Have you ever wondered how much non-perishable food you should have stocked up in case of an emergency? It’s a question that many people often overlook, but it’s an important one to consider. After all, you never know when you might be faced with a natural disaster or a situation where food is scarce. In this article, we’ll dive into the topic of non-perishable food storage and discuss the recommended amount to have on hand.

When it comes to non-perishable food, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. You don’t want to find yourself in a situation where you’re left hungry and without access to food. The general recommendation is to have at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food for each person in your household. This includes items such as canned goods, dried fruits and nuts, granola bars, and other long-lasting food items.

However, it’s important to note that this is just the minimum recommendation. Depending on your location and the potential risks in your area, it may be wise to have a larger supply of non-perishable food stored away. You never know how long it might take for help to arrive in the event of a disaster, so it’s always better to be over-prepared. In the next part of the article, we’ll discuss some factors to consider when determining the right amount of non-perishable food to store. So stay tuned to learn more!

Importance of Non-perishable Food

Understanding the relevance of non-perishable food

In a fast-paced world, it is essential to have a reliable food supply that can sustain you in times of need. Non-perishable food items play a crucial role in ensuring that you have access to nutritious and easy-to-store options when fresh food may not be available. Non-perishable foods are those that have a longer shelf life due to their processing or packaging methods. They can be stored for an extended period without refrigeration, making them a valuable resource during emergencies or natural disasters.

Why it is important to store non-perishable food

Life is unpredictable, and having a stockpile of non-perishable food can provide you with a sense of security and peace of mind. Disasters like hurricanes, earthquakes, or even a loss of income can disrupt the food supply chain and leave you without access to fresh produce or perishable goods. By having a well-equipped stash of non-perishable food, you can ensure that you and your family have enough sustenance to last for an extended period, minimizing the strain during challenging times.

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Benefits of having a stockpile of non-perishable food

Having an adequate supply of non-perishable food offers several benefits beyond emergency preparedness. For starters, it provides convenience in your day-to-day life. Non-perishable foods are often pre-packaged and require little to no preparation or cooking time. This makes them a convenient option for busy individuals or families.

Moreover, non-perishable food can save you money in the long run. By buying in bulk or during sales, you can take advantage of lower prices and avoid the inflated costs that often accompany emergency situations. Additionally, having a stockpile of non-perishable food allows you to diversify your diet and choose from a range of options even when fresh produce or other perishable items are not readily available.

Factors to Consider

Calculating the recommended amount of non-perishable food

Determining the ideal quantity of non-perishable food to store depends on various factors such as household size, dietary needs, and storage capacity. The general recommendation is to have enough non-perishable food to sustain each person in your household for a minimum of three days. However, it is advisable to aim for a two-week supply to account for any unforeseen circumstances or prolonged emergencies.

Considerations based on household size

When calculating the recommended amount of non-perishable food, it is essential to consider the number of people in your household. Adults typically require more food than children, and individuals with specific dietary needs may have additional considerations. As a general guideline, plan for approximately 1,500 to 2,000 calories per day per adult. For children, adjust the quantity accordingly based on age and individual appetite.

Evaluating storage capacity and limitations

While it may be tempting to create an extensive stockpile, it is crucial to assess your storage capacity realistically. Consider the space available in your pantry, cupboards, or any designated area for storing non-perishable items. Ensure that you organize your stockpile in a way that allows for easy access and rotation to maintain freshness. Assess the limitations of your storage area, such as temperature and humidity, to prevent spoilage or degradation of food quality.

Essential Non-perishable Food Items

Canned goods and preserved fruits

Canned goods are a staple in any non-perishable food stockpile. Items like canned vegetables, soups, and beans offer a good source of essential vitamins and minerals. They are often pre-cooked and ready to eat, requiring minimal preparation. Preserved fruits in cans or jars are also an excellent addition as they provide a dose of natural sweetness and vital nutrients.

Dried foods and grains

Dried foods, such as rice, pasta, and oats, are affordable, versatile, and have a long shelf life. These staples can be used in a variety of dishes and provide a good source of carbohydrates. Additionally, dried fruits, nuts, and seeds are nutritious snacks that can add flavor and nutrients to your diet.

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Long-lasting proteins and canned meats

Proteins are vital for a balanced diet, and having a variety of non-perishable protein sources is crucial. Canned meats like tuna, chicken, and salmon offer an excellent source of protein and can be used in salads, sandwiches, or pasta dishes. Shelf-stable options like jerky, canned beans, and nut butter can also provide essential nutrients.

Nutritional supplements and meal replacements

Consider including nutritional supplements or meal replacements in your stockpile, especially if you have specific dietary needs or restrictions. These can be in the form of protein bars, meal replacement shakes, or powdered supplements. They provide a quick and easy way to meet your nutritional requirements during emergencies or times when fresh food is not available.

Recommended Quantity for Storage

Determining the ideal quantity per person

As mentioned earlier, the recommended amount of non-perishable food per person for a two-week supply is essential. In general, plan for two to three canned or packaged goods per person per day. This can include a mix of canned vegetables, fruits, soups, and proteins. Incorporate an adequate amount of grains, such as rice or pasta, based on personal preferences and dietary requirements.

Factors influencing the recommended amount

Factors such as age, activity level, and dietary restrictions can affect the recommended quantity of non-perishable food. Individuals with higher activity levels or specific dietary needs may require additional calories or specific types of food. Consider these factors and adjust your stockpile accordingly to ensure everyone’s requirements are met.

