A walk down the aisles at your local warehouse big box store will raise the eyebrows and pique the interest of any prepper. The bulk packaging and discount pricing that these types of retailer’s present are exactly what most preppers are looking for. It’s a world where stockpiling makes sense and is affordable.
Rather than grabbing a 4 pack of canned goods at the grocery store you can pickup 12 packs and 10 packs that are both easy on the wallet and the storage space at home. Add to that the increased benefits of membership and you might have a prepping ally just down the road that you haven’t considered.
For those who are unaware Costco is a membership only shopping experience. You will need to purchase an annual membership to purchase items in the Costco warehouse or online.
I wanted to look at the 10 best prepper foods you can find at Costco.
12 Count 7oz Tuna $16.99
Filling the pantry with food that aren’t just freeze dried is an important part of prepping. Of all the canned foods on the market, canned meats are the most important. Having readymade protein sources that store for years is about as prepper as it gets.
If you don’t have skills and plans to be trapping, hunting or fishing in a SHTF scenario than you need a backup plan for protein sources that make a difference. This 12-count tuna is a pretty good buy. 2oz larger than your average can of tuna.
The other great thing about canned meats is that they can be kept 5 years after the expiration date on the can. They already come with great dates and to get that kind of extension of shelf life is a big deal.
Nissin Top Ramen, Chicken, 3 oz, 48-count $9.49
A prepper staple, these ramen noodles are just too cheap and filling to leave on a shelf anywhere.
When it comes to the Nissin Top Ramen you are getting 48 servings for under $10!
That is a powerful price. You are on the hook for around .20 cents per serving!
Related: How to Dehydrate Chicken for Survival (With Pictures)
Olde Thompson Mediterranean Sea Salt, 12 lbs $8.99
Salt is one of the most overlooked foods when it comes to building food storage.
Aside from aiding in proper hydration and seasoning food, salt is essential for food preservation.
This 12lb container is a powerful two-pronged solution for your food needs. Its one of the rare items on this list that can be used as is and used to affect your fresh food production and storage, as well.
Bisquick Pancake & Baking Mix, 96 oz $5.99
Emergency food storage should be as much about convenience as anything else. While I would certainly advocate storing baking soda, for many reasons, its nice to have some, just add water, mixes around.
Bisquick is a time-tested brand that will stick around on shelves for a very long time.
Its also a versatile base that can be used to make all sorts of things from breakfast pancakes to biscuits, dumplings and sweets. Make it cheap and simple with 6lb boxes of Bisquick on the pantry shelf.
Dole Mandarin Oranges Cup, 4 oz, 16-count $8.69
Fruit is something very special that you can store in the freeze-dried state. However, having some fruit stored in syrup is a great calorie maximizer and will offer up naturally occurring vitamins and minerals to your food storage stockpile.
If you aren’t in the right climate citrus is going to disappear from your diet! You might think it impossible but take my word for it. Store some mandarins.
Kirkland Signature Supreme Whole Almonds, 3 lbs $14.99
The battle for viable proteins is one that all preppers face. Whether they look to canned means, peanut butters or jerky, its good to have a variety. These Kirkland almonds come in massive bags and are great for snacking and combining with our oats, below, to make trail mix.
Roasted nuts also contain healthy fats which will be harder to come by in a long-term disaster. They also pack up about as good as any other food if you find yourself leaving the home on a resource run or short term evacuation.
Quaker Oats Old Fashioned Oatmeal, 5 lbs, 2-count $9.49
Just about the best breakfast you can have on hand. Oats are inexpensive and come to you for less than a dollar a pound at Costco.
That is a powerful price when you consider that 4oz of dried oats is going to be breakfast for anyone.
If times are tough you could certainly ration that down to 2oz and get real energy making, carbohydrate benefits from that small portion. Oats are a must for any prepper’s pantry.
Related: 10 Long Shelf-Life Canned Foods Every Prepper Should Consider Stockpiling
Kirkland 500 Tablet Multivitamin $14.49
While many preppers understand the importance of a good food storage plan, vitamin supplementation often gets left out of the picture. When you talk about running your body at the highest possible level, you should always include vitamins.
Now, it’s true that there are people on both sides of the fence, when it comes to vitamins. From my personal experience and the experiences of those I trust, high doses of vitamins can make a huge difference in daily performance and can help you recover faster from injury and illness.
Combine this with a regimen of powerful herbal teas and natural medicines to be truly prepared for a long-term emergency or even a collapse of the social order.
Kirkland Signature Pure Olive Oil 3 Liter, 2-count $39.99
One of the most commonly forgotten items in matters of food storage are fats. We rarely store enough salt or fat for a healthy diet. Contrary to popular belief we need both in our diet. Another important thing to consider are the types of fat your store.
Canola oil is not really good for you but its cheap to make and buy. Something like a vegetable oil or canola oil is not going to be a multifunction prep. With olive oil you can not only cook but use on skin, make herb oils for food and health purposes.
This 2-count pure olive oil by Kirkland is not extra virgin but it’s still a high-quality oil. It’s another food you can find at Costco for preppers.
Amira Basmati Rice, 20 lbs $21.29
Rice. What can be said about rice? Its been a staple food all over the world and kept populations going as far back as 10,000 years ago! When you talk about survival credentials, that’s a pretty good resume. You should not only store rice but learn how to cook it.
