Canned Foods

Canned Foods I Highly Recommend You Store

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I realize many of us don’t eat a lot of canned foods. My concern is how best to respond when I receive emails asking for suggestions for food storage that is cheaper than freeze-dried food. Dehydrated food is significantly cheaper than freeze-dried but usually has a shorter shelf-life. So today I’m updating a post where I discuss canned foods I highly recommend you store some canned food. Before everyone starts telling me they can’t have the salt they contain, let me explain my thoughts.

For one thing, a lot of people can’t afford to purchase freeze-dried food. I get it, trust me. I didn’t buy my freeze-dried food on a pallet. I bought a few cans a month for years, and I mean for years. Yes, I rotate it, but I can sleep at night knowing I have some really good food storage for many years to come.

BUT, I also have some cheaper dehydrated carrots, potatoes, and other foods with a shorter shelf-life. Another thing I really recommend is stocking up on canned foods. You can always donate to your local Food Bank the cans you choose not to eat in a year or two before it expires.

Please make sure you have food for your family, you can’t expect your extended family, neighbors, or your church to feed your family in an emergency situation. And please don’t think the government delivers food right after a disaster. It’s not going to happen for days, weeks, or possibly months. Just think what would happen if every family expected others to step in and help them during each disaster. Please be prepared!

Canned Foods I Highly Recommend You Store

Local Store In Utah

I saw this sign at my local grocery store. I don’t like to put fear in my readers’ minds, but let’s be real. You and I both know all the storms we have had this year are going to affect our food supply chain, along with all the new issues we are hearing about global supply chain challenges. I understand that various governments are trying to free up the ports and truck terminals so things can be properly distributed, but we are looking at months before we see much of a change. Please be prepared.

Home Canned Foods

Of course, if you have access to a Farmer’s Market or your garden is flourishing, by all means canning your own food is so much healthier, and possibly cheaper, in many cases. But not everyone has the land, equipment, jars, lids, etc. to do much of what they need to properly supply food for the family.

Plus, we must consider the health and financial strength of the family during these difficult times. We can only do what our health and budget warrant.

Great Canned Foods


Yes, we still need 4-gallons of water per day per person, but today I’m just talking about canned foods.

Dairy Products:

Right now, dairy products that are freeze-dried are more expensive than I’ve seen for a long time. I list them because many enjoy dairy-related foods so much. Just keep in mind that it may be more prudent to build up your food storage inventory with other canned goods until things become more affordable.

You may think you need dairy products to get your needed nutrients. Do some research on the subject and you’ll find out that many fruits and veggies provide plenty of nutrients. As a good example, beans of all kinds can give you the protein you need on a daily basis.


I don’t make a big deal of it to others, but I’m trying to focus more on a plant-based diet approach. When I say “diet,” I’m not just talking about monitoring weight, I’m talking about a balanced, healthy, naturally grown plant-based daily meal plan. So many studies have shown that those who eat more fruits and vegetables tend to be more healthy over time than those who feel the need to eat meat with most meals.

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Of course, we’d all like to have fresh vegetables as a key part of a healthy diet, but we’re talking about planning for those emergency situations where you are faced with meal preparation when trips to the store become difficult, or the stores become a less reliable source.

Most vegetables come in canned product offerings, making the choice more about what you and your family like to eat than worrying about comparing all the nutrients they might contain. If you vary meals from day to day and eat a good variety of vegetables, you will be well on your way to not only being prepared but doing so with a healthy result. Here are veggies I’d suggest you strongly consider having in your food storage stash:

  • Asparagus
  • Artichoke hearts
  • Beans
  • Beets
  • Carrots
  • Corn
  • Potatoes
  • Diced tomatoes
  • Stewed tomatoes
  • Pizza sauce
  • Spaghetti sauce
  • Enchilada sauce
  • Sauerkraut
  • Green chilies
  • Water chestnuts
  • V-8 Juice
  • Rotel Tomatoes
  • Tomato sauce
  • Tomato paste
Canned Vegetables

Have you noticed how scarce the grocery store shelves are my friends? I sure have, please stock up only what you and your family will eat.


There is nothing more refreshing food-wise than biting into a fresh apple, peach, plumb, or most any other fruit right off the tree. Having to eat just canned fruit may seem like a poor substitute, but in times of emergency, you’ll be glad you planned ahead and stocked up. I’ve listed just a few varieties below, but a visit to your local store will reinforce the fact that most fruits come in a can.

Be sure to get canned fruits the family likes to eat so you don’t have some that sit on the shelf longer than desired. Try a different one each night for a while and then poll the family to see what their favorites are. I’ve always said, “buy what your family will eat.”

  • Fruit cocktail
  • Peaches
  • Apricots
  • Applesauce
  • Pears
  • Pineapple
  • Cherries
  • Mandarin oranges
  • Pie filling
  • Pumpkin
Canned Fruit

Canned Protein/Meats:

Mark and I really enjoy a quick sandwich made with canned tuna, chicken, or ham. We’ll make up some chicken or tuna salad and put it on our favorite bread or bagel. You not only get a flavorful meal in minutes but a meal that is full of nutrients we all need.

When we’re in a real hurry, we’ll have peanut butter and jam sandwich. Mark loves his sandwich with a fruit jam, I often make mine with honey. I like to buy the canned chicken available at Costco, but I’m sure other stores have good choices too.

