How to overcome differences in opinion with your partner on food storage

Usually the title of this thread is “How do I get my spouse on board?” or similar. I wanted to go at the topic a little differently this time and talk a little about how my wife and I over years have learned to complement each other WRT food storage and hear how you all do it.

We are a “traditional” one income family. I’ve been working from home for 25 years or so and she’s been mopping around me. Our kids are raised and gone. Temperamentally I worry about things and the future and she worries about people and the present. I’m a ‘buy one good thing’ type and she is a budget-minded, needs-based, lowest-price shopper. I’m also of a “stock-up” mindset while she is more of a “just-in-time” shopper. It isn’t that we have philosophical differences as much as she is a creature of habits and schedules and I’m a little less ‘structured’ shall we say.

Take our groceries. I could harp and carp endlessly about stock what you use and first in – first out and believe me I did in the younger days, but it just doesn’t stick because that just isn’t how she thinks. She doesn’t reject the premise of having a pantry, she in fact likes the benefits: fewer trips, cheaper in bulk, and of course, in the past year bragged that our shelves have what the store doesn’t— but, it just isn’t her natural mode to buy three cans of peaches if we’re only going to use one before she goes to the store again on Monday.

So I just do my thing and she does hers. She shops once every couple of weeks just like clockwork and every so often I tag along. When she puts in a can of peaches I add 2 more. When we get home I do the shelf stocking, rotating, etc. No biggie, in fact it is as soothing to me as hay in the barn.

Long term food storage is my thing alone. We have a good amount of canned foods and staples good for a few months to a year. But because we eat a lot of fresh food there is only so much one can reasonably stock and still rotate. My wife is an awesome baker but the bakery is pretty convenient so we just don’t use as much flour for example as we might if baked goods were not available. In a long term situation we’d run low within months using up regularly rotated staples. So we have some long term storage.

We store seeds, sugar, pasta, dehydrated milk, potato flakes (yuck) and various “chemical” things like salt, soda, pickling lime, etc for long term emergency. I have used several different means over the years but now mostly use mylar zip-locs with O2 absorbers heat sealed with an iron. I have some amount in ‘one gallon’ sizes and a larger amount in 5 gallon size I call the Deep Bunker. The smaller bags are in small aluminum garbage cans and the plastic pails are well guarded by cats, traps and poison. I’ve been happy with these people on Amazon (I’m not affiliated) for heavy bags and O2 absorbers.

I use an outfit called Azure Standard (not affiliated with them either) who sell all manner of bulk food. They specialize in non-GMO organics but I use them because of price. They have a nationwide truck delivery system (not sure about Canada) that delivers orders to hundreds of location monthly. You can probably find one nearby, it is usually in a public parking lot at a park or church near the highway. I can buy and bag bulk foods for half what the “survival” stores sell it for—before they ship it.

The LDS church (I’m not affiliated with any religion or denomination, BTW) are the past masters of food storage.  Their FAQ and pamphlet are simple, direct, budget conscious and not overly proselytizing. 

I got a little sidetracked there. But it kind shows that with both of us doing what we do we get it done. Without her being willing and able to learn how to cook from scratch—from seeds actually, all my squirreling would be worthless. 

So how do you and the significant other work your plan?


  • Comments (11)

    • 5

      My wife and I have the Google Keep note taking app on our phones. It allows you to share notes with other users so we can have a live and running grocery list on there that changes whenever someone makes an update on their end. 

      Our hard and fast rule is that whenever we use something in the house or pull from the food storage we HAVE to write it on this grocery list. It kinda looks like this:


      – Spaghetti sauce -3

      – Hot dog buns – 1

      – Canned peaches – 2


      – Toilet paper – 1

      – Laundry soap – 2

      That way we always are stocked and don’t miss anything. And if I want to increase our stores of a certain item, I’ll just add an additional one or two to that on the grocery list. Then whoever is at the grocery store next will buy that amount. 

      I would just sit your wife down and say, look her… Its my job to provide for this family, and making sure we always have enough food rain or shine. So we are going to implement this rule and procedure to help me out with taking care of you. I hope you can support me with this and I will be here to help you get used to it. 


      Hope you don’t mind the title edit I did to this post to hopefully make it a bit more clear to people what this post is about. You are welcome to edit it more if you want. 

      • 3

        Hi Gideon,

        Actually I was attempting to make the point that different strengths can complement rather than detract.

        I checked out Google Keep, I tried to share apple Notes to do the same sort of thing but failed, LOL

      • 1

        Thank you for the correction.

        How about a title such as:

        “How my wife and I have learned to complement each other in our food storage” or “Using each other’s different strengths can lead to great food prepping” or we can just go back to your original title “Your food prepping partner”

        Let me know what title you prefer and we will switch to that. 

