Long Term Food Storage Ideas

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Long term food storage can save your life in an emergency. I am sharing what I have done to get prepared for an emergency and how you can easily do it on a budget. 

picture of food storage

Food storage is not a luxury it’s a necessity. Stocking your pantry and storing food for long term use can save your life when a natural disaster or other emergency strikes. 

With these easy ideas and recipes you can have a great long term food storage supply that is easy to do and inexpensive.

Don’t feel like you have to get everything at once. Work within your budget to pick up what you can every week. Take that extra $5, $50, or $100 in your budget to grab the ingredients you need or tools you need to build your food storage. 

I am going to share quick and easy long term food storage recipes and ideas along with the necessities you need in your supply. 

Storage

Long term food storage containers: 

You can buy all the food you want, but if it isn’t stored properly it will not last very long! Here are some great options on how to store food long term. 

food storage bins

Bins with gamma lids

I have been storing most of my bulk items in these food safe bins with gamma lids. When I was researching which bins to buy I found that ordering these food safe bins with gamma lids were the best option. 

Gamma lids are essential if you want to be able to rotate your food storage, which I highly recommend. The gamma lids will give you a great seal but also give you the ability to get into your bins when needed if you are rotating items.

These bins are great for storing bulk items like rice, beans, wheat berries, oats, or even flour if you are rotating frequently. Use oxygen packets as well when storing things like wheat berries or oats to keep things fresh.

Mylar Bags with oxygen packets

Another option for long term food storage is storing items in mylar bags with oxygen packets. You can even seal the bags with an ordinary clothes iron. Some varieties will need a sealer to seal the mylar bags so keep that in mind with which bags you choose.

Mylar bags create a barrier between food and the environment so they keep food safe for long term storage. 

mylar bags

Supplies

When thinking about long term food storage think about what you will need to actually make these recipes. If you don’t have electricity think about what you are going to use to cook. What if you run out of cooking fuel? 

Plan for the absolute worst case scenario so that you can still use your long term food storage in any emergency situation. 

Cooking Supplies & Utensils Needed: 

Water: The most underestimated item for cooking in emergency situations. Think about how much water you will need not only for drinking water but also for cooking and cleaning. 

This is a great post on how to plan for water when you are prepping for long term emergency preparedness. 

Solar Oven:solar oven can come in handy especially when there is no electricity. It cooks your food with only the power of the sun. No fuel or electricity needed. 

Knife: Any sharp kitchen knife will do. This can also come in handy for other needs like cutting rope. 

Mixing Spoons and Spatula: Any metal or plastic mixing spoons and spatulas will do! 

Cutting board: A cheap plastic cutting board will do just fine in your emergency supply. 

Mixing bowls: Any cheap metal mixing bowls are great to be able to mix up biscuits or combine all your ingredients together. I prefer metal over plastic because they are more durable. 

Can Opener: The worst thing would be to have all of this canned food and no way of opening it. Make sure to stash a can opener away so you can open up all your food storage canned goods. 

Cast iron skillet: Cast iron skillets are great because you can use them to cook in your solar oven or over an open flame like a fire pit. 

Camping utensils, plates, bowls and cups: The worst thing would be to have all of this food to eat but nothing to eat it with! Buy some cheap camping utensils so that you can eat the delicious food you can make. 

Cooking Supplies For Long Term Food Storage

Food

Best food for long term food storage:

Here are some of the best foods you can store for long term use. Make sure to follow the directions on how to store the food safely for the best result. 

Rice: Store white rice instead of brown rice. Brown rice goes bad a lot quicker. Store your rice in long term storage containers with oxygen packets and it should last up to 25 years. 

Dry Beans: Store beans in long term food storage containers with oxygen packets. The dry beans can last for up to 25 years. 

Dry Lentils: Store lentils in long term food storage containers with oxygen packets. The dry lentils can last for up to 25 years. 

Honey: Store in an air tight container in a cool, dry place. Honey can last indefinitely. If the honey crystalizes you can still use it! Do not throw honey away unless it has ants or another living creature in it! 

Sugar: Store sugar in long term food storage containers. The sugar can last for up to 25 years. 

Vinegar: Store in a cool dark place. White vinegar should last indefinitely where other varieties have a shelf life of 5-10 years. 

Salt: Store salt in long term food storage containers. The salt should last indefinitely. 

Popcorn: Popcorn kernels are great to store in mylar bags and can be stored for up to 10 years. 

Jello: Instant dry jello mix will last for 20 years. 

