15 Foods I Would Stock For Sure
Today it’s all about the 15 foods I would stock for sure. This is a small list, but let’s be real, some people are new to the food storage life and need some ideas to help them get started. It’s always a smart idea to plan ahead and this list is a great way to set your plans in motion.
The same holds true when you’re trying to provide your family with food on the table after an emergency has already happened. Once a disaster hits, it’s already too late to start a stockpile of your family’s favorite foods to make it possible to survive and thrive during an emergency.
Now is the time to stockpile so you’ll be ready with a loaded pantry before this type of situation occurs. These are 15 foods that I would stock for sure.
15 Foods I Would Stock For Sure
When it comes to a situation where you have to “bug in” or are told to quarantine to protect your family, you never know what to expect. Over the past couple of years, our communities have seen higher rates of sickness, many wildfires, and severe storms where we’ve learned what we did right and what we did wrong in response. Here are 15 foods I would stock for sure as we prepare for any of them to hit our locations again.
You’ll notice that the bulk of these foods would be classified as non-perishable shelf-stable foods since we’ll be storing them for an extended period. We love to have fresh perishable food for most of our daily meal preparations, but this list includes items we’ll want when trips to the store probably aren’t possible, at least in the short term.
When it comes to protein, it doesn’t get any better than eggs. You especially get more bang for your buck because you can create several meals for around $2 a dozen, depending on the store. You’ll also want them for baking too since they are listed as an ingredient in so many recipes.
Eggs that are purchased fresh don’t need to be refrigerated like the ones you pick up at the grocery store and they last for much longer too. In case you missed my post on eggs: How Fresh Eggs are Different From Store Bought Ones or this one: What You Need to Know About Farm Fresh Eggs
Some people raise chickens to ensure that they are provided with this delicious and nutritious food if an emergency were to ever happen. If you have a farmer’s market close by you may want to check there for the availability of fresh eggs.
2. Canned or Dried Beans
Canned or dried beans are an excellent source of protein and fiber. They are a great filler item to help stretch your meals, and also have a pretty long shelf life on top of that.
The nice thing about buying bags of beans is that you can make fresh beans anytime. But, it’s nice having cans of beans in case of an emergency since we won’t use up your time to prepare them or your fuel to cook them.
Beans can be used in chili, salads, burritos, or simply enjoyed just the way they are. Be sure to store your dried beans in an airtight container to help them keep longer. Beans make a great addition to your food stocks if you and your family enjoy eating them. In case you missed this post: How To Cook Beans
3. White Rice
Rice is one of those staple foods that should be a part of every prepper’s diet. Not only is it super cheap, but there are a number of different varieties that your family can enjoy.
There are white, brown, wild, basmati, jasmine, Asian, and countless others you could store. Instant rice may contain the least amount of nutrients, but it’s far easier to store and also to prepare as part of your meal plans. In case you missed my post on rice: Fried Rice Recipes and How To Cook Rice
Rice is such a flexible food. I use it in my Mexican, Asian, and other cultural-oriented meals. They can “stretch” your efforts for a filling meal without much extra time or money on your part.
Please remember that brown rice has a much shorter shelf life (6 months or so).
4. Boxed Pasta
Boxed or bagged pasta contains no moisture and hardly any fat, making it less likely to spoil. So, not only does it last for an extremely long period of time, but it’s also one of those foods that are super cheap.
Just like rice options, pasta has so many different varieties of noodles, making a totally different experience every time you go to use a different pasta variety as part of your food portfolio.
I never store my pasta in the boxes, I remove the pasta from the boxes and place pasta in airtight containers. I do have some #10 cans from Thrive Life for long-term storage. Thrive Life pasta has a shelf life of 8 years if unopened.
5. Oatmeal or Oats
Oats and oatmeal are foods that are rich in fiber and low in saturated fats. This helps provide you with not only healthy breakfast choices but nutrients like vitamins and minerals that are essential during an emergency.
These are foods that you’ll need to use with plenty of water, so that’s something else to consider.
