For preppers storing food is always going to be one of our top priorities. Some people however don’t know what foods they should store, or have troubles finding a variety of foods that will keep them and their families nourished and happy. This article is going to cover some of what I feel like are the best foods for preppers and as an added bonus you can download the free printable PDF table I’ve created to help you with your shopping.
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1. Water: While water isn’t a food item per say, but I believe it is a great item to keep stocked up on. Buy it by the gallons if you can, it won’t take long to go through a good stock of water. It’s also a pretty good idea to keep some form of water purification handy as well as means of filtering your water. In a scenario where electricity goes out for any length of time water will be scarce soon in an urban environment.
2. Dairy: While dried dairy products may not taste the greatest, but they have their place. Not only will you be getting a good amount of calcium from these but you can also use them in cooking to break up the monotony of eating the same foods. I recommend getting some whole milk powder it’ll last longer than regular milk obviously and it’ll store a lot easier too. Cheese is another great option and one that not everyone thinks of, but cheeses can be bought in a powdered form and would be a good addition to meals.
3. Eggs: If you’re like me eggs are a must have! Who doesn’t like some good scrambled eggs for breakfast, right? Eggs are a great source of protein and is one of the reasons I chose to list it in the best foods for preppers. Luckily OvaEasy makes some great powdered eggs that have a good shelf life and taste good too. Mix them up with some of your powdered cheese and some canned veggies for a nice omelet or plate of scrambled eggs.
4. Fruit: Finding fruit is kind of a no brainer here but it’s still one of the best foods for preppers. With the vitamin C you’ll be getting from fruit you will be able to ward off scurvy. Something people back in the old days coming from Europe were prone to, due to the lack of vitamin C in their diets. There are a lot of different options of fruit available too whether it’s canned or dried so pick up a variety and you’ll be good to go.
5. Veggies: Like fruit you can find an abundance of canned veggies right at your local grocery store. Vegetables are a good source of vitamins and minerals so make sure you have a good amount on hand. Also like fruit get a variety of vegetables so that you don’t have to repeatedly eat the same food over and over again.
6. Meats: While meat may not be the most important food item for preppers it couldn’t hurt to have some on hand. You can get a lot of canned meats at the grocery store like:
If you want some ground beef after the SHTF however I suggest you take a look at Mountain House’s freeze dried ground beef. It is a little pricey coming in at about $45 but just think about it; you could be the only one 30 years after shtf with ground beef. If beef isn’t your thing they also sell freeze dried chicken.
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7. MRE’s: While maybe not a delicacy for most the MRE is no doubt one of the best foods for preppers. There are loads of menu options available, they’re light weight and compact too so they make a great addition to your bug out bag. Some taste good from what I’ve heard while others, well not so much. In any case MRE’s offer plenty of calories with a good shelf life. Amazon offers some military surplus MRE’s that I suggest you check out, they come in a box of 12 and has great reviews.
8. Freeze Dried Meals: Freeze dried meals are probably my favorite option of the ready to eat meals. They offer the same light weight capabilities and shelf life but taste a lot better. The downside in my opinion would have to be the caloric value the freeze dried meals tend to be lacking in that area. If you’re interested in some of these though they come in a huge variety of different meals and they can be picked up at a reasonable price. I personally recommend checking out either Mountain House or Backpacker’s Pantry both have a huge selection.
Baked beans and chili what more do you really need during the apocalypse? Beans are an excellent choice to add into your food storage preps. In addition to being tasty they also some protein and fiber for your nutritional needs.
Rice is an easy choice to make when thinking about what to put in your stockpile. There are a lot of varieties to choose from so choose a few of your favorites and you should be set. If you go with brown rice however just keep in mind that while it is probably the healthier option compared to white rice it doesn’t last quite as long and takes a little longer to cook.
Lentils are pretty awesome! You can make soups with them and even sprout them which actually allows you to get more nutrients out of them. After you have them sprouted you can use them in a variety of dishes. They aren’t the highest caloric food out there but they’re easy to sprout, inexpensive, and actually taste pretty good.
Oatmeal is an old standby that the pioneers used on their journeys west, so it makes sense to include it in the list of best prepper foods. It’s high in fiber too which is excellent during a survival scenario.
Pastas are a great choice to add into your food storage preps. For me they’re a no brainer because they’re one of my favorite foods! There are loads of varieties too so can stock up on a few different kinds. Whole grain pastas are probably the better route to go here as you’ll get better nutritional value out of them.