  • Tuna
  • Chicken
  • Ham
  • Corned Beef
  • Vienna Sausages
  • Canned ground beef
  • Salmon
  • Sardines
  • Canned bacon
  • Peanut butter/Jams/Jelly
  • Spam

Dry Beans/Lentils Are Awesome:

As mentioned above, beans are a healthy choice, particularly if you are looking for a product with the protein you need. Of course, you can buy your bean options in bags where they come in dried form. There may even be some larger cans of beans available in #10 cans. For a quick meal, you’ll need to consider having a stash of smaller cans of beans you can open, heat up, and enjoy.

Tonight I made a delicious tomato and bean soup that called for a variety of bean types. I put a bunch of veggies in the soup too. Along with the soup, I served a salad that had as one of the toppings two or three bean varieties. They all came from cans of beans I had in the pantry. I haven’t listed all the available bean options, but this is a good start as you add to your canned food inventory:

  • Pinto
  • Black
  • Garbanzo
  • Navy/White
  • Kidney beans
  • Cannellini
  • Lentils
  • All beans work for me, I love them
Lentils in Jars


While you are doing your meal planning as part of the exercise to increase the canned foods in your pantry, don’t forget that many meals are made more attractive, flavorful, and possibly nutritious, by adding various condiments to the mix. Some of the items may seem more like staples as illustrated by the flour, sugar, salt, etc., but many of us don’t think of buying these items as “canned” goods. Just buy them as part of your efforts to be better prepared, and remember that if purchased in airtight containers, they will have a much longer shelf life.

  • Mayonnaise
  • Miracle Whip
  • Mustard
  • Ketchup
  • Salsa
  • Hot sauce
  • Vinegar
  • Oils
  • Honey
  • Flour
  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda
  • Spices
  • Olives
  • Pickles
  • Electrolyte Tablets
  • Soy Sauce
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Hickory Smoke Sauce
  • Barbecue sauce
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Ready-Made Boxes or Canned Foods:

I wish all the items we want for a preparedness plan can be purchased in real cans. There are some items we’ll want to store that only come in boxes. The list below has a mixture of both canned and boxed products, but they are all things we should consider having on hand. Just keep in mind that the canned items will tend to last longer on your shelves than those sold by the box.

It is important to always set a schedule to check expiration dates on all stored items, not just when they are purchased, but from time to time during the year so you can properly rotate them and not have any go to waste. I try to group my stored items by type so they are easier to find, rotate, and use on a consistent basis.

  • Chili
  • Stew
  • Soup (just add water or milk)
  • Boxes of Mac and Cheese
  • Muffin mixes
  • Pancake mixes
  • Ravioli’s
  • Spaghettio’s
  • Cake mixes
  • Crackers
  • Oatmeal
  • Cream O’Wheat
  • Malt O’Meal
  • Mark’s choice of cold cereal below
Bags of Cereal

Temperature Safe For Storage:

We can’t all keep our houses at 65 degrees. If you have a very cool basement you are one of the lucky ones. The cooler we keep these foods the better. I’m not saying to store them in the refrigerator, but definitely not in the garage due to high temperatures experienced in most locations, at least part of the year. Please keep all boxes in airtight containers, if possible, so rodents can’t chew through them.

Don’t Forget to Take Advantage of Case Lot Sales!

When it comes to saving money when purchasing canned foods, I’ve found case lot sales to be a true Godsend. Here in Utah, they seem to be most common in our grocery stores in late summer and early fall. I try to stock up on the items I’ve depleted during the past year, along with some new items I’d like to try.

I particularly look for canned soups since winter is fast approaching and I enjoy a hot bowl in the evenings. At a case lot sale a few weeks ago Mark noticed a product we hadn’t seen before, Idahoan Foods packaged instant potatoes. They can be cooked on the stovetop or in your microwave. They are made from real potatoes, and unlike some others we’ve tried, have the true flavor and consistency we are used to seeing from our peeled, cooked, and mashed whole potatoes.

There was a wide variety and he brought home some of each. Each package was only $1.00, which we felt was a great deal. We’ve found the Idahoan Buttery Homestyle to be our favorite, but the others with garlic, various cheeses, and different spices are also delicious. Check them out at your local store to see if they carry them. We did notice some at Wal-Mart this week.

Canned Soups

FREE Printable Lists

Green Canned Food PRINTABLE

Blue Canned Food PRINTABLE

Final Word

Let’s make this list as long as we can. I will add the canned foods you use to my list if you’ll let me know your favorites. Let’s help the world be prepared for the unexpected. Let’s stock up as soon as possible. May God bless this world, Linda

Pantry Cans by Linda

Food Storage by Linda

Pantry Needs by Linda

Copyright Images: Beans Lentils in Jars Depositphotos_37988837_S

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  1. Thanks Linda, Great Post ! Not all disasters are long term, I’d rather have a supple of short term use items to go to, before I break into the long shelf life items. In our area ice storms can be common, but tend to be short in duration. But when it all goes South, I plan to be ready.

    1. Hi Beth, I totally agree with you. You know sometimes we have to have an ice storm, and earthquake, hurricane or whatever to gently remind us we have to be ready. Those ice storms lock down everything. If you have a four-wheel-drive car it’s useless, you still slide. We both understand the need for short term and long term disasters. Stay safe my friend, Linda

    2. Beth ~
      I feel the same way. I am going to first use what I have in my freezer – just the top of my fridge. That is just in case there is a disruption in power although that seems unlikely. And use up my refrigerator items. I will supplement both with my store bought canned goods and dry goods but I want the canned/dry goods to last as long as possible! I don’t want to dig into my FD long term items unless/until I must!

  2. Linda,
    One of your best. This is a good basic, concise post that I will use to try to get more people onboard. Thanks for all you do.

    God’s blessings from Texas!!!