6. Canned Vegetables
Canned vegetables can last for a really long time and they don’t cost a lot of money for you to have a decent supply. They can help round out a meal with a healthy amount of nutrients for your family to consume. Tomatoes should be your number one go-to vegetable since they can be used in pasta sauces, chili, soup, or sauteed alongside other vegetables.
We also enjoy canned carrots, corn, peas, sweet potatoes, onions, and spinach. Although canned foods last on the shelf for a fair amount of time, usually one to two years, make sure you check expiration dates when you purchase them so you can stretch that shelf time as long as possible.
7. Canned Meat and Fish
The nation’s meat supply could become pretty sparse if an emergency were to ever happen. Canned meat or canned fish may not be your favorite way to get protein, but it’s better than no meat at all (unless you’re a vegetarian).
We enjoy canned salmon, tuna, sardines, and chicken.
Hardly a week goes by that we don’t prepare a meal using canned chicken breasts we buy at Costco. We make sandwiches, salads, tacos, burritos, and so much more. We really enjoy the flavor and know that the meal will be fairly low in calories and fat.
You’ll need some form of snack to munch on, and it doesn’t get much better than stocking up on nuts. No matter which type you prefer, nuts contain plenty of protein and can store for a longer period of time. Nut butters are also another great choice. That would include peanut butter, Nutella, almond butter, and other varieties you may like.
Although not a nut, consider stocking up on popcorn too. It lasts a long time and doesn’t take up much space. Most families like it as a treat or after-dinner snack.
Of course, you’ll need a power or cooking source of some kind for the popcorn to pop.
I’m a real pistachio fan and Mark loves his cashews. We have a jar of mixed nuts close all the time.
I like to store my excess stash of nuts in the freezer using FoodSaver bags.
9. Protein Bars and Protein Shakes
It’s also not a bad idea to have plenty of protein bars and shakes on hand. That way you have something that you can easily stow away in an emergency pack if you had to leave your home. Please keep in mind they have a very short shelf life.
10. Flour and Wheat
Do you enjoy doing a lot of baking or cooking? You’ll want to be sure to have a decent supply of all-purpose flour at your disposal. I store bread flour, you probably know that by now. In Utah, it’s been a challenge to find any bread flour this past year. The shelves have been empty each time I’ve tried to find my favorite brand.
I did see 50-pound bags of all-purpose white flour at Costco. It’s just not my favorite flour. Besides, I have plenty of bread flour for my needs, right now. You may know I grind my own hard white wheat.
If you can learn to grind wheat, you’ll save so much money by making your own flour and bread.
Consider also storing other whole grains. They are healthy for you, can be used in so many recipes, and most family members will enjoy the variety in salads, smoothies, and many breakfast entrees.
11. Kitchen Basics
If you plan on doing any baking, you’ll need to consider having yeast, baking soda, sugar, honey, vinegar, and baking powder on hand at the very least.
This is especially true if you want to provide your family with delicious homemade bread that they can enjoy. And don’t forget homemade tortillas, biscuits, and crackers.
I’ve made a bunch of bread this week, including regular loaves, dinner rolls, pumpkin rolls, etc. I love my time in the kitchen.
Don’t feel intimidated making bread, we can all do it. Check out my “no-fail bread” recipes in my archives, your family will love you for it!
12. Cooking Oil
Cooking oil is one you certainly can’t go without. I guess you could, but you’d be extremely limited on what you could cook or bake without it.
Set your sights on purchasing oil that mentions the word “virgin,” which is a type of oil that contains the most nutrients. Cooking oil doesn’t last forever, so keep that in mind. Yes, it does go rancid.
Coconut oil lasts a little longer, it all depends on the brand you buy.
When an emergency happens, your situation will be tough enough as it is. You don’t need it to be stressful without any ketchup, mustard, mayo, hot sauce or other condiments to add to your meal.
Try stocking up on little condiment packets that you would find at fast-food restaurants that are much easier to carry. So maybe it wouldn’t be a total loss without them, but every meal would certainly be more bland and boring.
