Everyday food storage is an important topic! The more people who prep, the safer we all are, which is why we’re giving away information for free.
Looking for a magic list of grocery store survival food? Wondering what are the best canned foods for prepping? Take stock of the 37 most important shelf-stable goods to buy from the grocery store while they are still available. Here’s the emergency preparedness information you need — a free guide:
Prepper’s list of 37 Foods To Hoard Before Crisis
This is the best of prepper food lists (survival stockpiling of shelf-stable foods):
#1: Distilled water and seltzer water.
Water isn’t a food to hoard, but you certainly can’t live without it, which is why water is #1 on the list. Distilled water is the most pure form of water. Get water now and make plans to get more water. Consider adding canned seltzer water to your pantry as well. Canned seltzer water lasts indefinitely, adds a fizzy pep to your water supply and even helps relieve constipation! Avoid seltzer if you have acid reflex.
#2: Canned liquids.
It’s important to stock up on canned foods with high liquid content. Two excellent (and often overlooked) examples are canned pineapple juice and vegetable juice available on the bottom shelves of your grocery store. These foods will provide nutrition and hydration simultaneously. Look also for evaporated milk, condensed milk, and canned coconut milk. Coconut milk will help you cook rice faster! Stewed tomatoes, and vegetable, beef or chicken stock can also help you cook rice without depleting your drinking water. It’s also a great excuse to stock up on canned beer, which you can use to cook!
#3: Dehydrated (powdered) milk.
Milk does a body good (or so say the commercials). Indeed milk is a versatile food well worth stockpiling if you don’t have a cow or a goat. Bob’s Red Mill dehydrated milk lasts, pictured right, up to two years, and is an excellent natural creamer for coffee. Skip the non-dairy creamers made of hydrogenated oils and use powdered milk instead.
#4: Hard cheeses encased in wax.
Waxed hard cheeses are not so easy to find, but they are available. Parmesan, swiss, sharp cheddar or Gouda encased in wax is a very “Gouda” thing to find! Wax prevents cheese from growing mold and bacteria, and it also keeps moisture in your cheese, so it can store for a very long time without refrigeration. Parmesan is a hard cheese, and in the powder form has a four month expiration date, but encased in wax it can last up to 25 years! Consider buying cheese wax and even a basic hard cheese kit to make your own delicious cheeses. Wax will keep hard cheeses moist during the aging process, and also prevent unwanted mold growth on your aging cheeses.
#5: Protein bars and protein drinks (Whey Powder or protein concentrate).
You know that Little Miss Muffet ate her curds and whey, and so should you. In cheese making, curds are the thick part of the milk that’s separated from the liquid when the milk turns sour. Whey is the watery part that’s cloudy and yellowish. Whey is highly nutritious! Bob’s Red Mill offers an all natural whey protein concentrate. Whey contains a high quality complete protein containing all of the essential amino acids required by the body for strength and muscle development. It is a great way of increasing protein intake without adding excessive carbohydrates and fat. It dissolves instantly so it ‘s great for making high protein shakes and smoothies. In survival times, mix it with dehydrated milk for an extra frothy and satisfying nutrient! So while this isn’t the first thing that will fly off the shelves in the event of a crisis, it’s one Happy Preppers
should have on their list.
#6: Canned & dehydrated meats.
What’s the #1 food to hoard? Well, the best prepper protein source is meat. Go for the jerky! If you had to stockpile just one kind of food you’d want to stockpile meat in cans. Go ahead and Tune-in to the tuna. Stack up on the Dak! Why? Because meats provide humans with around 90% of sustenance needed to survive; and 90% of plants are deadly to humans. Man must eat meat! When possible, look for grass-fed meats, like Yoder’s brand.
Canned salmon, canned sardines, canned mackerel and canned tuna are rich in necessary Omega 3 oils. Stock your refrigerator with meats too. Smoked salmon, sausages and hot dogs can last a long time in your refrigerator. Store organic hot dogs and sausages, such as Applegate Farms Uncured Beef Hot Dogs, which are made from organic, grass-fed beef. Consume them first in a power failure.
#7: Coffee, tea, Ovaltine, Tang and bouillon.