I wouldn’t be a true Corn Husker if I didn’t mention corn as a food prep. Whether it’s canned corn, pop corn, corn meal, cream corn or just good ole fashioned corn on the cob you can’t go wrong with corn.
While it doesn’t offer the most nutritional value on the list it still has it’s place in any preppers food storage plans. It has a great shelf life when canned like most veggies and can be mixed with a variety of dishes. If you have a mill you can grind corn into corn meal and make bread with it as well.
Like corn wheat can be used to make breads if you have access to a mill. And it’s a great alternative to bagged flour which can go bad surprisingly quick.
Crackers wouldn’t be my first choice but if you have the room and budget it might not be a bad idea to have some on hand. They’re high in sodium which could be good if you’re in need of it.
They could also be used as a breading for frying foods like chicken or fish. They don’t last all that long though and offer very little nutritional value so they might be best used as way to boost spirits or as sodium supplement.
17. Instant Potatoes
Instant potatoes or potato flour is an excellent alternative to white flour. It can serve the same purpose as far as baking goes and can also be added as a thickener to gravies. It has a lot more nutrients than flour too so that’s always a plus in a survival situation. You might be able to grow and dehydrate your own potatoes to create your potato flour as well. This would make it a renewable and cheap way of having a flour substitute.
Talk about a boost to morale, sugar isn’t really a nutritious item to store but it will definitely brighten some of those dark days you might have when SHTF. It lasts forever too so long as you store it properly in an air tight container.
Not only that but sugar can be used on wounds to help stop infection from setting in. It wouldn’t be my first choice but you work with what you got right?
Honey is another great option to add some variety into your preps. If you’re up to the task you could also start your own beehive and collect natural honey that way too. It’ll be a lot better and cheaper than most of the honey you buy at the store.
The medicinal properties of honey are an added bonus too since it has antimicrobial properties. These same properties make it useful for cloning your herbs too.
20. Jams and Jellies
Jams and jellies are awesome for raising spirits in an apocalyptic situation. They won’t last quite as long as honey or sugar but they’ll go great on some of that homemade bread from your wheat and corn!
Molasses is a great to have on hand. It’s quite a bit sweeter than normal sugar so you’ll need less and it can be used in place of honey, brown sugar, and maple syrup. In addition to this it also provides the added benefit of a number of trace minerals that we need to function.
Nuts & Seeds
They don’t last forever so you’ll have to rotate your stock every so often but they do provide a number of benefits such as fiber and protein. They also come in a huge variety and make a great addition to your prepper stockpile.
23. Peanut Butter
Similar to the previous point peanut butter actually has quite a descent shelf life and is high in both proteins and fat. In my opinion it makes for a great prepper food and should be stocked by everyone!
There are two types of seeds that we need to be concerned with as preppers. Those that we store and eat immediately such as sunflower and pumpkin seeds that you buy at the grocery store. Then there are the seeds that we purchase and later plant giving us the ability to have a larger and renewable supply of down the road. This group could also be sunflowers and pumpkin seeds but they haven’t been roasted yet and are ready for plating. Corn, lettuce, cucumbers, and tomatoes are some more examples. In my opinion it’s a good idea to have a good mixture of both types of these seeds.
Salt is a something that I think a lot of preppers could easily overlook. It doesn’t offer much for nutrients other than sodium, unless you go with iodized salt (which I recommend) then you’re getting some iodine too. Sea salt would be a good option too as you might find some trace minerals in that. Aside from that though it doesn’t offer much nutritionally. What it does offer however is flavor! Without salt our meals would be terribly bland, so having some salt on hand is a great idea to keep your foods tasting good.
Pepper is similar to salt in that it is a crucial part of flavoring meals. It was once a hot trade item like salt as well and I would expect this to be no different in a SHTF scenario.
27. Sports Drinks
Most of these are relatively high in sugar and don’t last all that long but I thought they might be good to mix in. You certainly don’t want them to be a main part of your stockpile but they are a great source of electrolytes that could be hard to come by during a disaster.
Yet another Nebraska favorite here, Kool-Aide is delicious and it well help to break up the monotony of your normal routine. It’s not the most nutrient rich thing you can store but it has it’s place in the a prepper’s larder all the same!
