Douglas C. Piza, AP Photo
Pallets of food stuffs are delivered to a home in American Fork, Utah, in 2008.

People often ask how basic food storage compares to storing gourmet freeze-dried meals. While the latter is very convenient, here are some things to consider about basic food storage.

Buy more food

Basic food storage, which includes grains (oatmeal, pasta, cornmeal, wheat) and legumes (any dried beans, lentils, split peas), is very inexpensive to store. In fact, these are the least expensive foods that can be stored in bulk. This makes it possible to store much more food when you’re on a budget.

Since leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and leaders of other congregations have counseled their members to store a year’s supply of food or as close to it as they can, storing these basic foods makes it possible to reach this goal.

Even buying a grain mill to grind wheat is relatively inexpensive when looking at other expensive options for storing a year’s supply of food.

Inexpensive to replace

Additionally, families who must live on seriously reduced incomes are able to replenish their supplies of food. Particularly in these economic times when many families are living with reduced incomes for longer than a year, they can continue to sustain themselves by purchasing inexpensive basic foods to maintain their stores of food.

Variety

Another advantage of basic food storage is the large variety of meals that can be made with it. By storing a simple list of canned vegetables (tomatoes, corn, green beans) and dried vegetables (onions, celery, green peppers, carrots and potatoes) along with some bouillon and spices, there is a huge range of fast and absolutely delicious recipes that can be made.

Store dried whole eggs and leavening for baking with grains. This list of foods is not long and they are inexpensive. In a long-term emergency, will families want to eat the same 5-10 meals over and over again? People become tired of foods when they have them too often.

Nutrition

Basic food storage gives families top nutrition. When experts are saying to often include legumes and whole grains in a diet to avoid the serious health problems of the day, storing basic food storage provides a big advantage. Families that have found fast and delicious recipes and use what they are storing, enjoy the most healthy foods they can eat, and they already know how to use them for an emergency.

Basic food storage offers some definite advantages when considering what to store. It makes a significant difference for families who see the value of preparing for a long-term emergency and are weighing the expense.

Leslie Probert graduated in home economics from Brigham Young University. She has spoken to thousands of people about food storage and is co-author of new book "Emergency Food Storage in a Nutshell, 3rd Edition." Her email is [email protected]