My Foray Into Food Storage

A regular gal learning about Food Storage, Home Cooking, Canning, Gardening, and more!

Practical, Real Person, Grocery Store Shopping Prepping


I cannot tell you how many times I have tried to search for basic preparedness information on the Internet only to find myself visiting Doomsday Prepper websites.  While there is a ton of good info, and I love my doomsday prepper friends, that’s not me.  I am a pretty positive person and think that things usually work out just fine.   Yet, when I read too many Doomsday sites, I start worrying.  A little bit of worry can spur me on and get me going with things I know I should be doing.  A lot of worrying turns into paranoia for me. 


Paranoia + Laurie = Bad Idea!

Paranoia + Laurie = Bad Idea!


I’m sure that I’m not alone in feeling this way.  Maybe you’ve felt that way too, or you’ve avoided the traditional “prepping” website because you just don’t want to know or hear about everything that could go wrong.  Yet, like me, you want to have a little stockpile of something to ensure that you have food in the event of an emergency, or that you have extra food in your pantry to give away if someone you love (or someone you don’t know) needs help.  Or both!


A little extra in your pantry to share with those in need.

A little extra in your pantry to share with those in need.


About a year ago, I found a few websites which offered “food storage in a year for $5 a week” lists.  There are quite a few of them out there.  These lists are intended to help you build a year supply of food for one person in one year for $5 a week (on average, some weeks will be a little more and others a little less).  This is the list I’ve been using, because I want to have some things in my cupboards that I regularly use which are also easy to prepare.  If there’s an earthquake here, I don’t know if I will be baking bread.  But I should be able to heat up soup.  I have the equipment to do so, even if my utilities are out. 


Since I already have some food storage, I don’t buy something from this list every week.  I use this as a general guideline and try to buy something from the list at least once or twice a month.  I also buy the staples like sugar and flour in 50 pound bags, and I mark them off accordingly.  If I don’t like something on the list, I substitute with something comparable.  For example, we won’t eat all this tomato soup.  Instead of buying only tomato soup, I buy bean with bacon and chicken noodle in place of some of the cans listed.

Tomato Soup


So, I’m sharing this list first.  I’ll share some others over the next few weeks.  I encourage you to look them over and find one that works for you, for your family, and in your situation.  And REMEMBER!  You can and should adapt this to your individual needs and tastes. 


Build your food storage for about $5/wk

Week 1 – 6 lbs salt
Week 2 – 5 cans cream of chicken soup
Week 3 – 20 pounds of sugar
Week 4 – 8 cans tomato soup
Week 5 – 10 lbs flour
Week 6 – 6 pounds macaroni
Week 7 – 20 pounds of sugar
Week 8 – 8 cans tuna
Week 9 – 6 lbs yeast
Week 10 – 10 lbs flour
Week 11 – 8 cans tomato soup
Week 12 – 20 lbs sugar
Week 13 – 10 lbs powdered milk
Week 14 – 7 boxes macaroni & cheese
Week 15 – 10 lbs flour
Week 16 – 5 cans cream of chicken soup
Week 17 – 1 bottle 500 ct multivitamins
Week 18 – 10 lbs powdered milk
Week 19 – 5 cans cream of mushroom soup
Week 20 – 10 lbs flour
Week 21 – 8 cans tomato soup
Week 22 – 20 pounds sugar
Week 23 – 8 cans tuna
Week 24 – 6 lbs shortening
Week 25 – 10 lbs flour
Week 26 – 5 lbs honey
Week 27 – 10 lbs powdered milk
Week 28 – 20 lbs sugar
Week 29 – 5 lbs peanut butter
Week 30 – 10 lbs flour
Week 31 – 7 boxes macaroni & cheese
Week 32 – 10 pounds powdered milk
Week 33 – 1 bottle 500 ct aspirin
Week 34 – 5 cans cream of chicken soup
Week 35 – 10 pounds flour
Week 36 – 7 boxes macaroni and cheese
Week 37 – 6 pounds salt
Week 38 – 20 pounds sugar
Week 39 – 8 cans tomato soup
Week 40 – 10 lbs flour
Week 41 – 5 cans cream of chicken soup
Week 42 – 20 pounds sugar
Week 43 – 1 bottle 500 ct multivitamin
Week 44 – 8 cans tuna
Week 45 – 10 lbs flour
Week 46 – 6 pounds macaroni
Week 47 – 20 lbs sugar
Week 48 – 5 cans cream of mushroom soup
Week 49 – 5 pounds honey
Week 50 – 20 lbs sugar
Week 51 – 8 cans tomato soup
Week 52 – 10 lbs flour

** Remember some of these items have a short shelf life.**


Now it’s your turn!

Have you started building your food storage?  Do you have a particular method you use?

If you haven’t started building your food storage, what is stopping you?


