13 Survival Foods You Should Always Have at Home

Ashley Hetrick
By Ashley Hetrick February 23, 2018 12:08

13 Survival Foods You Should Always Have at Home

Most of us have heard that the average American has less than 3 days worth of food at home.  That means we’re only 72 hours away from a food riot should supply lines be disrupted.  Even if you don’t have the money on hand to invest in food storage, there are certain foods you should always keep on hand to form the basis of your survival meals.

1. Baby Formulababy formula

Really?  Even if you don’t have babies?  Yes!

Baby formula is designed to be everything a body needs to survive.  Infants live exclusively on formula.  No water.  No solid food.  Nothing else.

Powdered infant formula tastes a whole lot better than powdered milk, and it’s better for you.  Dried and sealed, infant formula lasts for years.

Related: How To Choose, Use & Store Protein Powder for Preppers

Beyond that, if you’re planning to survive for the long haul, you never know when there may be an infant that needs tending.  While breastfeeding is an obvious solution, there are many reasons why that might not be possible.

If you’re storing formula powder, make sure you use clean or sterilized water to reconstitute it.

If you’re adamantly against baby formula for whatever reason, consider protein powder.  It wont help you feed infants, but it’s nearly as versatile when it comes to feeding adults and older children.

2. White Flourwhite flour

White flour lasts for a year, and has a surprising amount of protein.  While historically, people living on a mostly white flour diet had trouble with nutritional deficiencies, modern flour has vitamins and minerals added to it.

Related: How to Make Acorn Flour

With a little know how, all you need is white flour, water and salt to make good bread using wild yeast.

3. Coconut Oilcoconut oil

Along with white flour, a ready source of fat will go a long way to boost moods and fill stomachs.  Coconut oil has a long shelf life, and manufacturers say it should be good as the day it was bought for 2 years.  Practically speaking, it’s good much longer than that, and you likely wont notice a difference if you’re eating 5 year old coconut oil that’s been properly stored.

Unlike many other types of oil, coconut oil has the added benefit that it’s tasty even if you don’t have facilities for cooking.  Mash in a bit of sugar and coco powder and you’ve got yourself coconut oil truffles for comfort food and a ready source of energy, no cooking required.

4. Saltsalt

Salt is often touted as a survival food, but in reality you don’t actually need to eat much salt to survive.  Very small amounts will keep you healthy, and you’ll need to learn to adjust from our modern salt heavy diet.

The real reason to keep salt is for food preservation.  If you happen to be lucky enough to acquire fresh meat, salt is the only thing you need to keep it from spoiling.  Charcuterie is the art of preserving every part of the animal with little more than salt and technique, and transforming it into something spectacular in the process.

Before you find yourself in a survival situation, learning the basics of preserving meat without refrigeration could mean the difference between surviving and thriving.

In a pinch, cover the meat in salt.  A lot of salt.  Cover it completely and keep it covered.  It may not quite be the same as prosciutto, but it wont spoil.

5. Home-Canned Fruits, Vegetables & MeatsHome-Canned Fruits, Vegetables & Meats

 You’ll notice I say “home canned” rather than purchased.  Why?

Because once you open up a can of home canned hamburger, pasta sauce or potatoes, you still have something very valuable: a canning jar.

Beyond that, if you canned them yourself you also have the knowledge to do it again.  Store bought canned food will get you through the short term emergency, but the knowledge and equipment to refill those jars will carry you through the long haul.

If you’re going to spend money buying food, my personal preference would be dried fruit and meat.  Dried fruits and meats are light and portable, and keeping a store of water and dried fruits is much more versatile than a store of canned foods.

Beyond that, in a cold climate, canned foods may freeze and blow their seals unless keeping the storage room climate controlled.  I’d rather focus on keeping my family warm than having to worry about keeping the food at a good temperature at the same time.

Canned food is handy in many situations, because it’s instant.  You can open up a can and eat it as is with no preparation.  That convenience alone is worth keeping canned food around.  But for the best use of my dollar, if I’m going to store canned food, it’s canned food that I’ve put up myself at little cost. Also, here are 14 must-have canned foods you didn’t know existed.

