There’s no shortage of choices when it comes to food storage right now. Food storage companies are springing up out of nowhere, and they’re marketing as hard as they can.

But let’s say you are dyed-in-the-wool self provider, and you’re interested in stocking up on some grain. And let’s say that you don’t want to spend $50 plus shipping for a single bucket of grain. How do you get started by yourself?
Start out with rice and wheat. White rice can be bought cheaply at any grocery store, and the preparation is simply to boil the rice in water. You don’t need a flour mill or an oven to bake in. Wheat is another valuable survival food. It can also be boiled in water to create gruel, with or without any cracking and grinding.

Wheat can be commonly purchased in several varieties. Bronze Chief wheat has a reddish color and a robust “wheaty” flavor. It makes a great whole wheat bread. Prairie Gold is lighter in color and has a sweeter flavor. Hard Red Winter wheat is another great whole wheat bread grain, and it is a choice variety for wheat grass food products. So how do you store it?

The main factors for food spoilage are heat, moisture, time, light, insects, rodents, and the freezing and subsequent exploding of canned and jarred foods. Eliminate these factors, and you’ve got your recipe for food storage success.

Metal cans containing a few food-safe desiccant packs are a great way to save food from moisture, light, insects and rodents; but you won’t want the grain resting right up against the metal. Line the can with a plastic bag, preferably a Mylar bag. Food grade plastic buckets are also pretty handy for storing your grain. The rice and wheat should last about 5 years, if properly packaged (maybe a lot longer if stored in a very cold place).

And if you are hankering for some fresh baked bread, and you have the wheat, but not a flour mill – don’t give up! A blender, food chopper, coffee grinder or meat grinder can come to the rescue. Just grind or mill the grain repeatedly until the flour texture is fine enough. A well-stocked pantry can offer peace of mind, be a way to actually save some money, and serve as a very valuable resource in case of emergency.

Tell us your food storage strategies, and what items you stock, in the comments section below.