DIY long term food storage

You might say there are three methods to securing long term food storage.

1. Buy ready-made packaged for long term food storage.
2. DIY long term food storage.
3. A combination of both.

DIY or do it yourself, is probably the most popular method for most preparedness-minded people. Why? Because it gives you control over what your long term food storage looks like.


DIY Long Term Food Storage Advantage

– You choose the specific foods
– The method(s) of packaging
– How it’s all packed and organized
– Basically, you choose everything…

Disadvantages ?

– Potential for mistakes (although low)
– Time (it takes time and effort)

First let me say this. There are plenty of good choices out there for simply purchasing ready made quantities of long term food storage.

If for whatever reason(s) you are not able to commit the time required to do it yourself, go ahead and simply buy a survival food kit for 30 days, 3 months, whatever you’re comfortable with.

Personally, I have purchased quite a number of ready made foods already packed for the long term. I also DIY. I diversify.

You might consider long term food storage options from Bob over at ReadyMadeResources who distributes for a number of quality vendors.



Not long ago I polled our readers to discover their most popular ‘survival food’ items stored as part of their overall food storage plan.

Here are the Top 10 Food Items
(some were a tie)

1. Rice
2. Beans (dry)
3. Wheat berries
4. Canned Meat

5. Canned Veggies
5. Pasta
5. Honey / Sugar

6. Oats

7. Salt
7. Dry Milk

8. Flour

9. Coffee / Tea
9. Freeze Dried Meats
9. Freeze Dried Veggies

10. Yeast

Just FYI, I want to mention that the combination of Rice & Beans is one of the most economical and easiest ways to quickly secure some calories for your own DIY long term food storage.

Rice is rich in starch, and an excellent source of energy. Beans are rich in protein, and contain other minerals. The consumption of the two together provides all the essential amino acids and it is no wonder that this combination is a staple of many diets throughout the world.

I also want to mention this:
Lots of calories fit in a 5 gallon bucket of rice, beans (dry), and wheat (berries).

In fact all three are pretty close in number. About 50,000 calories. Or you might say about 25 survival days per filled bucket.

Additionally, did you know this…?
One 5 gallon bucket of wheat berries will produce about 25 loaves of bread?


Make Your Own Combo Bucket

Recently on the blog there was mention of DIY combo 5-gallon buckets. More specifically, diversifying what goes inside a given bucket (rather than all one food in each).

That’s a pretty interesting concept because you can tailor it however you want!

Why might this be a good way to do it? Because a single bucket could be set up as a standalone ready-to-go well rounded emergency food deployment. Grab-n-go, or simply a more efficient way of dealing with food during an emergency (rather than having to open and unseal lots of buckets to get your diversification).

Just thinking off the top of my head, you might do a combination of something like this in a single bucket…

– rice
– beans (dry) (variety)
– oats
– salt
– sugar
– spices (gotta have spices!)

Whatever floats your boat… it’s all DIY.

I recommend that you separately vacuum seal ingredients such as rice, beans, oats. Why? By removing the air (oxygen) it will greatly increase the shelf life.

Here’s one that’s not very expensive, compact design:
Nesco VS-02 Food Vacuum Sealing System


DIY Seal Your Own Mylar Bags

When purposely storing dry foods for long term storage in 5 gallon buckets, the general “how to” process is as follows:

1. Insert a mylar bag into the pail.
2. Fill it up (e.g. rice).
3. Drop in 2,000 cc Oxygen Absorbers.
4. Seal the mylar bag.
5. Secure the cover to the bucket.

All of this takes time and requires that you purchase the necessary materials.

I wrote about this several years ago:
How to Seal a Mylar Bag in a 5-gallon bucket

The article addresses food grade buckets, oxygen absorbers, mylar bags and how to seal them.


Diversify While DIY

The best DIY long term food storage will be a diversified set of foods as well as the way they’re processed and packaged.

Purchasing a 3 month survival food kit from a vendor may be enough to keep you alive when you need it. Procuring your own diversified sets of food storage (if done properly) will provide a balance of variety, tastes, nutrition, cooking methods, and other benefits that you will control.

– 5 gallon buckets of various dry goods
– 5 gallon combo buckets
– home canned foods of your choosing
– store bought canned foods, meats
– store bought pastas, sauces, spices, and whatever else…
– dehydrated foods
– freeze dried foods
– special treat foods (sweets!), fruits


Food Storage Mistakes

Do you know the 4 Things That Affect Food Storage?

– Temperature
– Moisture Content
– Atmosphere
– Container

(Read about them in the linked article above.)

Did you know that temperature greatly affects the shelf life of your food storage?

Example: A can of food with a specified shelf life of 2 years (at room temperature 72 degrees F) will actually reduce to one year if stored at 90 degrees F.

Read more specifics about it here:
Temperature Versus Food Storage Shelf Life

Other Mistakes To Avoid

– Buying too much food that you don’t normally eat
– Not diversifying
– Getting started, but not finishing
– Failure to rotate your foods
– Losing track of what you have
– Too much freezer food (will you always have electricity?)
– Not enough spice!

More: Food Storage Mistakes To Avoid

In closing, regardless of how you acquire or what you choose for your own DIY long term food storage, just do “something”. Don’t feel guilty about taking the easy way out and buying a ready-made kit (see our sponsor link near the beginning). It’s simply common sense preparedness.

For others I’m preaching to the choir. You already are beyond long term storage and are into self-sufficiency replenishment (self sustaining gardening, etc..). It still doesn’t hurt to examine what you do have though. Diversify!

Your thoughts? Jump to Comment...x