at 7:53 PM
There are not nearly enough veggies. Almost everything in your list is carbs. I know beans and rice make a protein so you don't need a lot of meat, but you need veggies to stay healthy. Are these listed by price to keep them about the same every month? That explains why you chose the products.
7 years ago at 8:11 AM
On the chart above, is the what we need to buy every month to build up our stock or is that how much we can live on for a year? I have 6 in my family so that doesn't look like much.
5 years ago at 11:23 AM
There's much more to it than that: How many people are you storing for? "Family" is too loose. How many calories are needed per person per day? Needs vary by age, sex, activity level, medical conditions, & desires. You can't rely on the producer's "serving size" to be enough. They are often really short, providing only subsistence calories when you may need to be engaged in hard work. You cite using #10 cans, but if there's a small group and this is anything but freeze dried or dried product you are going to waste a lot through storage. Best advice I've seen is to store what you eat and eat what you store. This includes appropriately sized containers. Further, you need to have food storage for bugging out. This list seems to be specific to shelter-in-place scenarios. You should go the extra step of actually preparing meal plans BEFORE you buy much in the way of food storage. And you'll need manual can openers.
5 years ago at 5:34 PM
That's great, but what about those of us who simply can't stomach that many beans? What are good substitutes?
5 years ago at 12:08 PM
On the first month of " build your food storage" to get all that it said u need how much would the total price be?
3 years ago at 9:36 AM
This chart is very useful especially if augmented with fresh veggies/fruit from a home garden. If a surplus is grown simply dehydrate the home grown produce and use it up as short-term storage in your food storage recipes. Of course dehydrated has a longer soaking/cooking time than freeze-dried but almost anyone can have a container garden for fresh produce. Growing sprouts is another option for fresh food and good enzymes/vitamins to augment stored foods.