What Should I Store?

Here is a list of suggested amounts of Basic Food Storage for one adult for one year:

Grains - 400 lbs

Legumes - 60 lbs

Powdered Milk - 16 lbs (This gives you approx. one cup of milk per day.)

Cooking Oil - 10 quarts

Sugar or Honey - 60 lbs

Salt - 8 lbs (This is 5 regular salt containers from the store or 1#10 can.)

These items will sustain your life and give you the nutrients you will need to survive, if this is all you had to eat. Canned vegetables, fruits, and other things you normally eat will add variety and comfort to you in timed of emergency or need. But this list should be your first priority to have on hand. 

These are the items recommended by the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in a letter dated January 20, 2002. They suggested a year supply of these items for your family, but I have broken it down to a one month supply for one person to make it not seem so overwhelming.

This is a 1 Month Basic Emergency Supply for One Person and Why You Need It!

Grains - 34 lbs
Wheat, white rice, brown rice, oatmeal, corn (for making cornmeal), popcorn, cream of wheat, white flour, pasta, grits, millet, barley, 6-grain cereal, 9-grain cereal, quinoa, spelt, buckwheat, kamut, amaranth, etc. are all part of this category. Choose a variety of grains that your family likes or that you would like to start cooking with. Variety is the key to a good food storage supply!

Legumes - 5 pounds
Legumes are beans and peas. Pinto beans, red beans, lima beans, green split peas, lentils, kidney beans, black beans, soy beans, white beans…and the list goes on. Beans are extremely nutritious and contain a protein content of 20-25%, except soy beans, which contain as much as 40% protein. That is more than some meats!!! When you combine a grain with a legume, your meal will provide a complete protein, which is necessary in good nutrition (especially if meat is not available). Examples of meals that are a complete protein are Beans and Rice, Chili and Cornbread, Bean Soup and Wheat Bread, and Corn Tortilla Chips with Refried Beans.

Powdered Milk - 1.5 lbs
This only gives you one cup of milk a day, so you will want more for children or nursing mothers, or to use in cooking. Milk contains calcium and is also a good source of vitamin A.

Cooking Oil - 1 Quart
Oil (fat) is absolutely necessary in our diet to supply energy and to provide us with the important fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K, and the essential fatty acid, lanolic acid. Most Americans eat entirely too much fat on a daily basis, but a little is absolutely necessary for good health. 

Sugar or Honey - 5 lbs
Don’t forget the sweets! If you have sweeteners, you are able to do so much more with basic food items! Honey, white sugar, brown sugar, powdered sugar, molasses, and corn syrup are included in sweeteners. You can even count a little jelly and jam here too!

Salt - 1 salt container (26 oz)
Salt is important in flavoring almost all foods. Iodized salt is recommended. Sea Salt and Kosher Salt are also available. I believe that variety is the spice of life!! Consider storing other spices that really add some zip to basic foods – pepper, cinnamon, chili powder, taco seasoning, Italian spices, garlic, etc.

Sprouting Seeds - 1/2 - 1 pound
You can sprout almost any edible grain, nut, bean or seed. Sprouting increases the nutritional value of foods. It is a good way to increase the amounts of vitamins and minerals we intake if our diet is limited to a few foods, and especially if fresh fruits and vegetables are not available. Alfalfa is the most popular. *Note: This item is not listed in the letter, but it is worth considering if all you have stored are dried foods.

Water - 14 gallons emergency supply per person
Don’t forget to store water! This is part of the very basics! You should have at least 14 gallons of water per person as a two week emergency supply. It is suggested that you drink 2 quarts a day and save the other 2 quarts for food preparation and cleaning. It would be better to store more than 14 gallons per person, but make sure you have at least that much!

People often ask what's next after the basics listed above!
Here is a suggestion according to the counsel we have been given by church leaders, in my own words and understanding. You will most likely have different needs and opinions according to your family circumstances, but hopefully this will help spark some ideas that will help you on your way to better preparedness.

Make sure you have WATER STORAGE first! You can have a year supply of the best food, but it's not going to do you much good in emergency situations if you don't have any water to go along with it! it is recommended that you have 14 gallons per person. This is a 2 week emergency supply. It's as easy as storing water in 2 liter soda pop bottles. You can put a few drops of bleach in them, or use other forms of purification. 

It is actually recommended that you first have a 3 month supply of food that you are accustomed to eating every day. This could/should include a 3 month supply of the foods listed above, plus other canned goods and items that you normally eat. You want to have on your shelves a well rounded 3 month supply of food. (For me, that means it has to have some chocolate! : ) Chocolate pudding, hot chocolate, chocolate chips, chocolate cake mix, brownie mix, cocoa powder, etc. DON'T forget your chocolate! Ha ha!) Then start working on a more complete one year supply. Growing a garden and canning the produce is the best and least expensive way to get a lot of good food in your pantry!

After the 3 Month Supply and Basics Foods from the List, THEN WHAT?
It really depends on you and how you cook, what you like, and what you already have stored on your shelves, but here's a few items that are next on my priority list:

Baking Powder
Baking Soda
Bouillon (Chicken, Beef, Vegetable)
Powdered Eggs (Whole Eggs, Ova Easy Eggs, Egg Whites, Egg Mix, etc.)
Spices (Cinnamon, Taco Seasoning, Pepper, Chili Powder, Garlic, Cumin, etc.)
Freeze Dried Fruits and Vegetables (they last long and store well. taste good and look good)
Butter Powder (you can make white sauces and use in baking)
Dried Potatoes (dices, slices, hashbrowns, flakes, potato pearls, etc.)
Cheese Powder, Freeze Dried Cheese
Canned Tomatoes, Tomato Powder
Beef TVP, Bakon Crumbles TVP, Ham TVP (those are my favorites and you can do a lot with them)
Canned Beef, Chicken, Tuna, Salmon, etc. (canned from the store or freeze dried are all good)
Soup Bases and Dry Mixes
Dry Onions
Refried Beans (dried - they are the yummiest refried beans! Way better than canned ones from the store!)

Final Thought
And the list can go on and on. But if you have the basic foods listed in the original list above, canned goods and items you are used to eating, and the next priority items I just listed, you will have a good variety of food you can really cook with and enjoy. and it will be nutritious and sustain you and comfort you in a crisis or emergency situation. 

One time our crisis was a frozen well pump with a husband in the shower all soaped up when the water stopped. My water storage came to the rescue! Once it was an ice storm that knocked out power for 4 days. One time it was unemployment for a few months. I've had friends who have had health problems or accidents and couldn't work for a while, or unexpected expenses that drained the grocery budget, or a death in the family which changed the breadwinner. Life happens, but if we are prepared, we shall not fear...because we will have what we need, and we will have the blessings of being obedient to the counsel we have been given. May the Lord bless you all in your family preparedness efforts! 

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