My first thought after watching National Geographic’s American Blackout was how a tiny amount of time and money could have saved some of the characters from having to go to the local grocery store to bid on a can of this or a bottle of that. Here are some suggestions for a Wal-Mart prepper food run.
Libby’s chicken Vienna sausage: This is one of my personal favorites (my version of fast food). These have a pull ring pop top. The ones I bought have a 3 year expiration date. I have eaten lots of things that were expired. These will still be good years after that. The Wal-Mart Great Value brand costs a little less but the Libby’s tastes better. I eat these right out of the can. I have also added them to soup and pasta. Cost: $0.50. (11 cents per oz). 40 cans for 20 dollars.
Great Value 100% Whole Grain Old Fashioned Oats: I burn through a half a cup every morning. When I was a kid we used to add milk to it without cooking it (water would work also) when we were in a hurry or add boiling water and let it sit for 10 minutes when we were not. If you need to cook or boil water in an American Blackout situation, see my information on cooking with candles.
You can cook your oatmeal or canned soup indoors. Oat meals will expire after 2-3 years, but again this product will be edible long after the expiration date. Cost: $2.88 for 2 pounds 10 ounces which works out to under 7 cents an ounce. This is a great price for bulk dry (like dehydrated) food. You can buy 7 for 20 dollars and some change.
Great Value Spaghetti & Meatballs: This is a Chef Boyardee knock off. It requires a can opener (non- electric for blackouts). These are $0.74 each at my Wal-Mart which works out to under 5 cents per ounce. Eat straight from the can or heat in a pan with 1 to 3 candle flames. Expires after 2 years (extremely conservative “best by” date). 27 cans (meals) for $20.00.
Maruchan Instant Lunch, Ramen Noodles with Vegetables (compare to Cup O Noodles): Just add hot water. These are packed 6 per box for $1.62 which works out to $0.27 each or 74 cups of yum for $20.00. These are only good for a year which is about right.
Great Value Light Chuck Tuna: $0.78 per can. 25 cans for $20.00. Expiration date: March 2018 (and beyond)
Maruchan Ramen Noodle Soup (no cup and no vegetables). I buy these as filler for the Great Value Spaghetti and meat balls. In a grid down situation you heat up some water in a sauce pan along with the noodles (don‘t use the flavor pack). When the noodles are ready, drain the water into a cup and use to make instant coffee. Add a can of spaghetti and meat balls to the noodles and heat (stir occasionally). You will end up with about 2 cans worth of food for about a dollar. I can’t find the receipt for these but they are under 25 cents each or more than 80 packs for $20.00.
Warning! According to a recent study significant consumption of Ramen noodles may increase a person’s risk for cardiometabolic syndrome, especially in women.
El Mexicano Codito Elbow Enriched Macaroni Product (a traditional south of the border favorite?):
Pasta is more energy intensive to cook than ramen noodles but from experience I can tell you that pasta last quite a bit longer. I need to try the trick some people have used for cooking rice. You bring the rice to a boil and then put it in a thermos to cook for hours without additional heating. In this case 20 or 30 minutes might work. I add these to soup and Chef Boyardee type products to double the size of the meal for pennies.
Cost: 7 oz. bag for 33 cents or 60 bags for $20.00. One bag makes a lot of noodles. I also like to cook these, drain and add grated parmesan cheese and butter. Both of these will be edible at least for a week or two without refrigeration.
Progresso Soup. There are lots of soups to choose from. Pictured is Chicken Gumbo. Cost: 18.5 oz. for $1.48 or 13 cans for $20.00. This is another food that can easily be extended. You can double the volume for under $2.00 for the soup and the noodles.
For other extender ideas and for an easy source of fresh food in an emergency, check out my information on sprouting beans.
As you can see, $160.00 will buy a very large amount of non-perishable food. If you do not have emergency food, you can fix that problem with one trip to Wal-Mart.
Water: This is a subject that deserves an article on its own. But for now, if you don’t have water in a grid down emergency situation you should eat your soup first. Then what? You must have water. I do not buy bottled water. I seem to recall seeing a Great Value 24 pack for under $3.00. You can also stop by the sporting goods department and get 5 or 6 gallon water containers. Cleaning and re-filling 2 liter bottles works also.
You can also find at Wal-Mart water storage kits for $96.50.
Includes: 55-gallon water barrel made from food-grade polyethylene.
6 foot hose and hand pump,
2 bottles of water treatment drops,
Barrel lid opener.
I got my barrels from a local animal feed store. Plan on 1 gallon of water per day per person.
Good luck and make your next emergency a pasta party. (A quiet family get together with blacked out windows and subdued LED lighting and lots of soup and pasta). No food is no fun.
Here is the tally from the article for what you can buy (non-perishable emergency food) at my local Wal-Mart for about $160.00:
40 cans of Vienna sausage
7 big boxes of oat meal (Big, 2 pounds 12 oz.)
