How Much Food Storage Do I Need?: Calculate How Much Food To Store Per Person

June 15, 2022 9 min read

How Much Food Storage Do I Need?: Calculate How Much Food To Store Per Person

There are so many questions you must answer when stockpiling and prepping for the safety of your family, like “What should I be prepping?”, “Where should I store my stockpile?”, and many more. We are here today to answer “how much food to store per person”!

This is important for all preppers because you want to ensure each family member will reach their calorie, protein, carb, and fat requirements every single day when eating the food you have stored.

When you begin to ration food is when your energy and mood drop, and this makes it more difficult to focus on the bigger priorities at hand. 

Food Storage to Always Have on Hand: A Week's Worth of Certain Shelf-Stable Items for Each Person.

pantry food storage

A good rule of thumb when prepping is to always have at least one week’s worth of food stored somewhere cool and dry in the home, like a basement or crawlspace.

This can just be normal food you’d eat everyday. Having some canned soups, tuna, pasta, rice, and vegetables that you normally eat is your first line of defense. Just buy extra of those staples you already use so that if you can’t get to a grocery store for a week, you have nothing to worry about.

It has been recommended that every family keeps 3 days’ worth of food per person like the 72-hour emergency kit in case of emergencies like hurricanes, tornados, or any other natural disaster.

In these uncertain times, it may be safer to keep at least a week’s worth of shelf-stable food for each person in your home at all times. What if natural disasters don’t happen frequently where you are from? Not to worry—Valley Food Storage has food that lasts 25 years

Prepping 3 days of food prevents you from dealing with the pre-storm crowd of people who stampede to grocery stores for last-minute food prep.

Having a week’s worth of food for each person in your household will allow you and your family peace of mind if you ever hear the dreaded tornado siren or emergency broadcast beeping. 

valley food storage being put into a storage bucket

How Much Emergency Short Term Food Storage Needed Per Person: Think 30 Days

Three days’ worth of food will work fine in cases of natural disaster, because cleanup and aid usually come quickly to the impacted areas, but what if something bigger happens?

Are you prepared to eat for a month at home while still reaching your food requirements? Let’s talk about why you need to be prepped for a full month: 

Being prepped with a month’s worth of food will allow for more flexibility if job loss strikes your home. With budget-cutting and layoffs happening left and right, your family should always be prepared to deal with financial uncertainty even if you think you have job security.

When you are strapped for cash, grocery shopping can go from a fun Saturday outing to the biggest financial burden for your family. Prepping food for a whole month for your family can help you manage your finances if something goes wrong at work or something urgent comes up in your personal life. 

Of course, with the new reality we’re living in with quarantines and disease outbreaks, it’s really easy to see a situation in which you might not be allowed in the grocery store for several weeks or a month.

If you’re in a situation with a forced quarantine for your family, how much easier will you rest knowing that you have plenty of food?

There are two different ways of approaching a short term, 30 day food supply. You can absolutely expand your one week supply of shelf stable items into a month long supply.

It’s easy enough to have enough crackers and flour and canned vegetables to last for 30 days, but using that on a regular basis becomes much more important. If you’re stressed with a job loss or sickness, the last thing you want is to be eating two year old, stale crackers because you forgot to keep up with your food rotation. 

The second option is to buy a month’s supply of food storage. For example, our 525 serving emergency food kit provides 2000 calories a day for 35 days and will still be perfectly fine in 20 years. It’s an easy fix it and forget it answer to a short term food supply.

How Much Food Storage do I Need for a Medium Term Stockpile (3-6 Months)

strawberry oat meal freeze dried survival food

When you start to look at these longer term time frames, you’re working on some more serious assumptions. You’re going to assume you can’t buy food for months at a time.

This has either occurred because of an extended financial situation like a job loss or economic collapse, or a widespread disaster or emergency of some sort. If it’s the latter, you’re also going to have to assume that at least some basic services are not longer being provided.

Perhaps the electricity is down for a while or the fresh water system isn’t working.

It is becoming all too common that cities are without power or clean water for extended periods of time.

Take a look at Flint, Michigan—they still do not have clean water to drink after 6 years. Lead contamination can happen in any city; it is not an isolated incident to Flint. You should always have water stored for at least 3 months for each family member.

rain water barrels

Investing in some rainwater barrels is crucial in 2022. You can attach these barrels to your gutters and allow them to fill with rainwater over time. This water can then be boiled clean and ready to drink!

Do you want to learn more about how to properly store water for long-term storage? Head over to our blog How to Store Water Long-term for Emergencies to learn the best methods and strategies.

We recommend that each family member has enough water for 2 weeks with about 14 gallons per person. Staying hydrated is essential to replenish energy and refresh your body. 

Storms such as hurricanes can inhibit food and water supplies for months. We have seen this already with Hurricane Katrina. Some New Orleans residents were left without easy access to the three basic resources (food, water, and shelter) for weeks waiting for emergency crews to reach them.

Just because a natural disaster strikes, it does not always mean emergency services will be right behind it. You should always be prepared to be your own emergency crew.  

mac and cheese survival food for long term food storage

Now, to food. What are some good things to store in your medium- to long-term storage? If you’re wanting to keep regular groceries as your medium term food storage, you really need to think of it as a lifestyle.

You have to regularly eat from your food preps and replace what you’re eating. This ensures that your 6 months worth of food isn’t expired when you need it. In addition, you’ll want to consider all the cooking and baking essentials!