Having some coffee on hand is never a bad idea. While it won’t do you much good as far as nutrition goes it will give you a little pick me up in both energy and spirits. If you’re not a coffee drinker yourself it’s still a good idea to keep some in your larder as a bartering item. Caffeine is one of the most addictive substances so there will be plenty of people willing to pay a premium for a cup of joe.
Unlike coffee tea actually has some nutritional value especially when you start thinking about the antioxidants found in green teas. Whether you drink it or not it’s still (like coffee) a good idea to keep some on hand as a bartering item.
31. Hot Coco Mix
What better for the kids on a cold night than a nice cup of hot coco? In desperate times it could really uplift peoples spirits. I’ve never tried this but I bet if you somehow mixed a little coco powder with some flour you might just be able to make a crude cake or brownies.
32. Pickle Relish
Pickle relish is something that you could pretty easily make if you have a garden and sometime to make it, but you can always stock up on it if you’re not a canning wizard! It goes great with burgers, hot dogs, and tuna salad. The downside for tuna salad is that you’ll need some mayo which has a decent shelf life… until you open it!
My favorite condiment! Ketchup goes great on pretty much everything. It will however go bad overtime so you’ll want to keep it someplace in the dark to preserve it as long as possible.
My other favorite condiment! If you find yourself in the unlikely situation where ketchup doesn’t mix well with something then grab the mustard you loaded up on because chances are it’ll work.
35. Tabasco Sauce
Spice up your prepping a little by adding some Tabasco sauce to your preps. It goes great with just about any kind of dish too so you can’t go wrong.
36. Soy Sauce
You’ve got plenty of rice now all you need is a little soy sauce and you’re set!
37. Worcestershire Sauce
Worcestershire sauce adds great flavor to a lot of meat dishes. So if you plan on catching any game or maybe you already own livestock, either way worcestershire sauce will kick your dishes up a notch, and that’s always a great thing when it comes to survival.
38. Maple Syrup
Syrup pretty much has an indefinite shelf life and this makes it a great item to keep around in your stockpile. It can be used to sweeten up meals and a bit of a morale booster as well.
39. Baking Soda
A staple ingredient in baked goods. If you plan to do any sort of baking during the apocalypse you’ll need some baking soda saved up. When it’s mixed with something acidic it produces bubbles of carbon dioxide which allows your bread dough to rise.
Baking Soda can also be converted into washing soda which can be used in laundry detergents. It’s simple to make the conversion too:
- Step 1: Heat oven to 400 F
- Step 2: Evenly cover a shallow pan with the baking soda
- Step 3: Bake for about a half hour stirring occasionally
40. Baking Powder
Another leavening agent in baked goods. Baking powder is an item you’ll want to think about storing in that deep larder.
If you’re able to make bread with the wheat and corn you’ve stocked up on you’ll also be able to make some killer homemade bread if you add dry yeast to your stockpile. It’ll be a great morale booster too, because who the heck doesn’t love some good homemade bread!? Keep in mind that the shelf life of yeast is unfortunately not very long, but it is still a great item to consider.
42. Apple Cider Vinegar
How many uses does apple cider vinegar have? I don’t know for sure but it’s a lot I do know that. From fruit fly traps to recipes in the kitchen. As a prepper you can’t go wrong by stocking up on a little bit of apple cider vinegar.
43. Vanilla Extract
Vanilla extract is a flavoring used in a variety of recipes such as cookies! You’ll want to be sure and get the variety that has been extracted with alcohol though. This will help ensure it has a long shelf life.
44. Canned Soups
Canned soups are an awesome addition to your stockpile. They’re a little pricey in large quantities but they make for some great variety in your food preps. They also offer pretty good nutritional value.
When the SHTF it can be hard to get the proper nutrition no matter how well prepared your deep larder is. Foods will loose nutritional value over time so it’s important that you can supplement. Vitamins will also lose potency with time but they’re better than nothing. Try and find a good well rounded multi-vitamin.
Alcohol is a great item to keep on hand for a SHTF scenario. It has several uses such as bartering, cooking, and FUN! Alcohol (liquors in particular) have a essentially an infinite shelf life and should be considered being added to your larder.
That pretty much wraps up my list of the best foods for preppers I hope you enjoyed reading the article, if so feel free to leave some comments down below and let us know if there is anything we missed as well. Thanks for reading and check back soon for even more articles from Preppers Unlimited.