My personal favorite is Basmati rice with a little lemon and olive oil. To me, that is just as good as it gets, when we are talking about rice.
This is a 20lb bag which makes it very easy to count and understand where you are with your usage and storage.
We offered you 10 of the best prepper foods you can find at Costco but there are many more. This warehouse, bulk packaging style of shopping has great appeal to the stockpiling prepper. You could have all this food for under $150!
Non-food items like trash bags, nitrile gloves, batteries and toilet paper are game changers and you can get them at game changing prices at Costco.
You will pay between $60-120 per year for membership. There are other benefits besides just price reduction that go along with your Costco membership.
If I learned nothing else from writing this article, its that Costco is an ally of the prepper. In a time when emergency preparedness and prepping is so frowned upon, its good to have a high-powered buyer on our side.
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Sams Club has bulk pinto beans. Actually, lots of good items at all bulk warehouse stores. I have bought rice, but I repackage in sealed buckets inside mylar bags and with oxygen absorber.
You forgot Spam… I picked up a case yesterday for $17.99. That’s $2.25 a can, I have picked up for as low as $1.60 a can a Costco…
While I like the price of the Costco olive oil, the last time I checked, Smart & Final, a left coast and western states semi-wholesaler carried olive oil, not extra virgin, sealed in gallon cans. While your mileage may vary, if I am storing foodstuffs for the long haul, I would rather have them sealed in metal cans than in plastic bottles. My next best preference is glass jars. I realize that glass is heavy and breakable. Heavy can’t do anything about, but wrapping jars in bubble wrap or cardboard cuts down on the breakable aspect. Bubble wrap is lighter. Cardboard is more durable and can be used as a fire starter. Take your choice.
Thanks, wouldna thought of them.
left coast chuck,
Actually for any oil, the container doesn’t matter all that much in the long term, since they are likely to go rancid by their chemical nature, which is why we store our olive oil in the freezer where it will last indefinitely. And for those who are wondering, the container doesn’t matter, since the oil volume actually shrinks when chilled or frozen, unlike the polar molecule of water that expands by about 9% when frozen. I only mention this because I have been asked the question before.
Ohio: Good to know. I have always read that one should not put olive oil in the fridge as it makes it cloudy and it become viscous and hard to pour. The latter isn’t a problem because I imagine that upon reaching room temperature it resumes its normal state.
When you freeze the olive oil and then thaw it, how does it taste? How does it react when you cook or bake with it? Are any of the properties of the olive oil changed when thawed after freezing?
I always assumed turning rancid was a property of air interacting with the olive oil or the olive oil was stored in a hot, humid climate and it was the heat that turned the olive oil. Stored in a can the oil would be protected from ambient air. Obviously if one stored the olive oil in an uninsulated garage in Tucson in the summer time one could reasonably expect degradation, air exposure or not.
Very interesting post. I look forward to your answers. Thanks.
left coast chuck,
It will become viscous and somewhat cloudy, because it’s starting to become more solidified. Nearly all substances can be in one of the typical 3 states of matter: Solid, Liquid, and vapor with water being perhaps the most recognizable, being liquid between 0°C/32°F and 100 °C/212°F and either solid or vapor beyond these limits. Oils behave the same way, with the only difference being the temperatures at which the state changes occur. Some of the Olive oil in the fridge is starting to convert to solid, which shows up as cloudy. If you want to remove a bottle from the fridge and pour it, that would be problematic, since it will be more viscous; but, should start to liquefy as it warms up. If your cooking with it, using it in a pan, the heat should liquefy (melt) it rather quickly; but, mixed as liquid with vinegar for a salad dressing or a bread dip, it could take a while and needs some planning.
It tastes the same from my experience and like that in the fridge, just needs to be warmed. A large tin or bottle from the freezer will however take quite a while to liquefy to be able to use it, so it takes planning, perhaps a day or so ahead of time. Those in a hurry who want to grab a bottle and use it, are probably the ones complaining about the viscosity while cold..
Those are both factors in the process, with the oxygen being the primary culprit. This is technically termed oxidative rancidity, where oxygen molecules interact with the structure of the oil and damage its natural structure. Since this is a chemical reaction, heat and light can enhance the reaction and hasten the process, so chilling or freezing can slow the process and eliminating light can also help, which is why most olive oil bottles are dark glass or plastic.
Stored in the unopened glass bottle or metal can, there is little air and little oxygen; but, each time you use it, more ambient air fills the void, refreshing the oxygen and causing the surface oil to slowly turn rancid. Some containers, especially large ones are filled with nitrogen at the factory in the gap above the oil to eliminate oxygen and help prevent spoilage. My problem with plastic bottles is that often the plastic can be oxygen permeable and even when sealed, allow some oxygen to penetrate the container and start the spoilage.
We’ve never had any rancid oil using the freezer and refrigerator for storage, so I think long term the freezer for new containers is worthwhile; but, to be honest, once opened, olive oil gets used rather fast around here, so that could be a factor, LOL.
Wow.. have much olive oil nearing date… ty
Costco also has a nice variety of dried fruits – blueberries & raisins are great antioxidants and are good sources of iron. The Kirkland canned chicken & beef are good choices. Can’t tell you how quick it is to toss a few pantry items together for a hearty stroganoff or alfredo pasta using canned meats. Costco makes it cheap and easy to add to your surplus. Thanks for the great detailed article!
