A great way to waste money on your food storage is to buy one of those expensive prepackaged deals with all the food you need for a year.
The way to be certain that your stored food will be fresh when you need it is:
Store what you eat and eat what you store.
Store what you eat. Pick foods to put in your storage that you like and eat all the time. You can even make yourself sick if you suddenly make a drastic change in your diet during an emergency. It can be comforting to have your familiar foods to eat during an emergency. You already know how to cook the foods that you eat regularly.
Thumbing through cookbooks with a flashlight for recipes and instructions to cook unfamiliar foods is not going to be a good experience. Making up recipes as you go, with unfamiliar foods is probably not a good idea either.
Eat what you store. If the foods in your storage are ones that you use regularly, it is easy to simply rotate them into your daily diet. You will need to work out a system to ensure that older foods are used first. As you replace the food that you eat, the food in your storage will always be fresh.
I have made some changes in my diet because of my food storage. An example of this is sprouts. I did not use to eat as many sprouts as I do now.
Sprouts are an ideal food for storage. Seeds do not take up much room considering how much food they will become once you water them and turn them into sprouts. The seeds for sprouting do not require a refrigerator or freezer to store. They pack a great deal of nutrition and fiber into food once they are sprouts.
I began eating more sprouts so that my seeds in storage would always be fresh. I needed to use them up faster in order to require the seeds to be replaced. This keeps my storage seeds fresh, and lowers my regular food bill by not having to spend as much on fresh produce.
I eat healthier than I used to, by eating more sprouts. I also enjoy my meals more with very fresh sprouts to eat.
Thinking and planning can lower the cost of both your food storage and of your daily diet. This can also make your food storage more useful when you are in a disaster, and prevent waste.