Author: Laurie Nguyen

I am a happily married, stay at home mom with four sons, ages 24, 22, 18, and 14. I'm not a professional blogger, and I'm certainly not a foodie or a chef. But I like food, so I think I'm qualified to write about my own life experience with food. Want to be a little more prepared for the unexpected? Check out my Food Storage Blog, Have a question about Food Storage? Email me:

21 thoughts on “Practical, Real Person, Grocery Store Shopping Prepping

  1. Laurel – you are right on about gathering food “storage” items in an organized, press-forward way. Your list of commodities is great and motivates me to check my shelves again. You asked for input on methods for building your food storage. Mine includes inventory. I turned my idea into a page on my little website. The page falls under the “Preparedness How-To’s” tab. I’m looking forward to hearing about other’s ideas as well. Thanks! Nancy


  2. I live alone (with cat) so its not that difficult, what can be is to learn from the experience and buy what is enough and right. I live in mexico, it gets annoying cause theres not that much variety of products as one wish there would be.
    I always like to have a good food storage, not only because of the imminent end of the world, but because sometimes I get sick and cannot go to the market, if I dont have what I need… thats the most important time for you to have what you need.
    I was reading the water post this morning, long ago I used to store many soda bottles with water, but last year I decided to improve and got myself a 68L plastic container (I fill it around 60L). The tap water here its not nice, so I have to filter and disinfect, so far so good, I have plenty of water when I need. I drink water not only from there, so I havent set another plastic container, yet.


  3. I think you’ve pointed out something really important– an “emergency” doesn’t necessarily mean “Armageddon.” I’m really enjoying your blog because you’re so practical about this stuff, not panicky or paranoid.


    • Thanks! Truth is, most people will never experience Armageddon, but most people will experience a hurricane, tornado, snowstorm, earthquake, unemployment or any number of things. All of those situations are a little bit more bearable if you have some food stored. 🙂


  4. You are not alone!! I must say, though, I’m coming to your house for Armageddon! Mine’s full of Tide and vodka.


  5. I love this topic! I have been wanting to start storing some food. I just printed out your list. One of the things I worry about is water. Here in the desert that could be a problem. It is so bulky to store, though, and the heat in the summer here causes the plastic bottles to break quite often. I was wondering if you have any suggestions for a good way to store it.


  6. Hi Lauren. We grow and preserve enough to survive and stock up on other things when cheap. This is a good post and I can relate to it. Prepping site searching often becomes a really negative experience that has me fearing for the future, it does my mind no good at all. I want to be self reliant and know how to cope and exists should something happen, I don’t want fear to prevent me living a happy life…quite honestly I rarely read these sorts of things anymore.


  7. Excellent information. It’s good to prepare for the worst while hoping for the best. I find that things usually play-out somewhere in the middle of the spectrum between our worst fears and our best hopes.


  8. I was intrigued by the 52 week list, but most of the stuff on the list is stuff I am trying to eat less of… I bought 20 lbs of sugar at Costco some time last year and still have half of it. I usually have about 6 weeks of staples that we normally eat on hand, so if the weather is bad, we just make food from our on-hand stuff. I never recall running out to get stuff before bad weather.. I would just adjust the menu based on what I want use up. I am more in a race not to waste food… not too long ago, I bought 10 lbs of potatoes when the kids were coming for the holidays, then we didn’t use that many, and they were starting to go bad, so my husband and I moved into high gear and cooked them all up ( all the good ones) and made a huge batch of mashed potatoes and packed them in quart size bags and froze them. One bag made a very nice Shepherd;s pie last week.

    I like your blog…


    • Thanks for stopping by and for letting me know about your food storage habits. I, too, work very hard not to waste food. Cooking and freezing is a great way to use produce before it goes bad. If you’re up for it, you can also cut up your potatoes and plant them!


  9. This is exactly how I’m thinking today, Laurie. I can’t spend time dwelling on what might happen; instead I want to do something positive and move forward! Thanks for sharing this list.


  10. Pingback: Two-Parter: Canned Chicken Follow-Up & A New Food Storage Purchasing Plan | My Foray Into Food Storage

  11. Reblogged this on My Foray Into Food Storage and commented:

    This is one of my earliest posts and one of my favorites. It includes a “build your food storage for $5/wk” guide. Hope you enjoy it!


  12. This is a great post! Our power went out for 5 days over Christmas – we were one of the longer outages in the area after a huge snow and ice storm. Fortunately we had enough food for a couple days, and my parents came with gift baskets in hand (and a truck full of firewood). I’ve been trying to stay more prepared ever since but it’s hard with all the worst case scenario, zombie apocalypse sites that are so popular. 🙂 Thanks for sharing!


  13. Hi Laurie! Great post on Food Storage! I, too, am into storing food and water for more Emergency type situations but I’ve taken an extra step in making my own bread, pasta, canning fruits and vegetables from the garden, canning meat, dehydrating, making my own house cleaners, personal care products. Doing all of this to be more self-sufficient (reliant). If anyone is interested stop by and see my site at to see my recipes I’ve posted. I’ve also got recipes for Natural remedies. Thanks for posting your list Laurie! I’ve got the same items you have on your list. Great minds think alike.


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