  3. Great list, I never thought of some of those items. I would add coconut milk and lentils. Lentils are great for storage and coconut milk really adds flavor to a dish. I don’t know if this is considered food but the electrolyte tablets are great to store. When a disaster hits, they are helpful to have on hand.

    1. Hey, Linda: Yes, I was just going to say to buy the French Lentils, the little ones! Those suckers will cook up perfectly in only 20 mins. OR LESS! They are still filled with protein and minerals, but you can add them to dishes and/or soups and not look back. When your soup is finished, they will be already cooked! LOVE those little lentils, so versatile and don’t use up all your electricity or alternative energy to cook them, which might be a big deal if the blackouts happen as predicted. We used to go to this one restaurant when we lived near Schenectady, NY, decades ago. They always made the BEST soups! One time I tried to figure out their secret and discovered they used a few lentils in every batch! Since then, I barely make any soups without either French Lentils or some sort of bean just thrown in the pot while it’s cooking. THAT MAKES A HUGE DIFFERENCE!!

      Yes, you are also correct on the coconut milk! Not only do you get a lot of nutrition, you also get a very healthy fat into your body that way. If nothing else, you could make a chia seed pudding with coconut milk (and maybe a couple of drops of vanilla, if you still have that, and make everyone happy to have a LOVELY dessert while staying healthy with those Omega 3s, too! Just don’t forget you’ll need a supply of clean/filtered water to cook all of this food…

    1. Hi Linda, I confess I love Velveeta cheese even if it’s processed! I don’t eat it all the time but it’s great for nachos and grilled cheese sandwiches! Thanks for stopping by, Linda

  4. Linda,
    I have a question? You have under condiments you have baking salt, do you mean
    baking soda or is this a item I’ve never heard of? Thanks.
    I have been blessed with good neighbors and family. My cousin brought me a 5 gallon bucket of
    cucumbers plus 2 Walmart bags full. I have canned 22 jars of pickles plus I have more to can today.
    My tomatoes are doing good with just enough to eat. I have 2 neighbors who have said they would
    give me tomatoes this year. Hope I can have plenty to can. Next year I am back to my garden I hope.
    No green beans to can this year, I am lost.
    I am lucky to have a spare fridge and I keep all my cake mixes, box mixes and some fruit in the
    freezer. I think using the extra electric is worth it.

    1. Hi June, nope that’s a typo! Thank you I fixed it. LOL! Wow, a whole bucket/bags of cucumbers, score!! Yay for homemade pickles!!! I’m glad you have enough tomatoes to eat, and some neighbors who share. I deliver tomatoes every day to neighbors. I love doing it! Yes, the freezer right now is awesome! I do the same thing. Life is so good! I pray you can garden next year my friend, hang in there! Linda

  5. A few we use often, that could be added to this list to make meals with some of the other items on list… tomato sauce, ro-tel or tomatoes with chilis, enchilada sauce (or dry red chili powder to make it) tomato paste (could do without but…)
    Also soy sauce-we use tamari and a basic.
    Worcestershire sauce. Hickory smoke sauce.
    Are there dried sour creams etc to make/add to dips and dressings? Powdered dips/dressings – if can find canned/dry carriers for some of them. These would be nice treat.

    Love your information. Best out there. I can trust it, its thorough (researched or a result of someone’s experience) detailed, informative. THANK YOU!

    1. Hi Lois, oh you made my day!!! Yes, you can buy Sour Cream Powder on Thrive Life, I will add it to my post. I’m going to add all your tips to the post, thank you for sharing! I get to typing and sometimes forget some of my favorites! Thank you so much, Linda

      1. Linda L.: Long time no write! Nice to be back with you all and all of your wonderful suggestions! Well, awhile back I decided that all of that rice and beans and tomatoes and canned veggies might need some extra “help” to create meals my family would want to eat if in a SHTF situation. Thus, I have 2 times now, invested in Gluten Free Gravies, sauces, etc., from Mayacamas. There are not many companies that produce those without a ton of additives and chemicals, so I am grateful to Mayacamas to have more or less “clean” sauces and gravy mixes that are Gluten Free, so we can use them. We also have a goodly supply of Pacific Organic (and gluten free) Cream of Mushroom and Cream of Chicken Soup for similar purposes.

        Linda, I know you adore Thrive Life from how much you mention them. Good for you! However, I sometimes find I cannot afford their products, so have been buying some dairy supplies by Hoosier Hill Farms via Amazon. They have sour cream, buttermilk powder, butter powder, cheese etc., etc. Here is a link:

        My latest gluten free discovery is Montana Gluten Free baking mixes, and other products they make. WOW!!! To be able to make homemade Turkey Gravy again (using their baking mix) at Christmastime will be a real bonus!! We already do so with cornstarch, but that’s not really our favorite…

        Anyway, I am always grateful for your many suggestions, Linda L. Your information is always Top Shelf! I cannot even begin to list all of the items you’ve mentioned for prepping in your blog that I have gone out and purchased within minutes!

        OOOOH, I forgot to mention on those French Lentils I am such a big fan of…mine are probably 12-15 years old, they’ve been on the pantry for so long. I threw a couple of handsful of them into my Turkey Bone Broth & Veggie soup the other night. They still cooked up fine in the broth of the soup and tasted fabulous!! NOW THAT’S what I call “long-term storage food”!! We are still investing in a lot of prepping foods from Azure Standard, too, now that they’ve started canning their own organic veggies and fruit! The price is less than our local grocery stores, too.

