Home » How much food for a year: proven dry staples

How much food for a year: proven dry staples

Store food for a year. Store a lot of food. Don’t worry about guns, beans, or bullets until you have long-term emergency food. As I write this, 9 million people in Venezuela are food insecure or malnourished, and according to bread.org, Venezuela is on the brink of famine.

How Much Food For a Year?

For a one-year supply of food per person, store: 400 pounds of grain, 60 pounds of dry beans, 16 pounds of powdered milk, 10 quarts of cooking oil, 60 pounds of white table sugar, 8 pounds of salt, and a minimum of 365 gallons of potable water per person.

If you are reading this, you know the world is getting crazy. You can’t do much about the global economy, so focus on your circle of influence, store food, and get prepared for hard times.

Dry staples like beans, rice, wheat, and rolled oats are the framework of a one-year emergency food supply because they are proven throughout history to keep people from starving. They don’t require refrigeration, are calorie-dense, last for decades, and don’t have to be rotated.

Scott, Ready Squirrel

Read on to learn more about the dry staple foods to hoard for the apocalypse.

How much grain to store

Plan to store 400 pounds of grain per person for a year’s emergency and survival food supply.

Simplify the food storage process by focusing on hard white wheat and white rice to make up the 400lbs of grains per person. Or mix and match with some of the grains listed below to reduce palate fatigue and make your survival menu a little more interesting. Just make sure your overall grain store adds up to 400 lbs.

The bulk of my one-year food supply is polished long-grain white rice, hard white wheat, and a combination of dried pinto and black beans because these foods are inexpensive and readily available where I live.

Scott, Ready Squirrel

Chart #1 Grain for one-year (top choices)

Grain TypeShelf-life
Oxygen-free Storage
Long-grain White Rice (polished rice)30+
Jasmine Rice30+
Basmati Rice30+
Arborio Rice30+
Converted Rice30+
Hard White Wheat30+
Hard Red Wheat30+
Rolled Oats30+
Triticale (Hybrid of rye and wheat)30+
Soft Wheat (Less Protein Than Hard Wheat)30+
Ancient Wheat (Einkorn,Emmer,Spelt)30+
Grain Corn (Field or Dent Corn)30+
Dry Pasta30+
Shelf-life is for Grain stored oxygen-free in sealed Mylar bags with oxygen absorbers or purchased professionally packaged in #10 cans.

Chart #2 Soft grains for one year (top choices)

Soft Grain TypeShelf-life
Oxygen-free Storage
Hulled Oats20+
Pearled Oats20+
Rolled Oats20+
Shelf-life is for Grain stored oxygen-free in sealed Mylar bags with oxygen absorbers or purchased professionally packaged in #10 cans.

Chart #3 Do not store these grains long-term

Some grains are high in fats with a limited shelf-life, and Lipids go rancid quickly, regardless of their storage. You can use these grains for your short-term emergency food supply if you rotate them and avoid storing them for your bulk long-term food supply.

Grain TypeShelf-life
Oxygen-Free Storage
Brown Rice6 to 18 months
Black and Purple Rice6 to 18 months
Pearl Barley6 to 18 months
Shelf-life is for Grain stored oxygen-free in sealed Mylar bags with oxygen absorbers or purchased professionally packaged in #10 cans.

Survival Wheat

Survival Wheat should be included in the 400 pounds of grain needed for a one-year supply. It is a proven survival edible. First cultivated 10,500 years ago, it was a staple food of the Romans and the Egyptians.

Wheat requires a proactive prepper because it needs to be milled with a grain mill for flour. Milling whole-wheat flour from wheat berries is pioneer-level work if done manually. Storing all-purpose white flour is an option, but it has a shorter shelf-life.

To learn why I store wheat berries instead of flour, check out the Ready Squirrel article, “Flour or Wheat, Maximum Shelf-life.”

Why Wheat for long-term survival food?

Wheat has a 30-plus-year shelf life and is flexible survival food. Boil it whole and eat like porridge, mill it into flour for baked goods, sprout for nutritious greens, or plant it in an emergency or survival garden.