    • 4

      Good afternoon Pops,

      We have a co-op owned/operated by our small emergency prep group.  I run the business aspects. Others procure storable supplies at real low costs. Our main supply trailer is on my land so stuff doesn’t stay long on shelves. This co-op solves our food supply and costs. The stocked food is rotated out but individual purchases at a retail cost.  Our financial books always have a surplus.

      For daily stuff, we’re on our own. I’m inta’ tree nuts and citrus when in season. Madam’s inta’ fresh vegtables and unless the squirrels self-invite themselves for coffee and nuts, nut consumption is beyond my daily portion. Can’t figure out why.

      We’ve “community activists” ( eastern area of Virginia preparedness meetings, veterans meetings) so many of our meals are at clubs and restaurants.

      We’re also both empty nesters and I personally believe there is more food here than my life-span. Still trying to make next birthday…strong will to live.

       For Hades, EOW events, we’re next to the Bay and we both are experienced in net and line fishing.  Madam can – and has – farmed the maritime botany.  It is HEALTHY. Nothing fried here; just usually baked.


      I am exclusively in charge of batteries and even if wasn’t, there would be a secret cache of batteries here. 

      • 2

        Hi Bob, 

        I’m envious of your community ties and your co-op. My wife and I are both pretty well introverts, not really anti-social, just not all that comfortable with groups. I did explore a “transition town” group here in SW MO years past but it deteriorated into personalities—opposites don’t always compliment LOL

      • 1

        Good afternoon Pops,

        Appreciated reading above.

        The most difficult aspect of forming a group is person selection. We do not require a possessor of critical skills but rather a “team player” and willing to learn along with the right “chemistry”.

        We lost a few of our group … one left planet, other in assisted care place, 2 moved to metro Manila where living costs low.

        We select people with research and internal discussions no less so than a company does for a corporate jet pilot.

        Everyone must be content.  Otherwise, emergency efforts: the preparedness, the response and the recovery won’t work.  I talk from experience. Here, too, there are more “experts” than Carter’s got ……. dictators teaching at his Sunday School.

    • 4

      My wife is not a prepper but thanks to Covid, she no longer thinks I’m off my rocker.  So it is my job to store our food & actually I do all the food shopping & most of the cooking.  Since almost everything I cook is fresh, I can’t count on my pantry for survival.  My pantry pretty much only has things like oils, some sugar, some flour, pasta, canned tomatoes & broths.  Do so many folks actually live off of canned food that they can live off their pantry for a year or so?  I mean to live off a pantry for a year says you eat all your meals from the pantry, doesn’t it?  That would have to be one big pantry. Seems foreign to me.  When people say they purchase additional canned items & say because of this they can live off their pantry for a year, I just can’t grasp daily eating that much canned food… in good times.

      Most of our short term stored food is in freezers and some canned.  So I can’t rely on the frozen food in a severe crisis.  I grow food 10-12 months out of the year plus have hundreds of grain fed catfish in my pond.  I also have an obscene amount of canned Spam in storage.  Most food stores are 5-6 gallon plastic pails with sealed Mylar bags & O2 absorbers.  Most of that came from Sam’s Club.  I tried Azure Standard but I didn’t think it was worth the trouble plus I thought Sam’s Club was cheaper.   My largest store by far is wheat berries, and I purchased those online from Emergency Essentials.

      • 3

        Hey Redneck,

        I think LDS suggests 3 months of rotating daily use pantry, that is probably  us. I am not too much of a record keeper, or spreadsheeter, I just eyeball the shelves and try to keep 100 of this and 100 of that. If we have 100 cans of fruit and fruit is good for a year or two that means we eat a can of peaches a week in the day-to-day and we’ll replace everything every two years… and if it comes to it the oldest peaches will be a couple of years… is that right?

        Except for home canned stuff when we are in a semi-permanent location which we usually have a bunch of.

      • 5

        That sounds right.  So if a crisis hit today & you couldn’t shop, how long would your pantry feed you… assuming loss of grid & freezers?

        Me, I’d be hitting the long term stores almost immediately, while I ramped up the gardens.

      • 3

        We’ve been sort of a traveling flip-show for while, we’d buy a fixer, fix it and sell under the ownership exemption. Prior to that we had 40 ac. calves, chooks, pigs, a few acres to plant a market garden. We could have gone as long as we could keep at least some of what we grew.

        We’re done with the traveling for a few years and burrowing in on a little half-acre small town lot. I had given away a ton of food when we sold the farm, just too much to tote. We’re building back now from what we brought to this place, 4-25gal garbage cans and maybe 6-8 buckets of grain/beans/misc. Maybe 400#s of “Deep Bunker” stuff? We have some cans but not too much, a few dozen. Costco is opening nearby soon so we’ll bring home a truckload!

    • 3

      My wife and I work really well together on this. When I think of things to stock up on, I order them and she does the same. She’s the one who figures out where everything should go, which is a challenge sometimes. I mostly tend the gardens and chickens. She cans and I ferment.