We always have a supply of pickles at our house. I like dill, Mark likes sweet pickles, and of course, bread and butter pickles. They go on just about any sandwich we make, other than peanut butter and jam. They add so much flavor.
14. Pepper Salt and other Spices
It’s pretty needless to say why you need to have salt, pepper, and other spices as part of your food supplies to stock up on. If you missed my post on Spices: The Best Ones to Stock
We’ve started using more flavorful spices like garlic salt to add unique flavors to your meals.
15. Distilled or Regular Water
So number 15 on this list isn’t necessarily a food item, but it’s one you certainly can’t go without. In fact, it’s actually the most crucial item that you need to survive. If you missed this post: How To Store Water
People are able to live without food for just about 3 weeks, but that isn’t the same story when it pertains to water. Without any water to drink, you’re looking at only about 3 days to live, particularly if you live where it gets hot.
It’s recommended that you store enough water to last you and your family for 3 weeks in case of an emergency. That’s a lot of water when you consider that the average man needs 3.7 liters of water and the average woman needs just about 2.7 liters each day.
I highly recommend storing a minimum of 30 days’ worth of water for every member of your family. I recommend 4 gallons a day per person. We need water for hydrating, cooking, washing clothes (at least our underwear), and for some limited personal hygiene care.
My favorite ways to store water:
WaterBricks-buy 1 or more: WaterBricks or WaterBricks
BlueCans-the cheapest place to buy them is at Brownells
It’s all about the 3’s
- We can live for 3 minutes without oxygen.
- We can live for 3 days without water.
- We can live for 3 hours without shelter (extreme heat or cold).
- We can live for 3 weeks without food.
There are so many other foods that you would want to store in case of an emergency, but these are some of the most important ones that you’ll want to stock up on.
What are some other foods that you couldn’t live without in an emergency? Which items would you add to the 15 foods I would stock for sure? Please keep prepping, we must. May God bless this world, Linda
Copyright Images: Wheat and Flour Deposit photos_131367110_s-2019
42 thoughts on “15 Foods I Would Stock For Sure”
Good article! I seem to forget about fried rice, I’m glad you mentioned it. My husband wanted me to buy a case of Spam, I did to please. I was wondering how to use it in our menu. Fried rice is a perfect solution. I’m not a fan of Spam, but I love rice, fried rice should please both of us.
Hi Linda, I love fried rice, I grew up on Spam, but my husband doesn’t care for it so I stopped buying it when we got married. I buy a can or so once in a while just because I like it in fried rice!! Life is so good! Linda
That chorizo spam is off the hook with scrambled eggs! The hickory and bacon is ok I guess but not much better than regular. I keep single packs in my go bags. Folks talk bout fat, calories n salt and all that But that’s exactly what you need when humping a pack hunting or trying to get home in a crisis.
Hi Matt, thanks for the link to eggs. I didn’t know spam made chorizo spam!! They’ve come a long way baby! Linda
Only thing is the singles are only in regular or a low calorie. What the point of low anything spam is I have no idea lol
Oh my gosh Matt, I had no idea Spam had so many flavors!!! Linda
Hi! Love you articles, as always. I do have most of what’s on your list though. I do need to get more honey though, I’ve set the bottle I’ve got for the second time in hot water to dechrystalize. This is the only one I’ve had trouble with. Lots of canned goods, macaroni is the only pasta I can stomach, nuts, dried fruit, etc. Wanted to get a chest freezer but opted out for the moment. Trying hard to keep up with things, but since I fell and hurt myself again, it’s been difficult. Not to worry though, I am taking care of myself and getting a few things done. Any snow yet? We haven’t here, just a lot of rain.