In the United States, wheat for consumption is wheat berries. Wheat berries are wheat kernels with the oil-containing husks removed, increasing shelf-life by decades. Red wheat has the highest protein (gluten) levels, but it is a little wilder tasting than hard white wheat and takes some getting used to if you primarily eat white bread.

Learn more about “Do It Yourself” Oxygen-free storage of wheat. Check out the Ready Squirrel article “Storing Wheat To Outlast You.”

Emergency Rice

White rice is a filling comfort food that provides a whole protein or amino acid combined with cooked dry beans, making it a “no-brainer survival food.” Rice feeds most of the planet, a proven staple food dating back 10,000 years when the Chinese first cultivated it as a crop.

Learn more about the types of rice to store and rice to avoid in long-term food storage. Check out the Ready Squirrel article, “Best Rice For Long Term Storage And How to Store It.”

Emergency Oats

Rolled oats have a good combination of carbohydrates and healthy fats. They are one of the few soft grains that offer a 30-year shelf-life.

Oats were first cultivated around 4000 years ago. Oats are a proven staple food eaten in Germany, Ireland, and Scotland and were the primary diet of the Scotch Highlander in the form of oatcakes.

Learn more about oats in long-term storage. Check out the comprehensive Ready Squirrel article, Best Oats For Storage: Long Term Survival Food.”

Beans as Emergency Food

Store a minimum of 60 pounds of dry beans for a year’s emergency food supply.

Beans are tried and tested survival food, first cultivated in Peru 8000 years ago. Today they are a staple food all around the globe and a powerhouse survival food. Beans provide all nine essential amino acids and make a complementary protein combined with white rice.

Beans can be boiled, milled into flour, or sprouted for healthy greens.

Learn more about the best dry beans for long-term storage. Check out the Ready Squirrel article, “Beans For Long-term Storage: Top Survival Food.”

Milk for one-year supply (powdered-nonfat)

Store a minimum of 16 pounds of milk per person for a year’s supply.

Powdered milk is used primarily for baking, but you can drink it. Unless you have a cow or goat for post-collapse, you will want a supply of powdered milk.

Powdered milk is one of the most challenging foods to get your hands on in Venezuela, along with pasta and cornflour.

Powdered milk can sell on the black market [in Venezuela] for 7000 bolivares-more than $700 at the current official currency exchange rate.

Flora Charner, Caracas, with Rachel Clarke writing from Atlanta

Emergency oil for one year (top choices)

Store a minimum of 10 quarts of cooking oil for a year’s supply.

Cooking oil is an emergency food with a short shelf life, up to 24 months, but you need it. Stay on top of your emergency oil supplies to ensure you don’t run short and that the fats don’t go rancid.

Cooking Oils You Can Make

  1. Olive oil
  2. Palm oil
  3. Soybean oil
  4. Corn oil
  5. Peanut oil
  6. Avacado Oil
  7. Coconut Oil

Sugar for one year (white granulated)

Store a minimum of 60 pounds of sugar per person for a year’s supply.

Sugar has gotten a pretty bad rap, but it is fundamental for your one-year food supply.

Sugar is a flavor enhancer, a preservative, and an excellent substitute for bartering in the event of a currency collapse. Finally, it lasts forever.

Sugar and salt are so cheap I would consider storing way more than you need. If SHTF, both will be valuable barter items.

To learn more about storing sugar long-term, check out the Ready Squirrel article “Storing Sugar In Long-term Storage.”

Salt for one year

Store a minimum of 8 pounds of salt per person for a year’s supply.

Salt is another innocuous, if not boring, a staple that is a secret weapon. It is an excellent flavor enhancer and preservative but inexpensive and lasts forever.

When there is no refrigeration, salt is essential as a preservative.

Salt was used as currency in ancient Rome to pay soldiers, entire economies were based on salt production and trade.

History of Salt, Shanna Freeman, Science, How Stuff Works

Water for one-year

Store a minimum of 365 gallons of water per person for a year supply.

Water is more important than food. A person can survive two weeks or longer without food but only three days without water.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency suggests storing at least 1 gallon of water per day per person, but in a post-apocalyptic environment, you’ll need more. Plan to store water or a method you can use to treat or filter it.