Powdered Milk: Store in an air tight container with lid. It should last for up to 5-10 years. 

Refined Oil: Refined oils last a lot longer than virgin or extra virgin oils. Store in a cool dark place and keep out of sunlight. Some oils will last up to 5 years. 

Shorter term shelf life items to rotate:

When rotating food you always want to use the FIFO method. FIFO stands for first in first out. Use the items you bought first (with older expiration dates before you use more recent items).

You can find great shelves for cans that organize them using the FIFO method. 

can organizer

Canned vegetables: Most canned vegetables have a 2 year shelf life. I recommend buying canned vegetables that you will use so you can rotate your supply and not waste. 

Canned meat: Most canned meat will last anywhere from 2-5 years. Rotate your supply using the FIFO method. 

Seasoning Packets: Most packets have a shelf life of 1-2 years. Rotate your supply and buy packets that you will actually use! 

Items you can make homemade with long term food storage: 

What’s great about having long term food storage is you can make things like homemade bread or flour tortillas with only a couple ingredients from your supply.

These are the items I plan on making homemade with my bulk food storage items like flour, sugar, oil, salt, masa, powdered milk, and natural yeast. 

  • flour tortillas
  • corn tortillas
  • bread
  • rolls

Long Term Food Storage Recipe Ideas:

Look at the breakfast, snacks, dinner and dessert recipe ideas and select which ideas sound the best to you. 

Then pick which recipe ideas you want to make for the year and buy accordingly. For example if I want 7 different dinners I would break those recipes up and multiply all ingredients needed to feed my family by 52 (weeks in a year). 

The easy way of making sure you have variety in your meals is to pick 3 breakfast ideas, 1-2 snacks, 7 dinners and 1-2 desserts. 

This will allow you to plan for a weeks worth of food in an easy way. You will just repeat this weekly menu for however long you would like to store long term. If you want to get a little more advanced you can plan 7 breakfast ideas, 3 snacks, 14-20 dinner ideas and 3-4 dessert ideas. 

Remember if you want to keep cost down, stick to less recipes so you can minimize ingredients you will need to buy in bulk. 

I have also added $ signs so you can figure out which meals work within your budget. 

I added a weekly menu idea at the very end of the post for your reference but have fun picking your ideas below! 

Breakfast Recipe Ideas:

($)-Least expensive option.

($$)- A little more pricey. 

Egg Skillet: Freeze Dried Egg, Freeze Dried Potato, Freeze Dried Cheddar, Bacon Bits ($$)

long term food storage breakfast

Pancakes: Box Pancake Mix, Water, Syrup ($)

Homemade Bread with Jam or Peanut Butter: Homemade Bread, (Bread Ingredients From Your Favorite Recipe), Jam, Peanut Butter ($)

Yogurt and Granola: Freeze Dried Yogurt, Water, Granola ($$)

Oatmeal with Toppings- Oats, Water, Brown Sugar, Maple Syrup, Honey, Raisins, Trail Mix, Peanut Butter, Jam, Canned Peaches ($)

Protein Balls: Oats, Honey, Peanut Butter, Chocolate Chips ($$)

Snacks: 

Homemade Popcorn: Popcorn Kernels, Oil, Salt ($)

Jello: Jello Packet, Water

Granola Bars: Oats, Water, Honey, PB Powder, Water, Chocolate Chips

ingredients

Freeze Dried Fruit: Freeze Dried Fruit of Choice ($$)

Crunchy Garbanzo Beans: Canned Garbanzo Beans, Seasonings, Oil ($)

Hummus in a Bag: Canned Garbanzo Beans, Oil, Seasonings, Ziplock Bag ($)

Dinner Recipe Ideas:

Homemade Pizza: Homemade Pizza Dough (Plus Ingredients From Your Favorite Pizza Dough Recipe), Pasta sauce, Freeze Dried Sausage, Freeze Dried Cheese, Can Olives ($$)

Chicken Pot Pie: Can Chicken, Can Mixed Vegetables, Can Cream of Chicken Soup, Bisquick Biscuits, Water ($$)

chicken pot pie ingredients

Taco Soup: Can Black Beans, Can Corn, Can Diced Tomatoes, Chicken Stock, Chili Packet ($)

Chicken Enchiladas: Homemade Flour Tortillas, Canned Chicken, Freeze Dried Cheese, Can Ortega Chilies, Can Enchilada Sauce, Can Olives ($$)

Chicken Alfredo: Pasta, Water, Knorrs Alfredo Sauce, Can Chicken ($)

