Food Storage can be extremely daunting - especially when you're first starting out. Here are the basics about what you need to be storing. These suggestions are based on the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' guidelines...
There are 6 Areas of Self-Reliance. But more on that later. Right now, we're just going to talk about one: Home Storage.
1. Basic Storage - Included in your basic storage should be life-sustaining food and nonfood items that will store for long periods of time. These include grains (wheat, rice, corn, etc), nonfat dried milk, legumes (beans and peas), sugar, salt, fat, and DON'T FORGET WATER! In your basic storage it's also extremely important that you store a year's supply of garden seeds to plant and to supplement your diet. Basic storage should also include fuel, bedding, clothing, and medical supplies. The last thing to keep in mind would be a hand grinder for processing your grains, recipes for using the stored foods, and any other items that you feel necessary for survival.
2. Emergency Storage - Each individual in your family should have a portable container with emergency supplies such as water, food requiring no refrigeration or cooking, medications and critical medical histories, change of clothing, sanitary supplies, first aid equipment, and other things needed for 72-hour survival. These 72 hour kits are easy and can be cheap to assemble. I'll be dedicating an entire post to this, so again, more on that later!
3. Expanded Storage - This type of storage includes foods and other daily essentials which will provide variety and allow for personal preferences. They include baking powder, soda, and spices. Also fruits and vegetables, which can be dehydrated, bottled, canned, pickled, etc. Meats which can be smoked, canned, or freeze-dried. These foods have limited shelf life compared to the Basic Storage foods, so they should be a regular part of your diet and replaced routinely. Expanded storage can also include little pleasures such as hard candy, chocolate, etc.