20+ Cheap Food Items You Should Store Now

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Now that stores are starting to get more items in, you may be wondering about some foods you can start storing now. I wanted to put together a list of 20+ cheap food items you should store now. While this pandemic is not over yet, at least the panic has lessened and there are more foods on the shelf. The next time you’re at the store check out these cheap foods you can easily stock up on. Everyone loves eating, especially during a pandemic. Don’t forget to have a few can openers, Manual Can Openers

In case you missed my post on How To Make Flour Tortillas

Cheap Foods You Should Store Now

If I’m being honest, cheap foods are the best foods to store. They don’t cost much money so you can slowly stock up on foods as you go to the store. Inexpensive foods only cost you a few dollars per unit. Remember that stocking up isn’t just going to the store to buy a bunch of stuff at once. It’s slowly stocking up on items as time and money allow it. I have more ideas in my book as well, “Prepare Your Family For Survival”

  1. Rice – Everyone knows my stance on rice. It is such a cheap item to stock up on and you can still find it at the store. Buy as big a bag of rice as you can afford. You won’t regret it.
  2. Beans – You already know that beans are such a cheap protein and such an important part of cooking during a pandemic and any other time too. How To Cook Beans
  3. Peanut butter – I don’t know about you, but peanut butter is one of those things that I enjoy eating, especially during a pandemic.
  4. Eggs – If you can get your hands on farm fresh eggs, they seriously last a long time. If you have the time, you can also scramble them and then freeze them in an appropriate container.
  5. Canned Tomatoes – One of my favorite cheap foods to stock up on and store now is canned tomatoes. If you can stock up on these, do it!
  6. Peanuts – Yes, if you can stock up on peanuts at the store, go for it. While they aren’t the cheapest, you can sometimes find them on sale, which is very helpful during a pandemic. Nuts can be very filling and they are generally really good for you.
  7. Ramen Noodles – I think we can all agree that there isn’t any other food out there that’s as cheap as Ramen Noodles. If you see them, make sure you stock up!
  8. Oatmeal – When my girls were younger, all it took was some oatmeal to fill them up. Right now, overnight oats are a huge thing and so delicious!
  9. Frozen fruits and veggies – You can’t forget to eat healthy, even during a pandemic, so it’s wise that you stock up on fruits and veggies when you can. Frozen seems to be the cheapest way to stock up!
  10. Flour – I know you hear me say this one all the time, but flour is a great item to have on hand and it’s so inexpensive.
  11. Crackers – I have posted a recipe on how to make your own crackers, but you should also buy them if you find them on sale. How To Make Homemade Crackers
  12. Canned meat – When I’m at the grocery store, canned meat is always my go-to. You can buy canned meat a lot cheaper and you don’t have to worry about it going bad.
  13. Spaghetti Sauce – is cheap right now. Sure I can make it from scratch, but sometimes I want a heat and serve dinner. I can boil the pasta and pour the heated sauce over it. So easy!
  14. Flour Tortillas – I ALWAYS have ready to serve flour tortillas in the freezer. I also like to freeze several packages of the uncooked flour tortillas. Yes, I can make my own tortillas, but if I spend the day writing and researching, sometimes I need a quick meal. I can add some cooked onions and bell peppers with some refried beans, dinner in no time. Please note: I buy several packages of the medium size flour tortillas at Costco and then place 4-6 tortillas in one-gallon size bags and freeze them. When I need tortillas I remove a bag from the freezer as needed.
  15. Salsa – I love salsa on just about everything, I highly recommend stocking up a few jars.
  16. Pasta – If you need to feed a number of bellies, then pasta is a good option. You can almost always find pasta on sale at your favorite store.
  17. Popcorn – Honestly, this is one cheap food that I’m not afraid to stock up on. It’s cheap and filling. Plus, you can add toppings to the popcorn for a special flavor treat.
  18. Potatoes – One food that is cheap and lasts a few weeks is potatoes. You can buy these and make many different dished with them. Plus, making mashed potatoes in the middle of a pandemic isn’t a bad idea. 
  19. Chocolate – This is a food that is inexpensive, but can be so good. When you are stressed and trying to deal with the pandemic, you can take a little chocolate out of the freezer to relax and enjoy.
  20. Canned Veggies – Another easy food to stock up on is canned veggies. They seem to last forever and you can find them cheap. 
  21. Boxed Cake Mixes – When you want something sweet, but don’t want to spend a lot of money, a boxed cake is a perfect way to go. Stock up on boxed cake mixes if you can. 
  22. Cheese – I make a lot of foods with cheese. When I can buy it on sale, I do. It’s amazing how many different meals you can make with cheese. I freeze grated/shredded cheese all the time. Sometimes I freeze it in the bags it comes in, or fill a quart or some pint mason jars with grated cheese before freezing it.
  23. Seasonings – While this may not be a food directly, it’s something important to stock up on whenever you can! Your food won’t taste very good without some seasonings. 