Coffee for survival purposes provides the primary benefit of increased mental alertness, but as a morale boost it’s good too. Tea for survival is important too, and has been around for 5,000+ years for a reason! Water quality of our ancestors wasn’t very good, so tea helped it taste better and boiling water killed bacteria. In an emergency situation, tea can help you hydrate quickly when you can’t wait for the boiled water to cool. Caffeinated teas provide a burst of additional energy; while other teas can provide a calming and soothing effect, which you may need.
Additionally, many kinds of tea have anti-cancer properties (polyphenols), and reduce the risk of blood clotting and even lowers cholesterol levels. Consider adding echinacea, peppermint and chamomile teas to help combat the common cold, naturally, too! Tang is a prepper classic to enhance the water supply. Bouillon cubes are compressed stock. This salty essential will help you flavor soups, rices, ramen style noodles and gravies. Even if you don’t use coffee, tea or bouillon in your regular diet, consider securing them for your Prepper’s pantry for bartering!
You can’t cook much without oil! Buy oil small containers and look for the word “virgin” which means that they are the first press and have the most nutritive value. Olive oil is an ideal oil, but can quickly go rancid, thought it may have a shelf life up to two years. Shortening usually has trans fats, so consider coconut oil as cooking lard to replace Crisco or other vegetable shortening, which is made of dangerous trans fats. Coconut oil is very heat stable, and because it’s low to oxidize, it means that it won’t go rancid as quickly as other oils. It can last up to two years, and it provides fast energy.
Ghee, here’s something to consider:
# 9: Whole wheat flour.
Wheat is a basic food product that’s chock full of fiber, protein, vitamins and even minerals, like selenium. If you stock white flour in your daily pantry, be sure to stock wheat flour in your Prepper’s pantry because it has more nutritive value when it has the whole grain (bran, germ and endosperm). White flour has only the endosperm.
Thankfully, “There is not currently, nor has there ever been, any genetically engineered wheat on the market,” according to the Non-GMO project, so stock up!
You may also need flour for thickening gravies, or coat and fry, such things as freshly caught fish. If you have whole wheat flour, you won’t have to stock genetically modified corn starch, which is also used for thickening.
Wheat flour because it comes wrapped in plastic, rather than a paper bag which is more susceptible to pest invasions. Ultimately, you should store whole wheat flour in your every day pantry. Your long term pantry should include whole grain wheat and you should have a grain mill.
#10: Cereals Shredded Wheat, corn or rice.
Stockpile whatever cereals your family eats oat, corn, rice, or wheat-based. We recommend Shredded wheat! The first edition of the Boy Scout Manual in 1911 highlights the best food for Boy Scouts is Shredded Wheat, “because it has all the muscle-building material in the whole wheat grain prepared in a digestible form, supplying all the strength needed for work or play.” If refrigeration isn’t an issue, pack wheat germ, which has high levels of fiber and vitamin E to boost your immune systems. Wheat germ is the center of the seed. Packed with protein and fiber, wheat
germ also has folate, magnesium, zinc, manganese, selenium and vitamin E. It’s considered “nutrition in a crunch.” It’s not really a meal, but one you can add to your hot cereal.
#11: Potato flour.
Consider adding potato flour to your Prepper’s Pantry. Potato flour is wonderful, gluten-free addition to your Prepper’s Pantry to make breads, pancakes and waffles, and potato soups. It’s also wonderful as a thickening agent, so you can avoid GMO cornstarch. Don’t confuse it with potato starch, because potato flour is the entire potato (skin and all) dehydrated.
#12: Corn as a grain (dried).
Corn as a grain is an essential prepper food and there are many kinds of dried corn.
Popcorn is a grain that can be ground into flour! Spanish for “dough,” masa is the flour of finely ground maize, hominy or corn. It’s basically been dried, cooked, ground, soaked in lime and then dried again. It reconstitutes easily with warm water and salt to make corn tortillas.
You can also use Masa harina to make the dough for empanadas, papusas and tamales. Look for organic brands, which will ensure you’re not getting a dangerous genetically modified food products. While Masa Harina is a finely ground meal, corn grits is more versatile, hearty and nutritious basic food.
