Another good way of building a food storage one week at a time is to budget a certain amount of money and use that to buy foods exclusively for your food storage. I saw this idea from BackwoodsHome WAY back when I was a newly-wed and saved the information that I printed. His idea is to spend $10 a week on food storage, rolling any change into the next week. The prices he has on the list are no longer up-to-date, but the concept is still excellent, even when looking toward long-term storage, and ESPECIALLY for short or mid-term storage!
The first step is to choose an amount. If unexpected expenses come up or if you can afford to spend a little bit more, then just adjust each week as you go along, but you should have a target number for your weekly storage.
It is best to start buying a variety of things, then move into more of the bulk purchases. Once you figure out your budget (above and beyond your regular grocery budget) then do a little bit of investigation at the grocery store and get your handy-dandy notebook ready to jot down some prices in. A small box of powdered milk and a four pound bag of rice will cost about $10 - $11. If your budget is $15 or $20 extra, then buying some rice, beans, and some canned veggies would be a good start. Then add in some canned fruit, powdered milk and honey the next week. It won't take long to get a good jump on your food storage.
You can find a food storage calculator on lds.about.com. Just plug in the number of people you are storing for and it shows the amount of each item you should be storing.
A one-month storage for one person of long-term foods should look something like this:
Wheat/Rice/Oatmeal/Popcorn 25 lbs. total
Beans, Peas, and Lentils (any variety of dried) 5 lbs.
Powdered Milk 6.75 lbs.
Honey 2.5 lbs.
Sugar 2.5 lbs.
Oil (Olive and Canola, and needs rotation) 1 lb.
Shortening 1 lb.
Yeast/Baking Powder/Baking Soda .25 lb.
Pasta 5 lbs.
Dehydrated and Freeze Dried Fruits and Vegetables to supplement
Dried herbs and spices for taste
Salt 1 lb.
A good basic kit is available at lds.org here for $31 plus tax and FREE shipping, or at LDS church dry-pack canneries. A #10 can of wheat that is canned at the canner weighs approxmately 5.8 lbs. 4-5 cans is enough for an adult for one month. And the #10 cans, if stored properly, will last up to 30 years.
If you are just starting your food storage and don't want to go the #10 can route, one way to store the bulk foods you buy is in food-grade five gallon buckets. I'll cover that and more in a future post!