In Idaho at least, we have Winco stores where you can buy bulk items like different kinds of potatoes. Up to 50 pounds, like fryed or mashed or hash brown. Oatmeal is in 25 lb bags, cheaper than Costco. Flour, sugar, raisins, nuts, seeds, etc. I put them in metal garbage cans. Too much more to mention them all. You can come here on vacation and load up a truck full.
Anything with baking powder, i.e. Bisquik is not going to last very long.
That’s why ee make our own Bisquick and our own baking powder, since just baking powder will go flat fast if it gets damp.
If you store Baking Soda (Bicarbonate of Soda) and Cream of Tartar (Tartaric acid) individually, since they keep indefinitely, you can make baking powder on the spot when you need it.
Here’s how to make the baking powder:
Thoroughly combine 1 teaspoon baking soda and 2 teaspoons cream of tartar and use immediately
Yields 1 Tablespoon of Baking Powder
For you own Bisquick:
• 6 cups all-purpose flour
• 3 tablespoons baking powder or (3 tsp baking soda and 6 tsp cream of tartar)
• 1 tablespoon salt
• 1 cup vegetable shortening
Sift flour, baking powder and salt three times into a large bowl.
Cut in shortening with a pastry blender until mixture resembles fine crumbs.
Store mixture in airtight container in the refrigerator up to 4 months.
Use whenever your recipe calls for Bisquick.
This recipe yields about 7 cups
Bugs just love cardboard, this is why you rarely see it in restaurants for the long term.
Cockroaches especially like corrugated cardboard, since the can eat both the paper and the glue and will make a nice nest with the rest.
All of our cardboard goes to one of our barns, and is eventually recycled or burned. We take some of the larger pieces, wet, roll them tight, and let them dry, at which point they make decent fire logs for the wood burner.
We are a family of 4 and have found it better to get the more expensive membership at $120, with that you get 2% of what you spend at Costco as a cash back bonus every year. Our bonus is usually enough to pay for next years membership, making our membership free! Do not over look their bakery and meat departments, both are done on site, fresh.
In the San Francisco Bay Area, there is also a grocery chain called Winco, that has a large bulk goods section where things are sold by the pound from open storage containers for everything from rice, to noodles to spices to candy. They also have a small prepper section with long term supplies like food grade buckets, bulk beans, rice, and freeze dried food. However, from my research, the local Mormon cannery, which is open to anyone, has the lowest prices on freeze dried staples. Some things like white rice don’t require freeze drying to store long term, but for other items it is the best way to go, and the Mormons appear to be selling it as a ministry and not so much for a profit. I’ve purchased several different companies freeze dried meal containers with food for say, a family for 3 days.They put in a lot of white rice and oat meal and noodles in it which are easily and more cheaply purchased elsewhere, and don’t need to be freeze dried to store well. I would prefer to buy freeze died meat, vegetables and fruit from the Mormons, and white rice and other items from places like Winco or Costco. But don’t forget to store salt and spices for your freeze dried food and bulk storage rice and beans, or you will feel like you are eating prison food. Thank you James Walton for an interesting article.
I meant to add, and in my haste to post, forgot to add, at costco.com you can buy a bucket of dried food for $115.00. They advertise that it provides 2,000 calories per day for one person for 30 days. It is 300 servings which works out to 10 servings per day. That seems to jibe with the usual number of calories in a “serving”. Ten servings at 200 calories per serving would equal 2,000 per day. While that will not make you fat unless you are a sedentary, 75 year old female, it is significantly better than the 900 calories per day that many other “survival” kits offer. That works out to $3.50 per day for three meals which is cheaper than eating at Mickey D’s for a whole day (and hopefully more nutritious while not having the caloric intake of Mickey D’s which WILL make you fat.)
I haven’t analyzed the menu of this bucket, but I assume that it is heavy on carbs in order to reach the 2,000 calories per day. While 2M calories is an important guidepost, protein and vitamins are equally important. (See vitamins, spam and tuna fish above in other posts.)
First, let me make abundantly clear that I am not shilling for Costco. They are perfectly capable of doing their own advertising. That said, anyone who has followed this list for any length of time knows that I have almost a fetish about false advertising in the “emergency rations” field. It seems to me that everyone who used to sell aluminum siding or Encyclopedia Americana has gone into the “emergency rations” field. Even Mountain House which is supposed to be the cadillac of emergency rations fudges on their description. I have called them on it and in their reply to me they promised to consider my comments.(Throw this e-mail from some crazy California nut job in the round file)
With that long windup, I can say that I consider this bucket to be a reasonable value. What the food taste like, I will leave to your individual testing because what I might find delicious or palatable you might find absolutely disgusting — or vice versa. Costco also has a very liberal return policy, so if the item arrives damaged or is in some way defective or even if you find it disgusting, they will take it back. It seems to me if you are looking to put food away this is an item that you should consider.
Oh and the most important point: the item number is 859182. Costco has had it on sale for $100 in the past and they may have it on sale again, but your guess about that is as accurate as mine.
left coast chuck,
I’ve tried the food in those buckets and while they are OK in a pinch and also taste OK, some of the meals tend to be heavy on sodium & soy protein. Some people need to be aware of such things.