Nothing satisfies like the savory experience of Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free corn grits (also called polenta). For breakfast, you will love it with milk and honey. Grits left in a pot to cool become polenta. In this way, you can serve it for dinner with butter, cheese, marinara or gravy. You can also purchase alkali-treated corn (actually dried maize kernels) known as hominy, which is largely popular in Southern and Mexican cuisine. Popular in the South, you can also find this product out West if you look for it in cans in the Mexican food isles. Hominy is high in calcium content.
#13: Corn as a vegetable.
Corn as a vegetable is also an important pantry essential. (Corn is both a grain and a vegetable: the only difference is that as a grain it’s dried before harvesting.) Buy organic corn in cans to help ensure it’s not genetically modified as most corn is GMO.
In stores, look for the “Non-GMO project verified” label to avoid buying genetically modified corn. Steer clear of GMO corn products by purchasing organic (shockingly, 86% of the world’s corn is GMO).
#14: Oats and Oatmeal.
A favorite of American pioneers, oatmeal is a food low in saturated fat, and it’s also a good source of fiber, which is especially important during survival times. You’ll need to store adequate water as making the porridge requires 4 cups of water for every one cup of oatmeal.
A tip for preparing is to soak the oatmeal over night, so that it takes just 9-12 minutes to boil (instead of a half an hour). Look for John McCann’s steel cut oatmeal in a can, which are 100% whole grain and natural Irish oats. Stock up on emergency buckets of rolled oats and quick oats today, and learn more about why oats are an important part of your food storage.
Living without power, cars, electronics or running water may seem like a nightmare scenario but to pioneers it was just the way life was. Having the skills to survive without modern conveniences is not only smart in case SHTF, it’s also great for the environment. Keep in mind that the key to a successful homestead does not only lie on being able to grow your own food but on other skills as well.
Learning these skills will take time, patience and perseverance, and not all of these skills are applicable to certain situations. Hopefully, though, you managed to pick up some great ideas that will inspire you and get you started!
Just like our forefathers used to do, The Lost Ways Book teaches you how you can survive in the worst-case scenario with the minimum resources available.It comes as a step-by-step guide accompanied by pictures and teaches you how to use basic ingredients to make super-food for your loved ones.
#15: Bread crumbs and stuffings.
Bread crumbs are a satisfying addition to casseroles, and can also help you make salmon and crab cakes with the cans in your Prepper’s food storage. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to find Bread crumbs sealed in plastic for freshness. Usually, they are boxed in waxed paper. Stuffing is a natural accompaniment to your mashed potatoes and will mix nicely with spices and dehydrated onions.
Try also, bread in a can, and pumpernickel. Learn to like Pumpernickel and make it part of your everyday diet! This amazing whole grain rye bread (enjoyed by Germans and Scandinavians with cheeses, pates and meats), packs a mighty punch of fiber and has a three or four month shelf life!
You can make a satisfying meal with even one slice of bread. In the beginning of a food crises situation, you will find yourself feeling full from this nutritious bread. So pack some pate and store Pumpernickel regularly. (You’ll feel regular too.)
#16: Shelf stable, ready to eat meals.
There are two kinds of shelf-stable, ready to eat meals to include: the kind you eat, and the kind you don’t. Soup is good food and can provide a hearty meal with crackers. In uncertain times, you can take comfort in having several shelf-stable, ready to eat meals on hand, which require no cooking. Go Picnic is one of them.
While crackers have little nutritive value, they do provide a sense of normalcy to a survival situation and will be a worthy an satisfying accompaniment to soups and tuna salad, and peanut butter stashes in the Prepper’s Pantry. You may find some surprising nutritive benefits such as niacin and iron in flaky flavorful crackers. In your long term food storage you’ll need to buy some pilot crackers in a #10 can.
#18: Potato Flakes and au gratin potatoes.
If you can find a shelf-stable variety of au gratin or scalloped potatoes that don’t have hydrogenated oils, then go for it. Left is Edward and Sons. Unfortunately, most au gratin potatoes have them (so skip Wegmann’s, Betty Crocker and Idahoan until they stop including hydrogenated oils in their manufacture). Look for au gratin potatoes at organic based food market, like Whole Foods. There are plenty of more reasons why you should make potatoes part of your long-term food storage plan.