Why Should I Stock Up on Cheap Foods?

Well, if you want to stock up on expensive foods, you can. However, cheap foods are helpful when times are tough. Cheap foods allow you to stock up a little at a time, which is important. Not many people can afford to run out and stock up on tons of expensive food at one time. One can at a time and one box of pasta at a time is how we do it!

Final Word

The next time you are at the store, look and see what you can stock more cheaply. If coffee is on sale, grab an extra container. Stocking up should be done over time. You can do this! What is one cheap food that you like to stock up on? I’d love to know in the comment section. What do you think about my cheap foods you should store now list? May God Bless this world, Linda. 

Copyright Images: Wheat Flour Tortillas Deposit photos_46480169_s-2019

41 thoughts on “20+ Cheap Food Items You Should Store Now

  • September 5, 2020 at 7:18 am
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    So, this may be a dumb question, what is the best way to freeze store bought tortillas. Asking for a friend!

    Reply
    • September 5, 2020 at 8:01 am
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      Hi Karl, no question is ever a dumb one. Thanks for the reminder, I just added this to the post: Please note: I buy several packages of the medium size flour tortillas at Costco and then place 4-6 tortillas in one-gallon size bags and freeze them. When I need tortillas I remove a bag from the freezer as needed. I don’t like to buy really big ones, I buy the ones that are line 8-9-inch in diameter. Let your friend know, I love it! Linda

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      • September 5, 2020 at 8:30 am
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        Would it be a good idea to freeze them individually on a parchment paper lined cookie tray first and then bag them?

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        • September 5, 2020 at 10:15 am
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          Hi Karl, I just stack them together and place them in a one-gallon freezer bag. I buy 12 packages of tortillas at a time. I would never have the time to freeze them individually. It’s just me and they never stick to each other once they thaw in the frig. I have been doing this for years. The corn tortillas crumble so I rarely stock up on them. Linda

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      • September 9, 2020 at 10:22 pm
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        Freezer space is very dear here but I like flour tortillas. I thought about what would I do if I could not find them any more so I bought The mexican masa to make my own. It is cheap and available at your grocery store. I also have flour in gallon cans from the LDS church. Also cheap. Cheerio !

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        • September 10, 2020 at 8:24 am
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          Hi Donald, oh homemade tortillas are the best ever!! I have two bags of Mexican Masa in my freezer! I love making tortillas! Linda

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    • September 5, 2020 at 8:06 am
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      Karl, Not sure how anyone else does it but I vac seal them in a food saver bag after I take them out of the original packaging. I put some freezer paper in between the tortillas before I vac seal them I can then take them out of the vac seal bag and thaw them on a paper towel when needed. So far for me it works.
      Linda, I stock up on and vac seal pasta, either in jars or the vac seal bags, depending on the shape of the noodles. All kinds of shapes and flavors. I do watch the whole wheat types though as they can go stale sometimes due to the oil in whole wheat.

      Reply
      • September 5, 2020 at 8:18 am
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        Hi Kathy, yes, the whole pasta goes rancid faster than regular pasta. I like the idea of the paper towel between the tortillas. I may try that with the tortillas that I buy uncooked. Great tip! Linda

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    • September 5, 2020 at 9:13 am
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      In my HO, a dumb question is one not asked.

      Reply
  • September 5, 2020 at 8:19 am
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    I love the ideas you post here! Never thought to stock up on tortillas but will have to pick some up when I shop this week. Could. You also share your Best recipe to make them?