Ohio: Yes as I have said before, they are not a big slab of prime rib at the House of Prime Rib, but if that is what you have to dine on when one of the Four Horsemen is staring at you and your loved ones, even Soylent Green takes on a certain palatability. If one is on the move, lightness comes into play and dehydrated foods certainly qualify on that score. OTOH, dehydrated foods means you need water. There is no perfect answer. The perfect answer would be dehydrated foods rich in protein, low in salt, high in taste, light weight and not needing water to be consumed. If we can come up with the product, I am sure everyone on this list would get in line to buy. I wouldn’t have to worry about running out of money before I cash in.
left coast chuck,
I agree and not only have no problem with them, I just ordered two more “Patriot Pantry 1-week” meal kits in a plastic ammunition can from woot.com at a great price. The ammo can with 42 servings for $30.00 with free shipping for Amazon Prime members. If nothing else, items like these are great to hand out or have on hand for visitors, post SHTF; however, our visitors already know who they are and this is just another cheap way to be more prepared. Another less expensive and more readily available (at least around here) are the Bear Creek soup mixes. They come in a Mylar / Foil pouch and you add the contents to 2 quarts of boiling water and have a rather nutritious and filling meal fir several people. They have the same sodium problem and most people add additional things like meat to the “Darn Good Chili” or additional broccoli to their creamy broccoli potatoes.
The almost perfect answer is freeze dried foods, which is why we purchased our freeze dryer a few years ago. This allows us to have meats that are not high in sodium, and don’t need as much water to rehydrate; but, do still need some, that around here is also not a problem, due to a good well, a creek running through the property, and numerous farm ponds in the area for a really serious situation.
We also have no plans to be on the move, since we are in our late 60’s and live where we wanted to retire, all paid off and mostly to our liking. We do have trusted people who would come here and they know who they are. Our threats are only from weather related things, with everything easily mitigated except a house fire or a direct tornado strike; but, while those would be TEOTWAWKI, they would not be the post apocalyptic SHTF, so we could probably stay somewhere locally as we rebuild.
For your ultimate product, a simple search found what you want:
“Witty Yeti Dehydrated Water 16oz Can. New Formula! Essential Camping & Survival Supply.“ LOL
Good luck Chuck.
” I just ordered two more “Patriot Pantry 1-week” meal kits in a plastic ammunition can from woot.com at a great price. The ammo can with 42 servings for $30.00 with free shipping for Amazon Prime members. If nothing else, items like these are great to hand out or have on hand for visitors, post SHTF; ”
I don’t know how to get that nifty highlight you put down beside the quoted matter.
I am sure you noticed, but just in case you didn’t, a serving is not a meal. It is portion of a meal. If you look at the caloric content of the package, I think you will find the caloric content of most of the packages is less than 300 calories. So you need 9 or 10 servings per day to reach the magic 2,000 calories per day that the mystical average person needs. That works out to about $4.00 to $4.50 a day. Not too bad. Cheaper than Mickey D’s and probably healthier too.
At 2,000 calories a day, most of us will lose weight. For some us (me) that would not be a bad thing. We won’t starve to death but I suspect we will be hungry all the time and some of us may be crankier than usual. That suit that you outgrew several years ago but was a little too nice to donate to Goodwill suddenly will fit again only you won’t have any occasion to wear it.
Living in SoCal, not far enough from Los Angeles, I have to move if things turn to fecal matter. With all the criminals that our politicians are welcoming into our cities, crime in California will be unreal. Big news in the paper today that crime is down in this county for the last several years. The only problem I have with that is LAPD was caught by the LA Times fudging the numbers on the crimes they reported. A deceased found on the street was listed as Cause of Death: Unknown. Guess the coroner didn’t notice the stab wounds the body had. But without an autopsy COD of “Unknown” isn’t really lying. He might have died of exposure laying on the street all night. The stab wounds might have been superficial.
Reporting crime many times involves judgment. Is a weapons discharge attempted murder or merely a misdemeanor discharging a firearm within city limits?
Let’s say cops come upon the scene of a shooting. The shooter is still standing there, firearm in hand. The vic, for some reason known only to him has rapidly departed the scene. All the witnesses swear by their mother (father unknown) that the shooter emptied his gun at the vic but the vic never faltered nor slowed down so apparently was not hit. The shots all went into a hill that was the backstop and nothing was apparently hit except the dirt.
The chief is hot on proving that he is doing an excellent job and doesn’t encourage reporting crimes just to have a felony bust on your record. What to do? What to do?
You write it up as a discharge of firearm in city limits a misdemeanor. The DA dismisses on arraignment because his investigator is unable to locate a single witness. Yeah, he has names and addresses but none of them are real or belong to someone else. Happens all the time in the big city, especially being unable to locate witnesses. So crime is down because the chief wants it to be down. His contract is coming up for renewal or election time is coming around for the sheriff.
As Mark Twain is quoted as saying, “Figures don’t lie but liars figure.”
I buy extra virgin olive oil from Costco and freeze it. I’ve had it last for years and still be good, tastes fine. I buy the Riceland 25 pd bags of rice, it’s nice and clean, and I sort it into either five gallon buckets or 1 pd containers. The dried Kirkland onions are a great deal, 11.7 oz containers, better prices than Sam’s per oz. Kirkland dishwashing liquid, organic (lol, like everything Kirkland) is a good deal in gallon jugs and too many people forget soap. The dates (Dates, as in middle eastern dried dates) are an excellent buy. The case kippers are a great buy. I prefer the vacuum packed GV tuna at Wally World to canned tuna and I prefer the canned chicken at Sam’s to other canned chickens. The big box of kirkland dog bones makes for great dog survival snacks and lasts a long long time. We have several of the big boxes we rotate. Kirkland bottled water 40ct is a good buy. Never hurts to have 15-20 cases stacked up and in rotation along with all of your other redundant water supply options. Pinto beans best deal are the triple cleaned version from Sam’s, same goes for the black beans … both in 12 pd bags. Another great buy at Costco are the many varieties of bulk trail mixes, granolas and dried fruits all of which can be stored separately or combined to make pemicans, etc. There are many other options at Costco, as well as Sam’s and even at Wally World. Sam’s has the best deals on big milk cartons of Idahoan instant potatoes and dried shredded (hash brown) potatoes which last for five or six years minimum if properly stored … I know this from personal experience.