        Hugs to you,

        1. Hi Joyce, what is the shelf life on the sour cream? I guess I could put it in the freezer. By the way I only buy Thrive Life foods when they are 1/2 price and they must have a 25 year shelf life or I don’t waste my time buying them. When I order from Thrive Life on their sales, it looks like I ordered a truckload, literally. LOL! I signed up as a consultant but I only want the discount. I buy Hoosier buttermilk but it has a very short shelf life as I remember. Can you see on your sour cream container? Linda

          1. Hey, Linda! Thanks for the inquiry. Sill me, I forgot to check the shelf life on the Hoosier Hill Farm’s Sour Cream, so I am really happy to prompted me to do so. 2/16/2027, and I have already had it on my pantry for about 1 year now.

            Yes, I think once we eat more of the berries that are still overwhelming our big freezer, we should probably put the Sour Cream Powder in there for long-term storage. OR, I need to freeze-dry some of the Organic Valley Sour Cream I’ve been buying on sale lately!

            Gee, I would LOVE to get in on one of those Thrive Life Sales at 50% off! Maybe it’s a good time to go check out their website and sign up for email announcements!


            Joyce S.

  6. 1. You know if you go to a fast food place ( not much any more) they tend to give you lots of the little packets of condiments, can you vacuum seal those in bags and or mason jars?
    2. Is anyone else having a hard time finding canned fruits????? I can find the little plastic cups, but not the regular sized cans!
    3. If I buy # 10 cans, can I either store in vacuum sealed freezer bags? Or re-can them in mason jars? ( doing the whole process as if the were fresh?)
    Thank you for your time.

    1. Hi Angela, yes the stores are having trouble stocking canned fruits and vegetables. The stores have signs stating they aren’t sure when they will be re-stocked. I hate to put a scare tactic on my blogs, but I took a picture on my phone, I think I’ll go upload up the picture. Thanks for reminding me about this!!! You can vacuum seal the little condiments. It won’t extend their shelf life much, but they would be protected from critters. If I have a #10 can, I remove the oxygen absorber and place the product in mason jars. Be careful using the accessory hose with powders it will get sucked up into the hose and ruin your FoodSaver. I know people put a plastic bag on top sometimes and then use the FoodSaver. Linda

      1. Hi, Angela and Linda L.: I use small coffee filters and put one small hole in it to vacuum seal powders in mason jars. Works for me!

        Again, I recommend Azure Standard for all of those missing-from-stores canned fruits and veggies. They have so many offerings!!! Azure grows their own produce of nearly all types, and have not had any lack in supply of those items. Honestly, I don’t know WHAT we would do if we didn’t have Azure Standard deliveries every month! They are fantastic and have very top quality foods at decent prices! When I look at their map of where Azure drops off the food to their clubs (no cost membership!), it is astounding how much they’ve grown since our group started about 2 1/2 years ago. We went from about 45 or so families to now we are around 400 families and growing! PLUS, you don’t have to order every month, just when you want to! It is also great to make many new friends that prep like you and eat like you. :-). One lady drives all the way from Erie, PA to PIttsford, NY (east of Rochester) just to come to pick-up every month! That is HOURS she’s driving, cause Azure Standard is that good!


        JESS in Central New York

    2. Angela,
      I have had no trouble finding regular cans of fruit at my local Sam’s Club. They do come in a pack of eight cans, but if you are stocking up that should not be an issue. I would assume that Costco would have them as well, but I am not a Costco member since Sam’s Club is so much closer. Good luck.

      1. I have a Costco card, they do not have the smaller cans, ie 15 oz cans at our Costco. They have some restaurant sized cans. But once you open it you have to figure out what to do with all of it. I don’t have room in the freezer for the “left overs” and they don’t dehydrate very well, even when you rinse off the syrup. I was told by the Sam’s club in town that “no one buys the smaller cans so they don’t stock the cases they used to anymore.

        1. Hi Kathy, wow, that would be hard, I can’t buy a #10 family-size can of fruits and vegetables. WOW! Now I’m closer to Sam’s Club I need to join the club again and check it out. Linda

          1. I know, I used to get all sorts of canned veggies and fruit when the boys were still at home but now it’s just the two of us so I know what you mean. Our Costco’s only stocks corn, green beans and peas in the smaller can size. Same reason was given to me “Nobody buys cases of the smaller sized cans of vegetables anymore”. I suspect that over the last few years the volume of veggies,fruits has not been so prolific(storms imports, etc.) and the manufactures won’t supply the ” big box” stores but will put it out in the grocery stores as they don’t have to “discount” the items to the big box stores. But that’s just my crazy conspiracy theory LOL.

          2. Hi Kathy, I buy cases of my favorite canned fruits, vegetables, and soups. But I think Nevada and Utah are maybe the only ones that have case lot sales 4-5 times a year. If Utah can get them other states can get them IF they see the need. Some people only want fresh, I love fresh, but I have to have both. Hopefully, everyone will stock up a can at a time. I think so many families eat out the need for canned items is not there, not sure. Just thinking out loud. Linda

      1. Hey, everybody: Out here in Central New York, we rarely…almost never see case lot sales of canned foods, unfortunately. HOWEVER, twice a year we travel to Western PA to stay for a few days with our Amish Family that consider us “Uncle Bob” and “Aunt Joyce”. We stay for days in their actual house, which is not that common unless you’re really close with the Amish. ANYWAY, if any of your readers are from the East, try to get yourselves to a SHARP SHOPPER store in PA! We stop there 1-2 times on EVERY TRIP down there! You can buy one can or whole cases at extremely good prices on non-expired foods. Sometimes the food is from overseas, but I have yet to find anything we didn’t like. Mrs. Eden’s canned fruits are FANTASTIC…you may also find these in an occasional dollar store, too. We truly prefer Mrs. Eden’s products, from So. African company, over the Dole and other US Brands! I regularly buy whole cases of Bush’s baked beans in differing flavors over there and always buy cases of decent tomato products and/or veggies to donate to our local church’s food pantry that serves HUNDREDS OF FAMILIES from all over the region! Just wanted you to know about SHARP SHOPPER being located in PA. I think there are several, but the ones we’ve visited are in: Knox, PA and Ephrata, PA (not far from Lancaster). Not everything there is top quality, so you need to look over every aisle til you get used to which aisles carry what you want.