6. Dried Fruits and Meatdried fruits

As I’ve said, dried fruits and meats are versatile.  They can be eaten out of hand or boiled along with other foods into a stew if you have cooking facilities.  They’re light and travel well in an emergency.

Dried fruits in particular will help keep your digestive system healthy in a crisis.  If your diet is otherwise nothing more than white flour and emergency survival foods, having raisins or prunes around to keep things moving along will make everyone a lot happier and healthier.

Related: 7 Super Cheap Foods To Stockpile That People Usually Throw Away

7. Peanut Butterpeanut butter

Not only is peanut butter a comfort food, it’s also full of protein and healthy fats that will keep you satisfied long after a meal.  It can be eaten right out of the container for a quick energy boost, and fully sealed containers last for years on the shelf.

8. Vitaminsvitamins

Nutritional deficiency can destroy your health.  In lean times, our ancestors had to contend with not only feeding themselves, but ensuring a balanced enough diet to prevent debilitating deficiencies.

A single cheap bottle of multi-vitamins can balance out nutritional gaps, and allow you to focus on calories rather than vitamin content.  Most vitamin brands have way more than the recommended daily amount of most key vitamins, so even a single vitamin per week per person can mean a dramatic improvement to their health.

9. Granolagranola

There are a lot of shelf stable snack foods.  Why go with granola?

It’s high calorie, with roughly 700 calories per cup, and at the same time it’s nutritionally balanced.  The mix of whole grains, nuts and sugars mean that granola is a complete meal that you can eat while on the move.

Granola also has a long shelf life, and it’s light and portable.

10. Dry Beans & Ricedried beans and rice

I’m calling this a single item, because you should always keep both beans AND rice.  Together they form a complete protein and the contents of a 5 gallon food storage bucket can feed you for a month for about $20.  Assuming you have the fuel to cook, there’s no better way to store calories and nutrition than a balance of beans and rice.

11. Sugarsugar

With a grocery store just around the corner, sugar is cheap and readily available.   For now.  In an emergency, sugar is a excellent source of energy and it’ll be scarce without global trade.

Sugar can also be used in food preservation, which will expand your foraging options.

 

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Ashley Hetrick
By Ashley Hetrick February 23, 2018 12:08
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14 Comments

  1. Pam February 28, 14:19

    Thank you for this article. It is one of the best I have read on the topic of food storage. These things are very doable. I learned a few new things, and that is a huge deal for me to find new ideas. I don’t worry about SHTF or the walking dead showing up. I do worry about hurricanes, as one who lived through many of them and found ourselves without power for weeks at a time. I can tell you that it leaves a lasting impact on your young mind. It was not a day at summer camp. Great ideas, well written. Thank you, again.

    Reply to this comment
  2. wonder February 28, 17:17

    I agree with you but on the white flour lasting for at least a decade I don’t know. All the charts I’ve seen show it to last about a year. they all recommend to store the wheat berries and grind as needed. They are suppose to last for 30 plus years if put up correctly.

    Reply to this comment
    • Raven June 13, 05:37

      The article actually says white flour lasts 1 year. 🙂

      Reply to this comment
      • Doug July 26, 20:14

        Raven, im 76 have stored food for 30 years. right now im using flour i put up in five gallon cans in 1992. its fine. I have 55 gallon barrels (plastic food grade) that have pure wheat kernals stored in them for sprouting of grinding. Put there in 1985. it is still usable. Key to storage of wheat and flour is the use of spearment gum and /or bay leaves. it kills the weevils. period. works great. I have also had powdered milk and eggs since 1975 still perfect. What keeps it that way is storage in an environment that doesnt change with the seasons. Earth on three sides insulated on top and the first two feet of the out side walls . Temp never deviates from 45-55 all year. so dont worry. Just make sure you have it.
        doug

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    • Tom July 26, 16:03

      I will write the following but do not take it as gospel…I saw a video on storing flour..what the guy did was sterilize his canning jars…then after they were thoroughly dried he filled them with flour and put them in the oven ..I THINK ..at 250 degrees some set time..then took them out and put the lids on…supposedly it killed all the eggs…I have also understood that freezing the flour for 48 hours did the same..

