Whether you are a “prepper” or not, having some basic provisions stored for emergency situations is a good plan. Remember that last winter storm, or the recent hurricanes? Grocery stores can be wiped out quickly and if you don’t have food stored, you are going to be hungry. Here are 20 items you can store to ride the storm out.
- Flour – Seems the prevailing wisdom is that flour lasts a couple of years if frozen in a sealed bag. About 6 months in the fridge. If you use good rotation technique, this should be ample life.
- Honey – Honey literally lasts for thousands of years. It may crystallize, but can easily be brought back to usable state with a bit of heat.
- White & Brown Rice – If properly stored in a cool dry condition in an airtight container, white rice has a nearly indefinite life. Brown rice, less so, but will still store 6-12 months if contained and kept refrigerated or frozen.
- Beef Jerky – High in protein with around 1 year shelf life if kept unopened. If you eat it anyway, store some up and rotate it out, using your oldest first.
- Whey Powder – Very protein dense food in a small package. This can supplement your pantry in a crunch and has a 1-15 year shelf life, so it’s a good buy even if you don’t normally use it. If you make smoothies anyway, consider adding a spoon full in every batch and work this into your food regime.
- Yeast – If you’re in it for the long haul and plan on utilizing your flour for bread making you will need yeast to get those loaves rising. Has around a 2 year shelf life. If you don’t already make your own bread, jump in and try it. You’ll never want store bought bread again once you master this.
- Powdered Milk – Milk is crucial to some recipes. Powdered, it stores very well with a 10+ year shelf life.
- Beans – Beans of all shapes and sizes add excellent sources of protein. When stored properly many offer up to a nearly indefinite shelf life, although they do dry out, older beans will take longer to soak. However, they lose little if any of their nutritional value.
- Dehydrated Fruit Slices – Many fruits when dehydrated will store for 5+ years at room temp and longer if kept cool. They make tasty little snack to satisfy your hankering for something sweet and lean.
- Granola – 5 year shelf life and sits in your stomach like a rock!
- Rolled Oats – Great for hearty oatmeal in the morning and it’s 30 year shelf life makes it one of the must haves for your food coffer.
- Jelly – We don’t expect you to make your survival efforts bland and tasteless so use this tasty topper to sweeten things up. If kept unopened in a pantry, this is likely to still be good 1-2 years past it’s expiration date. Obviously you should still follow rotation techniques, but go ahead and stock up a few jars in the pantry.
- Natural Peanut Butter – Relatively short shelf life, but who doesn’t use it? Almost everyone loves peanut butter so keep a couple of jars and use rotation to keep your fresh ones at the back.
- Egg Noodles – This can be applied to ramen noodles too but they are very tasty and have a long year shelf life. Stock up and keep them rotated.
- Canned Luncheon Meat – Lasts anywhere from 2-5 years and provides proteins and fats which we suggest to use sparingly until winter.
- High Calorie Ration Bars – These are great as a last ditch offering a ton of calories in a small package and they have a 10 year shelf life. Often they don’t taste all that good but they pack a wallop of nutrition.
- Multivitamins – Not actually a food item but highly recommended, especially if you have children, malnutrition can lead to a cornucopia of dangers. Most multivitamins have a recommended 5 year shelf life and you should have enough to last for 6 months at the very least.
- Salt & other staple spices – Salt lasts forever and required by your body to sustain life. Most other spices keep nearly indefinitely as well and can keep the food tasty.
- Butter – Lasts a year or longer if frozen and will most likely be required for your menu. Offers a lot of the fat your body needs. Keep a few pounds in the freezer and rotate it out.
- Dried Potatoes – Lasts for years and always a good addition for supper.
All of your food storage should obviously follow normal FIFO rotation. It’s a good idea to add date labels to the items you store and push the new stuff to the back of the pantry and pull the older stuff forward. Store the items you use. Use the items you store.
This list is not chiseled in concrete, there are many other items that store well. If you don’t like beans, probably not a good item to store, although when you get hungry, your “likes” may be less picky. Try new things. Try things you thought you didn’t like again. Learn to eat wholesome foods. Add some vegetable seeds to your store and learn to grow them before you “need” to.