        I got Organic India’s Tulsi Tea in like 9 varieties there for $.99 a box last year (19 boxes for a friend who is a fanatic for that stuff). We usually buy them wholesale from Frontier Herb Co-op at $3.19 on sale up to regular price of $4.49/box! Tulsi Tea is a fantastic health-promoting item to have on your prepping shelves, too. My Natural Health Counselor/Homeopathic Counselor always has me drinking that to get rid of UTIs that are the type that are resistant to other therapies. She says to add in 2 cups of Tulsi Tea a day, not that it would cure anything by itself, it just helps your body fight it better, that’s all. We also buy cases and cases of Larabars there!!! We get full-sized cases for about $3.99-$5.99 instead of $18-$24 each! I can hardly wait til our 41 year old son sees the giant box I bought him filled with cases of Larabars for Christmas!!

  7. One it’s. I never see on lists is V8 juice. It’s got all the veggies and water in a can and can be used as a soup base. Costco sells cases covered in plastic wrap so storage is easy.

  8. These might be of interest:
    I don’t know that they will store for the 50yrs like the other canned water but this might be good in earthquake zones and less susceptible to sunlight

  9. Linda ~
    This is a great post as always!
    I was having coffee with a friend yesterday. We started talking about disasters or situations when we will have to rely on our stored foods. She mentioned that her son had given her a bucket survival kit with 2 weeks worth of food (not sure if anything else was included). I asked her if she had tried any of the foods and she hadn’t. I asked what if it was nasty tasting – she replied she would force herself to eat it. Then she said she was going to get a very large Costco bag of rice. I then asked if she eats rice now and she said no. That opened the door to discussing the very thing you have in your blog!!

    So, I told her to eat what she stores and store what she eats. I advised her to purchase one or two extra cans of veggies, beans, etc., when she goes shopping and to only purchase what she eats on a regular basis. I explained the rotation of those canned goods. She said she has 7 days worth of water stored (in her garage!!) and I asked if it was one gallon per day or more. She said she was going by the government recommendations of 1 gallon per person per day. I explained that that would be fine if she was drinking all of it to stay hydrated but what about brushing her teeth? washing her face? washing her dishes? washing her body? washing her clothing. You get the drift of our conversation. Well, this also opened the door to more discussion!

    She said she didn’t have much room to store food and water except in her garage. I explained why that was NOT the ideal place but it was better than no storage!

    I love your blog and will print out this one to give to my friend. Thanks so much.

    1. Hi Leanne, great idea, the store shelves are getting empty. Hopefully, people will see what we are talking about. It’s only a matter of time. Great comment, Linda

  10. Howdy! I hope all is well with you. I have been talking up your book to as many people I can. Loved the article. There are a few items that might be included, Cream of wheat, Oatmeal, Malt-o-Meal etc. The Oatmeal can be used in all sorts of meals as filler. They are filling and delicious. The only drawback might be the water used to cook them. We have a problem with the dang little bugs that love to eat into boxes and spoil dry food. We keep a big supply of ziplock bags that we put dry goods in. That seems to stop them. Also we never throw away any large containers and use them for food storage. I ended up adding a bunch of cabinets in our sunroom to hold extra food. My wife is kind of luke warm when it comes to food storage, but I manage to sneak in extra when we shop. Just gotta figure out how to hide a big sack of rice.
    Anyway keep on posting those articles, I put them on a CD and when I figure I have enough will send them to my kids.

    1. Hi Walt, you are so nice, thanks for talking up my book, I really appreciate it! I will add those items to the list. My husband is a little lukewarm when it comes to food storage. But I’m taking charge of it! LOL! Keep your rice in airtight containers that rodents won’t chew through. We need rice and beans, we can use the liquid from other cans like corn, green beans, etc. Plus we store water for emergencies. Keep prepping, we all need to! I had to laugh over the “sneak a big bag of rice”!!! Linda

    2. You can just add applesauce or similar wet food to oatmeal to soften. Yo really don’t have to cook it unless it disagrees with you. Can use instant oats.

  11. Hi Linda,

    I would recommend coconut oil over canned butter or dehydrated butter. It’s a lot cheaper and has a shelf life of at least five years if stored properly. It substitutes very, very well for butter in baking most anything. Yes, if you buy it in organic aisle it’s going to be pricey, but at grocery outlet stores, you can get it for about $3.00 per pound. Last I checked, WinCo had it for about $2.50 per pound. And Dollar Tree has 7.25 ounce bottles for a dollar. It can even be used in Magic Mix. I have several posts about using coconut oil on my blog at PrepSchoolDaily dot blogspot dot com.

    Have a great day!

    1. Hello, Jennifer and Linda: Nutiva makes a very nice coconut oil that is “buttery flavor”, as well. It is GREAT for baking, putting on veggies and for popcorn!! Worth a try and probably healthier for you. In a pinch, I would rather not use up what supply of butter I had on hand!

  12. Thanks Linda for all the great info you provide. When I took care of my mom who had Alzheimer’s getting her to eat was such a problem. After putting her food on a plate to be sure of portion size, I put her food into a blender and used either V8 or gravy to make a drink that she could now swallow. Many thanks.

