For the person with a limited budget who prefers to keep things simple, this basic home food storage plan is hard to beat!

Building A Starter Food Storage - An Online Plan

(c) 2004 Beverly Qualheim - Used with Permission.

The charts below can be printed out, then cut the months apart and place on your fridge for handy referral...

CLICK HERE for printable version
(Microsoft Word Document)

  1. You will find below, 48 weeks/coupons to buy suggested items.
  2. When amounts are given, that is the approximate amount needed by one person for a year. (Just purchase what you're able to as any amount will help).
  3. Get a marker and write the purchase date on each item to aid in rotation. The best Food Storages are used on a regular basis, replacing the food as used.
  4. Set aside an affordable amount of money for each week. If you have money left over from one week--use it to help purchase the next week's item.
  5. Make a substitution if the item is one you would never use.
  6. Buy in quantity when you can. If you can't -- it's ok! For example, if you cannot afford 30 lbs of oatmeal, buy 3 containers to get a start.

(More after this brief commercial break…)


Water is your number one item you will need to survive in an emergency. CLICK to learn how to store water.

You will need to store away at least 2 gallons of water each week in 2 liter pop bottles, 5 gallon water containers, or other food safe containers. (NOT empty milk jugs as those will biodegrade.)

Monthly Food Storage Plan

(NOTE: This is NOT a full years supply of food,
but it will help greatly.)

JANUARY WATER! - as much as you can buy and store- each month!
Week 1:
Chlorine Bleach - 1 gallon per family member
Week 2:
Matches and candles
Week 3:
10 cans Tuna, salmon, or chicken
Week 4:
Multiple Vitamins (especially A,C, and extra calcium)
FEBRUARY WATER! - as much as you can buy and store- each month!
Week 1:
Hot Cereal: wheat and rice
Week 2:
Shortening - 5 lbs
Week 3:
Yeast -1/2 lb or 20 cans of corn
Week 4:
Honey 3 lbs or a gallon of Pure Maple Syrup (for sweetener)
MARCH WATER! - as much as you can buy and store- each month!
Week 1:
Potato Flakes or pearls
Week 2:
3 lbs Raisins and dried apricots
Week 3:
Dry Milk - 14 lbs
Week 4:
Oatmeal - 30 lbs
APRIL WATER! - as much as you can buy and store- each month!
Week 1:
20 pkgs of vegetable seeds, various types that will grow in your area.
5 boxes of Bisquick or Jiffy mix.
Week 2:
Corn Meal - 30 lbs
Week 3:
Canned Vegetables (what your family likes) and dried apricots
Week 4:
Enriched White Flour - 15 lbs. (best stored in freezer)
MAY WATER! - as much as you can buy and store- each month!
Week 1:
Canned Fruit (what your family likes)
Week 2:
Canned Baked Beans
Week 3:
Brown Sugar - 3 lbs
Week 4:
Vegetable Oil - 2 gallons
JUNE WATER! - as much as you can buy and store- each month!
Week 1:
Baking Soda - 2 lbs (for cleaning) & Alfalfa Seeds (to sprout)
Week 2:
Wheat Berries (to sprout)
Week 3:
Peanut Butter - 5 lbs
Week 4:
Candles - 100 hour candles are great. But any candles will do.
JULY WATER! - as much as you can buy and store- each month!
Week 1:
Jams and preserves - 6 lbs
Week 2:
10 lbs dried peas or beans or both
Week 3:
canned soup
Week 4:
dried lima beans
AUGUST WATER! - as much as you can buy and store- each month!
Week 1:
Spices and multi-vitamins
Week 2:
Salt 8 lbs
Week 3:
Vegetables (canned) as frozen will not store in an emergency.
Week 4:
Baking Powder - 1 lb
SEPTEMBER WATER! - as much as you can buy and store- each month!
Week 1:
Canned Tuna, chicken or Salmon
Week 2:
Canned Milk (12 oz cans) - 12
Week 3:
Nuts (freeze them)
Week 4:
Toilet Paper
OCTOBER WATER! - as much as you can buy and store- each month!
Week 1:
3 boxes Corn Starch
Week 2:
White Enriched Rice - 50 lbs
10 lbs brown rice (brown rice spoils faster but it better for you.)
Week 3:
Fruit Juice (canned)
Week 4:
Vinegar - 2 gallons
NOVEMBER WATER! - as much as you can buy and store- each month!
Week 1:
Dry Soup Mix - 5 lbs
Week 2:
Dried Beans/legumes
Week 3:
Dried green or yellow Peas
Week 4:
DECEMBER WATER! - as much as you can buy and store- each month!
Week 1:
Tomato Sauce, or spaghetti sauce.
Week 2:
Pasta: Spaghetti, macaroni, etc., - 30 lbs
Week 3:
Crackers - 2 lbs, and dehydrated vegetables or do your own.
Week 4:
Dried Bananas, figs, or other dried fruit

