Prepare Your Own Personal Home Grocery Store And Pharmacy

Food storage

There are many reasons for stockpiling a three-month, six-month or one-year supply of food. For one thing, it’s a good investment.

The value of food commodities generally increases at the same rate as inflation. Money in the bank doesn’t do that. Investing in $500 worth of canned goods, tuna, canned chicken or dehydrated food that will last five to 15 years is a better bet than putting $500 in the bank.

But the most important reason to store food is that it comes in very handy in a crisis of any kind, whether it is a large-scale emergency such as an earthquake, flood, volcanic eruption, war, strike or economic crash or something as personal as being laid off work, moving or helping other family members that are down and out. When cash is short, it is comforting to know that you can use your home grocery store to help buffer lean money times. If there ever comes a time when you have to live on what you have in your food storage for an extended period of time, you will wish you had a well-rounded supply of food.

How Much Food Do You Have On Hand?

In general, most households do not have more than a one-week supply of food. Let’s face it, as a Nation, we rely almost totally on the supermarket and fast food restaurants.

If you ask any supermarket chain manager to tell you how long it would take to empty the shelves in any store in the event of a crises, the answer would be approximately three days. They just don’t keep that much in their warehouses. And if there were a trucking problem, it would be less than three days. People would storm the grocery stores and buy anything they could get. Water would be the first thing to go.

I strongly suggest that you find a place in your home, either in a basement, spare bedroom, closet, junk room, pantry, under the stairway or heated garage, and go to work turning it into your own home grocery store and pharmacy. Somehow, get shelves in there, build them, have them built or buy them pre-built. Whatever works best for your family, just do it.

This “home grocery store” will be to you and your family as the ark was to Noah and his family. It will contain all the necessary food, water, bedding and medical supplies to sustain life for a minimum of three months and up to one year.

Foods That Store Well

  • Canned foods such as vegetables, fruits and juices.
  • Whole grains and rice.
  • Dried beans and legumes.
  • Pastas and cereals.
  • Dried dairy such as powdered milk, dried eggs, dried butter and dried cheese.
  • Dried fruits and vegetables.
  • Herbs, spices and seasonings.
  • Honey and other sweeteners.
  • Baking items like baking powder, soda, yeast and salt.
  • Olive oil.
  • Condiments such as salad dressing, pickles, ketchup, jams and syrups.
  • Water (one gallon per person per day).

Non-Food Items To Store

Rotate And Replenish

If you store what you eat and eat what you store, the rotation will automatically take care of itself. Rotating your food so your family gets accustomed to eating it is very important. Always replace each item as it is used up so you can maintain your stockpile.

Case Lot Sales

Purchase cases of items when they come on sale. Our hometown grocery store has case lot sales about four times a year. The best prices are when items are in season. I save a lot of money by purchasing in bulk.

How Much Food To Store

As you calculate what you need for your favorite recipes, keep in mind that these items must be storable. Nothing perishable will work so choose recipes that use canned or dehydrated food items in them. A sample formula for knowing how much food to store is to keep track of what you eat for a two-week period of time. Surprisingly, most families repeat meals every few days. Multiply the basic ingredients by six to calculate a three-month supply and by 13 for a six-month supply of those items. Separate menus can be calculated for summer and winter, taking into consideration gardening and seasonal foods available. Build your own stockpile slowly, over a six-month period of time. Then you will quickly have your own supply of the essentials and receive the peace of mind of knowing that you are not dependent on the government, church or anyone else.

Purchase Extra Food Items Each Week

Every time I go to the grocery store, I get two of each item that I normally buy, such as ketchup, barbecue sauce, pickles, olives, cream soups, mayonnaise, salad dressing, spaghetti sauces, mixes, etc. I put one away and use the other. It’s a good idea to keep adding more and more of a variety of items to your home grocery store, so your diet won’t be bland.

Make A Plan

Emergency Food StoragePlanned menus can eliminate the panic feeling you get when you know you should store food and you don’t know where to begin. This will assist you in avoiding impulse or panic buying, which will save you a lot of time, money and grief.

I have included a chart in my book Emergency Food Storage and Survival Handbook to plan menus for two weeks. It asks you to list every ingredient to make sure you have each item on hand.

Anticipate your needs for a three-month period of time. Buy bulk food in larger quantities and store them in plastic food grade buckets that have airtight lids. (We will be discussing the different methods of storing bulk food in an upcoming article.)

Store your food in a cool, dry place away from sunlight and in a place that stays a constant temperature of about 40-60 degrees Fahrenheit. Hot or cold fluctuations in temperatures can destroy the nutritive value of the food and shorten its shelf life. A basement or cold storage area is ideal. I realize that some people don’t have a basement; that’s why it is so important to plan a space that can stay cooler than the rest of the house.

