Starting a Food Storage Collection

Starting a Food Storage CollectionThere are as many reasons for starting a food storage collection as there are ways to do it. Some people begin their collection to help insure against hunger during economic hardship while others are more concerned with disaster preparedness. There are others who stock ahead simply to take advantage of bargains and sale prices. Whatever your reason for beginning a food storage, following a few simple steps can help you grow that collection sensibly, avoid waste, and keep it all organized.

1. Decide what foods you need in your collection
Most people who are just starting a food collection begin with dry goods. They are the easiest to store and least likely to spoil, so there’s a lot more room for error. You’ll want to consider what foods are considered staples, which items are important but not essential, and then throw in a few luxuries as well. Staples might include foods like rice, beans, pasta, canned meats, flour, as well as canned fruits and vegetables. Important items might be other baking products, spices, crackers, and coffee. A few luxuries to consider might be things like hot chocolate, chocolate chips, nuts, or a cake mix or two.

2. Calculate amounts
Try to keep track of how much your family eats in a week and then multiply that out to represent the size of your desired food store. Don’t forget to include additional food in your storage to make up for meals that you currently eat out. You may consider adding about 10% of your calculated total to account for calculation errors.

3. Consider storage
The size of your food storage will be dependent on how much room you have to work with as well as the environment you’re in. The primary considerations for your storage area should include protection from pests and rodents, protection from the heat and water, and prevention of spoilage. If you have a pantry or even a closet to work with, wire shelves like those found at can be a great option. These types of shelves can be configured to fit your specific needs, let you easily see everything you have and allow for storage off the ground.

4. Start building your collection
The only thing that remains is to start building your collection. It’s not economically feasible for most people to purchase their entire store at one time. Most start with just purchasing a few extra staple items from their list at each grocery trip.

Whatever your method for actually building your collection, be sure to keep things dated and labelled, rotate older items to the front of your storage to prevent spoilage, and to increase your storage arrangements as it becomes necessary.