Food Storage: The Basics

Food Storage: The Basics by Pete Thorsen for Survival Blog

More and more people are seeing the common sense in having some stored food on hand in case of emergencies. Many of these people are not preppers but just want to have the peace of mind knowing they have some extra food on hand for “just in case.”

The only problem for some is the question of “Where to start?” With food it is an easy start. Well, then again, maybe not so easy after all. If you decide to have food on hand for an emergency then you should think just that one line through some. What kind of an emergency? Does it even matter? If the emergency is the power being out and you live in an all-electric house you would either need food that could be eaten without cooking or you would have to have an alternate way to cook the food instead of your microwave or electric range.

Most canned goods can be eaten right from the can with no heating. They might not be as tasty that way but they would be safe to eat and would provide the same nutrition whether hot or cold. Or you could use your gas or charcoal grill to heat up or cook your food as long as you had the fuel on hand for the grill. Or you could use your fire pit for cooking as long as you had fuel on hand for that too. The fire pit might require some pre-emergency test runs so you learn how to cook over that open fire. And maybe buy some cast iron fry pans and cooking pots.

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Or a very easy method of cooking your food in a power down situation is to use a camp stove. If you buy a propane model using common one pound tanks, it can be safely used inside your house on your kitchen counter to cook your meals. It would be almost as easy as cooking on your normal range. Many say using a propane camp stove is unsafe inside a home. But with a window cracked open, the propane camp stove is safe. It is the same as the gas ranges found in half the homes in America (and nearly every restaurant).

The camp stove while being an expense would allow to you to use your normal kitchen pans and be quick and easy to cook on in the safety and security of your home. The cost of such stoves start at around thirty dollars and the small propane bottles are about three dollars each. If you do decide to get such a stove then use it a couple times so you have some experience and so you also know for sure that it does indeed work. And don’t forget to buy extra fuel for the stove!


So now you know how you are going to cook your food but what food to buy? And how much food? Obviously the answers to those two questions will be different for each family. First you can look at a meal that your family enjoys. Let’s say everyone likes spaghetti night so you could buy a few extra jars of spaghetti sauce and a corresponding amount of spaghetti noodles. Both of those items will safely store in your cupboard for more than a year.

Then look at other quick meals that your family eats at home. You might say hamburgers but that is a little difficult to store. The meat does keep a long while in the freezer but the buns have a very short shelf life. Maybe something like chicken and rice. A few cans of chicken meat along with a box of Minute Rice and maybe some chicken bouillon and you have quick simple meal that will store for a year or more in the cupboard.

Keep track of easy to prepare food items that you normally buy and that your family likes to eat. Then choose some of those items that can be stored on the shelf for long periods that are easy to cook and just buy extra of those items to store at home.

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