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Storage food is food that has a longer-than-normal shelf life.  It is usually grains still in their original shells/hulls (like Hard Red Winter Wheat or oat groats) and dehydrated or freeze dried.  Olive oil and honey have natural long shelf lives.  Does that mean you have to invest big bucks into Mountain House or other long-term-survival-food products?  No.  There is plenty you can get at your local supermarket and lengthen its shelf life yourself (such as placing in plastic buckets with oxygen absorbers).

There are other foods that you can get your local markets to order if they don't stock it or order from Walton Feed or or other suppliers:  large bags or pails of wheat (hard red winter and spring), honey (super-long shelf life), and other grains. 

Here is a list of long-shelf-life food items available at places such as Wal-Mart or your local supermarket:

Milk, powdered

Potato, flakes

Pasta, all (including Ramen noodles)

Macaroni & Cheese (contains powdered cheese)

Rice, white


Corn meal



Sugar, white

Oil, olive

Peanut butter

Jellies, Jams, Preserves

Beans, dry, various

Vegetables, canned

Meats & fish, canned

Meats, jerky (you can also make your own)

Fruits, canned



Baking items:  baking soda, baking powder


Boullion cubes

Gravy mixes

Cake mixes


Hot chocolate, tea, coffee

Drink mixes (Tang, Lemonade, Powdered Tea)

Popcorn (cheap filler / bulk)

Note:  You can get larger sacks of things like flour, sugar, popcorn, etc. at "big box" stores like Sam's, Costco, etc.  Many grocery stores that cater to a Hispanic population usually carries 50-lb. sacks of pinto beans.


Prepare menus for one week. Make your menus from long-term-storage food.  Look at every ingredient you will need to make those meals.  Prepare a list from the ingredients.  That's what you should have on hand for one week.  Now, start collecting those ingredients until you have a week's worth.  (Take into account some things like boullion, salt, sugar, oil, etc. will last longer than a week, so your first week will be higher in cost.)  Now, work on your second week's worth of food. Keep doing this until you have as much as you decide you need.

You can also grow or buy fruits and vegetables in season and dehydrate them inexpensively then vacuum ziploc them for long-term-storage.  You can "can" your own butter, cakes, jello, hamburger easily.  See (Manna Meals). 

Also consider inexpensive barter items such as salt, tea, coffee, ramen, hygiene items, tobacco, etc.  Use these to exchange for other things that you need. 

Add to this list in the comments below.  And check out for more information about shelf life, preservation methods, recipes from storage food, and more.  And check out this link for more basic information; contains a wealth of information on self-sufficiency so bookmark it.

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Comment by Jim Balister on June 29, 2011 at 12:56am
I checked the pasta after a year and it tasted bitter.  They are called dittalini and have a hole in the center.  Perfect for necklaces!  I took the bay leafs out and perhaps the bitter taste may have gone away?  Wont know tell I try it again.
Comment by Cheryl Nelson on June 28, 2011 at 10:31pm
Thanks for the info, Jim.  I wonder if there is a time limit before it makes the pasta taste bad.  Or could it be the age of the pasta?  But yes, kids could paint them and string them (if not too brittle) into necklaces and such.
Comment by Jim Balister on June 28, 2011 at 10:11pm
Chreyl,  I tried the bay leave thing in jars of pasta.  No bugs but the pasta shells have a bad taste.  I wasted about 60 lbs of psta trying that one.   Have not tossed them yet but they are about 14 years old now.  They must be good for something?  Maybe bracelets for keeping kids occupied with something to do.   So in short I would not recoment the bay leaves. 
Comment by Alex Cortes on March 3, 2011 at 1:32pm

That information if from a site I was looking at regarding weevils and as they put it, they may cause food I know for sure.....never eaten a weevil so no clue lol.

Comment by Kim B on March 3, 2011 at 1:02pm
Weevils cause food poisoning?  Hmmm.  I know for a fact that some got baked in cookies several times in the past as there were a few that got into a bag of flour.  I didn't think nothing of it, but nothing happened to anyone that ate the cookies!!
Comment by Alex Cortes on March 3, 2011 at 11:11am

Absolutely correct Cheryl.  These methods also work with beans and most wheats/grains....

Comment by Cheryl Nelson on March 3, 2011 at 11:03am
I've read bay leaves work as well.  Putting your rice in hard-plastic buckets and using dry ice will prevent infestations as well, since the dry ice displaces the oxygen which the bugs need to live.
Comment by Alex Cortes on March 3, 2011 at 9:05am

Pomelo ..... this should explain more about the fruit.....

Comment by Bill on March 2, 2011 at 2:44pm
Make Bellows but instead of pressure design it to pull a small vacuum!
Comment by Alex Cortes on March 2, 2011 at 2:06pm
Now that is a great idea Jacks....



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