Long Term Food Storage Techniques & Ideas

With the exception of water, Emergency food storage might be the most important part of preparing for an emergency or disaster. Some might even say more important than water because of how easily our food supply line can be cut off and how far food has to travel in today’s world to reach our table.

Most of us in the United States have never gone more than 24 hours without food and have no idea how it will affect them. Although we can survive without food for a few weeks, it will be our main priority long before that. So lets go over some emergency food storage ideas and options.

If the average person were to walk into your home and see a Legacy food bucket they would probably make some wild assumptions right off the bat. But when you think about it, other than the shelf life and quantity, how different is long term food storage food than a box of hamburger helper?

Emergency long term food storage, water storage and preparedness in general is nothing more than insurance for the future. What concerns me the most is not a nuclear bomb landing in my back yard, it’s our electrical grids vulnerability’s, economic instability and basic supply and demand.

Having a large supply of long term food storage food during the great depression would have been more valuable than gold. If you were going through a “personal doomsday” it would be a godsend as well.

Imagine you or someone in your family had lost their job for an extended period of time, with money being tight it would be a daily juggling act to pay the bills and buy food for the family. If you had a six month supply of dehydrated food that wouldn’t be such a huge hurdle, and would alleviate some of the stress you might be facing.

Imaging there was a natural disaster like an earthquake, or a hurricane like Katrina. If you had a few weeks of food stored that’s one less thing you have to worry about, and could literally be the difference between life and death.

My point is that long term food storage is not all about doomsday and does not make you a “doomsdayer.” Everyone is different and storing food for emergencies is just the smart thing to do. Some people store as little as a months’ worth of food, and some people store year’s worth, it’s really up to you what you decide to do.

Emergency Food Storage Ideas…

How you choose to put together your food storage game plan is completely up to you. Below are the 5 most common techniques for emergency food storage.

Pantry Food

When it comes to food storage it doesn’t just mean having long term food storage buckets and freeze dried foods, food storage starts with what you stock your pantry with. You have no doubt heard the saying “eat what you store, and store what you eat” and this all starts with pantry foods.

This can be more cost effective than making a large purchase because you can go to the store and buy a little extra food each time and slowly build your food storage. The downside of this is that this food will only last so long. Most boxed meals and canned food last between 6 months to 3 years.

On the surface this sounds great, but is you buy a year’s worth of food from the grocery store you need to make sure it gets used and rotated properly. Regardless of how well organized you are and how good your rotation system is, you are bound to lose some of it to expiration.

Canned Food

Storing canned food is the easiest and most cost effective way to bulk up your emergency food storage. These have long shelf lives, and you can get just about anything canned.

In a grid down event electricity and refrigeration will be gone, so having meat (protein) will be hard to come by. Canned meats like tuna, chicken and beef are great ways to add that protein into your food storage plan.

Remember, having these canned foods in your emergency food storage means you need to use them. Make sure you incorporate them into your diet, or you will be throwing away a lot of food.

Dehydrated Food

This is where long tern food like Legacy food comes in, I call this my second layer, this is food that can be stored and organized much easier and longer than grocery store food. It’s good to have a good short term food supply, but at some point storing and rotating all that food will become nearly impossible.

Legacy food storage products are prepared and packaged in a way that makes them shelf stable for up to 25 years, so even if nothing happens in the next 10 years, you still have your food storage and you haven’t had to throw anything away.


While it’s unrealistic for most people to grow enough food to sustain themselves, it can add high nutrition foods to your emergency food storage. canned foods, and long term food has less nutritional content than fresh food.

Gardening is not something that will happen overnight, it takes time and practice. Start with some easy to grow foods like corn and squash. Fruit trees are also a great way to add sweets to your “disaster diet”, but they do take years to start producing.

DIY Food Preservation

There is another option that you have and that’s storing all the ingredients yourself and preserving your own food. Lisa and I do some canning (nowhere near what some other people do) and this can be a good option as well. If you have the time and ability you will be able to can your full food supply, or just supplement your long term food storage products.

We don’t store a lot of flour and grains though, storing items like these require a couple of things, they require the knowledge to use them, and the ability to cook with them. Long term food storage products like Legacy foods require a heat source and water, whereas making biscuits or bread require much more preparation.

That being said, these are good skills to learn because nothing beats a home cooked meal, and in a situation where food is not that plentiful a simple loaf of bread will taste like heaven.

When it comes to long term food storage whether its Legacy foods, canning or pantry foods it’s important to remember that everyone’s tastes are different. Children can be pretty picky, and it can be almost impossible to get them to eat something if they don’t want to.

As I said earlier, eat what you store, and store what you eat. Before you spend your hard earned money on long term food make sure you try it and see if the family likes it. Most freeze dried food companies have sample packs you can buy, and there are a ton of videos on YouTube that will show you what to expect. Here are a couple of videos I did when I sampled some of these products.

The Best Bang for Your Buck

To get the best value when you are shopping for long term food storage products make sure you shop like you would at a grocery store by comparing cost by weight and calories. It can be pretty confusing to pick the right food storage product because anyone can use whatever serving size they choose.

In a survival situation we need to know how many calories we are taking in, not how many servings we are eating. At the bare minimum a person will need around 1500 to 2000 calories a day just to survive, the more active you are the more calories you will need.

One of the reasons we chose to sell Legacy food products is that they stand head and shoulders above everyone else in almost every category.  Legacy Food Storage products are GMO free, have no MSG, yeast extract, hydrogenated oils, caramel color, or any artificial flavors.

Sodium in Long Term Food

I hear quite a bit about how high in sodium is in dehydrated food products so I just want to add my 2 cents, take it for what it’s worth to you.

A healthy amount of sodium is about 1500Mg to 2300Mg per day, the average sodium intake today is around 3500Mg to 4000Mg per day. This is because of all the processed foods we eat and all the additives and preservatives added to them to make them taste better and last longer.

Salt has been used to preserve foods for centuries, and it is no different today. Sodium is a mineral that is required for maintaining blood pressure and a normal fluid balance in the body, in a long term emergency situation it is better to have too much sodium than none at all.

All dehydrated food from Mountain House to Wise Food to Legacy Food has a high sodium content. If you eat Legacy foods, or any long term food storage product daily for a year with nothing else you are bound to have problems. This is why canning, gardening and having alternatives is so important, you never want to put all your eggs in one basket.

Choosing the Right Food for You

In the end it’s really up to you how you go about your long term food storage, but the important part is that you do it, and not just talk about doing it. Some of these long term food storage ideas might work for you, and some might not, but having something stored away for an emergency is always better than crossing your fingers.


Survival and being prepared should not only be a passion, it should be a lifestyle. The definition of a prepper is "An individual or group that prepares or makes preparations in advance of, or prior to, any change in normal circumstances, without substantial resources from outside sources" Like the Government, police etc. I don't believe that the end of the world will be the "end of the world" I believe it will be the end of the world as we know it now. You can also find me on Google Plus and Twitter

    1 Response to "Emergency Food Storage Ideas"

    • JJM

      Luckily I have a large walk-in pantry unlike the typical tiny closet size I see in most other homes. Organization is my weak spot and marking the Best By, Packaged or Expiration Dates on tops of cans etc with permanent marker helps. Eventually I hope to acquire bins that allow oldest cans to roll to the front. Wonder if I could find similar bins for glass jars (canning jars, etc).
      Would love to see a suggested ‘starter list’ for 1 month supply of pantry items per person consisting of groups such as: Fruit, Veggy, Meat, Soup, etc including list of sample particulars in a group that offer best nutrition and highest calorie count. As well as similar list for dry goods – rice, pasta, beans, etc.

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