Emergency food storage is essential to all preppers, and the most important element of creating DIY long-term food storage is to maintain an inventory list.

Maintaining an inventory list will help you answer several questions throughout your long-term food storage journey. Every prepper should maintain an inventory list as it will help you understand and determine how much food you have— What kind of food do you have? What foods do you need to stock up on and how much do you need of each food type? When was each food packed, and how much sooner do you need to rotate it in daily usage? These are questions you should always have the answers to if you are tracking your inventory effectively.

But how do you maintain a food storage inventory? Here are 5 tips to help you get started!

5 Tips to Maintain Your Food Storage Inventory

5 Tips to Maintain a Food Storage Inventory

Create a Monthly Menu

The best way to create a useful food storage inventory is to create a monthly menu.

You should determine what type of breakfast, lunch, and dinner meals your family likes to eat, and then use that information to build a menu. Based on your personalized menu, you can buy all the raw materials you need for both short-term and long-term food storage. You should keep track of when they are packed, so you can rotate them in your kitchen accordingly.

monthly menu for food storage

If you want to enjoy seasonal ingredients frequently, you can also try creating a separate summer and winter menu.

Find a Place to Store Your Supply

Many people make the mistake of not creating a strategic method for short-term and long-term food storage. Prepping should be calculated; you need to plan effectively based off your needs and circumstances if you want to truly be self-reliant.

This is why our next best tip is to find the best place in your home to store your preps! A lot of people use their basement, cellar, pantry, closet, or spare room as storage space. These are all great options, but prepping is personal— we all live in different climates and homes with varying layouts and levels of space.

So, we can’t give you one answer for where you should store your emergency food supplies, but what we can say for sure is that the temperature is the most important factor here. The space where you store your preps should be cool and dry, with a temperature that is below 75 degrees.

Keep Duplicate Food Items Together

You probably have food items prepared with different storage methods. For example, MREs, Mylar bags, cans, jars, and more.

duplicate food items

If you want to stay organized, you should make sure that duplicate items are stored next to each other. For example, if you have dehydrated tomatoes, canned tomatoes, and freeze-dried tomatoes, you should store all of them on the same shelf or in the same area so that you can find all of your tomatoes in one place. This will make it easier to keep track of your inventory.

Rotating Food Storage

Creating a food inventory will also help you rotate food more efficiently. With a food inventory, you will know how much food you have and what food items will be expired soon. This way you can include the foods nearing their expiry in your daily kitchen and prevent food wastage.

Also, knowing how much of a given food item you have will prompt you to purchase more of said food item before it runs out.

You can use inventory applications or a simple spreadsheet to keep track of food inventory and rotation cycles.

Accessible Shelving

If you choose to build your own DIY food storage shelves, make sure that they are easily accessible to you— you should always be able to easily reach your shelves to access your food.

grocery store

You can also store your food items in stackable cardboard boxes just as they are kept in the grocery store. This gives you an easy view and access to food items.

Also, be sure to keep older food items in the front and newer food items in the back. This will prevent food from going bad, as you can easily add the food items that are near their expiration date to your everyday use kitchen before they expire.

Bottom Line

Emergency food storage is central to self-reliance and preparedness, but you need to plan effectively to truly be prepared for anything that comes your way.

Certain circumstances are out of our control, but you can control the way that you plan and prep. The best way to do this is to maintain a successful inventory, which is why we recommend using these 5 tips as a guide to create a plan that fits your family’s needs.

If you want more food storage tips, tricks, and advice, be sure to keep following Wallaby’s blog!

And if you want to buy high-quality Mylar bags with oxygen absorbers for your food storage plan, you can check out our Mylar bag bundles via our online store.