Food Storage on a Budget: How to Get Started Plus Food Storage Printables & Forms

March 27, 2013

Sarah Shelton

Sarah Shelton

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning if you decide to make a purchase via my links, I may earn a commission at no additional cost to you. See my disclosure for more info.

Today I am going to share with you on how to store food on a budget, but first a little about me:

I am a busy homeschooling mama to four children. I am a natural, homebirthing, breastfeeding, baby wearing mom who believes in a natural, healthy lifestyle for my family. My husband has been into preparedness since we have been married and living in Arizona. I was never really on board with it, as living in Arizona I couldn’t really foresee any natural disasters or reasons to need to be prepared with food storage. Then we moved to Florida one week before Hurricane Katrina hit. That got me thinking that we needed to be better prepared and it was my job as a wife and homemaker to provide that for my family.

After we were settled in I was going through the cabinet that my husband stored our long term storage food in. I pulled everything out onto the kitchen counters and was appalled to see almost expired cases of SPAM which we moved across the country and cases of canned goods that were full of sodium and preservatives! These were items that we didn’t normally eat and that I wouldn’t want to feed to my family!

I decided then and there that I was now on board with being prepared and began to improve our food storage so that no matter what happened, we would always have healthy and good tasting meals to sustain ourselves. We started a big garden and I began to can and dehydrate homegrown produce as well as products from local farmer’s markets to add to our long term storage. While this is a lot of fun, it is also quite time consuming for a large family.

Two years ago I found out about Thrive Foods. What a change this has made in my life! The foods are natural, wholesome foods with no additives, no preservatives, no mystery ingredients. All cans and pouches are also BPA free!

All Thrive Foods products are shelf-stable and will last 25-30 years. When opened, they are GOOD to eat, GREAT tasting and nutritious. It is real food with basic ingredients that you cook with on a daily basis! Almost all of them are GMO free and they are also super convenient.

Since I make all of our meals from scratch, this has made dinner time so much easier for me. Instead of having small children climbing on me in the kitchen and balancing a baby on my hip while trying to chop veggies and shred meat for meals, I can now just scoop fresh veggies into our meals or add meat with no chopping required! I always have quick and easy snacks for my baby and toddlers. There is a never ending supply of delicious fresh fruit for my family to have right out of the can, with their smoothies, or as a topping for yogurt & cereals without the worry of wasting food due to freezer burn or mold. Plus, there is no need to wash, dry and prepare it before they can start snacking.

You can read more about my story at my website HERE.

A few tips on how to store food on a budget:

  • Eat what you store, store what you eat. Don’t buy those cans of Spam at the bulk warehouse club if your family won’t eat Spam! This will just waste money. Instead, buy things you will eat!
  • Start “Copy Canning” If you eat lots of soup then when you go to buy soup at the store, buy a few extra cans. Better yet, use coupons and take advantage of BOGO free deals. Then you will have extra food and not spend any extra. You can get quite a stockpile going of soups, broths, pasta, sauces etc… this way.
  • Set aside a closet just for food storage. As you buy a little extra here and put it away and you will be amazed at how fast it grows! Just make sure to keep track of what you use so you can replace it!
  • Start a garden and start drying your own herbs and canning your own fruits and vegetables, the only thing this will cost you is time! You can get canning supplies at yard sales or thrift stores too.
  • Sign up for a monthly “Q” to have food shipped to your doorstep every month. You choose what you know your family will eat and you choose the budget you want to spend each month! HERE is a ton of information about this wonderful program!
  • Have a Thrive Foods Party! This is the best way to get started. Earn FREE and half off food! You can hold a facebook event/online party with me and your friends!

If you have any questions, are interested in earning free and half off food, or if you are interested in residual income by being a consultant yourself please CONTACT ME HERE!

Food Storage Printables & Forms


freezer inventory form pantry list freezer storage times
Freezer Inventory Form Pantry List Inventory Freezer Storage Times {Cheat Sheet}


food storage guidelines
Refrigerated Food Storage Guidelines {Cheat Sheet}

Here are some recommended resources to help you learn more about food storage and how to get started:

Emergency Food Storage & Survival Handbook: Everything You Need to Know to Keep Your Family Safe in a Crisis

Survival Mom: How to Prepare Your Family for Everyday Disasters and Worst-Case Scenarios

Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving

Recommended books for your kindle:
Poverty Prepping: How to Stock up For Tomorrow When You Can’t Afford To Eat Today

The Top 99 Items ONLY 99 CENTS!!!
Food Self-Sufficiency: Reality Check FREE!!!

Related resources

  • Sweetening Relationships with Your Kids

  • family

    Service Project Ideas For Children and Families

  • closet

    Ideas to Organize and Refresh Your Home

  • Star Wars Treats and Snacks for Star Wars Day with a photo of a Star Wars Cake and Star Wars characters in the background

    Star Wars Treats and Snacks for Star Wars Day

  • Parenting Hacks for When Your Kids Won't Share text with image of two boys sitting at table together raising their  hands

    Parenting Hacks for When Your Kids Won’t Share

  • A girl sitting on a table

    Fun and Easy Dinner Recipes for Cooking with Kids