      Reply to this comment
    • Doug July 26, 20:09

      if your are going to store flour make sure to put spearmint gum in the mix. it will keep flour weevil free. or bay leaves

      Reply to this comment
  3. Enigma March 2, 04:46

    In North America white flour is chemically bleached. It’s not good for you.

    Better to store rice, oatmeal, unbleached corn flour and meal, and unmodified semolina (pasta).

    Natural full grains may also be acquired, continuously in Mormon manner recycled, and once into a crisis eaten for a few months (say, over Winter), but if a crisis endures there needs to be suitable land for planting them.

    Natural full grains are susceptible to yeasts, fungi, and ergot, so their storage isn’t as simple as denatured ones.

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  4. Frank April 25, 03:02

    When people talk about the cost of stocking food I don’t see it as that difficult if you take advantage of sales and good deals. I know it’s hard sometimes to see oneself buying a dozen jars, cans or boxes of something they don’t eat everyday or what amounts to more than double the usual amount, but buying food on sale is the easiest way to stockpile on a budget. Of course when you need it and it’s there, you’ll feel good about your purchases.

    And by learning how to dehydrate, can, smoke or even freeze dry fresh foods, we can add more variety to our pantry. Even using a vacuum sealer can help by extending the life of store bought or home prepared foods. Sprouting can provide fresh nutrition when vegetables are not available or we’re not able to garden.

    I liked this article because it covered some of usual staples that are long lasting, but also foods that create better meals or add nutritional value. I’d like to be setup with buckets of grain and the ability to make flour, but until that time, I can learn to store store bought flour to make it last longer.
    Sometimes we have to compromise between trying to do it all ourselves and buying stuff ready to use.

    Reply to this comment
  5. Enigma May 1, 04:02

    Generally speaking in historical terms, only isolated persons tried to ‘do it all’. As soon as any sort of community began to build, people began to specialize. That’s how specialties such as miller, baker, cobbler, and candlestick-maker developed.

    Reply to this comment
  6. Stumpy May 28, 21:33

    You can make your own nut butter, Almonds, Pecans, Brazil nuts whatever you want. I’ve even seen cookie butter.

    Reply to this comment
  7. Enigma June 14, 14:03

    There are at least three ways of preserving grain meals and flours. One is continuous deep freezing (below 0F), by replacing oxygen in a sealed container, or via desiccation. (Latter should go immediately into water-excluding sealed containers too.)

    Replaced-oxygen method may be implemented by partially filling large metal popcorn cans with flour/meal, pouring in liquid nitrogen to fill to top, retopping can with its lid, and then duct-taping lid to can. Should last for years. No idea about taste.

    Can personally testify that packaged semolina pasta (essentially desiccated flour) lasts for years. That’s the cheapest and easiest form of storing grain starches.

    Reply to this comment
  8. Loisdelene July 23, 15:14

    I am prepping for the BLACKOUT. I have flour, sugar, oatmeal, cornbread mix, grits, pasta and many other dry goods. I have these stored in boxes in a spare bedroom. How long can I expect them to be good for? some I have had stored for 3 years, Should I vacuum seal them? I am running out of space. I canned over 600 jars of food over the last 4 years too.

    Reply to this comment
  9. Enigma July 24, 10:33

    Loisdelene et alia: When storing food, you currently should be eating the oldest stuff, and replacing those items with newer (and more?) stuff at the ‘other end’. Think in terms of a conveyor.

    Simplest arrangement is to have a ‘corridor’ or circulating (when it’s in a room) pantry. Oldest preserved items are nearest kitchen, and newest further away. That’s principally _preserved_ items, fresh items should get handled differently.

    Fully-desiccated denatured (no living kernel) grains and items such as beans may be stored for very long periods, but when those items approach 3-5 years you should be either eating them, feeding them to animals, or plowing such under or hydrating and composting them.

    Canned items are more iffy. Cleanliness and good process are paramount. There are forms of botulism which are odorless.

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