If you are like me you love food. Well, maybe you love it more or less than me, but you know we can’t live without it. Or according to the emergency rule of three, you can for up to three weeks. But honestly that sounds horrible. It sounds like some version of hell or Dante’s Inferno that I just really don’t want to endure. So here we are, both loving food and are tackling the overwhelming task of become self-sufficient and “prepared.”  Yes, I know, you’ve heard it all before, “Get this not that.” Perhaps, you read our blog post “The truth about food storage nobody will tell you.” If you haven’t yet, I highly recommend you go there when you finish here. The major misconception in many marketing campaigns is that you need one company’s food storage solution and then you’re all set. Congratulations you win the prize of being a smarty pants and have everything taken care of. Truth is, no, no you are not prepared. You are not ready. Sorry to break it to you.


There is another group out there who focus on staples only; beans, rice, wheat, and NOPE. That does not sound fun especially because who actually eats just that? I mean it may be okay for a hobbit or an elf in some fantasy land, but yuck!  A thousand times, yuck!  We are creatures who crave options, who crave stability and change at the same time. We are really weird, but we get hungry so we need to think about food storage and how best to tackle it. So without further ado, let me explain to you the benefits of the three phase food storage solution.

Phase 1: Cupboard Rule:

If you eat it a lot, it will be found in your cupboards and fridge. Possibly even the freezer. So start your long term planning here. You want to fill these to bursting and then make sure you have a pantry of some sort where this month of food is going to rest and relax until you consume it. Yes, we are a consumer driven country and we want to give a nod to that weird sentiment. This phase is all about the taste. You want to make sure you cover the food groups you know and love. The things you can mix and match to perfection to create the tastiest meals your family loves. So grab your bags of pastas, your canned and fresh goods, and create a masterpiece of quick and easy access to meals your family eats daily and weekly.  If by some chance you don’t eat poultry, do not put this in your fridge, pantry, or cupboards. For the love of all that is holy do not do it. It’s wasted. It’s just simply a waste of money, time and space. Moving on…

Phase 2: The two to three month pantry/cold cellar:

Everything you consumer loads and loads of should be your first priority when stocking your pantry. Hint hint: canned foods last long after their expiration date. Try it out. I ate a can of cube steak from my grandmas pantry that was 14 years old. It was still tasty. While that’s not the point, it’s still valid to know, don’t freak out if you don’t eat it all in the next 3-4 months. The foods you pack in your pantry are the things you eat in
bulk over time. We just bought a crap load of rice, beans, oats, spices and sugar, which we integrate into many meals in our house. Some of them were our buckets of food, and much of it was from a restaurant supplier. They are much cheaper than the big box stores! You’d be surprised what you can get there.

Phase 3: Dry long term storage foods

Now that you have your extra boxes of cereal, your flour and baking supplies taken care of, your canned foods taken care of and of course your fridge is packed with your favorite perishables, I Segway into long term food storage. Again I need to point out that in this scenario you only store what you eat. For example, if you hate asparagus, do not buy freeze dried asparagus just because it’s on sale. Get the foods you’ll eat. Also, buy from multiple companies to mix and match your favorites. I have 4 companies I buy from besides my own. Why do you ask? Well, I get most of my meals from Grab N Go, family storehouse and valley food storage. I love them. I use them camping, I take them with me when I go to Scout activities and yes, we eat them regularly when we can’t figure out what we really want to eat for dinner and we’ve run out of prep time. We simply grab a pouch, rip it open add hot water and let it reconstitute. Boom! Hot meal all ready and it’s super simple. I also like freeze dried yogurt and for my really long term foods, I like a large variety of vegetables. If you have time to prep meals from ingredients, which is were Thrive life foods comes in. There is no single food storage solution that I recommend. I love variety and if you know what’s good for you, you will too.

There you have it, build your food storage following these three phases, cupboards first (1-3 month supply), then pantry (4-6 month foods) of highly rotated foods you love. Then get some longer term foods that you can build into a full year or three year supply so you have extra to share with your in-laws or neighbors when the crap impacts the vertical oscillator (or #SHTF)

Store what you eat.