What can you do with YOUR food storage?

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One of the biggest issues people have with their food storage is the concept of knowing WHAT they are going to cook using the foods they have stored. If you don’t have accompanying ingredients, it’s hard to make real foods that your family will actually want to eat.

One of the first food storage books I got 5 years ago was Marlene’s Magic with Food Storage and she had a really interesting concept where you add just a few more ingredients and you open up a whole new world of foods you can make. We have built on her ideas here and added to them to give you a great list of different food items you can cook depending on what items you currently have in your food storage. This should be a starting point for anyone when determining which items to begin accumulating or to see what items you should add to really enhance your meal options.

We would suggest getting a 3 month supply of all of these items first, and then moving on to a full year’s worth of food. You don’t want to end up with a year’s supply of wheat and unable to make even a loaf of bread because you don’t have the other ingredients.


If You ONLY Have: Water, Wheat, Salt, Shortening or Oil

You Can Make:

Sprouted wheat
Cooked cracked wheat
Cooked whole wheat
Wheat grass
Gluten (a strange bread-type food that has a very high protein content)

Just Add: Powdered Milk, Powdered Eggs, Honey or Sugar, Flour

And You Can Make the Items Above PLUS:

Wheat pudding
German pancakes

Just Add: Yeast, Baking Powder, Baking Soda

And You Can Make the Items Above PLUS:

Some varieties of cookies
Muffins/English muffins
Some varieties of crackers

Just Add: Tomatoes, Powdered Butter and Cheese, Unflavored Gelatin, Canned Milk, Canned or Freeze-Dried Fruits

And You Can Make the Items Above PLUS:

Meatless dinners
Meatless casseroles
Cream sauces
Jello salads
Whipped cream desserts
Baby formula

Just Add: Rice, Legumes, Beef/Chicken Broth, Canned or Freeze-Dried Meats, Dried Potatoes, Dehydrated Vegetables

And You Can Make the Items Above PLUS:

Lots of great chunky soups
Refried beans
Rice dinners
Rice puddings
Many different dinners and casseroles

Just Add: Extras such as Oats, Raisins, Nuts, Spices, Juice, Peanut Butter, Cream of Tarter, etc.

And You Can Make the Items Above PLUS:

A wide variety of almost any type of food you would want to cook

As you can see, with a bit of planning (and a fabulous food storage recipe book on hand), you can be confident that you will be able to create healthy, filling, comforting meals for your family should a true emergency occur. It will also be helpful to start using and rotating through these foods in your every day cooking so that you can find the recipes your family likes, get them used to eating these foods, and ensure that all of your storage retains its maximum freshness.


A few years ago we collected recipes from our recipes that use all shelf stable ingredients (items that don’t need to be refrigerated). We gave it to all of our readers as a free gift compiled into a SHELF STABLE RECIPE BOOK.

The recipe book has the following categories:


(Please note: We made the recipes 4 to a page in order to save paper for you if you print it out.  In case you find the font to be too small by doing this, you can also download a FULL PAGE VERSION. It’s 172 pages but you can print it front and back or just use it on the computer. Enjoy!)

  • jandarable

    I have seen this idea several times during many years of interest in food storage and trying recipes/making up recipes that fit the list of the food storage we store/rotate, which at the top of that list for us, is wheat. Adding to what you have listed, here’s what I came up with for wheat, salt (that’s sea salt for our storage), water, oil/shortening:

    Crock pot wheat berries
    Creamy wheat (I use ww flour and salt and water to make a healthier ‘cream of wheat’ cereal)
    Toasted wheat cereal
    Thermos wheat
    Hot toasty drink
    Wheat drink
    Wheat ‘steaks’
    Stir fried cracked wheat
    Essene bread
    Whole wheat saltine crackers
    Popped wheat kernels
    Whole wheat pie crust
    Popped (partially cooked) wheat snack
    Toasted wheat

    This list could be enhanced and expanded by adding the use of spices/herbs/flavorings such a worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, kitchen bouquet, etc.

  • Annette

    I printed that a few years ago, and I thank you very much for it.

  • Audra Garcia

    So I was thinking, this article was a great idea, until you came to the yeast, baking soda, and baking powder. Baking soda has a long shelf life (and can be vacuum sealed). Baking Powder can be made fresh (or vacuum sealed). What would you do for yeast? I think heat would kill the cultures. Even vacuum sealing the yeast is not going to prolong the shelf life, I would think. How would you stockpile yeast, while keeping it active?

    • kat1249

      I have kept dry yeast in the freezer for almost 2 years now and it still works fine.

      • Brenda

        I’m still using yeast that’s been in the freezer for 10 years and it works fantastic!

        • Barb

          putting yeast in the freezer is a great way to save it. However, if our (USA) electrical grids go down for some reason then the power to the freezer would go down too, as would everything in the household…then what? I know that’s a real long shot, but in these days and times is it really? I’m just saying…..

          • There are ways to catch wild yeast. I haven’t researched it fully yet but it’s definitely something to learn about!

          • Barb

            I’ve gotten yeast off of grapes but not any other way. When you find out please post it. Thanks

          • Constance Beck

            Sour dough starter is a wild yeast. It takes a few days to become active but does work. Mine is 3 years old

    • Kari Fischer

      Another vote for keeping yeast in the freezer! I had some in there for over 3 years and it worked like a charm every time!!

    • Sara C

      Audra there are “old-fashioned” methods of collecting air-borne yeast as well as taking your existing yeast to make more and extend your supply. If you google there is info out there on the processes involved. Good Luck!

    • Jacee C

      SAF yeast comes vacuum packed. I have read different shelf life estimates – from 12 months to 2 years, IF unopened.

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