Basic Long-Term Food Storage

Being knowledgeable about long-term food storage can save you money at the supermarket and lead to a healthy diet.

Keeping your food fresh helps rotate your food supply, and keep your diet healthy and varied. Feasting on Food Storage (Front Table Books, 2013), from mother-daughter team Jane P. Merrill and Karen M. Sunderland, is full of tips and tricks on meal planning, safe food storage, and preparing for the unexpected. This excerpt from the first chapter concerns the minimum amount of food that one adult, over the course of a year, stores and consumes.

Long-Term Food Storage for 1 Adult

Food Supply: Per Day/Per Year

Wheat/grains: 2 1/4 cups/400 lbs.

Wheat, oats, rice, popcorn, barley, flour, spaghetti, macaroni, etc.

Vegetable oils/fats: 3 Tbsp/4 gallons

Oil, shortening, peanut butter, mayonnaise, salad dressing, etc.

Beans/legumes: 1/3 cup/60 lbs.

Dry beans, split peas, lentils, dry soup mix, etc.

Powdered Milk: 1 1/2 tablespoons/16 lbs.

Nonfat dry milk, evaporated milk (6 cans = 1 lb.), etc.

Sugars or honey: 1/3 cup/60 lbs.

White sugar, brown sugar, powdered sugar, honey, maple syrup, molasses, jam, jelly, corn syrup, powdered fruit drink, flavored gelatin, etc.

Salt: 3 tsp/10 lbs.

Store in original containers.

Water: 1 gallon minimum/365 gallons

Store a minimum 2-week supply of water.

Baking necessities:

  • baking powder
  • baking soda
  • dry yeast
  • cornstarch

Garden seeds, non-hybrid recommended

Sprouting seeds, untreated

Heavy-duty nonelectric can openers

Nonstick cooking sprays

Cider and white vinegars

Medications as needed

Multivitamins, vitamin C, etc.

Baby foods and formula, if needed




  • frozen
  • canned
  • dried


  • frozen
  • canned
  • dried

Condiments and seasonings (choose family favorites):

  • basil
  • beef and chicken bouillon
  • catsup
  • cayenne pepper
  • chili powder
  • cinnamon
  • cloves
  • cocoa
  • cream of tartar
  • cumin
  • dillseed
  • dill weed
  • garlic (minced, powder, and salt)
  • ginger
  • Italian seasoning
  • maple flavoring
  • marjoram
  • mustard (regular and dry)
  • nutmeg
  • dry onion
  • onion salt
  • oregano
  • paprika
  • parsley
  • pepper
  • poultry seasoning
  • ranch dressing mix
  • sage
  • salsa
  • seasoned salt
  • soy sauce
  • taco seasoning
  • thyme
  • vanilla
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • etc.

Read more from Feasting on Food Storage

The Basics of Safe Food Storage and the Benefits of Planning Ahead

book cover with lasagna and a bowl of shell pasta on it

Reprinted with permission from Feasting on Food Storage: Delicious and Healthy Recipes for Everyday Cooking by Jane P. Merrill and Karen M. Sunderland and published by Front Table Books, 2013.

  • Updated on Dec 18, 2021
  • Originally Published on Mar 11, 2014
Tagged with: condiments, dry food storage, herbs, long term storage, seasoning, spices
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