What To Buy For Food Storage | Build a Stash

This article may contain affiliate links where we earn a commission from qualifying purchases.

Food storage is essential in some capacity for every homeowner looking to stay safe during a time of crisis. This guide details everything you need to know.

Buying for food storage requires some research and expertise to get it done right. The best options to include in your long-term food storage plan included an array of canned goods, dry staples, freeze-dried foods, and dehydrated food items. These have a great shelf-life and will last for longer in your home.

Long-term food storage does require the most planning and a bigger budget, but that doesn’t mean short-term options aren't important too. There are other essentials like emergency supplies and emergency food kits that can be bought too. These items are perfect to keep stored for short-term events that may cause power outages or local food shortages.

Buying for food storage is not something that can be done quickly on impulse. Instead, using our expert’s advice will help you build food storage you are both proud of and feel comfortable with as your emergency option in your home. Continue reading through this guide to learn about the best things to buy for food storage.

Table of contents


What To Buy For Food Storage

When you are buying food to store for the long-term, there are a number of considerations you should take into account. These include the type of foods you like to eat, the number of people in your household, the amount of space you have for the store, and your budget.

There are many reasons why people decide to store food. Some people choose to store food to eat during emergencies or during times of scarcity.

Some people may choose this option because they don't have the time or energy to prepare their own foods for storage. Whatever the reason, there are some things that professional food storage containers should have that will be helpful for you.

We have included some of the best types of foods you can buy for your home. Not only are these all great food choices, but we have included storage methods too along with expecting shelf-life to accommodate all types of food storage styles.

Canned Foods

Canned food can be stored for a long time and is relatively inexpensive. It is very beneficial for people who are living on a tight budget and cannot afford to buy fresh produce every day.

Canned foods are a good option for food storage. They last for many years and they can be used in almost any recipe. Canned foods typically have a metal or plastic lid that seals in the food.

It is important to make sure that you do not open the metal or plastic lid too much so that you don’t allow bacteria to enter into it.

Compared with traditional methods of preservation such as drying or freezing, the method offers advantages of more flexibility and lower costs along with greater resistance to temperature changes and a larger range of fruit flavors due to less exposure to the air.

Canned foods can be purchased directly from the store or done at home. By doing it yourself, the preparation time is much longer but you can add more nutritional items to your store and also create better variety in your diet.

These are shelf-stable which means that they do not need to be refrigerated until after they are opened for consumption. This makes canned food ideal for people who live far from sources of fresh food, or have limited access to electricity for refrigeration.

Dry Staples

Dry staples are a type of food that has a long shelf life and can be stored for longer periods of time. Many people store dry staples in their pantry or basements to ensure that they always have an easy-to-prepare meal within close proximity.

Dry staples are generally low in moisture content. Dry staples include oatmeal, pasta, rice, beans, flour, and sugar. These dry staples can be stored for extended periods of time without fear of spoilage or loss of quality.

This type of storage is often neglected but it has a lot to offer to people who are looking to store their food and keep it fresh for a long period of time without worrying about spoilage.

There are many dry staples that can be stored for a long period of time without spoiling and without the need for refrigeration. These staples are called dry foods because they contain very little moisture.

One of the most common dry staples is rice, which can be cooked into different dishes or consumed as a side dish. Other popular dry staples include pasta, oats, oatmeal, bulgur wheat, couscous, and quinoa.

You can store these items in a number of ways. You can purchase a food-grade bucket or airtight containers. Bags like Mylar bags or vacuum-sealed bags will ensure you get the longest possible shelf-life from your dry foods.

Emergency Kits

Survival food kits are one of the best kinds of emergency food options, and survival kits help to make sure that you are prepared for any disaster.

The key to survival is being able to survive on your own long enough so that you can get back on your feet and find a solution. This is where survival kits come in, they help to ensure that you have the basic needs such as food, water, and medical supplies for a certain amount of time.

Emergency Kits for food storage should be compact and lightweight. They can be purchased with a great amount of variety too so you can save plenty of time packaging items on your own and buy everything in bulk at an affordable price.

An example of a well-stocked emergency kit will include water, non-perishable canned goods, protein bars or nuts, energy drinks, and cans of soup. It’s important that you know what your family’s dietary needs are before deciding which items you should pack in your emergency kit.

Emergency food kits are intended to provide a person or family with enough food in case of emergencies. They can be used to stock up on a variety of items for long-term storage or emergency situations.

These food kits are a must, especially for those who are living in areas where natural disasters are more common. These emergency kits provide enough food to last a few days for up to one full year.