Chart #4 Food for one-year (breakdown by food type)

Below are two charts that provide the necessary food to stockpile for one year for one person. Again this is a bare-bones skeletal list for basic survival needs in times of duress or famine.

(Types of grain are interchangeable depending on preference, i.e., 1 case of rice for 1 case of wheat)
Wheat berries, White Rice, Rolled Oats, Dry Pasta400 lbs
(Beans, Split peas, Lentils)
60 lbs
(Nonfat-Dry, 15 yr shelf life)
16 lbs
Sugar60 lbs
Dried Apple Slices6 lbs
Dried Carrots
(10 Year shelf life)
8 lbs
Potato Flakes22
Dried Onions2
Iodized Salt8
Baking Soda
(For baking and to soften old beans)
Baking Powder_
Vitamin C tablets (90 mg)_
Information Compliments of BYU Education

Chart #5 Short shelf-life foods for one-year

Short-term food itemsApproximate unopened shelf-life in yearsPer Person Amount Per Year
Fats and Oils (types are interchangeable based on individual preferences: storing a variety of fats helps with rotation.)__
Cooking/Salad Oil (e.g., soy, olive.)1+2 Gallons
(8 quarts)
Shortening or Frying Oil1+Three cans or 3 lbs
Butter/Margarine (stored in the freezer)16 lbs
Mayonaise/Salad Dressings13 quarts
Peanut Butter/other nut butter1+6 lbs
Fruit Drink Mix2Three #10 Cans

Powdered Eggs
3+Two #10 Cans
Yeast5+2 lbs
Other Sweeteners (e.g., Honey, molasses, brown sugar, jams, jellies, syrups)__
Information Compliments of BYU Education

Stockpile enough food to provide at least 2000 calories and 1 gallon of water per day, per person, for an emergency or natural disaster. The minimum storage requirement for the 72-hour emergency kit, suggested by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, is 6000 calories and 3 gallons of water per person.

Food storage for one-year: 10 things to consider

  1. How many people are you feeding?
  2. How long will the emergency last?
  3. Emergency Scenario
    1. Plan your food for your most likely scenario(s)
  4. Calories needed per day for each person based on; age, sex, and physical activity
  5. Carbohydrate, protein, and fat requirements
  6. Store foods with a long shelf life or foods with a shorter shelf life that you rotate into your regular diet, so you always have stock.
  7. Plan Minimum water requirements of 1 gallon per person per day
  8. How will you prepare the food? Do you need extra water?
  9. Cooking Method(s) How will you cook your food under different emergency scenarios
  10. What season is it? If you lose power in the winter, you don’t want to cook outside in a blizzard.

Dig deeper into storing food for a year, and check out the Ready Squirrel article, “How Much Food to Stockpile Per Person.”

Calories Per Person Per Day: Food For a Year

How many calories you want to store per person for a year depends on age, sex, and lifestyle, and I suggest you err on the side of too many calories. The target daily calorie count is 2000 calories, but I’d shoot a bit higher to build a safety net and account for days when 2000 calories don’t cut it.

I consider everyone in my household an adult male to pad extra calories into my food store.

Chart # 6 Daily calorie requirement per day (male)

Males By Age In YearsSedentary* LifestyleModerate** LifestyleActive*** Lifestyle
76 and Up200022002400
Information Compliments of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

Chart # 7 Daily calorie requirement per day (female)

Females By Age In YearsSedentary* LifestyleModerate** LifestyleActive*** Lifestyle
76 and Up160018002000
Information Compliments of the FDA
*Sedentary: Just the physical activity of independent living
**Moderate, Active lifestyle activity plus 1.5 to 3-mile walk per day
***Active, physical activity of daily life plus walking more than 3 miles per day at four mph

Thanks for visiting Ready Squirrel. If you have any thoughts or questions, please leave them in the comments.

Keep on prepping!

Best Regars, Scott


A Guide To Food Storage For Emergencies, Brian Nummer, Food Safety Specialist, Utah State University PDF

The Church of Jesus Christ of Ladder Day Saints, Food Storage, Getting Started

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