HI Pamela, thank you for your kind words. Yes, we have had some snow, hopefully, we will get more. Honey is so good to stock but yes it does crystallize. I had a neighbor in Southern Utah tell me he had just purchased two 5-gallon buckets of honey. He was so proud, and I was happy for him. But, I said you may want to portion out the honey in glass quart jars. If that bucket crystallizes, you will need a chisel to scoop it out. I’m sorry to hear you fell and got hurt. That is one of my biggest concerns is falling. I’m glad you’re taking care of yourself. Hugs from Utah, Linda
1 cup dry oatmeal has about 340 calories. Is this jar of oatmeal 2 servings?
Hi JoEllen, thanks for catching that. I just changed the recipe card. It’s 1/2 cup for 170 calories. I didn’t have a printable recipe card for this formula. I wrote a post back in 2016 or whatever but didn’t have a recipe card. Thanks again, Linda
This is a great post, Linda ~
I finally found a whey protein company that I really like. It is Inspire brand and they have 19 flavors (well, one is unflavored!!). I tried so many protein powders 4 years ago and this is the best that I found. Now, I prefer premade for the (Premier Protein shakes cause they don’t clump when added to hot foods i.e., coffee!). That being said, I have been doing a bit of Keto baking and many recipes require whey protein powder for the food textures and the Inspire unflavored works really well!
My daughter bought me Mother’s Day dinner yesterday and I have some left over rice and I am planning to make fried rice to go with my leftover chicken pad thai!! Yay – dinner is just about done! Well, not since it is only 10:45 am but it will only take a few moments to make the fried rice and heat the pad thai!! I love having dinner almost done before I have lunch!
Oatmeal is one of those foods that for some reason has not been a staple in my diet EVER! I have never liked the texture and I am not a fan of cereal to begin with! But, back in December I did purchase a bit of oatmeal for quick easy breakfast for after my shoulder surgery in January. It has really grown on me – guess my taste buds have finally grown up!?! I am not going to eat it often but I can at least enjoy it when I do.
One thing that I would suggest when it comes to salt – stock the pink himalayan AND a salt grinder!! Just my opinion that it will keep better than small grained salts and be freshly ground when you need it. Same for pepper – stock the pepper corns and a grinder – freshly ground pepper is way better than the pre-ground.
I prefer coconut oil for cooking many things but I have not found one that is flavorless. I like it because it lasts longer than other oils AND you can use it as a “beauty” product!!
As for condiments, I wonder how long the shelf life is on those little packets from the restaurants (ketchup, mustard, relish, hot sauce, etc.)?
Hi Leanne, I ‘m going to look into that protein shake powder. Thanks for the tip! I love grinding my own pepper, too! I haven’t done it with my pink Himalayan, I will check that out. Great ideas today! Thank you!!! Linda
Protein powder is a staple of mine as I still workout. The vanilla can be mixed in pancakes and stuff. I even use vanilla or chocolate Protein powder in my brownies. There are several companies that sell 5lb containers.
Matt – thank you for your advice. I have tried so many protein powders that I cannot tell you how many! Most of them are (imho) disgusting! Perhaps they work in things like pancakes and brownies but to drink – NAH! Anyway, I generally get the unflavored protein powder. Then I can flavor it any way I want if I am having a drink or if I am baking with it, I simply add vanilla or chocolate, etc. I don’t rely very heavily on protein powders for drinks, though so I am mostly using it in baked goods. So, I don’t think that I would want a 5# container!! Now, if I could get samples of said powder, I would try it but so many companies do not do single serve samples.
For storing FRESH eggs watch this
You asked what else some of us might include in our pantries and while salty, I kind of like Vienna sausages or simply white meat chicken. There is also ground beef now. Spam is good, but the problem is that if you’re sitting at home or simply have certain medical conditions, it is full of fat and salt. And for some people it can cause problems.
I was surprised you didn’t mention soups, which are versatile and just darn tasty. I like your idea of pouring soups over rice or pasta for a simple meal. If I can, I like to have cans of Chef Boyardee Raviolli and Spaghetti-O’s and also a few cans of Dinty Moore Beef Stew. If you have bread or crackers to go with these canned meals you feel like you’re eating quite well.