Some of these items do not store for long periods of time all that well. Olive oil can go rancid in a couple years, and once you open the bottle, it can get rancid faster.
I have a small household and decided buying the larger, metal container of olive oil would be a wiser choice, given that we use a good bit of it, and it was cheaper per ounce. It went rancid before we could use it all up.
I also found that Bisquick is good for a time, but once opened, it too can get a rancid taste if it takes you too long to use it all up (it has shortening in it). I think for longer term storage, it might be better to mix the flour and soda together and store the shortening separately.
Also, if you live in a humid climate, you need to make sure you store the oatmeal really well, or it will get a damp and sometimes damp and moldy taste. I was reminded of that when I moved back to the coast after living inland for quite a while. It did not take long for the oats to get rather rubbery.
I do like reading articles like this because they get me thinking about what works well for my household or what may be challenging to store long-term. The challenges I experienced with olive oil, Bisquick, and oatmeal happened more by chance rather than intentionally keeping them long-term. While I was annoyed each time, I was also glad to know about these pitfalls before I was in a situation where I wouldn’t have other options.
mbl: Do not throw the rancid olive oil away. It can be used in the aladdin type oil lamps when your batteries have all died and gone to battery heaven. It can be used as fire starter. Soak a strip of newspaper in olive oil and you have a dandy fire starter.
It can be used as a lubricant. It can be used to protect iron and steel from rust. In a pinch, you can use it to lube your firearm. Your gun won’t care that it is smelly.
You may be able to use it as bait for trapping small varmints.
You don’t have to store it on the kitchen counter. It will do fine out in the garage or the shed or in an empty wine bottle with a cork in it just out in the yard.
Uses for non-edible olive oil are only limited by your imagination.
left coast chuck, I agree, rancid oil can be used for other things. But, if you are expecting to use it for cooking purposes, as i was, then you need to have a backup of some sort.
Great stuff.. It has been some time, but still holds true. I am only half way to where I want to be, due to costs.
I use the plastic paint buckets. They have a rubber gasket in the lids. Macaroni, flour, sugar and rice as well as other things. When I empty one ,I will go buy a bulk Macaroni type, for example.. Needing only a new lid..
Hope people re-join here.
Winco is statewide in the PDRK. The nice thing about Winco bulk food is that you can buy your bulk items like rice and pasta a little at a time and not have to buy a 50 or 100 # bag of sugar or salt and have to put up the whole batch at once. You can buy a couple of pounds at the bulk price. Also, you can get a slight discount if you order a whole case of the item rather than buying it out of the bins. We were on a Japanese rice cracker binge for a while and I used to buy it a case at a time for about a 15% discount.
Winco is a Boise ID based company, so they probably have stores in Idaho and Utah and perhaps other western states.
Costco also has canned chicken white meat and canned beef packed in the U.S. at very reasonable prices. I have had both items and they are quite palatable. The canned beef doesn’t take the place of a big slice of prime rib at House of Prime Rib, but for survival, it is a nice hit of protein.
FYI, Winco is also in the Phoenix area. Mostly I’m interested in their bulk.
We have stores in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Nevada, California, Arizona, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, and now in Montana. The Montana stores opened the 3rd of March.
I’m helping the opening in Billings. The other is in Helena.
You can make soap with olive oil. If you have the big tins of it, and afraid it’ll go rancid, soap is a great solution. Of course, you’ll have to remember to include lye with your other long term storage.
Actually, any prepper should know how to make lye from hard wood ash by boiling the ash in soft water (rain water works) or slowly dropping water theoug a container of ashes.
The early settlers use rendered animal fat and homemade lye to make their soap.
I’ve done this, and while the soap is a bit hard and doesn’t contain moisturizers, it also contains no added chemicals and does a good job cleaning.
I have been prepping for many years and have found that Costco is a very good place to shop. However, they are not always less expensive and they do not always have the Items you purchased before and need to replace. They are also variety limited. Maybe it depends on the specific Costco.
At some point in time, I have purchased every Item on this list and then alot more from Costco.
It is important to note that every households tastes and need are not the same. For example, My family perfers Coached Oats over Quaker Oats and DAK Hams over Spam, Bisquick over Krusteaz. To each his own.
I have also found that over time, Your needs will change. I use Centrum Silver over the Costco brand (More Minerals) and I use sea salt for taste and Iodized salt for Thyroid function. Methyl B12 instead of Cyanino B12 because its safer for weakened older body systems
I use different types of products for different applications.
Converted Rice vs. Long Grain Rice, Canned Beans vs. Fresh Beans, Different types of beans altogether for different receipe. (Costco is limited on variety) Grape seed oil vs Olive oil. Mixed Albacore tuna with solid white tuna ( not as dry). (Variety is the spice of life)
First, filling your food stores with products that your family will eat. Test them out before you buy mass quantities.
