DIY Long Term Food Storage - How to do it

How Much Food Storage Do You Have?


The poll results are in regarding the following two questions to do with your food storage:

How many months will your current food storage feed your household?

What is your food storage goal?

The numbers reveal that most people are working towards stacking and storing even more food for preparedness…


How many months will your current food storage feed your household?



What is your food storage goal for your household


Of 850 votes cast, the amount of food storage that people have are remarkably evenly split between 1-3, 3-6, and 6-12 months – representing nearly 70% of everyone. While 14% said they had 1-month or less of food, almost 18% said they have 1-year or more of food storage.

While the poll was anonymous and there is no way to know the demographic, we can presume that many who voted (if not most) are preppers – seeing how this blog is relevant to preparedness. In this regard, many folks seem to have a decent amount of food storage for their household with 45% between 3-months and 1-year.

When looking at the goals, it is very interesting to note that the group working towards a 1 to 2 year food storage supply is the highest percentage result (32%) – while an impressive 20% of people are setting goals beyond 2-years.

What’s telling is that despite what people currently have for food storage, it appears that most of them are setting goals to acquire even more.

As the saying goes… you can never have too much…

Thanks for participating.


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    1. Agreed George. I planned on five, then a new addition to the family brought it to six. However I think I have to assume another five. So its an estimate at best. Not sure how well the rest of the family is prepared. It’s not like they are not trying but I know they are struggling so at some point they will probably turn to family as things run out.

    2. That is a very important consideration. One should definitely plan for more than enough – because there is strength in numbers (**assuming the right people). A well defensible household or homestead will require ‘enough’ people to contribute – which means mouths to feed. Even if you have that sorted out already, it’s always better to have more than you think you’ll need. And then you’ll need a food production plan to supplement and replace your existing food storage (but that’s another article…)

  1. I only have about 6 or 8 months of food stocked for me and my husband. But I grow a lot of food too, and I keep chickens and we’re getting goats. No pigs or cows, just too large for me to handle.

    I don’t want to depend on stored foods.

    1. You have a food replacement plan – that’s good! Many people still need to figure that part out and not rely solely on their food storage preps. For many scenarios your food storage will indeed be enough until a recovery – but for shtf, not so much…

      1. On the one hand, we want our friends here to know that we’re doing okay with food storage. But on the other hand, OPSEC demands that we not really be too forthcoming with what we have.

        Would planting a dozen fruit trees be considered ‘storing’ as there are many hundreds of pounds of fruit ‘stored’ in those trees?

        1. Would planting a dozen fruit trees be considered ‘storing’ as there are many hundreds of pounds of fruit ‘stored’ in those trees?

          Only if you have secured all wire cutting devices from all sheds, garages, and hardware stores after building that 12 foot wire enclosure! :-)

          1. I don’t think I need to worry overmuch about people stealing fruit from my trees. I just have a small home orchard in the midst of thousands of acres of commercial orchards that aren’t fenced at all.

  2. As an apartman prepper I must select the first choices of the poll. I do know that such a tiny stock of food is only enough for a few weeks and is totally inappropriate as a long term solution. However my neighbors has almost nothing stocked up and they are unprepared in their mind as well.

    So my prepping still gives me some peace of mind. If the SHTF I will have some time, days or several weeks to decide if I will leave to my relatives far away from the capital where I living now, or bug out to the country, or do what seems most relevant in the new circumstances.

    Most of my neighbors and other citizens will run out of resources in 2 to 5 days, so I still have an advantage even with my limited amount of food, water and tools.
    Oh and one more benefit I have is my mindset with which I probably will make better decisions and make them sooner than the unprepared crowds.

    1. It is more difficult in a small space to store food (per your apartment example), however you might be surprised how much you actually could store if you become creative with where you keep it. Regardless though, it’s great that you have thought of this and have something stored ahead.

  3. What is your food storage goal for your household?

    1 – 3 months
    3 – 6 months
    6 – 12 months
    12 – 24 months
    more than 24 months
    Why??? did you stop there??

    1. I stopped there because I presume that most people don’t have more than that and it seemed a reasonable stopping point for the poll :-D

      If you have more than 2 years of food stored away for your household I sincerely congratulate you!! Great prepping!

    2. I agree Jay Jay!! There should’ve been an option that said no matter what I have, it’s never enough. I will continue to pack my basement to the rafters until there is no grocery store.

      1. Oh, Lordy–I’m with you on that concept, Il. mom.
        Every time I say, we are good now, dahling, I buy a case of mushrooms, tomato sauce, or olives on sale!!!

        1. How long do you need stored food until your own property can provide you with the food you need to survive?

          That’s how many years of stored food you need. period.

          We are not even close.

          we are working on the the grocery store replacement system.

          permaculture merged with urban garden techniques, even on a rural site, and bark mulch garden concepts for us, but find your own way, its fun for us.

          In our second year at this and agree it will be 5 more before we are confident we can fulfill maybe HALF our calorie needs on our property.

          so these first couple years are focused on perennial crops, fruit and nut trees, berries and vegetables which grow back year after year.

          There is only so much time and money to devote to this, so it will be another two years before we will have reached the planting goal for this phase. we will need to get past some goals before we can even start poultry or small livestock.

          lots of folks have some food stocked, but most are dependent on a muni water supply or a well. if the muni water stops how long can you live on your property w/ no water?

          if the electricity goes out, how do you pump water out of your well?

          History has been very unkind to refugees.

          If you cannot supply water you will become a refugee in just a few days, even if you have years of food. and you will be forced to abandon what ever preps you cannot transport with you, by vehicle, or worse, without a vehicle in some SHTF situations.

