Estimated reading time: 3 minutes
Almost every prepper makes several food storage mistakes at the beginning. It’s hard not to. Even experienced preppers still make mistakes every now and then. That’s why I thought a post on food storage mistakes would be a good reminder for everyone.
Here’s what I came up with. Note: These are not in order of importance.
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1. Planning to store food, but never doing it.
Planning itself often feels like an accomplishment, but if you never get past the planning stage you’re just wasting time.
2. Buying food and forgetting about it.
Just because you bought a bunch of food and shoved it in the back of the closet doesn’t mean you’re prepared.
3. Buying huge quantities of foods you haven’t even tried.
What if all those boxes of freeze-dried chicken alfredo are disgusting? Don’t you think you should find out before you’re forced to eat them every day? Most food storage companies will send you samples if you request them.
4. Buying bulk foods only because they’re a good deal.
It’s not a good deal if it’s food you don’t like. Don’t get sucked into buying food just because it’s on sale.
5. Storing food you don’t usually eat.
After a disaster, you and your family will be much happier if you’re able to keep eating the way you normally do. As they say, store what you eat and eat what you store.
6. Not having enough variety.
Don’t buy too much of one thing unless you want to hear family members whine, “Beans again?” Food fatigue is very real, but if you have different meals every night it can help with morale.
7. Buying too many foods that require refrigeration.
I’m all for filling up the freezer, but if the power is out for more than a few days you’ll need other options.
8. Storing foods that are difficult to cook.
This mistake is debatable because some people are great at cooking from scratch even without power, but most people should choose foods that won’t take long to prepare. You want to use as few resources as possible.
9. Forgetting about spices and condiments.
It’s easy to forget about these, but make sure you don’t. Some meals are incredibly boring without them.
10. Not labeling your food with expiration dates.
If you don’t know how old your food is, you’ll have to either throw it away or risk eating something that will make you sick. Here are some shelf life tips.
11. Not using durable, food-safe containers.
Don’t just leave your food in cardboard boxes. Put it in something that will keep pests out. Try sealing food in Mylar bags. It’s easy
12. Storing foods in places with moisture and varying temperatures.
Find a place in your home that has stable temperature and humidity levels. Here are some suggestions.
13. Not rotating your food.
You need to have a good rotation system in place unless you want all the stuff in the back to go bad. Here are 10 tips for rotating your food.
14. Not having an inventory list.
This will help you know what to purchase next and avoid purchasing food you already have.
15. Not having the equipment to prepare the food.
First on the list is a can opener. You might also need a hand-operated blender, a grinder (if you have wheat), a camp stove, and other non-electric appliances.
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Mice will chew right through Mylar. Store Mylar sealed foods in rodent proof containers..
A good cast iron pot/pan to add to equipment. Those lightweight pans won’t cut it for long
And one possible mistake is not storing comfort food. Yes nutritionally it may be rubbish to store sweet biscuits, cookies, cordial. It may be more efficient to store say rice and milk powder then half a dozen cans of rice cream desert. But. If you are having to use your emergency supplies then something has happened to the regular food supply (hurricane, etc.) and you will be under stress. And if (small) amounts of comfort food is a method you use to reduce stress then make sure you have some stored away.
End of rant!
Great tip! Just a piece of candy or Twinkie can really lift your spirits, as long as you don’t go overboard and eat it all.
At a local preparedness fair, they had samples of what to store in your prep kits and one had a container of rainbow sprinkles. When I asked why, I was told for morale. When you have had your 20th bowl of oatmeal or plain muffins, a few sprinkles on top can make you and the kids smile. One bottle from the dollar store doesn’t take much space. I also have wrapped candy, things that shouldn’t melt or freeze.
David Smith says
I see myself as a modern man (born in 1980) and novice prepper, but dammed if I know anyone who hasn’t got a manual can opener, also storing soda bottles of water behind baseboards in kitchen units is also fairly common amongst people i know. If you have meat in large cuts and steaks in a freezer even once they defrost they keep a lot longer if preserved by smoking or drying, even ground meats can be made into patties and smoked to last longer, vegetables and fruits stored in a freezer can also have their useful lives extended by preserving as pickles and jam’s.
I can help out with about 90% of this list… I consult for Thrive Life Foods. Have a look at my consultant website for food, and food storage ideas and info:
When you have reviews from people that have bought and tried your products you will probably see more business. And PLEASE real ones not ones your company made.
There are many independent reviews in numerous places on the web. A quick search would yield many results. 🙂
Mike Franklin says
Yep, I knew a family who had 3 years worth of freeze dried food, lived in a drought area, and who had not one drop of water put up. They have some now but only because I asked.
cookie monster says
app prep and pantry on phone or computer?
There’s a really good app called Prep and Pantry. It allows you to create did inventories, including expiration dates. It scans the barcode too so you don’t have to enter it by hand. This helps me know what I have and lets me plan my meals around when food is expiring. I think it’s about $8, but it’s helped me save a lot of money by not throwing food away.
you can open a can without a can opener by rubbing it on concrete or a flat rock etc. however a can opener is much easier and quicker.
Mary Curry says
If your hand canopener quits opening, wash in really hot water and spray with Pam or other cooking spray. It also helps if you have a way to sharpen the opening blade. But keeping it cleaned and oiled is the best to try first.
I just carry a P38 on my keychain
George Gilbert says
Can not beat a P38.It opened 20yo c ration cans for me i n the 60s.
at a dollar or two for a can opener I think I’ll pass on scrubbing the can on the concrete
Which means that you have to go outdoors to scrape the can on a rock, which in turn draws attention to yourself, which in turn draws attention to the fact that you have food that someone else may want desperately.
Unless you have some concrete block of some sort that you can man-handle and to have the can in an upright position to open it with concrete, you will lose the liquids before you get it opened. In dire straights you do not want to waste even the liquids that includes more solid type of foods that are canned like spam.
When you find cans of unopened food you will not be in a forest unless you came upon someone else’s stash and there should be some better form of opening where you found it because the cache was put there to use!
If you don’t have a stout knife to open it – you are most likely the walking dead!
Where you find the can will always have something else laying around capable of opening it. Even a nail so you don’t lose the liquids!