Sure, jasmine rice is cheap food, and worth storing but you can also store a variety of rice to keep your family interested. Try basmati rice, Italian arborio rice, short grain Asian rice, wild rice, and brown rice too! Brown rice is a healthy option, but requires more cooking time, which could deplete your cooking resources. Consider instant rice for this reason alone, though it’s not as healthy as other rice options.
Dried pasta has little to no fat or moisture content, so it resists spoilage. Among the most filling and inexpensive foods, store a variety of pastas in addition to your spaghetti and macaroni noodles including: egg noodles, gnocchi (made with potatoes), dried tortellini (filled with hard cheese), orzo (rice shaped pasta), couscous (wheat-based pasta) and the other variety of shaped Italian pasta such as lasagna, linguine, rotelle, rotini, rigatoni, orecchiette, penne, mastoccilli etc. Remember Asian pastas too!
There are healthier options to the inexpensive ramen style noodles. Try soba (made from buckwheat), rice noodles, udon (wheat flour), bean curd noodles, and chow main noodles (fried noodles made of egg and wheat). Right, you can make a meal of Annie’s cheeseburger macaroni meal starter and Keystone Ground beef.
#21 Raisins, dried fruits and fruit strips.
Just a handful of raisins will provide a full serving of fruit. Raisins have protein, fiber, iron, and Vitamin C. Raisins are loaded with antioxidants and potassium, too. Use them in your Prepper’s pantry to enhance the flavor of rice for dinner and cereals for breakfasts. Remember, raisins are a dried fruit and not a dehydrated food. There is a difference in how you store each.
Organic raisins are the best choice so you can avoid toxic pesticides of commercial farming. Newmans Own is an excellent choice. These raisins are packed with juicy flavor and a pleasing texture, and are available by the six pack in 15-oz cans for your prepper’s pantry and delivered to your door. Enhance your supply with dried apricots, dates, cranberries, mangos and whatever your family enjoys.
Skip the fruit rollups, which are ladened with unwanted high-fructose corn syrups. Instead, look for Simply Fruit twists and high fiber dried fruit strips available in a variety of flavors, such as cherry, grape, and apricot. The more variety, the better for your family to fight boredom in diet and to get the essential nutrients they each provide
#22. Jams and jellies.
Jams and jellies are a canning favorite from blackberry jams, strawberry jams, raspberry jams, grape jellies and also apple butters, your pantry can easily have a variety of fruit spreads to sweeten life.
#23. Canned fruits.
Most people stock up on canned veggies, but really it’s the fruit they should concentrate on because fruits contain twice as much calories per pound as veggies. A fruit cocktail will give you about 300-400 calories per pound. Peaches, packed in light syrup offer a tremendous calorie boost to the survival diet. The liquids also provide a valuable source of hydration, so don’t can the juice in the cans! Look for citrus varieties, such as pineapple and mandarin oranges, to give the essential vitamin C.
Applesauce too can be a wonderful accompaniment to cereals, and can also serve as a dessert. Canned pumpkin puree will also provide a heavy dose of Vitamin A and you can make a simple soup by adding bouillon and spices, such as garlic.
#24 Canned veggies.
When it comes to veggies, preppers need to think beyond green beans! Unfortunately, green beans do not pack many calories. If you’re looking for the ideal veggies to stash, then think about canned root vegetables, like sweet potatoes and yams. Sweet potatoes are high in Vitamin A, plus they’re filling. Add a variety with canned sauerkraut, cabbage and beets, too. If you eat them, carrots, peas and potatoes provide the fixing for a nice stew. Canned olives, asparagus and artichoke hearts will help you make easy pasta dishes. Dried veggies, right are available online.
Skip the canned corn (it’s likely GMO).
#25: Beans and legumes.
Stock up on beans — all kinds of dried beans and canned beans, (including refried beans). The more variety of beans you store, the better as it provides energy and fiber. Beans pack around 1250 calories per pound. Best of all, you can sprout beans — it as little as five days you can sprout crunchy, fresh phytonutrients for your family from dried beans, peas, and lentils. (See the sprouter, immediate right.) Peanuts aren’t really nuts (they’re beans, but stock up on those too because they add protein).
#26: Nuts, seeds and nut-butters.
