This is my short version of Food Storage 101.
An emergency situation is not the time to make radical changes to your diet. Your lifestyle should be a major factor to consider when planning long term food storage. What I mean by lifestyle is: do you use mostly pre-packaged foods, eat out multiple times a week or cook everything from scratch? Maybe you fall somewhere in between. My family does.
There are so many choices now in shelf-stable foods that you can build your food storage around the way you currently eat. I involve my whole family in the process of choosing the foods that we store. Letting everyone have a say in the menu insures that my investment is a good one.
Building your food storage this way will help lessen the stress your family will feel in an emergency and make it easier to rotate the foods that you store.
I buy what I eat bit I am eating from my food storage to get used to a wider variety.
I store our emergency supplies with the adage, "Buy what you eat" ringing in my head. These things WILL go out of date at some point so you will want to buy what you WILL eat when the time draws near. Nothing worse than that can of beets that nobody wants to eat EVEN in an emergency situation. EXCELLENT point made about the sphagetti o's etc as well. If it's a prepared food and canned, it doesn't HAVE to be heated up to eat (it may be yucky but it's SAFE) and can be eaten cold if need be. Also be aware of what KIND of storage you have. Not all of us have climate controlled spaces, and frankly what is the point of storing vast quantities of food INSIDE your house if your house is one of the first things to go in the event of a tornado. We keep our stuff in "as mobile a state as possible" meaning there are crates that can be loaded up and moved fast, and we are looking into underground storage as well. The more thought put into this now, the less "I didn't THINK of that!", you will encounter later.
Good comments. The other thing to keep in mind is that foods that are good for storage also tend to provide high nutritional value at a reasonable cost. The traditional "rice and beans" diet has been the peasant staple diet for thousands of years… and for good reason. It provides balanced protein and fiber.
Too many people think they are going to convert and survive off of MREs when they have rarely even eaten these in the past. It will be too much of a shock to their system to adjust to that drastic of a dietary change.
We need more articles like this, because too many people are focused on a year's supply of whole grains or #10 cans, and while those things do have a purpose the average family can get a better start just stocking up on what they usually eat.
Spend an extra $5-$20 each time you get groceries, and just buy more of the nonperishables.
Bisquick, instant potatoes, and Crisco will last a long time in bugproof containers. Spaghetti-O's and Chunky soups can be eaten without additional water or heat. Tuna and canned meats are very flexible as far as fixing a variety of meals. For caffeine addicts, energy drinks or bottles of Starbucks are a must for days when the coffee maker doesn't work.
I once opened my old flour bag and found stuff moving in there, after this food storage boxes became a must, cereal i'm not so concerned with but the stuff that will go on for many months must be in sealed units. or you too will find little creepers in you flour, yuk.