Freeze-Dried Foods

Freeze-drying is a food storage process that dehydrates and freezes a food item. It has a long shelf life because it does not need to be refrigerated and the process removes the oxygen that can cause spoilage or bacteria growth.

The freeze-drying process removes all the moisture from the food, preventing bacteria growth and extends the shelf life of the product. Freeze-drying can also make foods lighter and easier to pack.

Many people have been looking into the need for long-term food storage. There are a number of reasons for this, such as financial setbacks or natural disasters. Freeze-dying is considered to be one of the best methods to extend the shelf-life of your food.

There are many benefits to freeze-dried foods. Some of these include that they can last up to a few years with proper storage and they require no refrigeration, which makes them perfect for emergency situations. They also have a high nutritional value and retain most of their flavor, unlike canned foods which can taste bland after being heated up.

Freeze-dried foods are great solutions for long-term food storage. They can last for years without refrigeration and they are easy to store. In this section, we will share the benefits of freeze-dried foods and the process of making them.

The process to freeze-dry foods is more extensive than many of the other options on this list, but the benefits certainly make it worthwhile.

Dehydrated Food

The process of dehydrating food is one of the oldest methods for preserving food. It is also one of the most effective methods providing plenty of versatility in the kitchen when executed correctly.

They can last a long time and it is usually cheaper than other preservation methods. It also has the advantage of making it easy to transport food because it needs little or no refrigeration.

Dehydrated foods are a great way to enjoy all the flavors and textures of food without the water. They are a long-term, shelf-stable option for food storage. The shelf life of dehydrated foods depends on the exact type of food but can be anywhere from 1-10 years when stored correctly.

Dehydrated foods have a long shelf life, which means that they can be stored for years without spoiling. This is great because even if you don't have the room or money to store large quantities of non-perishable items, you can store dehydrated foods and start adding new ones over time.

These foods can be stored for a long time since dehydration does not allow any bacteria or fungi to grow on them. This property makes dehydrated fruit or vegetables a good choice for emergency storage.

The downside is that dehydrated foods are heavy to carry around. They take up more space in your backpack or suitcase than other foods would take up.

Dehydrated foods are a great choice since they have a long shelf life and can be eaten at any time without needing to be rehydrated. Below are some of the different types of dried foods that you can dehydrate and store.

Frozen Food Storage

Frozen food storage is the process of storing frozen foods to maintain their quality and safety. You can optimize your frozen food storage by taking into consideration what you are storing, how long you plan to store it for, and how far away from the freezer it will be stored.

Food storage in your freezer will help you to save space in your freezer and preserve nutrients in your food for longer. Frozen foods are also able to retain flavor, texture, and color better than other preservation methods because they are not exposed to air before being frozen.

The quality of food is safe in the freezer for up to 6 months. If you don’t plan on eating it that often, then you can store it for up to 12 months before there is a risk of spoilage. Food doesn't spoil the same in the freezer as in other storage areas though.

The type of foods that people store in their freezers will vary depending on their needs and tastes. For instance, a family with young children may need pre-made meals that can be quickly heated up without taking up too much time and effort.

The price of frozen foods can vary greatly depending on what you're looking for and where you purchase them from. It is important to do your research before making any purchases so you know what you're getting into, as well as how much it will cost you in the long run.

How To Choose The Right Food For Storage

Food storage is a common concern for those who want to maximize the amount of food they store and preserve. There are many misconceptions about what type of foods should be preserved and how long they will last before going bad.

Many people have different opinions about how long food lasts before it goes bad, but some general rules can help you choose the right food for long-term storage. Foods that have high moisture and fat content traditionally have a lower shelf-life and attract mold or spoilage. The best foods for storage have a moisture content of less than 10%.

The best way to preserve your food is not to freeze it because that does not kill the harmful microorganisms that could make it unsafe to eat later on. Some other tips include storing dried goods in airtight jars or zip-lock bags.

Different foods require different storage methods based on their need for oxygen, water, and temperature.

This is a very important factor to consider when selecting the right food for long-term storage. In general, most vegetables are best stored in air-tight containers in the fridge or freezer while fruits are best stored at room temperature because they have a higher moisture content.

When storing foods containing fats and oils, it is important to keep these products away from light and dry foods like flour, grains, rice, or sugar. These oils can become rancid if exposed to air because the process of oxidation causes a chemical reaction between fat molecules and oxygen which produces harmful free radicals.

How Much Food Do You Need Per Person?

The amount of food needed per person depends on age, weight, gender, and physical activity to determine what one should eat on average per day. The USDA actually defines the right amount of calories each person should have.