While it’s true that nuts can go rancid quickly, nuts are an excellent source of energy, so stock up on them in your Prepper’s pantry (provided there are no allergies in your family)! Raw almonds, walnuts and cashews are excellent choices, pistachio’s too. Mixed roasted nuts will also provide varieties, such as hazelnuts, pecans and Brazil nuts. Nuts are obviously allergens, so avoid giving them to children under 5.
Think also canned chestnuts, which are a great source of fiber and found in the Asian section of your supermarket. (They’re also an excellent source of potassium, magnesium, iron and vitamin C.) The healthiest nuts and seeds are in bags, rather than oil filled cans and jars. Think sunflower seeds and alfalfa seeds too! Yes, you already knew to stock peanut butter, but did you know that peanut butter is really a bean butter?
Look for peanut butters that are simply peanuts, oil and salt (yes, the kind with oils at the top, which are the natural peanut butters). Skip the peanut butters that have sugars in them or worse yet, those with hydrogenated oils in them. Know that “trans fat free” doesn’t mean that they are free from trans fats, it could mean that there is less than. 05 grams of trans fat per serving.
Even if you don’t use honey, buy some honey, honey! Not only will honey last forever, but you’ll use honey in survival times to flavor boring oatmeals and other breakfast grains, as well as teas. Honey eases sore throats, and more importantly, if you don’t have any topical antibiotics, you can use honey as a paste to put on wounds.
There are medicinal and other reasons to stock honey in your preps: here are nine reasons to stock honey, honey! When you learn how to bake breads, you’ll realize that many 329 recipes call for honey. So, honey, what are you waiting for?
#28 Iodized salt.
Look to history and you’ll find salt was an important commodity. Salt can kill bacteria! Salt contains chloride and sodium ions, and all living things need these components in small quantities. Not all salt is the same! Humans need iodized salt to avoid thyroid gland problems and goiter and to help regulate fluid balance in the body, but more importantly we need salt to preserve food.
How does salt help preserve food? Salt inhibits growth of germs in a process of osmosis where the salt pushes water out of the microbial cells. Best of all, salt lasts for ever. You can salt everything from salad greens the way the Roman’s did to curing meats and preserving other kinds food. Indeed, salt is very useful to Preppers.
#29 Sugars and Molasses.
You’ll need granulated sugar, brown sugar and powdered sugar. We also suggest buying sugar in the raw. Skip the beet and go for the cane, baby! Skip also the sugars that you can buy in boxes and paper bags. Buy your sugars wrapped in plastic, because this helps protect it from insects. As a second step you can buy sugars in cans or place your own sugar purchase into mylar bags and sealed food-grade plastic buckets sealed with a gamma lid.
Look also for sugar in the raw packets. One final note of caution with spices: if you regularly eat curry or other spicy foods then it’s fine to include them in your Prepper’s diet; however, you may well find yourself with a “ring of fire” otherwise. We therefore suggest you cautiously pack
#30: Spices and herbs.
Survival spices to consider might include saffron will sure make that boring old rice more tasty, and chili to add flavor to all those beans you’re storing. Buy more of the spices already in your cupboard. Some good basics include dill, red pepper, cumin, rosemary, oregano, dried mustard, and ginger in addition to the saffron and chili. Skip the strong spices curry! While it tastes wonderful, they may also attract human predators. If you’re stocking beans make sure to get pinto bean seasoning, right, to enhance the flavor of your preps.
Your favorite condiments will go a long way towards making foods taste better in uncertain times. Buy pickle relish and small cans of mayonnaise for your tuna salad on crackers (because once you open the mayo, it will quickly go bad). If possible look for a mayo that’s not made with from deadly soybeans (90% of which are GMO). A variety of mustards can also help spice up your foods.
Buy ketchup without deadly high- fructose corn syrup, and keep it in a brown paper bag and store in a dark place so that it will preserve as long as possible. Tabasco sauce, too can help add flavor to otherwise bland foods. Think also of canned gravy as a condiment! Gravies will surely add some flavoring to your potatoes and stuffing. Look for NON-GMO soy sauce for all that rice. Stock vinegars (balsamic, cider and rice whine).