Second, remember your need will chang over time. So be cognizant of what you need and buy.
Third, Variety is the spice of life so don’t limit yourself on just a few items and make sure you have spices to kick your food up a notch.
Fourth, Shopping at other discount stores like the 99 cent store, Smart and Final, Walmart, Sam’s club (if you have their membership) will allow you to get the variety of stores you want and need.
Quaker oats? Can you say iron filings & Roundup herbicide (glyphosate)? Sea salt? Can you say Fukushima and cesium 135 radiation? Albacore tuna? Can you say mercury, cesium 135 radiation, and plastic particles? Kirkland almonds? Can you say microwave radiation processing? Kirkland daily multi-vitamins? Can you say undigestible mineral rocks? I think you might rethink your list.
Well, Rumple, just what is it you do eat? Are you growing your own food using fertilizer that you produce yourself? Do you pick the bugs off plants by hand? What kind of salt do you use? Morton’s salt is supposed to be laden with evil chemicals. Himalayan pink salt? I wonder if you have seen mining operations in the Himalayas?
Are your chickens and cows free range, eating only naturally grown hay and corn grown in hot houses with water from deep wells. If they grow outside they are subject to all the pollution in the air, acid rain and who knows what else in the way of contaminants that the animals will pass on to you.
Are you absolutely certain that Bob’s Red Mill Oats aren’t really packed by Quaker on odd numbered days? Lots of small marketers actually get their foodstuffs packed by the big packing houses and they stick the small vendor’s label on it but it is the same stuff that goes into the big packers cans and boxes.
Martha: Can one still make soap out of olive oil if it has turned rancid? I would suspect that it wouldn’t make a bit of difference as the lye would most assuredly kill anything that was harmful in the rancid oil, but I am not into soap making, so don’t know the answer.
Along with Costco we have “Sam’s Club” that is on par for many items; but, one needs to shop and price compare, since not even the warehouse clubs always have the best unit prices.
Here in the east we have GFS (Gordon Food Services https://gfsstore.com) which is a restaurant supply store with outlet stores for the public. You can find similar bulk foods at good prices, as well as other restaurant supplies, like trash bags and large stainless pots, pans, and utensils.
To which I will add, raises no eyebrows or has no awkward questions asked of the purchaser.
You mean like freeze dried meats that are a lot better than canned or dehydrated. In our case, keeping meat long term is important enough that we purchased a freeze dryer that long term will make a larger less expensive variety of meats available. The upside is that when rehydrated, they are nearly as tasty as the original and contain all of the original nutrition.
Nissin Top Ramen, Chicken, 3 oz, 48-count $9.49
Maybe for some as they were for me 40+ years ago; but, we stopped purchasing these years ago, since they contain more empty carbs and too much sodium to be part of a healthy diet.
You did of course mean 20 cents or $0.20 or ,20 dollars per serving, right? It helps to get the math right when comparing prices. Around here we can often find singles in a 4 pack to $1.00 or about the same unit price. Always check the prices, since the warehouse clubs don’t always have the best prices.
Olde Thompson Mediterranean Sea Salt, 12 lbs $8.99
That’s not a bad price; but everyone should realize that all salt is sea salt. In northern Ohio and Southern Michigan and all under Lake Erie between them are huge salt mines where tons of salt are mined every day. That salt was left over from an ancient sea that once covered the area and dried up (evaporated), leaving huge deposits of, you guessed it: “sea salt”
We purchase small quantities of iodized table salt and Kosher salt for general everyday use; but, for long term we keep at least 500 pounds of softener salt on hand. We use it in the water softener; but, long term, since it is just plain salt, it can be crushed or ground for seasoning or used for preservation.
Bisquick Pancake & Baking Mix, 96 oz $5.99
The problem with this handy mix is that it is not long term shelf stable, since the baking powder or aluminum based leavening goes bad quickly and the oils can go rancid. Best IMHO to make your own when you need it from these simple ingredients:
• Baking powder or a mixture of Baking Soda and Cream of Tartar (Tartaric acid) mixed when you use it, since these components don’t go bad.
• Optional sugar, honey, or maple syrup / sugar
• Vegetable shortening or lard
Dole Mandarin Oranges Cup, 4 oz, 16-count $8.69
Once agin the plastic cups are not long term storable. We keep a supply of Aldus “Sweet Harvest” Mandarin oranges in 15 ounce cans on hand. They have an easy open pull tab and cost $0.75 each or $0.05 per ounce vs. the Dole cups @ 13.5 cents per ounce. The difference is long term storage and unit price vs. convenience.
Oranges or other sweet fruits also make a good treat / meal that can be rather filling and healthy, by mixing with cottage cheese, for a good additional helping of protein in the diet.
If you’re counting on citrus for vitamin C, you can use Rose Hips or pine needles to make a tea. The pine needle tea actually contains 4-5 times more vitamin C than fresh oranges; but, I admit I do like oranges.
Kirkland Signature Supreme Whole Almonds, 3 lbs $14.99
This is an all around good food and good to keep on hand for a healthy snack.
Quaker Oats Old Fashioned Oatmeal, 5 lbs, 2-count $9.49
We can beat this with almost any store brand, since rolled oats are rolled oats. We can also purchase bulk oats for animal feed and cut, crush, grind, roll, or boil them for our use.
