Food Storage for a Year – Do it Without Breaking the Bank!

bean soup

This type of food storage or rather the meal it can provide is not sexy – it will, however, fill you and your family up and get you the vitamins and minerals you need.

The key is to add ingredients to the basic soup in order to enhance the flavor.

All of the food and storing supplies listed below plus 2 55-gallon recycled barrels to be used for rain catchment cost me $296, including taxes. I purchased rice, bouillon and salt from SAM’s Club. You can buy small bags of barley at the grocery, but if you don’t mind waiting a few days, special ordering a bulk bag from Whole Foods was cheaper. All of the beans I purchased from Kroger’s in 1-lb bags.

What you need:

8 5-gallon buckets
8 large Mylar bags
8 2,000 cc oxygen absorbers
8 gamma lids
A handful of bay leaves
90 lbs. of white rice
22 lbs. of kidney beans
22 lbs. of barley
22 lbs. of yellow lentils
5.5 lbs. of split green peas
5.5 lbs. of garbanzo beans
1 lb. of salt
A big box of beef and chicken bouillon.
A measuring cup

What you’ll do

Install the gamma lids on the bucket and insert Mylar bags. Place 2 or 3 bay leaves in the bottom and fill the buckets, adding more bay leaves after each 1/3 to full. Place an oxygen absorber in the top. Label buckets with the contents and date.


• 3 buckets with rice (shake it down good. Get it all in there!)
• 1 bucket each of kidney beans, barley, and yellow lentils
• In 1 bucket store the split green peas, garbanzo beans, salt, measuring cup and bouillon. (I removed the bouillon from the box and vacuum sealed it as bouillon contains a small amount of oil.)
• Yep, that’s a total of 7 buckets, so far.

I place a broom handle across the bucket and wrap the ends of the Mylar bag over the broom handle to give me some support. Then slowly and smoothly run a hot iron over the Mylar bag to seal all except the last 2 inches. Then I press out as much air as possible before sealing the remaining 2 inches.

Make sure your Mylar is completely sealed from end to end. Now, stuff the bag into the bucket and rotate the gamma lid into place. This will protect your food for about 25 years. You’ll have excess Mylar bag at the top. Don’t cut it off, that way if you have to cut it open to get into it, you have enough bag remaining to reseal.

When the emergency is over

This system allows you to open the Mylar bags, retrieve as much of the ingredients as is needed and then reseal everything after the emergency has passed. Just be sure to replace the ingredients used so that you always have a one-year supply.

The basic recipe for this food system is bean soup – with added whatever-you-have-on-hand – but you can use it in a variety of ways that include soup or other recipes.

At the most basic level, however, it will provide you and your family (up to four people, total) with one year’s worth of life-sustaining food!

To see the bean soup recipe and some other ideas on how to use these ingredients for meals, please visit Seasoned Citizen Prepper.