          I cannot solve this for you, but I am saying two things.

          Food storage alone is a dead end, UNLESS, you have a plan to become “grocery store independent”

          Food storage without a continuous grid down water supply is an even faster dead end.

          Ask yourselves,
          How can I provide continuous water supply grid down to my home

          How can I replace the grocery store?

          A US type home for a family of 3 needs 100 gallons of water per day, drinking bathing, washing, toilets… 36,500 gallons per year. in SHTF you could cut this by 2/3 , still over 12k gallons

          the same family of three will need 2.2 MILLION kcal, calories of food per year. if it will take you 5 years to set up a grocery replacement system, that is 11 million calories you need stored.

          If you think you’ll just do the hunter gatherer, wilderness survival thing, you be competing for dwindling resources with others, but if your lucky and shoot some animals, well meat is about 700 calories per pound, and wild berries and such are about 350 calories per pound.

          alone you will need 2,000kcal minimum EVERY DAY for an active life. ohh and if you land large game, deer elk, etc, how will preserve the meat from spoiling?

          Have you ever made jerky yourself over a smokey fire?

          When these considerations are taken together, one can see why, even among preppers, if there was ever a long term SHTF grid down collapse, many would pass from this earth.

          The concept is in a SHTF grid down collapse the USA does not revert back to the 18th century, but more like the 7th century, well into the depths of the dark ages. the 17th-18th centuries had an established pre industrial, pre electrical infrastructure. That no longer exists.

          people all had pre electrical pre industrial era skills, we do not today.

          but you can learn them, you can develop a zero grid power infrastructure for your home.

          Did I help refocus your vision?

          Now put down the emergency essentials catalog and go outside and get dirty in a garden.

          great place to start learning at the links below

          The Essential Urban Farmer

          Mini Farming: Self-Sufficiency on 1/4 acre

  4. All members please state your food storage, we assure you no data base will be used in any future food confiscations.. NSA

  5. Not disrespecting how people choose to prepare, but in my eyes 6-12 months of “stored” food is ideal. This will supplement your family to the next growing, foraging, fishing, or hunting season. I often see people who post on the internet appearing to be most concerned with stockpiling YEARS of food. I worry these people spend more effort stocking storage shelves than LEARNING how to hunt, gather, farm, and make food stuffs. Stored goods are great until they are no more. Knowing how to produce will continue to provide supplementation to you, your family, and your friends. As they say, knowledge is power.

    1. While I agree with you that people need to be able to grow their own food,fish,hunt,trap ect having a large supply of stored food is still not a bad thing. Crops can fail,water can be poisoned , animals can be shot out or migrate. None of us really knows what can happen so having food you really don’t need is much better than needing food you don’t have. You could also use extra food to barter with as none of us has everything. JMHO

    2. ONLY if there is no drought, a flood of rains, or seed blight of one or more vegetables…oh, what about a blight of all seeds?
      Storing for one season is not smart.
      What will you eat for those 6 months and I know you don’t grow all you eat??
      Foraging, fishing, and hunting?
      Right–like I told my husband’s friend that doesn’t store food–you and how many other million will fight for that right?

    3. Hey, Tex, if my food supply is depleted before this nation gets back on track, hunting, fishing, and foraging with those other millions won’t be our biggest problem!!

      1. Again, I am not advocating that anyone should only acquire a 6-12 month supply and call it good. My concern is that many people, especially new to the lifestyle of preparedness, focus simply on packaged goods. I worry that the “store as much as my family needs for xxx days/years” mindset will put these families in danger. My post was an attempt to perhaps enlighten even one person that storing food stuffs is not the end-all. Storing 5 years worth of food for 10 and having to leave it behind after 3 months (or dying trying to protect these resources) does your family no good. My advice, for what it’s worth as a post on the internet: learn to thrive as if you have no grocery stores. This knowledge will stay with you no matter what is sitting on your pantry.

  6. It is best not to tell anyone but those you want to know.
    Unless you want the hoods knocking down your door.
    Over half of your needs is water. So…live near water.
    Lots of water. A lake or river.
    Something that will not dry up or less likely to be contaminated.
    Protect your food.

  7. We have 5 now, but unfortunately it will probably grow 2 as mother-in-law and wife’s brother show up when uncle sugar stops handing out the candy.

    1. I wonder how many people forget this part? We also stock dog food with the rest of our stores.

      1. That’s the idea! Fatten up lassie then fire up the grill.

        Unless it’s a true guard dog, pets will be a liability and should probably be avoided or let go of.

        1. I disagree. SHTF will be rough on children too, store up dog food, and keep the family pet, it might just save their lives.
          Our dogs are not “true guard dogs”, yet they protect our livestock and poultry from varmints, and can detect the approach of a two legged intruder when I can not, due to their superior night vision, sense of smell, and hearing. I seriously do not think our family would survive SHTF without our dogs, as we do not have an armed retreat, a small platoon, nor fancy gear. Our dogs will have to be our nightwatch, it is far better than nothing.

  8. Frankly it is unreasonable to expect to keep food sufficient for years if we really get into a real SHTF situation. Most of your long term food needs should be self sustaining (crops you can raise and livestock like chickens and pigs). Otherwise you are eventually going to starve. What you should shoot for is sufficient prepared food to make it to the end of the next growing season (six months to a year). The only exceptions you should get as much as possible of are those items you will not be able to locally replace like vitamins, prescription drugs, coffee, tea, salt, spices,sugar (honey has a very long shelf life), etc. One of the things allied coastwatchers who parachuted behind enemy lines in WWII missed most was salt which has a variety of uses beyond flavoring your food.

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