Calculation of One Year of Food for Storage


Long-term food storage is sometimes associated with religions that believe in preparing for unseen disasters. Food storage can be attempted by anyone who has knowledge about safe food storage practices, which will prevent any stored food from going bad. Online food storage calculators can help determine how much food a typical family of four, two adults and two children, will need for a year.

Things You'll Need

  • Computer with Internet access
  • Online food storage calculator
  • Notepad
  • Pen

Online calculator

  • Locate an online calculator. This calculator will help determine the minimum food storage requirements for each person in your family for one year.

  • Type in the number of people in your family and hit calculate. Take out your notepad and pen, and take notes on every suggestion in the food calculator.

  • Make a notation for each section of food staples. Most calculators are divided into seven sections: grains, legumes, sugars, milk, cooking essentials, water, and fats and oils.

  • Tailor your food storage lists to your family. If certain members of the family do not eat from certain items on the food calculator, subtract those items and substitute others on your food list. For example, under the legumes category, if your family does not eat lima beans, cross those off your list and substitute the correct amount of another bean, for protein, in its place.

  • Add favorite, nonperishable foods for each family member on your list. According to the CPS Container and Packaging Supply website, "Only buy and store the kind of food you will eat."

  • Adjust the food calculator to fit your own family's strengths and limitations. If you know your family eats more than its share of peanut butter, add more peanut butter to your list. If you know your family has more of a sweet tooth than average, adjust each calculation.

Tips & Warnings

  • Food storage calculating is specific to each family. Online calculators will only cover the bare minimum of what is needed to maintain each person for a year. To break the possible monotony of food storage, add in several comfort foods for each family member.
  • Do not forget to add bleach to your list of food storage items if it is not on your calculator. Bleach can be a multi-purpose item that will aid in sanitation and also in purifying water.

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  • Photo Credit au fond du placard image by Claudio Calcagno from
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