I also like to have canned pudding, Jell-O, fruit cups and canned fruit and applesauce. These foods are nice treats and provide a little moisture when one is eating lots of dry foods. The individual serving sizes make these foods easy to incorporate into a meal plan or for people with special diets. Of course we can save money by buying the larger cans and sharing if we have bowls and utensils.
And even though I don’t use it often or anything, I’d pickup honey along with peanut butter and Nutella. And we used to also buy boxes of Parmalat and both evaporated and condensed milk, for drinking, cereal, and cooking.
HI Frank, this is just one list! If I make the list too long people may get overwhelmed. I had to Google Parmalat!! Milk!! LOL! It’s funny that you mentioned canned pudding, Jell0, fruit cups, etc. I just stocked up on some of those. Yes, I can make Jello from a box, but I thought, hey, the price isn’t that bad! No refrigeration needed, wow! I bought several boxes, small serving sizes, which works for Mark and me! Thank you, Linda
I will admit I’m probably not the best reference for taste/texture because I eat for fuel rather than pleasure 2/3rds of the time. I’m using the powder from Walgreens for the best results of no lumps. It only has 30gr of protein but thats probably sufficient if your not working out too hard.
I was suggesting the larger size container for bad times. I bought several before the pandemic hit because that protein is better than none and I know how much output I can do in work or training on it.
I sneak that stuff into the pancakes and brownies because I don’t cook a lot but thats what I make when I do and I make sure the wife and grandkids get a little boost. It’s a lot of hard work keeping PaPa entertained lol.
HI Matt, great tip on putting the Walgreens (no lumps protein powder) in pancakes and brownies! I love it! Being a PaPa is the best!!! Life is so good! Linda
The oatmeal recipes can also be made overnight in the fridge for a chilled treat. Substitute milk or juice for the water. I’ve done this for warm weather camping or even as a take along for a quick meal when overnight petsitting.
Hadn’t thought to put the dry ingredients together in mason jars ahead of time so will be doing that as part of our summer planning. Bet it would be great as part of our hurricane season preps!
We are starting to see a bit of bread flour and baking supplies return to store shelves here in NW Florida. Still no yeast so am really glad I had some in the freezer. Meat is available, but most stores are limiting you to 1 or 2 packages total of beef, pork or chicken. Hamburger meat hard to find and almost double in price from even a month ago.
I have just signed up with a company called Azure Standard. Another homesteading newsletter hostess mentioned this company as her source for bulk grains and baking supplies.
They have a drop shipment site near me for monthly deliveries of larger, bulkier items. They offer many products, from bulk grains, baking supplies and food, to garden seeds, livestock minerals and household products. Products are non GMO, many are organic. Was considering ordering one of their bread starter kits to put back for just in case.
Hi BDN, great comment! I’m glad to hear you have yeast, I did too. I’m so glad you are seeing bread flour and baking supplies coming back into stock. The meat being scarce I believe is only going to get worse. I know people will say buy local, well we don’t have any local meat places where I live in Southern Utah. You know it’s crazy I do not know how families are feeding their families with the prices of food. I saw some Netflix documentary about migrant workers eating at fast food places because it was cheaper to buy a hamburger than fresh food at the grocery store. That is sad. But it’s real too! Now, I hear Wendy’s is running out of hamburger and Arby’s is running out of beef. Well, can you imagine how much a hamburger will cost in the future? OR if you can even get one. Crazy times. I will have to go check out the prices of meat. Thanks for the heads up, Linda
As it happened, I had your excellent book checked out of the library. It was quarantined right along with me. Now, it isn’t due till mid-July! I am finally getting a chance to read and absorb the content! I will be getting my own copy to stock, so I can refer to it often! Thank You, Linda and all your readers! Best wishes to all of you!
Hi Judy, thank you for your kind words, they mean so much to me! I work hard to teach others how to be prepared. Stay safe, keep stocking! Linda
Will do! Your instruction and encouragement mean so much to me! I am busy preparing. No time for fear or confusion. Being part of a like-minded group is just fabulous! A wealth of encouragement and fantastic ideas! Thank you all!!
