Weird – and Not So Weird – Places to Store Your Food

We all understand the importance of stockpiling survival food for an emergency. If you only have a little stored up, finding room for it is not difficult. 

But if you’ve managed to put together several months’ worth or maybe enough to last a year or two, you may run into space issues. That’s a good problem to have.

Today I want to talk about a variety of different places where you can store food. That way it won’t feel like clutter. And won’t get in the way of you living your life. 

And then I’ll mention some food storage ideas you might want to consider if you wish to keep your supply covert. 

Basic storage ideas

  • In closets. If your closets are already filled, it might be time to sort through what you never wear or use anymore and toss it out, sell it or give it to Goodwill.
  • Under beds. Survival food totes slide neatly under beds and can be accessed easily when needed.
  • In buckets with lids. First sealed in Mylar packaging, your survival food can then be placed in buckets with airtight lids for ideal protection from the elements and critters.
  • In the basement. This is a much better option than attics or garages. Basements tend to stay cooler year ‘round. Strong and sturdy shelving will enable you to keep increasing your stockpile. You can also store your food under basement stairs or in the crawlspace.
  • In the laundry room. This is often a great room for shelving and a way to utilize unused wall space.
  • Inside suitcases. Unless you travel frequently, suitcases are usually empty. Why waste that space?
  • In a root cellar. It keeps food at a cool temperature with the proper amount of humidity. Don’t wash dirt off after harvesting your produce. Among the produce you can store in a root cellar are apples, beets, cabbage, carrots, garlic and leeks. As well as onions, pears, potatoes, pumpkins, squash, tomatoes and turnips.  

Covert storage ideas

Once you’ve protected your food from spoilage, you might want to consider hiding some of it. If a crisis results in a society breakdown, some people may try to steal what you’ve purchased and stockpiled.

Here are some suggestions for where to conceal your survival food stash:

  • Inside old electronics and appliances. An old, hollowed-out TV would probably not get a second glance from a burglar or looter.
  • Inside a wall. This could be especially effective if the hole you carve out is behind a hanging painting.
  • Inside your box spring. Even if someone pulls off your mattress, they probably won’t cut open your box spring.
  • Inside stair steps. But only use one or two of the steps in case the looter discovers one.
  • In a container buried in your backyard. Yes, it will be challenging for you to get to it, but you should only have to do that once.
  • Under floor cabinets. A little carpentry work is necessary to disguise this area.
  • Inside furniture. Some furniture comes with secret compartments. Otherwise, fashion your own.
  • At the bottom of a large potted plant.
  • Inside an empty cat litter container.
  • At the bottom of a dirty laundry basket.
  • Inside a vent. Only do this if no hot air comes through that vent.


Food storage hacks

Finally, I’d like to share some specific food storage hacks with you to make sure your food supply stays good as long as possible.