On average, the amount one should eat is 2,000 to 2,600 calories per day. This equals between 15-30 servings of food per day depending on the food type. It can range quite a bit if you tend to eat fatty foods that may not be as nutritionally beneficial.

The estimates are made based on an average-sized male that weighs 150 pounds. These estimates indicate the following is the right amount of calories per person for a day.

  • Active Males - 3,100 calories
  • Average Males - 2,700 calories
  • Inactive Males - 2,300 calories

These estimates are broad and can be left up for interpretation because it does not indicate the type of food or diet that is being followed. These estimates are to maintain weight and remain healthy as well.

The type of activity will also vary and these estimates are based on working in a semi-active job with exercise a few times per week at an intense level.

It is best to assume that you can shop for an average or inactive male for food storage, because if you are stuck at home then you are most likely going to be inactive during that time too. It will also be easier to stockpile items with this goal in mind.  

What To Buy For Emergency Food Storage

To prepare for an emergency, many people will put together an emergency kit. This kit contains supplies to last them for a few days. Most people also have a plan in case their home is destroyed or they are out of food and water.


We recommend emergency food storage for 72 hours or three days. This is an ideal length of time because when a storm hits, it typically hinders a town for a few days so your emergency stash will keep you safe until the difficult situation passes.

Having a stockpile of food items for emergencies is not only good for the immediate future in case of natural disasters, economic downturns, or other unforeseen events; it also can help you in the long term by creating more financial independence.

You should store a variety of foods like grains, nuts, dried fruit, canned goods, and water. You should also keep some non-perishable items like toilet paper and cleaning supplies.

Food Needed Per Person

Based on the calculations of calories needed per person, you should multiply this by three for each household member and aim to accumulate enough calories that it could feed your entire house for these 72 hours.


Grains should be considered the staple of any food storage. They require a small level of preparation and they typically have the longest shelf life. As long as you find a grain with low moisture content, it will last for multiple years in storage.

  • Rice
  • Oats
  • Granola
  • Pasta
  • Potatoes

Beans & Legumes

Beans and legumes are healthy options that provide excellent nutritional value to your food storage pantry. They can either be packed on your own or purchased as a dried option with optimal shelf-life.

  • Dry beans
  • Lentils
  • Peas

Fruits & Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables are essential to a healthy diet and make it much easier to get through a crisis when you have properly stocked your pantry with some healthy items like these.

  • Dried fruits
  • Dried vegetables
  • Freeze-dried fruits
  • Freeze-dried vegetables

Canned Food

Canned food is a cheat code for food storage. These are the cheapest options and they can last on the shelf for as long as 1-3 years. Preparation is also extremely easy to eat a quick meal.

  • Canned tuna
  • Canned meat
  • Canned fruit
  • Canned vegetables
  • Canned soup

What To Buy For One Year Of Food Storage

For most people, stockpiling one year's worth of food isn't easy. Storage can be expensive, difficult, and takes up space in your home - all things that many people don't want to give up for emergency purposes.

One way to figure out how much food you will need for one year is by figuring out the number of days worth of food you would need for one day and multiply that by 365.

Another way is by understanding if you will be cooking mostly at home or using your oven as well as other cooking equipment and figure out the average cost per serving including fuel costs.

One year of food storage might not be enough for some people and it can vary depending on the circumstances and location. But there are some things necessary for all people who want to prepare themselves like non-perishable items, including canned foods and dry goods such as rice and beans.

Food Needed Per Person

This will be a bit more difficult. However, it is a similar concept and can be done quickly with a calculator. Simply multiply the desired number of calories per day by 365 and you will reach the number of total calories you need to store in your home for one year of food storage.

By stockpiling one year of food, you protect your family from any long-term instances that could result in needing to dip into these items. However, you should plan to keep them on the shelf for many years and they must be stored properly.


Here is a list of some of the best grains to store for one year of storage.

  • Barley
  • Rolled Oats
  • Rye
  • Quinoa
  • Buckwheat
  • Corn
  • Flax
  • Soft Wheat
  • Spelt
  • Brown Rice
  • Barley

Beans & Legumes

Beans and legumes are some of the best foods to stockpile because each of these items can last on the shelf if stored properly for over 25 years.

  • Kidney beans
  • Lima beans
  • Pinto beans
  • Dehydrated soybeans
  • Lentils
  • Cannellini beans
  • Peas


You will not be storing your traditional idea of dairy in a long-term stockpile of food. Instead, these are primarily dry or powdered dairy products with a much longer shelf-life.