Hi Judy, we all love helping each other!! Happy Mother’s Day! Linda
Hi Linda, your help and caring are priceless! Happy Mother’s Day to You too! And of course, all your readers!
Hi Judy, thank you for your kind words! Happy Mother’s Day, Linda
I’ve made “protein bars” and have bought some for convenience (husband working outside and not returning for lunch…) . However, do you recommend a particular one?
Thanks for taking time to do the articles.
Hi Diana, I just buy the protein bars that are the least expensive with the most protein and the least amount of sugar. I have to buy chocolate ones because chocolate anything is my favorite flavor. I have bought them at Costco and even Walmart. I don’t know any that would last more than a year or two at the most but if you even get enough for a year, that works for me. Clif bars are my favorite! Linda
Thanks Linda for your list. One question….. would keeping oil in the frig or freezer extend the shelf life???
Hi Chris, your oil will keep longer in the frig. You can freeze oil or at least olive oil, that I know. It will look different but once it hits room temperature it will look like it did when you purchased it. Oil is a tough one, I realize that. I freeze a lot of butter, I may look like a hoarder! LOL! Linda
Olive , sunflower, grapeseed oil can all be frozen. It will extend their life by the length of time you leave it in freezer.. coconut oil can be frozen, but it lasts for 5 years on the shelf unopened… so i don’t freeze mine. It takes all of them a significant time to thaw. after removing from freezer i leave out over a day or so then after i open put in freezer. Some of the bottles are very thin, if another item pokes the bottle while frozen ..it can be an oily experience…
HI Denise, thank you for commenting. I only buy small bottles to keep them fresh. Good to hear you have frozen oils. Thnk you! Linda
We are a household of 2, but i prepare so i would have some to share with some i know will be short. Little bottles will not work for sufficient quantity to fit my storage spot .I am glad little bottles give you what you need to keep in rotation.
one item often overlooked is: enough oils for preparing a variety of foods in a variety of ways..
Most people underestimate the amounts they will need to make satisfying gravies to use as a meal extender.
Hi Denise, when I say little I mean 25-32 ounces in a bottle. I cook and bake way too much to have tiny bottles. The bottles from Costco do not stay fresh enough for my liking. I guess I needed to explain myself a little more. LOL! Linda
caught typo… after i open and they have begun to thaw.. i put in refrigerator..while i use…i keep a variety of oils opened..
Thank you so much for your knowledge Denise. I seem to learn something new everyday. Stay safe and healthy.
I know you don’t recommend storing anything but white rice but my husband hates it. I store all sorts of different rice and have not had them go rancid at all. In fact I mix them with white rice because especially if making it for my husband because the white rice is colored by the darker rice and my husband does not even know it is white rice. Tricky but white rice is less expensive than colored rice.
Hi Jackie, brown rice will go rancid. You would know by the smell. You may have a less oily brand. I don’t know. Whatever works, Linda
I would not store boxed pasta if I was going for long term storage because in my experience it gets buggy within a few months. I’ve done everything from vacuum sealing it (have to use heavy bags that won’t puncture) to Mylar and O2 absorbers (which works well), but my go to now is to store it in Mason Jars with O2 absorbers. Then I put one or two Mason jars of water on the shelf next to it. That way I have the water to cook it with handy in case things really fall apart. Pasta in Mason Jars that is more than a year old (from when I started doing this) is still good with no sign of bugs or other problems.
I buy Spam by the case. I IS good in fried rice, or fried spam sandwiches with alfalfa and broccoli sprouts.
Hi Ray, I just added this to the post. I never store my pasta in the boxes, I remove the pasta from the boxes and place pasta in airtight containers. I do have some #10 cans from Thrive Life for long-term storage. Thrive Life pasta has a shelf life of 8 years if unopened. I assume people have read my previous post about pasta. I grew up on spam I don’t know why I forget that meat! Thanks for the reminder. Great tip on the mason jars and water next to them. I love it! Linda