    1. Hi Leonor, great comment about the V-8 juice and gravy. I had a neighbor who had Alzheimer’s and I used to take a small chocolate cake to her once a month because that’s about all she would eat. It had cream cheese frosting on a chocolate cake made with pudding and sour cream. She needed the calories, and I needed to see her smile each time I went to see her. Life is so good! Linda

  13. Another great article! Thanks.
    Since you love beans ( the magical fruit…)
    Have you tried the Churches refried beans in #10 cans… ? (Dehydrated) They are awesome 5-7 yr. shelf life I think.

    1. Hi Karl, yes, I do not like Dropbox. An old one may be set up with dropbox. I’m hoping all my printables download onto your computer and you will see a box on the bottom of your computer. Let me know which one you are talking about. I will fix it for you. Linda

      1. Linda, thanks for the quick reply. I’m interested in both the Green and Blue Canned Food Printables. I know that they are the same, but what the heck! 😉

        1. Hi Karl, I just tested it. They do not need DropBox. It likes to bug us. LOL! They do not need Dropbox, thank goodness. Go try downloading it again, you need to click out of the dropbox deal asking for you name. Click the X in the top right if it has one. Then a black bar will appear on the bottom of the graphic. Click the print button. Let me know if this doesn’t work and I will call you to walk you through it.

          1. Actually, I had to do it a little differently. The sign up box didn’t show up. So, on the sidebar on the right side of the screen there is a down pointing arrow. Clicking on this allowed me to download it into a PDF folder on my computer.

            Thanks for all the articles you provide. They have been quite helpful.


  14. Hello Linda,
    Really love your articles…I have already learned a lot & am much better prepared now!
    Unless I missed it, the ‘lower salt’ SPAM is a great product, and is a good addition to have in your stores. It is occasionally on sale at CostCo. And at other markets, it comes in different flavors (variations).

  15. Hi Linda, another great post. During the current crisis I think cans are a great option. The fresh produce has been wiped out in my store. I just checked on your egg link. It says they are out of stock and do not know when they will have some. I’ve realized through these recent days the holes I have in my storage. Eggs are one thing I need to get.
    Hope you are well. Kinda crazy out their in Utah.

  16. Linda –
    This post was from last year and now look what has happened. If more people took this kind of advice, there wouldn’t be the scrambling for supplies – food or otherwise – right now. I have been to the stores a few times since COVID-19 became the big issue here in Washington state and have had to forego some of the items I would like to have had a few more of but I don’t have to panic BECAUSE I started prepping a few years ago.

    I hope and pray that people stay healthy and weather this “storm” well but as the news is very good at reminding me, it isn’t that way for many people here in the USA. I imagine it is getting progressively worse in Canada and Mexico as well. Another thing I pray about is that when this virus is resolved and things get back to whatever normal is going to be like, that people will continue to prepare and stay prepared.

    1. Hi Leanne, I totally agree with you! I listened to Pres. Trump this morning (nothing political here, you know me well) but I felt much calmer after he spoke AND his medical specialist’s thoughts and actions. They are working very hard to get solutions for us. We will get through this, I hope sooner than later. Prepping is a way of life for us, we were preppers before someone came up with that word. Life is good when you are prepared! Hugs, Linda

  17. Hello, Linda,
    Two of the books that I have found the most usefull right now are”Store This,Not That!” by Crystal Godfrey and Debbie Kent and “I Can’t Believe It’s Food Storage” by Crystal Godfrey. Both have many ways to buy and use your food storage. Excellent ! There are definitely ways to stock up and still save money and use what you store. It is important to buy what you need and be able to store it properly. Yes, one can at a time,etc. is important. Thank you!

    1. Hi Cheryl, thank you for the recommendations on the books. I have seen both books. Cute authors! I wish more people would cook from scratch that’s all they need to learn. Start with the basics, and buy the food they can make meals with. If people stock their pantry you can cook anything, literally. One can at a time, Linda

  18. What ever happened to pressure canning? I store can goods too but pressure can mostly because of the taste of the food and I control the salt. Sure it takes some time for preparation but I can fill that canner up with 18 pints of carrots ( 2- 5 lb. bags, store bought) for about $10.00, not bad. And I also pressure can my meats. I have pressure canned food all the way back to 2013 and they are still good. They are kept in a dark cool room about 70 degrees. They last longer that way. I did 36 pints of purple hull peas (from garden) 18 pints carrots last week and saved a bundle. If you want to save even more, you can do dry beans, peas, etc.

    1. Hi Judy, I still water bath and pressure can food. Mark and I took classes to get our Master Canner Preserving Certificate. I have been canning for 50 years but I wanted to learn the new techniques because our food supply has changed where the food is less acidic. I think because of the pandemic people wiped out the canning supplies. People are now realizing how important it is to preserve our own food. Great comment, Linda

  19. Hi Linda,
    I’m truly grateful to have discovered your blog today! Thank you for sharing so much wisdom. I’ve been working on our food storage for some time, & probably have about 6 months worth of food although I’m questioning if that’s enough given the unpredictable state of our nation right now.
    I definitely need to work on water storage, but am grateful to have a beautiful, natural spring in our backyard. We live in Pennsylvania & are fortunate to be surrounded by clean natural springs! A couple of items we’ve enjoyed adding to our storage are herbal/medicinal teas & garden seeds.
    Blessings, Amy

    1. Hi Amy, it’s so nice to meet you! If you have six months worth of food storage, you rock! I applaud your preparedness. You are so lucky to have some clean natural springs. I recommend you have some water purifiers just in case the water becomes contaminated. Heaven forbid it does, but it can happen. Just be prepared with some Life Straws, a Big Berkey, or install reverse osmosis in your home. Big Berkey’s are awesome for emergencies. Good job! Linda