  • Get a variety of sizes of airtight, food-grade plastic or glass containers. In most cases they will be better than your food’s original packaging.
  • Freeze fresh fruits and vegetables that you know you won’t be able to eat for a while. Otherwise they’ll go bad quickly. 
  • A leftover piece of meat or fish can be wrapped tightly in tin foil or plastic wrap and stay good for several days in the refrigerator. And for much longer in the freezer. 
  • Use a porous material such as parchment paper to wrap cheese. Cheese needs some oxygen to breathe and taste its best. 
  • Whole-wheat flour should not remain in a pantry too long. Oils in the wheat germ can go bad if they’re not kept cool. The flour will last for several months if it’s stored in an airtight container in a refrigerator.
  • Unopened butter will last longer in a freezer (12 months) than in a refrigerator (4 months). But mayonnaise will stay fresher in the “warmer” part of a fridge (the door) than in the colder, inner part.
  • Citrus, tomatoes and avocados are better left unrefrigerated, but cucumbers, peppers, carrots and lemons will taste better if refrigerated.
  • Keep celery stalks fresh and crisp by wrapping them in aluminum foil before refrigerating.
  • That beautiful bunch of bananas you just bought won’t stay beautiful for long. Help them stay fresh longer by wrapping their stems tightly in plastic wrap.
  • Store mushrooms in a paper bag in the refrigerator. This environment gives them the proper balance of humidity and moisture, allowing air to circulate and keeping your mushrooms firm and dry.
  • Wash all your berries – strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, etc. – in a 10-to-1 ratio of water to vinegar. That should keep them fresher twice as long and keep pests at bay. If you freeze them, make sure they’re dry first.
  • For thick dairy products such as yogurt, sour cream and cottage cheese, store them upside down. That will create a seal just under the lid that will prevent oxygen from entering the container. Do the same with natural nut butters, which will allow the oils to work their way to the bottom.
  • Place a small paper towel on top of your refrigerated greens to extend their shelf life. It will soak up some moisture and keep those greens from getting soggy.
  • Choose dried beans over canned beans. They’re easier to stack and are more shelf stable.
  • How many times have you reached for hamburger or hot dog buns in the pantry and seen mold? Store unused buns individually in the freezer. They’ll keep for months.
  • To keep brown sugar from drying out and turning hard, bag it with a marshmallow or two and place in a sealed container. 
  • Keep spices away from heat. Too many people store them in cabinets above their ovens. But that heat can lead to a flavor loss.
  • Nuts will stay good longer if they’re stored in a freezer. Their naturally high fat content makes them susceptible to heat and sunlight.
  • Store your herbs upright in fresh water, covered by a clear, plastic storage bag. This will extend their freshness. 
  • Not everything that’s starting to go bad needs to be immediately tossed. You can use brown bananas to make banana bread and soft strawberries to make jam or a smoothie.  
  • Label all of your food containers, jotting down what’s inside and when it was stored.

Save money… and your health

Finally, don’t forget to make sure that a high percentage of the food you stockpile is healthy and provides nutritional balance.

That will be more important than ever in an emergency. And rotate out what is about to expire.

Storing food properly can help you save money and cut down on grocery runs. It can also help you avoid crowds and the possibility of empty shelves.

I hope some of these food storage tips have been helpful. Feel free to add more in the comments section.  


  • Charles - April 18, 2022

    When hiding food supplies in the aforementioned locations, be aware that those who would steal your food also has this list. Use the list to start your own unique hiding locations. Never brag about your about your stockpile, not even to your closest friend.

  • Jayne - April 16, 2022

    I copied and pasted it all into a Word Doc then printed it out. Thank you 4Patriots for the info

  • James - April 16, 2022

    Thanks for all of the valuable tips!

  • Ramona Smith - April 16, 2022

    Thank you for this storage information! I neeeded a new start! Glad I found 4Patriots!

  • Charles Waldrop - April 16, 2022

    Ditto: It is too many to remember and I was thinking the very same thing and actually tried to print it out

  • Stephanie - April 16, 2022

    Good information especially for one living on a fixed / low income. Thanks.

  • Pam - April 16, 2022

    Creative ideas. Thanks so much!

  • Deb meyers - April 16, 2022

    Turn butter into Ghee. It will last for a long time on the shelf. Find the instructions on You Tube. It is easy to make and very expensive on the grocery store. All you need is butter.

  • Lana M Garrard - April 16, 2022

    Those are some good ‘hacks’…I copied and pasted an email to myself of those. Thanks!

  • Ralph - April 16, 2022

    My property out here in the country just happened to come with an old hand dug well, about 4’ in diameter and 30 feet deep. There is a few feet of water in the bottom from the aquifer, but maintaining the rain proof cover over the well (I added some screened ventilation openings around the edges) kind of limits how much the water level rises. I’ve been experimenting on how to use this well as a “vertical cold cellar”, and I’m leaning towards hanging strong mesh bags of root crops down about halfway. Should be room for several hundred pounds of vegetables.

  • Darren Exendine - April 15, 2022

    Thought, It would be nice to receive these in PDF to save to a file for later.

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