Three main problems with food storage is finding the space to store it, keeping it from going bad, and the rolling expense. Many people also have items in their food storage, like hard wheat and textured soy protein, they wouldn’t even know how to cook should a food shortage arise. Below highlights the essential food storage items that are not only cheap and easy to use, but can be rotated through your regular menus–so you won’t end up with a pantry food of rotten food during a famine.
16 Essential Food Storage Items To Store
There are many types to choose from including pinto, kidney, black, white, and lima beans, but one of the most versatile and nutritious is the garbanzo. You can use these whole or mash them into hummus, cookies, bread, or pound the dried beans into garbanzo bean flour. Beans are inexpensive and tasty. They are easy to cook, and using a pressure cooker makes tender, perfect beans in about 40 minutes. Don’t forget to include split peas and lentils on your food storage list. Store in an airtight container, in a cool, dry place.
Rice and beans are a complete protein and make a cheap and tasty meal. Once again you have several choices: brown, white, jasmine, Calrose, Basmati, and others. White rice lasts longer than brown, but isn’t as nutritious. Store in an airtight container, in a cool, dry place.
Dried and dehydrated fruits and vegetables
Fruits and vegetables add a lot of flavor to meals and round out meals. Dried fruits and vegetables stored in a cool, dry place, will last 6 months to a year—or even longer in the freezer if that’s an option. Dehydrated food can last up to five years, and they can be very economical if you buy them in season and dry or dehydrate them.
Rolled oats and millet are two good storing grains and make a great breakfast cereal. Millet is one of the oldest grains, and like rolled oats, is versatile and can be made into cookies, cakes, or bread. Steel cut oats are delicious, but don’t store as long.
Powered milk tastes awful, in my opinion, but it’s nutritious, cheap, and easy to store. You can add it to other foods to beef up the nutrition, or use it to make hot chocolate. And if you are ever in a famine, you’ll be glad to have a little milk—powdered or not—on your breakfast cereal rather than eating it plain.
Salt is essential for survival plus it has a lot of uses other than seasoning food. It preserves food, can be used to brush teeth or gargle with, and the abrasiveness can be used to clean dishes. Salt is cheap and lasts forever.
An all in one pancake mix only requires the addition of water to make up a batch of batter. As with oatmeal, a big plate of pancakes, perhaps with some honey or jam, will make a satisfying meal that can be eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Sugar or Honey
Both sugar and honey can be stored indefinitely, and both need to be in containers that will keep pests out. Sugar needs to be protected from moisture. Honey shouldn’t be given to children under the age of one because of the natural presence of endospores, and that is something to consider. Honey will crystallize over time but that won’t affect the taste or quality.
Pasta is cheap, easy to fix, and versatile. It stores nicely and for a long period of time. Pasta will get infested with pests so pack well for a long shelf life. However, pasta generally needs a lot of water to prepare it, so if your access to water is limited, you’d either have to choose something else to prepare or reuse the water.
These are a budget friendly and can make great meals. If you have a pressure cooker, dried soups cook quickly.
Most oils don’t last more than 24 months, even in a cool, dry place they’ll become rancid after awhile. Coconut oil is a good healthy option, but Crisco will last longer.
Spices and Condiments
Adding some spices and condiments to your food storage pantry will allow you to vary the taste of your storage foods. Cinnamon, garlic powder, and chili powder are few basics spices, along with Tabasco, oregano, and cumin. Don’t forget baking powder and soda. They say spices become flavorless over time, so rotate out your storage whenever you can.
Hard candy will store for a long time and are nice to have on hand to add a treat.
The purpose for food storage is to prepare for times of emergency or disaster. From canned foods to critical supplies, it’s always safe to have an abundance of items in food storage. There’s no telling when something catastrophic can happen, but at least you’ll have peace of mind knowing that food won’t be an issue. Plus, you’ll have a variety of items to choose from!