How We Store Our Food Storage in a Small Living Space

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I grew up with a large food storage room that was always stocked with the foods that we ate often, baking supplies, snacks and more. I dream of having a room like that in our future home, but we’ve never had the space to make it happen. Having food storage is another thing that I know we can do to prepare for a disaster or a financial hardship.

Related: 9 Ways to Prepare Your Marriage & Family for an Emergency

food storage

From the beginning of our marriage, I knew that I wanted to work on building our food supply but we had no storage space in our little apartment, so we had to get creative. We purchased some metal shelving, similar to this one or this one, and found space for it behind our bedroom door. We rarely ever closed our door, so it was hidden and out of the way, but easy to access when I needed something for a meal I was making.

There are a lot of resources out there for stocking your food storage supply. Because our space was still so limited, I only purchased large quantities of the things that I knew we would use. Beans, corn, diced tomatoes, tuna, condiments, and boxed brownie and cake mixes were all things that we had in our stockpile. When I used something, I put it on the shopping list so that I could restock the next time I went to the grocery store. It wasn’t my ideal situation, but it worked for us and the space that we had.

storing canned food

When we moved to a basement apartment, we were able to expand our food storage just a bit, with the purchase of another shelving unit. I stocked up on even more food and started to take advantage of sales and case lot sales. Not only did having that food on hand give me peace of mind, but it helped us to plan meals on the fly and not spend as much on our grocery bill each month because I was using what we already had on hand.

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small storage space solutions

We bought our house four years ago, and one of the first things that we did was finish the basement. We had the option to create a bigger office/bedroom space or make that room smaller and turn the extra space into a small storage room. We already had a large storage room on the other side of the basement, but having a room without a window that was more climate controlled was exactly what I wanted to start expanding our food storage.

Our space is still small, and lacks the shelving that I hope to build in the future, but I have loved having more space to stock up on foods we eat often when they go on sale. Our food storage contains everything it always has but I now store cereal, baking supplies, these protein shakes that are a staple in our household, shelf stable milk, Costco size boxes of snacks for the kids, peaches and beans that I bottled this summer with my mom and even food for the dog.

Each year for Christmas, my mom gives us more things to put in our food storage. Big containers of flour and sugar, multiple canisters of salt,and buckets of brown sugar, powdered sugar and chocolate chips. We use what we have and restock it as we need. It’s been so nice to have those things to start us off and know that we have food on hand if we were to ever fall on hard times.

Related: How to Prepare for Your Family’s Financial Future

shelf stable food storage

This next year I’m hoping to build shelves in our food storage room so that I have space to slowly start building a bigger food supply each time I go grocery shopping. There are a lot of great lists on Pinterest to help you build up your supply, one item at a time. This is one of my favorite resources for building your food storage over the course of a year, using only $5 a week. That’s the list that I’m currently planning on using to build up our food storage supply in the coming year.

Tip: Rotate through the foods that you are storing. Pay attention to best by and expiration dates. Use what you have and start there when making your meal plan each month! You will still keep a good supply in case you need it to live off of, but it won’t go to waste. Use it, don’t just build it and have it sit there!

food storage room

I still dream of a future home, with more space and shelves to store everything we would need to survive for a few months without going to the grocery store if we needed to. Until that’s a reality for us, we are making due with what the space that we do have and using it to the fullest.

What does your food storage supply look like?

Photography by Sadie Banks Photography

we've been building our food storage supply from the beginning of our marriage, when we lived in a tiny apartment with no food storage space. Here's how to build yours!