Food Storage

Proper Food Storage is something that should be incorporated into your day to day living skills, not just during troubling times. Keeping a supply of food is always a good idea for many reasons but if you don’t store it properly you’ve wasted money, time and valuable resources.

General Tips

Keep a Thermometer in your refrigerator & freezer to monitor proper temperatures.

  • Refrigerator Temperature should read 40 “F or Below
  • Freezer Temperatures should read 0”F or Below

Always Store Vegetables & Fruits Above Meats to prevent cross contamination. Use fresh foods first.

Check dates, Color, Smell, Damaged Packaging, Temperature Control Issues etc…

When in Doubt, Throw it Out!

Identify the Product, date bagged or canned and best by or use by dates. Labels & permanent markers work well.

  • Best By Dates = Still may be used past this date but not a fresh
  • Use By Dates = Use it by that Date especially Meats!

Canned Goods

When Purchasing Canned Foods look at the expiration dates especially on sale items!

It is important to rotate your canned food supply to use up the foods that will expire the soonest.

I take a permanent marker and write the expiration Month and Year on the front of the label and store those that are expiring the soonest in the front and arrange the other’s according to date in chronological order.

Like with Like: I also store canned foods “Like with Like” so that if I want green beans I will be sure to be using up the green beans expiring the soonest. It also simplifies shopping so you can quickly put a list together of things your getting low on…

Dispose of canned food Item has a damaged, cracked or bulging swollen lid, any seepage, rust at the seam etc. Do not open it! Irregardless of the date, safely remove it from you kitchen and dispose of it!

If any spills occur use disposable gloves, clean surfaces with a quarter cup of bleach to 2 cups water. Dispose of any foods that came in contact with, dispose of  washcloths, sponges or clothes that came into contact with the contaminated food. If the contaminated food gets on your skin thoroughly wash your skin with soapy water for two minutes. I would probable sanitize my hands as well!

Dry Goods

(Beans, Cereal, Corn Meal, Flour, Oatmeal, Pasta and Rice etc...)

Storage Containers:

5 Gallon Food Approved / BPA Buckets with Gama Lids – tight fighting lids is ideal.

Mylar Bags with the Heat Sealing System are also recommended.

Sometimes we have things already on hand that will work just fine, just make to use food grade containers, never use containers that had chemicals in them previously.

Stored foods should have high calorie count. 2000 Calories per day is needed per person to be sustainable. That’s another plus with rice and beans!

Put a selection of Smaller amounts of Salt, Baking Soda, Baking Powder, Yeast, Cream of Tarter, Flower, Sugar, Baking Cocoa Black Pepper, Seasonings, Herbs & Spices etc. in each Bucket so that you can utilize the complete Bucket before opening another.

Keep Dried Bay Leaves on hand to use in the storage containers to help keep Weevils out! Just place a couple of Dried Bay Leaves in each of the storage containers before you seal them up.

Sometimes these bugs actually are already in the bags when purchased. Check expiration dates – older bags may have weevils already in them. They say if you find them in your beans, rice, pasta etc… you can rinse these before cooking and the weevils will float up or drain and you can still utilize them… added protein 🙂


Dry Beans, Lentils, Peas, BarleyProperly stored will last indefinitely
Dry Pasta1-2 years past best by date
Dry White Rice 4-5 years past the Best By Date
25-30 years in Oxygen Free sealed bags
Dry Brown Rice & Wild Rice6-8 months past the Best By Date
Dry Oatmeal 1-2 years past Best By Date
Dry Corn Meals 1-2 years past Best By Date
Flour6-8 months past Best By Date
Coffee, Tea
(Stock Extra Coffee Filters, they are useful for many purposes)
Powdered Milk is an important staple if water becomes an issue… It is still a valuable source of calories and can be mixed in with other foodsCheck Best By Date
Powdered Eggs
(ALT: 1 TBSP Flax to 3 TBSP water = 1 egg )
Baking Soda: you should store a larger amount of Baking Soda. It is used for many purposes.
Yeast Check Date
Bullion Cubes
Snacks & Treats: Dried Fruits, Nuts, Sweets etc.
(Comfort Foods during stressful times can be helpful 🙂
Pets: Food Dry and Canned, Plenty of Water for each Pet, Medication’s, Flea Med’s, Litter
Livestock Feed and Water

Thanks to Denise Glover for crafting these recommendations!