Fruits & Vegetables

  • Dried fruits
  • Dried vegetables
  • Dried Corn
  • Freeze-dried items

Canned Food

We highly recommend rotating your canned items continuously. Because they are low-cost, it is relatively simple to execute and you never need to worry about all of your canned items going bad.

  • Canned tuna
  • Canned meat
  • Canned fruit
  • Canned vegetables
  • Canned beans

How To Buy For Food Storage On A Budget?

With food storage, the more you buy - the better. However, this may not be possible if you are on a tight budget.

Food storage is a critical part of any prepping plan. A lot of people are buying food storage to prepare for the worst-case scenarios that might happen in the future.

There are several ways on how to buy food storage on a budget, but first, it's important to understand what type of food you need and what can be stored safely. Some examples are pasta, rice, beans, cereal, oatmeal, and canned foods.

You can also buy freeze-dried foods which have been dehydrated at low temperatures in order to preserve nutrients and taste. These require no cooking or preparation before consumption.

To buy food storage on a budget, you need to consider what is most important to you and what options are available in your area. If cost is your priority, then focus on stocking up on inexpensive items like beans and rice.

You can also buy items in bulk when they are available at a discount price so that they will last for a while. You can consider buying dried fruits and vegetables too as they don't spoil easily.

One key way to save money on your emergency food storage is by buying in bulk. This will save you money on packaging and transportation costs as well as give you better prices per kilogram. You can also get cheaper per-weight prices by buying from local farmers or markets rather than from supermarkets.

Another way to cut down on costs is by buying freeze-dried foods in bulk, which typically come out cheaper than canned or dehydrated foods. Foods can also be properly stored at home to say on the costs of buying pre-packaged items that can be had at a premium.

Containers To Buy For Food Storage  

A great way to prolong the shelf life of food is by storing them in a cool, dry place - a cabinet, a pantry, or a basement. But if you have a lot of space options available, it may be worth considering other factors such as humidity and temperature. This is why containers are so important.

If you live in a very dry area or have a lot of heat around your kitchen or fridge, then the best option would be to store food in glass jars with an airtight lid because they're able to absorb moisture from the air.

Besides just food, you will need a place to put the food to ensure it can actually last as long as you hope for it too. By getting the best food storage containers, you can make sure these dry staple foods will last for their desired shelf life of 25 years and more.


Containers for food storage are a must-have in the kitchen. They help you to keep your food fresh and safe from pests. They also make it easy for you to cook or store food at home.

Plastic containers are widely used for storing food, but they can take up a lot of space when kept in your kitchen. There are alternatives like stainless steel containers which don't take up too much space, but they cost more than plastic ones.

Make sure to shop for plastic containers made with toxic-free, BPA-free materials to avoid any long-term health effects.


Glass containers have many benefits including being non-toxic and dishwasher safe. They also hold the temperature well and keep it even throughout the day which reduces spoilage and makes them perfect for baby food or leftovers that need to stay fresh longer than usual. These advantages make them popular choices for food storage.

Glass containers are a convenient and eco-friendly way to store food. We all know these glass containers can easily get smashed, but if they are made from tempered glass, they will not break into shards of sharp pieces and you can expect them to seal better.

Mylar Bags

Mylar bags are typically used for foods that require long-term storage such as grains, flour, sugar, grains, beans, and seeds that need to be kept dry or frozen for extended periods of time.

You can also use them on fruits and vegetables which you want to keep fresh during long-distance travel. Mylar bags are not suitable for things like meat because it would damage the bacteria on meat if it was stored.

Mylar bags are very cost-effective because they can be reused for years without any loss of quality. They are made of polyester which is a non-woven material that emits no harmful substances during manufacturing or use.

Mylar bags for food storage are the best way to preserve the quality of your food for a long time without using chemicals that might go into the food in order to maintain its quality.


Silicone containers are another durable option for food storage. They are typically available in a variety of shapes and sizes. One of the most popular silicone storage items is silicone freezer bags that last for a long time and store foods securely.

Silicone containers are lightweight, durable, and eco-friendly. They can be used to store food items like rice, flour, pasta, beans, etc. The containers are airtight and leak-proof which makes them an ideal choice for keeping dry goods like grains or granola bars safe from moisture.

6 Steps For When You Buy For Food Storage

This is for everyone but especially for those who are prepping. The steps are creating a plan, budgeting, buying bulk foods, planning meals, storing food, and spending wisely.

1. Develop A Detailed Food Storage Plan

The most important part of food storage is finding out what your family members like and need. It is highly recommended to have a variety of food items on hand so you can cater to anyone's dietary preferences.

