Tackle your short-Term food storage

Our goal for a 90-day supply of food is simple and straight-forward:
Store what you eat and eat what you store.

Stock up on food your family eats everyday

Doing short-term food storage right simply means you have more of what your family loves to eat on hand. You will take these foods and build out a 90-day inventory. You won’t be “storing” these foods at all, rather rotating through them.

Maintain 90 days of food

Maintenance is the name of the food storage game. Because you’re not buying and keeping the food, but rather rotating through it, you must quickly replace what you use. Do this and you will maintain a meaningful storage.

Tips for building your 3-month food supply

Follow the two steps below to create an active and sustainable 90-day food supply.


There are two different methods to build your inventory. Pick what works for you and your family. Of course, you can mix the two.

a. Meal Planning

This method is best for those who like a more structured approach.

  • Make a list of the meals your family eats for 14 days.
  • Create recipes from this list and be very specific with your ingredient.
  • Take each recipe and multiplying each one by 6. This process is the building block of your 3-month food storage.
b. Buy Extra

This method is great for those who just want to stock the pantry and put things together as they go.

  • Instead of focusing on menus, just buy extras of things you use a lot.
  • Actively add to your inventory everytime you go to the store.
  • To make this effective, you need to end up with 90 days of food.

Whether your storage includes items based on meal planning, buying extra, or both, step 2 is for everyone.

Rotate & Replace

This is the heart & soul of short-term food storage.

  • Start rotating each item into your daily meals.
  • Keep a running list of what items you use and buy them the next time you go to the store.
  • The replacement item goes to the back with the oldest item in front ready to use next.
  • This last step ensures that your will always have a 90-day supply of food on hand.
Best Methods for short-Term Storage

Three types of storage can be useful for your short-term food supply.

Pantry Storage

A pantry is an area, such as a cabinet, cupboard, closet, etc., that stores food that does not require refrigeration or freezing. While food stored here must be shelf-stable, they typically don't have a shelf life that lasts beyond 6 months for boxed goods and a few years for canned items. You can use pantry storage for long term storage but most people don't have the space. Here are some great suggestions for pantry storage.

Canned Goods

veggies, fruits, soups, meats, stock/broths, sauces, beans, chili, coconut milk, olives

Jarred Goods

sauces, gravies, salsas, nut butters, peanut butter, jams, syrups, pickles, bouillon cubes

Pasta, Rice, Grains

any pastas, white & brown rice, barley, quinoa, oats, popcorn

Beans & Legumes

dried beans, chickpeas, cannellini beans, lentils, split peas, and black-eyed peas

Boxed Meals

stews, macaroni & cheese,

Healthy Snacks

crackers, nuts, seeds, apple sauce, jello, pudding, dried fruit, cocoa

Baking Supplies

flour, baking soda & powder, seasonings, various sugars, honey, dry milk, yeast

Oils, Vinegars, Dressings

cooking oil, olive oil, red vinegar, white vinegar, apple cider vinegar, salad dressings


mayo, mustard, ketchup, soy sauce

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Refrigerator Storage

We all have refrigerators but don't really use them to their full potential. With a little thought and determination, you can turn your fridge into an environment that really works to save food for as long as possible. While it is true that most food stored in the fridge is short-term by nature, there are a few things you can do that will make your foods last a lot longer.

Storage Conditions

Though modern fridges use intelligent controls to ensure that the humidity levels, light, and temperature stay at an optimal level for storing food, check it every now and then to make sure it's working properly and does not go above 40º F.

Storage Location

By learning to store foods in the proper areas of the fridge, it’s possible to preserve the nutrients and ensure that foods don’t go bad. If you would like to learn more about how to store food for optimum storage, check out the Complete Guide to storing food in the fridge.

Seal in the Freshness

One of the very best investments you can make is to buy a FoodSaver or other such product on the market. This allows you to vacuum seal meats, vegetables, fruits, etc., extending the freshness of these foods. They are not created equal as some do more than others (like jar sealing, etc.) so be sure to do your homework and buy the one that works for your needs.

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Extra Freezer Storage

Freezing food for short-term storage is ideal as long as you have an extra freezer and the electricity stays on. If the electricity goes out for an extended period of time, you will lose whatever you can’t eat in a few days to a weeks’ time. If you invest a lot of time and money with this method of food storage, you really need to purchase a backup generator.

Optimal Storage Conditions

To function well, your freezer should only be filled at 70 to 80% capacity, not jammed full or left half empty. The freezer temperature should be 0° F (-18° C). Check temperatures periodically. Appliance thermometers are the best way of knowing these temperatures and are generally inexpensive.

Okay to freeze

milk * cheese * yogurt * butter * meats both raw & cooked * seafood both raw & cooked * meat stock * veggie stock * soups * stews * casseroles * doughs * eggs * pasta & noodles-cooked * pesto * tomato paste * tomato sauce * wheat berries * rice quinoa * other grains * yeast bread * pizza crusts * cakes * cookies * muffins * pies * nuts * beans * tofu * tempeh

Do not freeze

lettuce of all types * un-pickled cabbage * celery * radishes * cucumbers * parsley * melons * crumb toppings * icing or frosting with egg white base * mayonnaise * salad dressing * meringues * custards * cream puddings * milk sauces * sour cream * fruit jelly * fried foods * cornstarch * gelatin

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