Estimated shelf life of various non-perishable foods

It is crucial to be aware of the estimated shelf life of different non-perishable food items to ensure you consume them before they expire. Canned goods typically have a shelf life of up to two to five years, while dried foods like rice and pasta can last up to several years if stored properly. Be sure to rotate your stockpile regularly, consuming and replacing older items to maintain their quality and nutritional value.

Tips for Proper Storage

Appropriate packaging and labeling

When storing non-perishable food, proper packaging and labeling are essential. Use airtight containers or resealable bags to keep food fresh and avoid contamination. Label each package with the date of purchase or expiration to monitor and rotate your stockpile effectively.

Ideal storage conditions to maintain food quality

Non-perishable food items are best stored in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Exposure to high temperatures or humidity can accelerate the degradation process. Find a suitable area in your home, such as a pantry or basement, that maintains a stable temperature to ensure the quality and longevity of your stored food.

Rotation techniques to ensure freshness

To ensure the freshness and nutritional value of your non-perishable food, practice a rotation system. Place newly purchased items at the back of your storage area and bring older items to the front. By consuming the oldest items first, you minimize the risk of food waste and ensure that your stockpile remains up to date.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Overstocking with unnecessary items

One common mistake is overstocking with unnecessary items that may not be suitable for your dietary needs or preferences. It is important to be mindful of what you and your household will actually consume. Stick to purchasing non-perishable foods that align with your typical eating habits to prevent wastage.

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Neglecting to check expiry dates

Another mistake is neglecting to regularly check the expiration dates on your non-perishable food items. Over time, the nutritional value and quality of these foods deteriorate. Make it a habit to rotate and consume foods before they expire to ensure you are always consuming fresh, nutrient-rich options.

Not considering personal dietary restrictions

If you or someone in your household has specific dietary restrictions or allergies, it is crucial to consider these when stocking up on non-perishable food. Read ingredient labels carefully and ensure you have suitable options available to meet individual dietary needs.

Creating a Stockpile on a Budget

Smart shopping strategies to save money

Creating a stockpile of non-perishable food doesn’t have to break the bank. By employing smart shopping strategies, you can save money while building your stockpile. Look for sales, discounts, and coupons to maximize your savings. Buying in bulk is often more cost-effective in the long run.

Alternatives for obtaining non-perishable food at a lower cost

If budget constraints are a concern, consider exploring alternative options for obtaining non-perishable food at a lower cost. Food banks, community organizations, and local farmers’ markets may have programs or discounted offerings that can assist you in building your stockpile without stretching your budget.

DIY options for preserving and canning

Get creative and explore do-it-yourself options for preserving and canning non-perishable food. If you have access to fresh produce that may spoil before you can consume it, consider preserving it through canning, pickling, or dehydrating. This allows you to control the ingredients and ensure that you have a readily available supply of non-perishable food.

Rotation and Consumption

Developing a rotation system

As mentioned earlier, it is crucial to develop a rotation system to maintain the freshness and quality of your non-perishable food. Ensure that you consume the oldest items first and replace them with new purchases when needed. By implementing a rotation system, you can prevent food waste and ensure that your stockpile is always up to date.

Utilizing non-perishable food in everyday meals

Non-perishable food items can be incorporated into your everyday meals to diversify your diet and consume your stockpile regularly. Consider using canned goods, dried foods, and grains in recipes for soups, stews, pasta dishes, or salads. Get creative and experiment with different combinations to make delicious meals using your stockpile ingredients.

Donating excess stockpile for community support

If you find yourself with excess non-perishable food that you are unable to consume before it expires, consider donating it to local food banks or community organizations. Your surplus can provide much-needed support to individuals and families who are facing food insecurity. By sharing your resources, you can make a difference in your community.

Ensuring Food Safety

Inspecting packaging integrity

Before consuming any non-perishable food item, it is essential to inspect the packaging for any signs of damage or compromise. Leaking, bloated, or dented cans, or packages with broken seals, should be discarded as they may indicate spoilage or contamination. Always prioritize safety and discard any questionable items.

Identifying signs of spoilage or contamination

Even with non-perishable food, there is a chance of spoilage or contamination over time. Signs to look out for include foul odors, mold growth, or unusual texture. If you notice any of these signs, it is best to err on the side of caution and dispose of the item immediately.

Proper disposal of expired non-perishable food

When disposing of expired non-perishable food, ensure that you do so responsibly. Check with your local waste management guidelines on the best method of disposal. Whenever possible, try to compost or recycle packaging materials to minimize your environmental impact.


In conclusion, having a recommended amount of non-perishable food is essential for emergency preparedness and long-term food security. By understanding the relevance of non-perishable food and ensuring that you have an adequate supply, you can provide yourself and your loved ones with a sense of stability and comfort when faced with unexpected circumstances. Consider the factors that influence the recommended quantity, and be mindful of storage techniques, rotation practices, and food safety guidelines to maintain the quality and nutritional value of your stockpile. By adopting appropriate storage practices and being prepared, you can enjoy peace of mind and a greater sense of security in any situation.

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By Chris Wright

My goals with PreppingSurvival.com are to help you prepare your family for every day life as well as the things that pop up like job loss, storm damage, store shortages, etc. The better prepared you are for life, the easier survival becomes. Learn to thrive, not just survive!