Kirkland 500 Tablet Multivitamin $14.49
We haven’t taken any multi vitamins in years; but, do try to have nutritious food on hand and don’t overcook them to remove the vitamins. We grow, trade, and purchase local fruits and vegetables, which in our rural setting is rather easy to do.
Hopefully it doesn’t come down to this; but, a stockpile of those essentials and the knowledge to use them is rather important.
Kirkland Signature Pure Olive Oil 3 Liter, 2-count $39.99
While we prefer extra virgin, we’ll use something like this; but, no matter the container (glass, plastic, or rectangular metal can), it should be stored in the refrigerator or for long term in the freezer.
Amira Basmati Rice, 20 lbs $21.29
For us any rice will do, since we always mix it with something else like beans or meat, and rarely eat it alone. Add an egg, some milk, and a sweetener and you have a good breakfast. Mixed with some tomato sauce and ground beef, it makes a great stuffing for green bell peppers that are baked for a tasty & easy to fix meal.
As I stated above, one that also doesn’t question why you are purchasing so much at one time. Who needs a case of toilet paper? LOL
Yes, No one says a word when you push the flatbed dolly out of the store loaded with toilet paper or 500 pounds of rice on it. Just another Chinese restaurant loading up on rice for the New Year’s celebration or janitorial company loading up on supplies for the big office building. Nothing to see here, folks. Besides, there’s probably three other folks waiting at the receipt checker with the same load.
Or, don’t pay for “membership” and shop all these items at “Cash ‘n Carry” now renamed SmartFoodService. Best prepper resource on a budget in the country.
While it is easy to know in general where Left Coast Chuck or I live, I find it’s good practice when mentioning a local or regional chain to tell in general where it may be located. As it turns out ”Smart Foodservice” has a large enough footprint to be known to Google with the following description.
This description easily fits our own ”Gordon Food Service.”
They are located mostly in the East, South and Southeast with no list; but, a regional map here: https://www.gfs.com/en-us/locations/distribution
Interesting. I have lived in the PDRK continuously for 60 years on July 5, 2019 and I have never seen a Smartfood Service Warehouse anywhere in the state. I will admit that I have not been actively looking for one but one would think that in my travels around the state I would have seen one or some friend or associate would have mentioned shopping in one. I winder if they are located more northerly in the PDRK. I know there was a fairly numerous grocery chain in the Eureka area that wasn’t down in SoCal, so perhaps Smart Foodservice is more NorCal. Smart and Final is supposed to be a restaurant supply store too and they have some bulk foods but not to the extent that Winco has. You can even buy bulk honey at the local Winco.
SmartFoodService used to be called “Cash N Carry,” as the previous comment mentioned. The renaming may be in anticipation of the banishing of cash transactions.
While I used to like the quality and pricing at Costco, we ended our membership there and switched to Sam’s Club due to Costco’s stance on the Second Amendment. They prohibit carrying of firearms in their clubs, open or concealed, except by on-duty, uniformed LEOs. Even in states where signs must be posted at the entrance to ha e he force of law (such as Colorado and Texas), they do not need to post this rule since they bury said rule deep into the fine print of their “Terms & Conditions for Membership” on their website and when you join the club, you agree to those same “Terms & Conditions.”
So… we no longer darken Costco’s doorstep. There are too many other options out there to support someone who does not support our rights.
One company we do support is Thrive Life. They are a Mormon-owned food processor and supply company out of Utah. Their major claim to fame is freeze-dried foods packed as individual ingredients, in cans, both “pantry” and #10 sizes, with 25-year storage times. They also offer some freeze-dried meals and some veggies packed in smaller quantities in Mylar bags. They offer the steel racks for storing the various cans, both upright and under-bed configurations, as well as buckets of pet supplies and backpacks with survival supplies such as ponchos, whistles, flashlights, etc, but I think you can do better by assembling your own, both on price and quality, plus you can personalize for your climate and preferences. Thrive works as both a MLM and for individual customers and they won’t inundate you with junk mail like many of the other MLM companies. They do offer a deal where they will send you a monthly package of food items, your choice of items, auto-shipped. We use their diced onions, sliced onions and sliced mushrooms on a regular basis when cooking at home. I can grab a single handful of mushrooms instead of opening a can that contains more than I need and that then needs to be repackaged and stored in the fridge. And I can add the diced onions to a recipe for the flavor without my son, who hates onions, even realizing they are in it. I get the flavor, he doesn’t get grossed out. Win-win. 8^}
One place people don’t think about. The Mormon food pantry/warehouse. Open to the public. Open one day a week. Bulk/canned food storage items. Mostly staples but do have other items depending on the warehouse size. Prices are good too.
this is the link to the LDS online store that everyone can order from even if not a member:
Costco is becoming my brand. But, their meat is too pricy. But, it’s always top quality. Their gasoline is usually 30c cheaper than anyone else, as well. That alone makes belonging worthwhile.
I usually shop at military base Commissary’s for the majority of our everyday food and will also get some of the long-term storage items from there, but we also like Costco (and agree the meat is high priced) and WalMart for some of the frozen, canned, and dry goods, and also fresh milk and eggs, which are better priced at WalMart than at the Commissary. I wish Cosco would get more of their Kirkland canned roast beef, it’s better than all the other brands I’ve tried, but they have not had any in stock for about two years.
