Don’t know what to get or where to start, well you aren’t the only one. I would recommend first starting with what you have the money, time and room for. So whether you start with 1 week for 1 person, or 1 year for 8 people, just get started!!! FEMA recommends that the average household obtain 2 weeks worth of food, but the average person only has 3 days. We can do better than that, just start doing a little each month!
Basic Recommendations for 1 Adult:
Grains 400 lbs (wheat, flour, rice, corn, oats, and pasta)
Legumes 60 lbs (dry beans,lima beans, soy beans, split peas)
Milk/Dairy 16 lbs (nonfat milk, evaporated milk, butter, eggs, cheese)
Fats & Oils 10 quarts (oil, shortening, mayonnaise, peanut butter)
Sugars 60 lbs (brown sugar, molasses, honey, corn syrup, jams)
Salt 8 lbs
Water (2 weeks) 14 gallons (2-week emergency reserve)
LDS CANNERY (Home Storage Center)
The cannery is a great place to purchase food for very cheap. It is run by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, but is open to the public and available for anyone to use.
If you want to order bulk or don’t want your food tasting like metal, buckets are the way to go. You can order from a lot of places, but the cheapest and closest around that we’ve found is Baytec Containers. Make sure if you go the route of buckets you get:
- Bucket (5 or 6 gallon) – I personally prefer a 5 gallon bucket over the 6 gallon ones, they store & stack better and fit under my pantry shelf. Also, buckets can get extrememly heavy so take that into consideration!
- Lids (Regular or Gamma Lids) – I only use Gamma lids for food in the pantry that I need access too, the rest have a regular lid.
- Mylar Bags (Zipper or Regular) – These give the extra layer of protection for your food and helps keep oxygen and bugs out.
- Oxygen Absorbers 2000 cc – You will need 1 2000 cc oxygen absorber to put into each bucket or about 5-6 of the 300 cc ones.
How Much Can You Store In Buckets?
This is a good question, because having too few or too many buckets can be a problem. Here is an ESTIMATE of about how much you can put into buckets (don’t get mad if I’m off :). These 5 things are what I put into my buckets, the rest of the food I use #10 cans, except for Spaghetti, I put that in a pouch so I don’t have to break it into pieces. The cannery and other supply stores usually sell most of these items in 25 lb bags.
Food Item #10 Can 5 Gallon Bucket
- Wheat 5 lbs 37 lbs
- Oats 2.5 lbs 20lbs
- Rice 5.3 lbs 36 lbs
- Sugar 5.7 lbs 35 lbs
- Flour 4.5lbs 33 lbs
These are some other options of what you can put into buckets:
- Cornmeal 4.3 lbs 33 lbs
- Popcorn 5 lbs 37 lbs
- Spaghetti 4.3 lbs 30 lbs
- Macaroni 3.1 lbs 21 lbs
- Dried Beans 5.6 lbs 35 lbs
- Lima Beans 5.4 lbs 35 lbs
- Soy Beans 5 lbs 33 lbs
- Split Peas 5 lbs 33 lbs
- Lentils 5.5 lbs 35 lbs
- Brown Sugar 4.42 lbs 33 lbs
- Powdered Milk 3 lbs 29 lbs
- Powdered Eggs 2.6 lbs 20 lbs
So figure out what you need and good luck with the math!
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to leave a comment or shoot me an email. I respond faster if you let me know how wonderful my blog is!
Nikki Fowers says
when you use the Oxygen absorbency pouches in the buckets – do you ever have the problem of the bucket sucking in? where do you buy mylar bags?
Prepared Housewives says
I have seen that happen sometimes when the bucket will start to suck in and deform, especially if it’s a thinner plastic. The mylar bags give your food an added layer of protection from air, light, and bugs and will also prevent the bucket from sucking in.
You can click on the link above to order mylar bags (baytec containers), some of my friends just got some from Costco Online, or you can order from Emergency Essentials (http://beprepared.com/product.asp_Q_pn_E_ZA%20B105_A_name_E_Metallized%20Liner%20for%20Buckets).
The bags may range in thickness, I wasn’t too impressed with the quality of Costco, but they would work, I prefer Baytec.
I just want to say that I love your site and your humor. I was wondering if you used the Food Storage Calculator (FSC) on lds.org and followed it exactly as it suggests. What I mean is, above you have listed that an adult needs 400 lbs grains, 60 lbs legumes, 16 lbs, dairy, 10 quarts fats and oils, 60 lbs sugars, 8lbs salt, and 14 gallons water. On the FSC it further itemizes how much you need of each type. Do you follow those recommendations exactly or do you adjust it for your family’s preferences? For example, would you store more pasta than rice if that is what your family preferred, or hot chocolate powder than fruit drink mix?
Prepared Housewives says
Absolutely, adjust it to what your family enjoys eating. If your family doesn’t like rice and you would rather have pasta, store that instead. When I first started off I bought mainly the church recommendations, but since then I’ve created a plan:
This has the exact amounts I use so I know I can actually cook with all the food I have ;)
So I am trying to figure out what long-term food storage we need, and the Food Storage Calculator is no longer on lds.org or providentliving.org. Their (new?) recommendations for 1 adult (I think they are referring to 3 months, it doesn’t say) include 25 lbs of grains & 5 lbs of dry beans. That is a lot less than previous recommendations. (It also mentions supplementing with sugar, nonfat dry milk, salt, baking soda, and cooking oil, foods with Vitamin C & other nutrients – but no amounts for these.)
That is only 1/4 the amount than previous recommendations. I am stumped. Are the old recommendations to completely replace any other food requirement, and the new recommendations to simply supplement? What are your thoughts?
I see my mistake – the recommendations are listed for 1 month (top of the column). Sorry to bother you!
i enjoy this blog, I read through your posts often especially older ones and reference back to them.
I’m curios how you store oils for long term. I buy olive oil by the gallon. But I don’t stock it because I’m afraid of it going bad. Any suggestions? I considered canning it into quart jars but I’m afraid to boil it and definitely don’t want to pressure can it.
Jamie S. says
That’s a great question Melissa! It’s nice to know some of the older posts still get read!
Oil is definitely trickier. I’ll try and do some more research on this. I’m not sure you can can it.
THANK you for adding to use the bags and oxygen absorbers. I have lost several hundred pounds each of flour, sugar and rice due to bug infestation. Even in the sealed, air tight buckets. There was enough oxygen inside that when the eggs hatched the bugs simply multiplied. It was awful. I even FROZE the rice for 4 days as others had suggested. Good thing is, I found out NOW and not when it really mattered most.
Jamie S. says
Thanks for sharing your experience. I’m always getting asked if using bags or proper buckets matter.
And so true, better to find out now, then when you need it most.