One portion of food storage that many forget about are spices and salt.
Salt and spices can make even a tasteless meal palatable and in most cases, make it delicious.
I'll give you an example...
My husband travels to see his clients. He doesn't like buying food while he's out because of the cost and the fact that fast food especially is so unhealthy.
So when he goes out I load up a cooler with homemade (fat free) refried beans, whole wheat tortillas, lettuce and salsa and other things. Burritos are his favorite, so I always send those.
One time I didn't put enough salt in the bean mixture (recipe to come) and frankly, it was a waste of calories. He was glad I had gone on this trip with him because I was able to easily remedy the situation.
I ran into a BK and got some salt packets, stirred it into the beans and Viola! Great tasting filling for the burritos.
He was amazed at the difference a small amount of salt made. He had always taken salt for granted. He had NO idea what a difference a little salt would make.
Spices can do a magic trick on your recipes too. I am also a believer in flavored stocks (beef, chicken and pork) as well as using bouillons and soup bases.
We are fortunate to live in an area that has a WINCO. Their bulk section of spices and soup bases make it easy for me to make tasty meals at down right cheap prices. I have plenty of spices in my kitchen, as well as my food storage.
If you're concerned about spices loosing their flavor, well, they will over time. You won't have a problem if they're stored properly. I use clean, dry canning jars sealed very tightly. And even if they loose some potency, I'd rather have a less potent spice than none at all.
So think about the spices you go to meal after meal. Mine are:
Chicken Soup Base
Can you tell I'm part Cajun and Italian? :)
We also like Asian inspired flavors, so I have Soy Sauce and Sesame Oil stored.
Even if you don't have access to a bulk section as I do. I encourage you to seek out discount spices online. It is an investment, but well worth it.
Until you're ready and able to make the jump into a stockpile of spices, check out Wal Mart. They have bottles of spices for 50 cents. Pick up a few every week and before long you'll have a bucket full. It's a great place to start.
I have recently begun a stockpile of pepper sauce. I had coupons from Franks Hot Sauce and Tabasco. If you use the coupon on the smallest bottle, it's almost free.
And don't forget the Iodized salt. I always pick up a couple of those when I do my weekly shopping. At 30-40 cents each, it's a no brainer. You'll have a years supply in no time.
Edit~My mother just reminded me that in my pre-WINCO days we would buy bulk spices at our health food store/co-op. Their prices were fantastic. I encourage you to check your local stores. They are a great resource for bulk items. I was a member of this co-op and got a 10% discount. They would even order items for you.