  20. I freeze all of my flour for 48 hours…then wrap the bag in brown paper and seal it in a plastic bag with one of those food savers…the reason to freeze the flour is to kill any critters…then wrapping it in brown paper prevents your food saver from getting clogged with flour that residual on the outside of the bag…pretty much will last forever…(except whole wheat flour which has oil and does not last long) also found that high acid canned foods do not last long…keep them for a year then re-cycle if I have not used. I have a lot of Beans & Lentils in bags using the food saver then stored in 5 gallon buckets and a Oxygen Absorber thrown in. So nice to know I do not have to panic

    1. Hi Tom, oh I love hearing you are so prepared! It feels great not to have to panic when the grocery store shelves are slim. Life is good when we can sleep at night knowing we can feed our family! Good job! Linda

  21. As for canned meats, we also have roast beef in gravy, and some BBQ pork. We love both.

    We had homemade Chili Mac last night. Macaroni and cheese cooked according to directions and heated chili. It’s so good. Fast, easy and relatively inexpensive.

  22. Linda, one substitute for white flour is almond flour. The same amount of almond flour is used in a recipe as the white flour (1:1) ratio. I enjoy your posts. I have 4-5 months of food stored but need to work on water storage.

    1. Hi Frances, I did not know that you could substitute almond flour 1:1 with white flour. Good to know. Thank you for your kind words, Linda. P.S. Start with water one container a month. You can do it!

  23. You are correct that the Idahoan brand instant potatoes are very good. I use to purchase the large 64 serving foodservice size at Sams Club but no longer shop there. I found that I can order them from Walmart online. It is convenient to pour out the amount you need from the spout. They even seem to taste better in this size, but I don’t know why. I sometimes sprinkle some into stew or potato soup to thicken the juice.

    1. Hi MtGrammy, I love the Idahoan Brand instant potatoes! The small size works great for me. I just learned the last few days I can thicken soup or stew with them, duh!! Why didn’t I think of that!! That’s why I love this forum, we learn from each other. Linda

  24. Linda:

    I see that you put our Famous Hatch Chilies on your list. I can get a bag of chilies for about $8.00 in the summer. We don’t usually buy them because we can’t eat hot food. But I think I might just start making my own Picante Sauce again. I noticed you did not have mackerel on the list. My husband is not a lover of Salmon simply because too much of it is farm raised and they use chicken feed to feed them. He can taste that and it turns him off. So I get mackerel. I know a couple years ago they had stopped carrying it in stores where we live and he had a fit. We contacted the brand we buy and they contacted the store and told them that people were wondering why we did not carry it anymore. They now carry it. I also buy canned seafood for the simple reason my daughter can’t eat fish.

    1. Hi Jackie, it’s amazing how one phone call can make all the difference on a store carrying items we love. I love Picante sauce or salsa of any kind. We buy the mild but it still tastes great! Great comment, Linda

  25. Things I love about canned fruit and veg are having the liquid and being safe to just open and eat if things come to that. (I actually like eating cold corn right out of the can once in a while. Cream corn is almost a dessert!) You can dump a few cans of veg in a pot, add bouillon cubes and maybe some cooked rice, beans or noodles and you’ve got soup without needing to add a lot of water. If you happen to have a canned chicken, wow! Even those flakes of ham and turkey and whatnot are not bad for casseroles. I like your idea of donating the canned goods to a food bank (definitely before the expiry date!) if you have too much. I’m going to have a look for that powdered sour cream! I used to have a few packages with crackers and little tiny cans of tuna already mixed with dressing in the car for emergencies, they were from the dollar store. They even had a little scoop to spread the tuna.

    1. Hi Alice, boy do we think alike! I love reading about how to make soup, a can of this, a can of that, add some of this and we have a meal! Love it! I remember those little packages of crackers and tuna. I grew up on creamed corn, yummy! Great comment! Linda

  26. Great lists! I’m glad you added the V8 juice–I keep quite a bit on hand since my husband’s swallowing (and chewing) difficulties make some vegetables difficult for him. I would add some condensed milk and similar–can be used to boost calories and add flavor to quite a few things. We also keep amaranth (along with the usual oatmeal) as a cereal–going to try raising some next year, and since it’s quite decorative, people who aren’t “supposed” to be raising food crops/gardens can almost certainly get away with it!

    Just finished canning the last of 50+ quarts of applesauce, needed for DH to swallow his pills every day. Might do one more batch so there will be a little for me. Then the 5-gallon bucket of quinces… Then the tomatoes I tossed in the freezer all summer!

    1. Hi Rhonda, oh the applesauce, that sounds so good! I bet your house smells so good from the applesauce!!! I will add condensed milk, great idea. It feels so good to have the food we need on shelves, we can sleep at night that’s for sure. I have never tasted quinces, I need to look for some. Linda

    2. Rhonda: I am with you, sister! Amaranth is a spectacular food source! Now, this might surprise you, but I am talking about eating/stir frying or cooking the greens! The first time I had friend Amaranth with onions while doing missions work in Uganda, I flipped. The 2nd and 3rd years, I always asked for that dish that they supplied to our missions team…SO GREAT!! THIS year, after my Uganda friends wrote and told me it is called “marantus”, I did a search and found it’s called Amaranth (to my surprise). So, I found a supplier of the seeds and wha-lan! SO EASY to grow! Plus now even our NorthEast Seed supplier, FEDCO, that all the local organic farmers buy their seed from, is now carrying Amaranth seed. It is wildly popular in Jamaica, too, where it’s called Calaloo, or something similar to that.