Think also in terms of Worcestershire sauce, barbecue sauce and to enhance your stews and soups and to help you make gravies. And on the sweet side, consider stocking maple syrup, vanilla and almond extracts, plus cocoa powder and chocolate syrups.
Chocolate chips store relatively well. Remember also, baking chocolate! Not only does chocolate pack loads of antioxidants, but it’s a morale booster that could prove essential. What’s more the fiber will fill you up. Pack high quality dark chocolate, like Dove bars, in your Prepper’s Pantry.
If you look closely at the ingredients, of other chocolates, like Hershey’s Kisses, you’ll find an unwanted ingredient: hydrogenated oils. Those do not belong in your chocolate, even during survival times! Besides, chocolate has been known to boost heart health.
Keeping at peek vitality is crucial during episodes of stress. While multi-vitamins are a great idea, be sure to pack a Calcium with Vitamin D fortified vitamin, as this combination may help your body fight infections. Also, look for magnesium; As an essential stress supplement, magnesium prevents the damage caused by excess adrenaline.
Vitamins and pills do not help a prepper pull weight, but vitamins do help the body use food. Only after eating actual food can a prepper pull more weight or work harder. So in short, the answer is not pills, but good food in plenty of variety is the key! The best option is to have the vitamins in the food. For kids, stock Calcium gummy Bears, right, to help fight infections and stay healthy.
#34: Food bars.
We already mentioned protein bars, but there are other kinds of food bars, including nut bars, pictured left and pemmican bars, pictured right. Ideal for a bug out bag, food bars are compact nutrition and should be part of your everyday food storage. Sure, some food bars are a sort of cross between chocolate candy bars and vitamins, others more of a granola, but they are often high in protein.
Food bars can provide a satisfaction for a morning meal or an addition to your other rations. Look for coconut bars too! Another food bar that often goes under the radar with Prepper’s (but shouldn’t) is Pemmican, pictured right, which contains complete protein and gives energy. Free of isolates, fructose, sugar and cholesterol, Pemmican is a concentrated food bar that offers quick energy.
You can cook with vodka, drink it or barter it. What’s more, vodka has a some medicinal value. Use vodka as a mouthwash or help numb the pain of a tooth ache. Apply vodka dabs to cold sores to dry them out, as an anesthetic for blisters, or to ease poison ivy and as a skin repellent to shoo flies and mosquitoes. Have stinky feet? Wipe the smell clean with vodka. Try vodka too for cleaning the lenses of eyeglasses. Who knew vodka would be such a versatile pantry item? It’s also on the prepper list of morale boosting foods.
#36: Dry yeast.
Unfortunately, yeast has a very short shelf life, but it’s still well worth having on hand. Dry yeast is an essential leavening agent in baking bread, and has a longer shelf life than compressed yeast, but still after several months it loses potency. It’s purpose is to convert the ferment able sugars of dough into carbon dioxide and ethanol. Look for Fleishmann’s Active Dry Yeast, which is the original active dry yeast, relatively stable and valued for its consistent performance since 1945. It’s one of the most essential ingredients to use in your pantry immediately following a survival situation.
#37: Baking soda and baking powder (leavening agents).
Both baking soda and baking powder are leavening agents, which means they produce carbon dioxide to help food rise.
Sure, we listed 37 essential food items for your Prepper’s Pantry, but the list could easily continue on non-food related essentials. For example, extra can openers, firewood, charcoal, lighter fuel, candles, paper plates, plastic utensils and disposable cups. Finally, remember the tampons! Any real survival man will tell you that a fluffed up unused tampon is a good emergency tinder source to have around, so come on baby, light my fire!
But while we’re still on the topic of essential foods to stock, consider this: if you’re lucky enough to have a root cellar, then you can stock fresh apples, potatoes, onions and garlic to last you several months, but remember, never store them in plastic bags or in the refrigerator. They must be stored in a cool dark, and well ventilated space, and away from pests, which is not easy to do.
Finally, know that it’s okay to stock up on junk food. Did you know that Cheetos and Pringles can get a fire going? The content of much of the processed foods you buy has the perfect combination of air and fats to make fire. Who knew that your everyday food storage of junk foods would come in so handy in a disaster?
So there you have it: the 37 essential food items to stock. Now you are that much more prepared.
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