I gave a class at our local newspaper office about food storage and mailed out some info to some ladies who weren't able to attend. Here is a short thing to consider when planning, storing and buying food:
1. Expiration Dates
2. Will we eat it? Is it something in the rotation already?
3. Do we have the necessary other ingredients/equipment to make this food work?
4. How can we find a substitute for some short term storage food (like frozen chicken... canned or dehydrated chicken will work for some things)
5. Where am I going to put it?
6. Now that I'm stocking up how much is too much? How much is enough?
7. Does the food I have stored include items that require little or no cooking?
8. Have I considered an alternate fuel source?
The big problem for me is that my alternate fuel source is the grill. I love me some burned food. My dh has bbq'd chicken down to an art form. It's beyond science. But canned chicken isn't good on the grill and neither is anything else shelf stable (with the possible exception of Spam. We'll let you know.) Of course I can still boil water on the grill but it's not ideal. SO it's a work in progress.
Tip: Put a bay leaf in your flour and in your rice. It keeps any little nasty buggies from hatching somehow. Cool huh!