    Reply
  • September 5, 2020 at 8:37 am
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    Store YEAST…why ,sure are some breads you can make without YEAST but Incase you did not see my comment I made a short while ago ,it is one of those items that wii run out on the shelves over night. Home made lasts if stored Correct,1 year. And when you start go run low yow can make another year’s batch. And can keep going year after year.I hope food storage Mom kept the recipe so you can use it to make all of the YEAST you will ever need. Grow whole GRAIN AND DO NOT GRIND IT TILL YOU ARE GOING TO MAKE SOMETHING WITH. It Will. GO RANCID IN A SHORT AMOUNT OF TIME DUE TO THE OILS IN THE GRAIN. FREEZES ITH GRAIN FOR 3 Or 4 DAYS AND VACUUM SEAL IT. Then keep it frozen until you are ready to grind some more

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    • September 5, 2020 at 10:17 am
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      Hi Michele, great comment, yes store yeast or make my sourdough bread which uses no yeast. I’m like you, I only grind my wheat when I need it or store some in the freezer to use within a month. Linda

      Reply
  • September 5, 2020 at 8:56 am
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    You can make your own tortillas. I bought 5 lb bag of the flour and corn tortilla mix at our local store. I will be making some before too long. You can also make them with all purpose flour. Just google for the recipe. There are a lot out there.

    I have stocked up on almost all of these. I have a recipe for cake mix that I’ll use instead of the boxed. Sugar free boxed mixes are limited in flavors. Hubby is diabetic. I do have a stock of Splenda and Stevia. So many bags my cubbard Is full. LOL I have more of those than Sugar. Although, I do have some sugar.

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    • September 5, 2020 at 9:06 am
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      I forgot to add that I need to stock up on more tomato products. Sauce, crushed, and diced. Also, V-8 juice. I use it in soups Instead of tomato juice. I have to admit I buy the store brand, and can’t tell the difference except in my grocery bill.

      Reply
    • September 5, 2020 at 10:28 am
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      Hi Deborah, I can make all types of tortillas, my blog has several tortilla recipes. Life is so good when you can cook from scratch! Linda

      Reply
      • September 5, 2020 at 11:27 am
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        This is so true. And, it’s healthier for you. Even if it’s cheaper. Too many people can only cook from a box. It’s sad. I wonder what they’ll do when they can’t get boxed meals. I do like convenient occasionally, but not a steady diet of it. My favorite meals are all vegetables. With cornbread of course. Gotta have some cornbread. I grew up eating veggie meals most of the time. We did have breakfast meat, and about twice a week, we’d have meat at dinner. The rest of the time, we ate fresh or home canned veggies. Or from the freezer. Peas or dried beans, corn and potatoes were staples for our meals. I love it still.

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        • September 5, 2020 at 11:49 am
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          Hi Deborah, I like the idea of a one layer cake or a recipe that makes 12 cookies! I swear I sometimes think I still have 6 people living at home and there are only 2 of us!! LOL! I freeze leftovers or we eat them the next day. I love cornbread too! Yummy! Linda

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          • September 5, 2020 at 3:53 pm
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            I call the left overs, Encore meals. LOL We usually eat them the next day, too. IF I cook enough. We had large Lima beans and cabbage with cornbread tonight. The cornbread was left over from last night. Wast not, want not.

  • September 5, 2020 at 9:04 am
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    I definitely recommend getting extra food within your limits especially right now. This is a good list.
    Having extra isn’t some paranoid kook thing rather it’s smart because of threats that are present or likely to be. It doesn’t matter if it’s political, geographical or whatever.
    Play it smart and be safe.

    Reply
    • September 5, 2020 at 9:11 am
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      Matt, I agree with you. We never know what will come our way. I’ve felt that a big, bad depression is coming. I’ve felt this way for a while now. I don’t want my family to go hungry. Hubby and I are retires, so finances are limited, but we buy extras on sale. We have found that we can buy mail-order on some veggies, cheaper that on sale at the stores. We keep an eye on prices.

      I learned from the best to stock up. My grandmother, born in 1901, and my Mother, born in 1928. Both always had extra food. I miss them both so much. I didn’t learn enough from them.

      My motto is “Hope for the Best. Prepare for the Worst.”

      Reply
    • September 5, 2020 at 11:22 am
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      Hi Matt, we must stock up whenever we go to a store. We have to be smart to stock up we will eat and know how to cook. If we can cook from scratch we will never starve as long as our pantry is stocked! Great comment, Linda

      Reply
  • September 5, 2020 at 9:40 am
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    I like the idea of storing some boxed cake mixes and brownie mixes too. These were handy to have when we had our lock-down here because I wasn’t using my flour to make them. I used my flour for bread and biscuit making. This is a very good list!

    Reply
    • September 5, 2020 at 10:11 am
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      Hi Paula, I love stocking up on cake mixes when they go on sale. I need to grab some brownie mixes, thanks for the reminder! I’m glad you like the list. I’m working on another one as well. Thank you, Linda

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      • September 5, 2020 at 11:30 am
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        I make cake mixes and brownie mixes in jars. One layer cakes are good for the two of us. And I can make them sugar free for hubby. Store in jars and use as needed. I try to keep a couple of each in stock at all times.

