Freeze dried foods last the longest. Canned foods taste better but don't last as long. Grains tend not to last as long. Everything lasts longer if it is properly sealed and stored in a cool dark dry place.
Think of how long you want to store the food. That will determine if you want freeze dried or canned. Then think about how many people will be eating and what they like to eat. Then go and buy it. Keep a list of when the food expires and replace the food as the dates come up.
Don't buy food just to store - buy food that you normally prepare at home to eat ... just buy lots more of it and find a good home for it all to be placed.
My normal lunch at work is a package of chinese noodles - so I buy a couple cases at a time (48 per case) and store a few in my storage room at home and one case stays with me at work.
I like tuna, chicken, salmon, turkey and ham sandwiches. All I need for those is a can-opener and some MiracleWhip and various spices to match. A single can of ham (for $0.97) can make enough food to feed 2 adults and at least one child if combined with some sort of bread / bun or homemade biscuit. Because I like those canned meats - I will snag a case-lot at a time and rotate my older canned meats to the top of the pile and the newer at the bottom of the pile on the shelf.
I also eat alot of rice, vegies, beef, deer, moose ... and such. Again - storage and rotating that stored food in very large amounts is what you are aiming to do.
Buy as much as you can - and - as much as you can afford.
There is a restaraunt / convience-store food warehouse here in Calgary. When I am needing to restock my shelves with bulk-amount of stuff - that is where I go. They have everything you need to run a restaraunt there including all the take-out disposable containers, bulk breads, buns, cheezes, chicken wings, chicken drumsticks (perfect for bar-food), case-lots of pops, juices ... For a family stocking up on food / prepared food / for for preparation - the restaraunt warehouse is perfect.
__________________ Its better to be naked with your friends than to be clothed with your enemies.-- Vance
Ready or not, trouble comes. Being prepared for it and having the right attitude to deal with the issues is what makes us prepared. Having stuff is just a bonus!
The problem with society today is that the people who deserve the beating are not given the beating they deserve.
I didn't buy any freeze dried food because my wife and I did a taste test and we didn't like how it tasted. We just stock cans and packages of what we already like to eat. We buy cases and make sure the expiry dates are as far out as possible.
I store different foods for different purposes. While I agree with 'store what you eat, eat what you store' there's also some balance to that. First off, I'd like some super easy to prepare meals if I'm without power for a few days, but expect power to return shortly. For that, I have some freeze dried backpacking meals and some MREs. I have probably 2 weeks worth in the house. Next, I have an 'enhanced' pantry with lots of pasta, rice, and canned foods that I consume on a regular basis. In addition to my freezer, my pantry could probably get me through 3-4 months. Beyond this, I store grains. If I knew I was in for the long haul, I'd take the time that I don't have now to bake breads, make stews, and cook proper meals. I've experimented, made some stews, use my bread machine on a weekly basis, but don't have time to grind wheat or tend to a stew while I'm at work for 9-10 hours a day. If times get tough, I'll do what needs to get done, and in the meantime, I'm well stocked.
I have a solar electric freezer, so barring EMP, as long as I can generate 75 watts for five hours a day for at least five days a week, I'll be set for frozen foods. I'm still not overly dependent on them, but it's nice to have that insurance.