Storing food long term something you never want to skimp on. Proper storage makes your supplies last as long as they need to. Airtight containers will be your best friends as you build your prepper pantry. You should also decide whether or not you want to utilize a freezer for certain things. If you do, make sure you have a backup generator of some kind to keep it running if you don’t have electricity.
Freezer vs Pantry
A pantry is needed no matter what. It stays stable whether you have power or not. It just needs to be a cool, dry place where pests can’t get at your supplies. So really, a pantry is a no brainer regardless of if it’s an actual pantry, a spare room, or extra space under your bed.
A freezer is great to have, but you’ll need a way to keep it running no matter what happens. This can be an expensive investment not everyone is willing or able to make. However, if you can do it, a deep freezer can help you keep fresh meats, nuts, seeds, cheeses, and much more on hand for emergencies. Just make sure to rotate your food because even frozen foods can go bad.
Either way, you must check on your supply regularly. Make sure all your pantry stock is in good condition with no dents, holes, or signs of mold in your food. Also check on the freezer if you have one, to make sure it is working properly and keeping your foods frozen.
What Containers Are Best for Storing Food Long Term
BPA free plastic containers with locking seals are great for storing things like rice, pasta, beans, flour, sugar, and more. Almost any dry, shelf stable product can be stored in these types of containers. Assorted sizes make it easy to store the exact amount you want/need of each thing. You can also utilize small oxygen and/or moisture absorbers to help these foods stay fresh.
Hard plastic will keep mice and bugs from chewing through and getting to your food over time. For example, pasta usually comes in thin cardboard boxes. These are easily chewed through by both rodents and bugs. However, if you transfer that pasta to a sealed container, you keep the smell contained and the food is safe.
Another great storage option is vacuum sealing. Some foods can last months when vacuum sealed, and it is also works well with the use of a freezer by extending the life of some fresh foods by years. No more freezer burn! Vacuum sealers are also good for storing non-food items. For example, you could vacuum seal a small emergency kit to keep in your car, boat, or backpack to keep it safe from moisture. In my opinion, they are a great investment.
Know When To Rotate
Depending on what you have in your pantry, not everything will stay good for an indefinite amount of time. This is why it’s important to keep everything rotated. FIFO is a good rule of thumb to follow; it stands for “first in, first out.”
Maybe your family loves a certain kind of jarred pasta sauce—but it only lasts about six weeks on a shelf. You can build up a supply and keep the oldest jars in the front, while restocking from the back. You’ll use up the old ones before they expire and still have what you need in an emergency.
Long Term Food Storage Solutions
If you only want to stock things that will last indefinitely, make sure you have enough space for them. These things usually come in bulk in pre-sealed containers. You can store these foods for years at a time, but they tend to be the bottom of the barrel as far as taste goes.
Heavy preservation process can be a problem if anyone in your family has dietary restrictions or allergies. This kind of long term food lacks a lot of variety. Be sure to keep these sealed until absolutely necessary if you get them. They are perfect for storing food long term, but they need to remain sealed to last that long.
Knowing the best methods of storing food long term in your prepper pantry will give you a huge leg up on preparedness for nearly any situation. Use these guidelines to help your stores last as long as possible for whenever you need to use them.