      You all must know that you MUST eat greens to stay healthy, right? The greens are what help your liver detoxify you from even everyday exposures to whatever…Remember, FOLATE is VERY IMPORTANT…!!!



  27. There’s a lot to read and the comments are great too. I’ve also been freezing flour, cornmeal, etc for at least a couple of days before putting them in air-tight containers in my pantry. I’ve been doing this for years and have never had a problem with bugs hatching out. I do a lot of canning also but have never had the nerve to can meat. Husband is quite the fisherman but the sight of canned fish makes my stomach turn. LOL! I took a food preservation class a few years ago given by Kansas State University and was the only home cook in the group. The rest were people wanting to open restaurants and food trucks. I learned so much and had a lot of fun in the process. I highly recommend to anyone who likes to eat to take a class like this if they get a chance.

    1. Hi Paula, wow, I love hearing this about the class you took! I took a class with my husband through the Utah Stae University Extension service. It was a Master Canning and Preserving class. It was only about $100.00 and the class was about 12 weeks, everything hands-on canning. I pressured canned meat for the first time at that class. I had been canning (water bath and pressure canned for over 50 years but had never done meat). It’s super easy. I highly recommend people take that class. Linda

      1. Linda, the class I took was a two-day class that only cost $25. Of course, this was 5 years ago so it’s probably more now. It was hands-on and we did water-bath canning one day and pressure canning the next. I have been canning for over 40 years and this gave me more confidence with the pressure canning. I’m no “cowboy canner”! LOL

  28. Hi Linda, Enjoyed this post. I have a question about canning water. I’ve read that it’s a good idea to use regular canning
    jars: pints, quarts, half gallons and can water in them. However, I don’t recall which method was used…is pressure canning necessary or can you get by with Water Bath Canning? I have LOTS of canning jars left over each year and thought it might be a good idea to do up some water.

    Would love to hear from you.

    1. Hi Suzanne, I have never canned/bottled water. I would call your State Extension service, but I would think Water Bath since it’s only water. I can’t even find any NEW lids so I couldn’t use mine for canning water. Linda

      1. LINDA: YOU CAN BUY NEW LIDS FROM LEHMAN BROS. IN BULK. It may feel like a large “outlay” to buy hundreds at a time, but I’ve been working on my stash for over 10 years now, and still have some left!!
        You used to be able to buy lids in bulk off of eBay, too, but I no longer trust them due to so many Chinese who sell you lids made in China. I would expect there may be lead in this white painted undersides of their lids, like there is in so much of their painted pottery… Nope! Not for me!

        Sorry about all caps. at beginning!

        1. Hi Joyce, no worries, I uses caps sometimes by mistake! LOL! I love Lehman brothers, that’s where I bought my large wooden laundry racks! They have great items most are made by the Amish, I think. Oh, I bought a fire pit from them one year 1/2 price!! Yay! Linda

  29. Hi Linda, I’ve been reading your site for several years now. I’ve been cooking and canning for over 50 years since I was a new bride on the farm. Canned several hundred jars every year. We raised 3 boys and farmed 500 acres. No more. Lol. Here is something I do now and have for quite sometime. Every time I take a can out of my pantry, I replace it with 2. That way my pantry is always growing a little. I buy refried beans to make taco salads, etc. a can here is still $.88. It makes a meal for the two of us and is pretty high in protein. To me that is pretty cheap eating and good in case of disaster because you can eat them out of the can. Just my thoughts. Keep up the good info.

    1. Hi Lynn, I LOVE LOVE LOVE your comment! I always wanted a mini or small farm. Mark not so much. I admire all that you have done for over 50 years! 500 acres sounds so awesome!!! Great way to raise your boys! I love your idea of removing one can and replacing it with 2. I buy a lot of refried beans in cans for that very reason, high protein. Thank you for your kind words, Linda

  30. Hello,

    How long is meat good if it is frozen? As I cannot smell good or bad in meat in any form, frozen or fresh because Covid left me with the after effects of all meat smelling bad, how can I tell if it is fresh or not. I know if the color is bad, the meat is bad. Any other way of telling if meat isn’t the best it once was before freezing? Thanks for the help. Vicky

    1. Hi Vicky, I’m not a microbiologist, but here are my thoughts. If the meat was fresh when you put it in the freezer and the freezer never lost power, the meat should be good. I have eaten frozen meat that was fine after 3-4 years. I never lost power in that time frame. Quote, “According to the USDA, frozen meat kept at 0°F or lower will always technically be safe to eat. This low temperature prevents the growth of microorganisms and microbes like bacteria and mold. But that doesn’t mean it will taste good forever.” I hope this helps, Linda

  31. Just reviewing this post as I compose my list. Instead of the night at a fancy inn I had originally planned for my birthday (formerly a yearly treat) I’ve decided to rent a car (I don’t own a vehicle) and stock up all the shelf space I recently freed up. As a single person living alone I can’t really take advantage of large sized food storage items but that doesn’t mean I can’t do something. I bake my own bread so flour is always needed. With two exceptions (cream of tomato and cream of mushroom) I don’t like canned soup but I can stockpile ingredients I could use to make my own. Definitely condiments and other items. It would cost a bit more to do than my luxury night but be worth it to get even a bit ahead of inflation and have the comfort of knowing I can take care of my basic needs without bothering anybody else. I live on an island and our power goes out fairly regularly so I’m also saving up for a dual fuel generator. We have strict water regulations in summer so I need to save up for rainwater storage tanks for a garden too.

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