When I started stocking up for emergencies, the first thing I did was to look at a lot of lists of food I found online, but 400 pounds of wheat berries doesn't do someone with gluten intolerance much good.
So I deleted the lists. I thought about what I actually like to eat and made a list of *that*. I found a series of videos on Youtube about food storage as taught by an LDS woman that made a lot of sense; she really pushes the ‘store what you eat’ method, and I think it’s wiser than a generic list unless that generic list actually consists of things you eat. I took a good hard look at the pittance I'd prepped, and started over.
I started small and tried to think in terms of ingredients and not ready-made things, or a year's supply of XYZ canned foods, because the former oftentimes is not any better from a prepping standpoint than raw ingredients - brownie mix still asks for eggs and oil so you might as well stock the ingredients because you're not actually saving much time with a mix anyway, and the latter costs body parts I need right now. So, canned or jarred spaghetti sauce - a few jars; cans of chopped tomatoes, paste and sauce, lots. Stuff goes into chili, too, y'know.
I also started small in terms of time, too, trying to figure out what I'd eat in a week's time, and gradually worked my way up from there. When I had about a week’s worth of meals figured out, I started in on adding other ingredients and canned goods. And water.
Then I got to thinking about friends and/or relatives. I haven't figured out entirely what to do about them yet or even know if they would show up on the front step, but I am thinking about what to feed them in the event that happens. The wheat pasta and the wheat flour I stocked up on before DH found out he is gluten intolerant ought to be usable toward that end, so the purchases aren't a total waste, and if they eat funny at least they’ll be able to complain about it later.
Next, food storage tools and tips