        Reply
        • September 5, 2020 at 11:32 am
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          I forgot cookie mix in jars too.

          Reply
  • September 5, 2020 at 11:14 am
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    Hi Linda, What I love about your site, is that you give people a way to start. Some sites I have visited, make it seem if you aren’t living in the woods, with an outhouse and no electricity, you are sunk.

    Thanks for all the common sense things that we can do to prepare.

    Reply
    • September 5, 2020 at 12:09 pm
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      Hi Janet, thank you for your kind words. I love to go camping or at least I did when I was younger with our family. I’m prepared to stay in my home, where I can cook, bake, and use my skills. I will not head to the middle of the woods, it doesn’t make sense for me anyways. We can do what we need to right in our own home unless of course, my house falls apart by an earthquake. Then I will leave! Stay safe, Linda

      Reply
  • September 5, 2020 at 11:29 am
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    I would add locally sourced honey to that list.

    One of our favorite easy meals is something my wife calls Cherry Valley Burritos. Cook and drain 1 lb of ground beef (we use chuck for more flavor). Add 1/2-2/3 cup of La Victoria Green sauce and a couple of dashes of tabasco to the ground chuck and heat it up for a few minutes.

    Using 6 or 8″ flour tortillas, butter one side then place is buttered side down on a large baking tray. Place 2 heaping tbsps of the beef mix into the center of the tortilla and spread it just a bit along the middle. Add 4-5 1/4″x 1/4″ sticks of Monterey Jack cheese. Fold the tortilla to form a burrito and place it folded side down on the baking tray. Repeat until you run out of beef mix–I usually get 8 burritos making them this way. How many you get will depend on how much or little filling you use in each one.

    Sprinkle a bit of paprika over the unbaked burritos and bake at 350 F for 23-25 minutes. If you use a Sun Oven to do the baking it can take up to 45 minutes and your tortillas won’t get that golden brown tint, but they’ll taste just as good.

    If you like your food spicier use Pepper Jack and add in some Jalapeno chilies to the mix.

    Reply
    • September 5, 2020 at 11:51 am
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      Hi Ray, oh my gosh, this is the best idea ever! Now my mouth is watering, thanks for the “recipe”! I want to make these tonight! Linda

      Reply
    • September 6, 2020 at 10:03 am
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      Glenna,

      It’s one half to two thirds cup of La Victoria, not 12-23. for some reason the slash marks didn’t come through.

      Reply
  • September 5, 2020 at 2:39 pm
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    Good ideas! A few more things about using cake mixes, they can be used to make cookies especially if you use canned beans–no oil needed. Also, popcorn can be ground for flour to make corn bread. See I Can’t Believe It’s Food Storeage for more on using beans instead of oil. Never hurts to have more than one way to use our food storeage.

    Reply
    • September 5, 2020 at 3:11 pm
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      Hi Cheryl, I need to try the cookies with the cake mixes!! Great reminders, Linda

      Reply
  • September 5, 2020 at 3:58 pm
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    There’s a whole list of mixes and such at Budget101.com I have no affiliation with this site, but love it. Check it out if you want to make your own mixes. Even baking mix.

    Linda, if this is not acceptable, please delete.

    Reply
    • September 5, 2020 at 5:24 pm
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      Hi Deborah, thanks for sharing the link! It’s got some interesting stuff, thank you! Linda

      Reply
      • September 5, 2020 at 5:25 pm
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        Hi Deborah, Me too! I finally broke down and bought some smaller pans, it was getting out of control, my leftovers. I had to force myself to make smaller recipes. AND it’s working! Linda

        Reply
  • September 5, 2020 at 8:40 pm
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    Thank you Linda, for sharing. I’ve learned so much from you.

    God bless us all.

    Reply
    • September 6, 2020 at 8:54 am
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      Hi Sabrina, oh, you made my day, thank you for your kind words! Stay safe, we can do this! Linda

      Reply
  • September 9, 2020 at 5:21 pm
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    Check out bakingmischief.com for recipes for one or two. Even if you’re not interested in the recipes it can give you a good place to start with actual amounts. I, too, suffer from making enough food for an army and there’s just the two of us!

    Reply
    • September 9, 2020 at 6:05 pm
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      Hi Janie, thank you for that website! I need to start making up recipes for my self and others for one to two people. Linda

      Reply

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