It is important to remember that if you live on Food Storage you will not be eating like you do now. Buy things for your food storage that are nutritious and incorporate them into your current diet. There is no point in having a large supply of beans if you are all allergic to them! Also remember to buy single items each week, and build slowly and carefully, using the products as you need to during the year.

Good rule of thumb: if you go shopping and you have one jar of peanut butter on your list, BUY 2! Same applies for anything you can afford. Build slowly.

Starting Your Food Storage:

Tips from the LDS Church Provident Living Website

The following tips will help you begin storing food:

  • Protect food storage from heat. Store all products away from heat and sunlight. Food stores best at 70 degrees or cooler.
  • Protect food from moisture. Store products on shelves or raised platforms, rather than directly in contact with concrete floors or walls, to avoid moisture damage.
  • Protect products from rodents and insects. Bulk dry food storage products store well in #10 cans, foil pouches, glass canning jars, PETE (Polyethylene terephthalate) plastic bottles, and plastic buckets.
  • For best results, rotate food storage items.

*In some locations, storing food is prohibited or limited by law. When packaging and storing food, always obey local food storage laws and sanitation guidelines.

* * * * *

Beverly Qualheim is the webmistress of Bev's Country Cottage: The ultimate Charity Crafting, Free Humanitarian Patterns website. Join Beverly in celebrating family, helping others and life in her special "cottage" on the web!


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5 Comments on How to Start and Build a Home Food Storage

  1. Dan says:

    Great website! I’ve been prepping for 20+ years and I never tire of coming across someone else’s thoughts/plans – very useful for comparing notes. I’m trying to get my family and friends up and going, so I’ve shared your link with many already. Wish I had the time to put my thoughts out there, so I’m greatful that you have put forth that effort! Thanks alot.

  2. Kat says:

    Most people no longer can vegetables, fruits, meats and such, but I’ve been doing it for years. These will keep indefinitely to provide fresh and nutritious meals for your family. We have an abundant supply of potatoes, green beans, stewed tomatoes, stewing beef, blackberries, beets, corn, peaches and we’re still adding all the time.

    I might add that you need a place for your storage that is out of sight and as secure as possible. Others who didn’t believe this day would come will be very hungry and although I believe in sharing with others….I don’t agree with violence and theft to get a meal. Stay safe …. stay healthy.

    • admin says:

      Hi Kat.

      What you wrote brings back memories of family and extended family getting together for “canning parties” at peak harvest times to bottle jars and jars of peaches, pears, string beans, tomato juice, etc. which went into our respective pantries and kept us all happily fed clear through the winter into the following spring and summer until the next harvest was ready. And the bottled fruit and veggies we ate tasted SO much better than what you could buy in the store!

  3. T. Lastovica says:

    Now THIS is practical advice for the beginners like us.
    Thank You so much!
    God Bless

  4. Julianne says:

    AWESOME!! WIll be linking back!

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