I have also ordered some long terms foods via the Costco and WalMart online sites, for things like Augason Farms and Mountain House products in #10 cans, and bulk lentils, dehydrated fruit, salt, and sugar in stackable sealed plastic buckets.
I just received my first order from the LDS Home Storage online store – a case each of #10 cans (six cans per case) of white rice, pinto beans, elbow macaroni, quick oats, dehydrated apples, granulated sugar, nonfat dry milk in pouches, and also some oxygen absorbers and food storage foil pouches to try using with my Food Saver to see if they will seal properly. The powdered milk says it’s “best if used by 2041”, other items have even longer shelf life. I also wanted to get the white flour and potato flakes, but they were out of stock, so I will check back every so often to see if these become available.
red, I just created an email to use for chatting one on one with people who like to share real world experience about gardening, food storage, and such, and am inviting you to send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org if interested.
Not exactly a prepper food, but my go to item to buy when going to Costco is Quick ‘N Eat Fully Cooked Angus Choice Beef Patties. Price has been going up. Believe they are also at Sams. Have found nothing at other stores which comes close in taste as far as pre-cooked.
I went to Costco today for the first time in several months and as I always do, I checked for Kirkland canned roast beef that has been out of stock for about two years, and there it was! 4-packs of 12oz cans at an exorbitant price of $18.99 per pack, which seems much higher than the last time it was available, but I bought four of the 4-packs anyway because we like it, will eventually eat it, and the “best if used by” date is into 2024.
dz: I haven’t done a lot of shopping, lately. Costco for gas, yes. Last week it was 4.13/gallon. Winter was so warm the rye isn’t blooming, nor are the strawberries. Because of the wildfires, a lot of brush is gone, and winds hitting the canyon are bad. But, everything is growing like 60. One grape vine, a red flame, is loaded with blossoms, while the other one is growing well, but no blooms. There are dozens of chilacayote squash coming up and if you can, plant a few. Growing tips, blooms, and squash are all very eatable, and the seeds great eating. Be warned, if they can, they’ll climb trees and fences. I get a few tomatoes, but not many yet. No chilis for over a week, but the eggplants are producing a lot of fruit. Gonna pick some kohlrabi and cook them up soon. We have butter in the deep freeze for over a year, and it’s fine. niio
our weather has been a roller coaster, temps go up for a week, then go down for a week, the same with winds several days of winds, then several days of calm, but we did have a couple days of decent rain a little over 1/2″ total about a week ago. I have two grapes, one is producing the flower clusters as it did last year, the other is producing at least twice as many flower clusters as the other, and I have no idea why, they are both planted at the same time, in the same size containers, sitting side by side, getting the same care and weather. I sorted and repotted all my strawberries several weeks ago and some are flowering, some not, and one died, again, I have no idea why the differences, but they are there. I have several containers with peas and in between two of them it looks like a Kabocha got left behind in the tall weeds and several of the seeds have sprouted in the ground, not a container, and are starting to spread out a little. That will probably be the only Kabocha for this season, I need my containers for other plants, but I will plant a couple Ford Hook Zucchini’s soon – they like warmer weather. The pineapple “start” my wife brought home two years ago looks like it is producing two fruits so this experimental learning curve might work out well. My bitter melon that survived through winter (barely) has a lot of new vines and is producing tiny fruits about an inch long. The yard-long beans that also like warmer weather are about 18 inches and climbing the tomato cages I use for trellises, so I expect them to start flowering and producing in a month or so. I have four eggplants that survived the winter that have been flowering but I don’t see any fruits yet. I have several tomatoes that also survived the winter and are flowering and producing fruits. I am trying to grow papaya again, sprouted and planted a lot of seeds, and still have about 15 that have not been eaten yet – I will need at least three papayas to survive to have any chance of them pollinating and producing fruits. My first attempt growing tepary beans are doing okay, not zooming, not stunting, and are staying green with a little new growth. I’m probably overwatering but everything gets so dry so fast that most of my plants do better with lots of water, and no mold or fungus so far.
dz, looking good!
Did you try mountain papaya? they prefer it on the dry side, and aren’t bad in frosty weather. Mind, they’re a forest understory and do not like a lot of wind.
http://sacredsucculents.com/ carries them under the succulents page, carica pubescens
Tepary don’t like a lot of moisture. It stunts their growth. The do best in direct sun and heat.
did you cut the eggplants back some? Prune them a little if you see no fruit.
I have Yori Cahui cowpeas form stir fry and it’s weird, but they can handle early frosts better than regular pole beans. niio
red, I have not tried mountain papaya. The only reason I have any papaya seeds to try is because my wife brought one home last year and I saved about 200 seeds. The seeds I started late last year did well in the heat, but only got a few inches tall and then stopped growing and eventually died during winter, so I am trying again this spring getting an earlier start just to see what happens. I bought five varieties of tepary beans and a couple are doing very well, and one is falling behind the others. The tepary beans are in rectangular containers off by themselves in direct sun, ten plants per container, but I may be watering too much. I read you can let tepary beans go without watering until they start to wilt, so I may try watering them less often and see what happens.
My gardening efforts are still mainly to learn how to propagate, and create a seed bank, with the added advantage of getting some fresh from the garden produce. I am growing a lot more potatoes and a lot fewer onions and tomatoes this spring, and a few spinaches and Bak Choi but they are getting raided by pests, so I need to pay more attention to pest control with them – time to break out the Diatomaceous Earth duster.