When most people go grocery shopping, they will purchase enough food for a few days or perhaps a week. However, there may be many instances when one week of food is simply not enough for the family, and it may be difficult or impossible to visit the grocery store to purchase more food for a lengthy period of time. Everything from an unexpected job loss and financial grief to a terrorist attack, a serious weather event, and more can cause a serious food shortage issue for a family. Preparing and storing a six-month supply of food is an excellent way to prevent serious and even life-threatening issues when a devastating event occurs.

Prepare Your Budget

For many families, it can be a struggle to keep food on the table for growing kids on a regular basis, so you can imagine that it may be financially burdensome to purchase six months’ worth of food at one time. Consider the bare minimum amount of money you would need to feed your family on a weekly basis and multiply that figure by 26 weeks. This will give you a financial budget for your food stocking efforts. In the event you do not have this amount of money readily available to use for a major purchase of food supplies, consider stocking up over the course of the next few months by purchasing a little more each time you head to the grocery store.

Plan a Week’s Worth of Meals

Your next step is to create a list of what you will need to purchase. If you plan to purchase the food slowly over time, you can keep your list handy to regularly check off items as you buy them. Think about meals that use non-perishable items. Attempt to vary your meals each day so that your family gets a wide range of nutrients through the planned meals. Remember to incorporate ample fruits and vegetables in your meal plan for a well-rounded diet.

Think About Foods That Do Not Expire

It is important to think about buying foods that do not expire or that have a very long shelf life. You can always replace some foods over the years, and you can track expiration dates on canned items so that you use them just before they expire. This can help you to avoid unnecessary food waste. Great ideas for foods that have a very long shelf life include pasta, soups, canned fruits and vegetables, dried beans and rice, oats and other grains, dry dairy products, canned meats and more. While some or all of these items may not currently be in your diet, they can provide you with the nutrients and sustenance you need in a worst-case situation. For perishable foods, consider getting a vacuum sealer. Foods sealed and frozen in mylar bags will last a lot longer and take up less space. While you may not want a full six months of vacuum packed food, it’s good to have some around.

Consider Recommended Storage Amounts

It can be difficult to determine how many pounds of dried beans, rice and more you may need to store. Experts recommend that a typical family of four stores 600 pounds of grains for a six-month supply. This includes beans, oats, pasta, flour, cornmeal and more. You may also store 120 pounds of a variety of beans, 12 boxes of powdered milk, 12 cans of powdered eggs and more. Remember to stock up on salt, baking powder, baking soda, flour, sugar, vegetable oil, pasta sauce, peanut butter and other items as well.

It may seem like overkill to store so much food in your house, but keep in mind that devastating events happen around the world every day. Many people are caught poorly off guard by these situations, and they often face hunger and starvation as a result. By taking steps today to stock your home up with ample food, you can better provide for your loved ones if a significant event occurs.

Author's Bio: 

Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most her time hiking, biking, and gardening. For more information contact Brooke via Twitter @BrookeChaplan.