It’s later than usual for the time of year when I go for an annual shop for my emergency supplies. I usually do this early September. I go into several shops, Aldi, Asda, Lidl, etc. and buy tray of tins and jars for storage. I always buy the food we will eat and also the type we prefer, if possible.
I’d prefer to buy all the food we prefer but I’m comfortable with food that we will eat as well. The reasoning behind that is that is that some items are significantly more expensive than others and if they are edible then we must get used to making do as they won’t last forever. So in some cases, sliced mushrooms for example, buying own brands tins and 31p is preferred over branded at 90p. If there is only a few percentage points difference then it is usually best to buy the ones you prefer.
I look for trays that are still shrink wrapped where I can but many firms remove the wrapping for the shelf items. Look at the top and bottom of the racking for some still in the shrink wrapping and if you get some shrink wrapped make sure you buy a single tin as well. The checkout operators will open them to scan a tin which defeats the object. The tin can go in your current stores.
Once I have purchased from a shop I go home and prepare them. I record the details, package them and then store them.
I record, quantity, size, item details and date of purchase on to a spreadsheet so I have a record. When finished recording this batch I print off the spreadsheet for an offline record.
Then I package them. If they are still shrink wrapped this is great as all I do it write on the outside the date and the item details with a sharpie. Top and one side is enough. If they are not shrink wrapped I wrap them myself in industrial cling wrap and then label them. This wrapping is a pain and takes the most time as I don’t have a machine to do it.
I then stick them on racking in the garage. Details side facing out and stacked securely on the shelving I have in there. I pop the spreadsheet in a plastic pocket and put that by the pile. All done.
You should note that I do this in addition to the stores I have in the pantry which we live on which is replaced as required. These stores are not touched and are intended to cover any events that happen around the winter. Extra food never goes amiss although if things go as hoped this food may be wasted. It is an extra insurance policy. Some years I’ve not had the funds to do it but I do it more often than not. Each purchase lasts several years and at the very least it can be used for barter if necessary.