This includes but is not limited to flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and soda, yeast, pasta, freeze-dried fruits and vegetables, and any seasonings you can think of (just because it's survival food does not mean it has to taste bad!), and lots of protein. 

The other option, again, is to just stock up on some long term survival food that will still be good in 20 years as insurance, then go on cooking and eating regular grocery store food like you always have, secure in the knowledge that you have plenty of food stockpiled in a safe place that you don’t have to mess with.

How Much Long Term Food to Stockpile for Each Person (12+ months)

With such a big increase in civil unrest, are you prepared to bunker down for a year or more? Your family should be protected if war or another pandemic strikes again. If you do your research, you will know that America is in rocky water internally and externally.

American citizens are becoming tense with worry about the future state of our country. This is why we prep. So, how much food do you need to be ready?

survival food storage in a pantry

We have already seen the real-time effects of a pandemic rattling this country. Are you prepared to bunker down if there is another outbreak of a deadly virus and store shelves are empty?

While everyone else is out scrambling to find the last roll of toilet paper in the county, you’ll be watching it go down from your couch. 

How do you ensure that you are getting enough protein if you aren’t able to hunt often or obtain meat and the peanuts just aren't cutting it?

The storage strategies aren’t that different from the medium term storage, but there are some things you’ll want to consider that you’ll be missing for 12 months. One of those things is protein.

The answer is freeze-dried meat! Freeze-dried meat will stay good for up to 25 years, but still give you a ton of protein with over 1,300 grams of protein per bucket! 

Something else you should consider for your long-term food storage is seeds! Seeds supplement your long-term food storage by giving you the opportunity to grow fresh food.

chili freeze dried survival food

Seed storage requires a bit more work. Seeds should be in an air-tight container. You want to keep this container as dry as possible so keep them in a temperature-regulated, cool area that you know is safe from tampering. 

For long-term survival it is recommended to keep the following amounts of foods:

  • 8 pounds of salt
  • 1 pound of baking soda and powder
  • 40 pounds of sugar
  • 12 pounds of dry milk
  • 40-45 pounds of beans
  • 170 pounds of wheat
  • 20-25 pounds of flour 
  • 80 pounds of rice
  • 40 pounds of pasta

Foods with high carbs like rice, pasta, and bread are very filling. However, you will need to supplement these foods with something nutritional like protein or a nutritious sauce.

Freeze-dried meats and tomato sauces are a great way to make a meal more nutritious and better-tasting. Try canning your own tomatoes this harvesting season to get started. 

Of course, we obviously recommend supplementing any of your food preparations with stable foods that you don’t have to worry about spoiling or getting insects like our clean and nutritious emergency food, that can serve either in whole or in part of your food storage preparations.

Amount of Food Storage Needed to Feed Children

If you have children at home that you need to prep for, use this guide below to figure out how many calories your children should be eating and how many they need to be nourished for extended periods of time. 

amount of food storage needed to feed children

4-8 Year Olds

This age group usually requires between 1,200 to 1,800 calories per day. You will need 3,600 - 4,500 calories for 3 days; 16,800 - 21,000 calories for 2 weeks; 33,600 - 42,000 calories per month; and 403,200 - 504,000 calories per year. Valley Food Storage’s 175 Serving Long Term Food Bucket contains about 23,000 calories, which would provide your child with food for at least two weeks at those calorie levels. 

9-13 Year Olds

This age group usually requires 1,600 to 1,800 calories per day. You will need 4,800 to 5,400 calories for 3 days; 22,400 to 25,200 calories for two weeks; 44,800 to 50,400 calories per month; and 537,600 to 604,800 calories for a year. The 350 Serving Long Term Food Kit provides about 47,000 calories, which could be used for anywhere between 2 weeks to 1 month. 

14-18 Year Olds

This age group usually requires 1,800 to 2,200 calories per day. You will need 5,400 to 6,600 calories for 3 days; 25,200 to 30,800 calories for two weeks; 50,400 to 61,600 for one month; and 604,800 to 739,200 calories per year. The 525 Serving Long Term Food Storage would provide about 70,000 calories, which equals a little more than one month of food for this age group at those calorie levels. 

Remember, it is better to overestimate than under. Some days, you just need a little extra food to keep your energy up! 

Amount of Food Storage Needed to Feed Adults

Next, we have broken down the number of calories usually needed to keep adult women and men nourished for extended periods of time: 

amount of food storage needed to feed adults

The daily recommended calorie intake is 2,000 for women and 2,500 for men. You will need 6,000 calories for women and 7,500 calories for men for 3 days; 28,000 calories for women and 35,000 calories for men for two weeks; 56,000 calories for women and 70,000 calories for men for one month; and 672,000 calories for women and 840,000 calories for men for one year. The 1050 Serving Long Term Food Kit would last a man and a woman about one month at those calorie levels. 

How much food to store is up to your particular family and its needs.

At Valley Food Storage, we want to ensure your family is fed and ready for emergencies. Whether you are living off the grid, camping, or prepping, emergency freeze-dried food will always be there to fall back on (for 25 years at least!)

If you are ready to start your living off the grid or homestead lifestyle, check out our guide to how you can be self-sufficient and use the land for your growth and enrichment. This type of living is also a great way to prepare food, because you can eat the foods you grow.

Being self-sustained for when SHTF may be the only way to protect your family. Be sure you have, at the very least, enough food to last your whole family for 2 weeks, and enough water to match. Then slowly upgrade your preparations from there. Don’t let disaster or civil strikes take you by surprise. Be prepared, with Valley Food Storage.