Developing a comprehensive food storage plan can be overwhelming, especially if you are new to the process. Here are some guidelines to help you develop a plan that you’re both satisfied with.

  • Know your family’s dietary preferences
  • Know what types of foods your family likes and dislikes
  • Consider your family's caloric needs
  • Consider how long you are planning to stash your items

Developing a detailed food storage plan is difficult because it requires taking into account dietary preferences, food items, caloric needs, and other considerations that are specific to the individual.

By making a list of everything you plan to buy, you can avoid clutter and properly prepare your storage area. Consider the number of calories each person will need and figure out the type of meals they enjoy too.

2. Maintain A Strict Budget

When building a food storage plan, keep your budget in mind. Having a strict budget can help you find the best deals and buy the most important items first before you run out of money.

When it comes to food storage, we always think that we will be able to do better and save more money by buying bulk and shopping around for deals. However, it is very important to maintain a tight budget when building a plan because it can help you save more money and avoid impulse buys. It also helps you make sure that your investments last as long as possible.

The one thing that I always try to remember is that there are always going to be new products on the market which means the price will go up over time. By creating an accurate budget, it allows you to shop accordingly in the future.

To maintain a strict budget, you need to know exactly how much money you have and what you can spend on what. This includes getting an idea of how much food storage space you have available.

Once you have that information, it’s time to consider what type of food storage plan will work best for your situation. There are many different types of food storage plans - from buckets to cans, from freeze-dried foods to dehydrated ones, from grain mixtures to canned meats.

3. Look For Local Sales

Look for local sales when building your long-term food storage stockpile. Buying from a local company is important for many reasons, but primarily because it cuts down on transportation costs and spikes in short-term prices.

The best way to do this is by looking for sales at local food stores. These sales can include a large variety of items that you will need in the future. Stock up on organic fruits and vegetables, canned goods, cooking oil, and even flour and sugar.

However, these aren't the only items that should be saved for your long-term food storage stockpile. You should also think about what meat you want to have in the future as well as how much nourishment you'll need from canned soups, fruits, or vegetables.

There are so many ways you can store food for emergencies. Some people choose to purchase products in bulk and store them at home, while others rely on storage facilities.

4. Buy In Bulk

When you're buying in bulk, there is no room for impulse buys. Products that you might not like or need should be left on the shelf and only purchased after taking the time to think about why you want them. This can help avoid wasting money on products that aren't necessary while still having the flexibility to change your mind later on.

The key component of buying in bulk is making sure you have enough space and time to store all of your extra purchases without letting them go to waste. How much space and time do you have? That's up for debate and should be decided based on your budget, lifestyle, and how much food storage you truly need.

Buying in bulk has its advantages and disadvantages. The advantage is that you get a lot of food for a reduced price. The disadvantage is that if not stored properly, the food will go bad before it is used up.

Your mileage may vary depending on your storage conditions and how much food you have accumulated so far, so it is important to consider this factor when making a decision about whether or not buying in bulk works for you.

5. Label Everything

If you are an avid prepper, then you need to know the right way to pack your food in order to keep it safe. The key is ensuring that the packaging is airtight so moisture does not seep in.

There are many ways to label your items when you are packing them for long-term storage. You can use a permanent marker or a label maker - but whether it's permanent or temporary, it needs to stick well enough to the containers so that moisture does not seep in.

Labeling everything is important because poor labeling can lead to all kinds of food contamination and spoilage problems that could kill you or your entire family.

Labeling all your food containers clearly will help you to quickly identify the contents of the container. It will also help you to maintain order and avoid confusion. Food items that have been properly labeled will preserve their quality and taste for longer periods of time.

A lot of people find it difficult or time-consuming to label everything because they forget or they don't think about labeling until it's too late. Labeling labels can be daunting, especially if there are a lot of items in the container and/or if the labels don't match the item names on their packaging.

5. Create An Inventory Checklist

When it comes to food storage, many people can be overwhelmed by the sheer amount of food they need to store. This list is created to help you identify what you need for long-term food storage in your home.

To do this, fill out a spreadsheet with all the items you have and what they are used for. The next step is going through your list and making a prioritized list of which items should be stored in a refrigerator and which should be stored in a freezer.

The last step is going through your list and making an order for those that have to be stored in both places as well as those that can only be stored in one place or the other.

Stocking up on food is a complicated task. It means deciding what you need and how much you'll need before deciding which items should go into your storage or refrigerator. The inventory list will help you take that first step by showing everything that's in your house and how much of it is left.