There are essentially three catagories of supplies that you should lay in for emergency use. The first one is the one most think about first: Food/meals. Second is water and third is all the non-food items. Today we'll talk about food.
Everyone seems to get different ideas about what to store. That's because we are all different. We have different tastes, different likes and dislikes, some have food allergies, some make all their meals from scratch and others live on junk food. So there is no one program fits all thing to turn to. But some companies may make you think so! Getting meals ready to eat or freeze dried foods may sound like the way to go for some, I would caution them to only get a short supply of such foods. MRE's (meals ready to eat) Have lots of chemicals and salts in them. Freeze dried or dehydrated foods take a lot of water to make them useable. So I suggest a 2 to 4 week supply of those foods at most. For most of your foods I suggest you use your own recipes to plan what you should store. Picking 5 to 14 meals that you normally eat can make living through a crisis much easier. These should be the meals that are the most shelf stable. One that uses a lot of fresh produce like lettuce would not be a good choice. But one like spaghetti would be very stable. I can ground beef so it's ready to use. Then your canned tomatoes and spices are ready to use and of course the dried pasta and canister or parmesan cheese. So you get the idea or how to pick the right meals. Maybe you don't can. You can find chicken and other meats canned at the grocery store. Canned meats are already cooked so they are easy to work with in a recipe. If you don't cook very much but use hamburger helper type meals then I suggest you learn to can your hamburger into canning jars or find a friend who can do it for you. I've never seen hamburger canned at the store but I do see beef along with chicken, tuna, etc. But no matter what you decide to store it will be foods you like and are use to. That is the important thing to remember. In a crisis, having the foods you like and are use to is important! And don't forget some treats. Vacuum sealing favorite cookies or crackers into canning jars not to mention candy too can really give your family a boost during your crisis! Make sure you stock up on spices and vacuum seal those into canning jars so they stay fresh. Spices can really give a bland meal some zip and excitement!
While you plan out your food storage you can start by getting a few extras while at the store, like spaghetti sauce, chili, soups, tuna, beef stew, etc.
Next time I move on to a different part of storage.