Always label every can, bottle or bucket with what is in each container, the date of purchase, shelf life, and the date to be used by.

Ready-To-Eat Meals (Just Add Water)

An emergency could last from three days, three months or six months. I believe we need at least two weeks’ worth of quick, easy meals that don’t require much effort to make. There are several companies selling premade meals. Meals that have all the ingredients in them and you just add water and cook them for 15 minutes. I especially like the ones called GoFoods. The name stands for On The Go Foods for families. The things I like the most about these meals are that they are healthy and quick to fix (15 minutes), and the shelf life is 15 to 25 years. There are no chemicals, additives, preservatives, dyes, trans fats, hydrogenated oils, GMO foods or MSG in their meals or food items.

Most of the information in this article came from my book Emergency Food Storage and Survival Guide.

–Peggy Layton

Personal Liberty

Peggy Layton

a home economist and licensed nutritionist, holds a B.S. in Home Economics Education with a minor in Food Science and Nutrition from Brigham Young University. Peggy lives in Manti, Utah with her husband Scott. Together they have raised seven children. Peggy owns and operates two businesses: One called "The Therapy Center", where she is a licensed massage therapist and hypnotherapist, and the other an online cookbook and preparedness products business. She is nationally known for publishing a series of seven books on the subject of food storage and also lectures and teaches seminars about preparedness and using food storage products. Peggy practices what she preaches, has no debt, grows a huge garden, lives off the land, raises chickens, bottles and dehydrates food and has time left over to operate her businesses. To check out Peggy's cookbooks and self sufficiency products go to her website To get a free sample of three different storable meals that have a 15-year shelf life go here.

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  • Bill

    Great Advice, Peggy,
    Keep up the good work

  • FedupVet

    We started ours over a year ago. I have started buying things like Spam, instant potatoes, instant milk, instant oatmeal and grits, canned veggies and fruits, jams and peanut butter, flour, sugar, honey, and the list goes on. But don’t forget your pets, if you have dogs, start to plan for them too in your water stockpiles and then dogfood for them. We are planning on 50lbs a month for the 3 dogs and then our horses with the grain they will need when the grass isn’t growing like it should. We have also started buying 50lb bags of grass seed to keep the fields seeded year round. We have also started buying MRE’s and dehydrated foods and fruits for easy storage. I have almost what I need for a year with the exception of water. Now we are concentrating on that. We have been picking up extra in order to help our neighbors out when the time comes, you have those ones that just don’t think they would ever need anything of this magnitude. Well, your government can’t take care of you people, when a natural disaster happens and the roadways have been cut off or the drought has caused so much wide spread damage that the food is in a major shortage, you will need this. Do NOT depend on anyone but yourself to take care of yourself and your family. The government doesn’t owe you anything and trust me when I say this, they will not be caring about anyone else but themselves and their buddies in their safe bunkers while the rest of us are out here defending ourselves. So help yourself and be prepared!!!!!!!

    • FreedomFighter

      If you have not, you may want to pick yourself up a decent X-BOW, nothing exotic, not one of those compound monsters that can only shoot specially made bolts due to the tremendous forces generated on the shafts. Buy one that shoots 215-350fps, does not require complicated cams or workings, that way you can use local wood for shafts if you have to. Excalibur makes an incredible xbow, brute force simplicity combined with elegant design, legendary accuracy, drives tacks at 50 yards.
      Laus DeoSemper FI

  • FreedomFighter

    Workin with “Cookin with Potatoes” now, did Cookin with Beans and Rice (excellent) — practice makes perfect.
    Laus Deo
    Semper FI

  • Urimas

    For God’ sake people, did you bother to read the prepp article from last Monday?!!!…Where some very smart guy tells you to DO IT QUIETLY?…”Loose lips sink ships”, remember?…I just read on Facebook comments (above) one guy posting online all his inventory very proudly.He just missed to give his full address and Social Security number!…
    Get real people! When tswhtf happens, Government looses control, and 48 millions of “Food Stampers” will get hungry, where to Hell do you think they will look for a “fix” ?… An Army base? A FEMA camp?…You wish! They will go where the low hang fruit is…And that’s YOU!
    What’s the purpose of 5 years stocking of food and other esentials, as long as anybody in the neighborhood knows where the treasure is?…It only get you and your loved ones killed when the things go tough…
    THAT’S WHY is so important to stockpile food, or any other survival item secretly and quietly – never tell anyboby else what you are doing – and more than that, even disinform your neighbors, like, even if you have stock enough toilet paper for a year, go and ask your neighbor if he can spare a roll…
    Hungry mobs don’t go for beggars…

  • ready4?

    Don’t forget to stock up on organic beans and grains to sprout. Most will sprout in a few days, and take little water. Most of the canned food is packed with salt and chemicals. You will need some real food to survive.