Mediterranean Quinoa: Quinoa, Water, Can Chicken, Kalamata Olives, Peppercini ($$)

Biscuits and Gravy: Bisquick, Water, Gravy Seasoning Packet (Optional Freeze Dried Sausage) ($)

Spaghetti and Sauce: Spaghetti, Tomato Sauce, Can Mixed Vegetables or Can Mushrooms ($)

Lentil Sloppy Joe’s: Dry Lentils, Tomato Sauce, Sloppy Joe Packet, Homemade Bread($)lentil sloppy joe ingredients Chicken Noodle Soup: Can Chicken, Can Mixed Vegetables, Chicken Bouillon or Chicken Stock, Noodles ($)

Chickpea Tacos: Oil, Can Chickpeas, Taco Seasoning, Salsa, Homemade Tortillas ($)

Lentil Tacos: Dry Lentils, Water, Oil, Salsa, Taco Seasoning, Homemade Tortillas ($)

Rice bowls: Dry Rice, Water, Can Chicken, Salsa Verde, Can Beans, Can Olives ($)

Sun dried Tomato and Pesto Chicken Pasta: Pasta, Knorr’s Pesto Packet, Water, Sun-dried Tomatoes, Can Chicken ($)

Fried Rice: Oil, Rice, Water, Can Veggies, Braggs, Spam ($)

fried rice ingredients

Broccoli and Chicken Rice Casserole: Rice, Water, Cream of Chicken Soup, Freeze Dried Broccoli ($)

Haystacks: Rice, Can Chicken, Can Cream of Chicken Soup, Can Pineapple, Can Olives, Freeze Dried Shredded Cheddar Cheese ($$)

Buffalo Chicken Rice: Can Chicken, Buffalo Sauce, Rice, Water ($)

Taco Pasta: Pasta, Taco Seasoning Packet, Diced Can Tomatoes, Jar Salsa ($)

BBQ Bean Bowls: Beans, BBQ Sauce, Rice, Water ($)

BBQ Chicken Sandwiches: BBQ Sauce, Can Chicken, Homemade Bread (Plus Ingredients From Your Favorite Recipe) ($$)

Chicken and Mushroom Casserole: Can Chicken, Rice, Can Cream of Mushroom Soup ($)

Tuna Noodle Casserole: Can Tuna, Noodles, Water, Can Carrots and Peas, Cream of Chicken Soup ($)

Dessert Recipe Ideas: 

Peach Cobbler: Can Peaches, Cinnamon, Yellow Cake Mix, Sprite ($)

peach cobbler ingredients

Apple Crumble: Can Apple Pie Filling, Yellow Cake Mix, Cinnamon, Water ($)

Brownies: Box Brownie Mix, Water, Oil, Applesauce ($)

Cookies: Crisco, Brown Sugar, Granulated Sugar, Chocolate Chips, Baking Powder, Baking Soda, Salt, Apple Sauce ($$)

Pumpkin Cake Mix Cookies: Spice Cake Mix, Can Pumpkin, Chocolate Chips ($)

Long Term Food Storage Menu: 

I only plan for breakfast, a snack and dinner. I have young kids so I feel like the snack is going to be essential for them, but you can even just stick with one meal a day if needed. 

Rotate this menu for however long you need to. If you want to add more variety and can afford it add more recipe ideas to the mix. 

It is recommended that you have 1 year’s worth of food storage. You can multiply the ingredients needed to serve your family by 52 weeks and that will give you one year’s worth of meals. 

Monday

Breakfast: Pancakes with syrup

Snack: Popcorn

Dinner: Fried Rice

Tuesday

Breakfast: Oatmeal with brown sugar

Snack: Freeze dried fruit

Dinner: Spaghetti with sauce

Wednesday

Breakfast: Pancakes with syrup

Snack: Popcorn

Dinner: Chicken noodle soup

Thursday

Breakfast: Oatmeal with brown sugar

Snack: Freeze dried fruit

Dinner: Chickpea Tacos

Friday

Breakfast: Pancakes with syrup

Snack: Popcorn

Dinner: Homemade Pizza

Saturday

Breakfast: Oatmeal with brown sugar

Snack: Freeze dried fruit

Dinner: Chicken Alfredo

Sunday

Breakfast: Pancakes with syrup

Snack: Popcorn

Dinner: Chicken Pot Pie

Dessert: Peach Cobbler


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  1. Claudia Payne says:

    Awesome Meg!!! 

    1. admin Author says:

      Thanks so much!

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