27 cans of spaghetti and meat balls.
74 Noodles and vegetables (like Cup O Noodles)
25 cans of tuna
80 Ramen Noodle Soup (no cup and no vegetables)
60 bags of macaroni, 7 oz.
13 cans of Progresso Soup
This article was gladly contributed by Luxstar (also known as Wirkbot).
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I just watched American Blackout too! I am glad I read your article. Very good ideas for preps from Walmart!
My local Walmart now has a section for bulk items as well. Not a huge selection but great prices
Love Walmart ?…. but, please don’t try to live on this stuff. There are way too many processed foods available (including ramen noodles – look at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IQlNv2Au-Lg) that are just “not good for you” in the long run. As an alternative, visit Walmart’s website and look at their long term survival foods – Walmart is heavily into Augason Farms brand. Last time I looked, shipping was free with a $35 order. These Augason foods in number 10 cans will last 20 to 30 years if stored properly and in most cases are way more nutritious than off the shelf soups, pasta mixes and such.
It is now free shopping with $50 or more orders. Waiting for our first test cans to see if the investments worth the flavor
Shipping not shopping
Free shipping for even the smallest order for “site to store” (you pick it up at your local WalMart). They can ship stuff for free to the local store because they handle it completely within their normal distribution process, along with the other stuff that goes to your local store to restock the shelves each day.
This has recently been omitted at our local WM in south Louisiana. You have to order at least $50 to get free shipping. Anything less you are charged a fee, ’cause Heaven knows, they need the extra money…
Apparently, useless tube cancelled the linked account for telling the truth.
I agree with shopping on WalMart.com, and I get free shipping with orders over $35.00 (San Diego area). I have purchased a lot of “Prepper” items I found on WalMart.com such as camping type items, self defense items, fuel cans and stabilizer, solar powered and/or rechargeable items like batteries and small lights, and long term storage food, especially some of the Augason Farms and Mountain House products. There are several other brands they list so I search by entering the actual word “Augason” or “Mountain House”, and then see what shows up. I also often select the Vendor / Retailer in the filters as “WalMart” which are usually priced lower than the same items offered by other Retailers, but not always lower or what you need, so always browse and compare for yourself. I have several of the #10 cans, but also bought some of the bulk buckets of rice, pinto beans, rolled oats, salt, and sugar. Shelf life can vary from about 10 years to 30 years, so please read the descriptions carefully, including the nutritional information, number of servings, and how it’s prepared. I discovered some of the baking mixes require additional ingredients like yeast, as well as the water.
Costco.com also has a limited selection of long term storage foods, but please do price comparisons with other sources. I bought a bucket of lentils, and a bucket with 10 pouches of mac-n-cheese from Costo.com.
I also bought rolled oats, and some type of powered milk in bulk buckets, and also freeze dried beef and chicken in # 10 cans, but I do not remember exactly where I found them, but it would probably have been either WalMart.com or Costco.com.
Sometimes I can only find what I want on Amazon or Etsy, especially for things like heirloom seeds. I bought several varieties of seeds like bitter melon, Chinese cabbage, mango melon, bak choi, Malabar spinach, eggplant, and Moringa / Malunggay from vendors in Etsy.
If you put the time and effort into browsing both WalMart.com and Costco.com you will find a lot if items online that may or may not be stocked in your local outlets. If anyone has problems locating common prepper type items from online sources such as long shelf life food, food storage items like oxygen absorbers, camping/survival gear, water filters and storage, defense items, and so on, please post what you are looking for and If I find a decent source I will post the link(s) for you to browse.
Before you go stocking up on Ramane Noodles, please do some reading of the dangers of eating this cheap food.
understand Costco also has bulk foods for great prices!
I suggest going to hosting section and buying a flare gun to protect your ramen and sausage from hungry house pets gone wild.
I’m glad to see folks pointing out the dangers in the Ramen brand and style of noodles. Not only are the noodles themselves coming under fire (even in Japan), but also the containers you cook them in.
I’ve heard of using a thermos for cooking of products like rice and pasta, but have not done much research on this. I guess even the cheap stainless thermos bottles would work.
Yep, the el cheapo vacuum bottle will work. Heat what ever to boiling. Put it in the vacuum bottle. Put the vacuum bottle rolled up in a blanket, quilt or comforter to make an inprompto (SP) Wonder bag. Good for 10 or twelve hours cooking or keeping warm/hot.
I would like to suggest to buy cans of meat, fish instead of meat and pasta together in one can or sausage, also
bags of pasta rice, dried or can milk
That is my approach as well. Much less expensive. A few cans of ready to eat stuff is a good idea, but not for longer term. Especially since canned goods packed in tomato sauce go bad in only 2 to 3 years.
And canned meals almost never use whole grains. If you cook up your own grains, beans, etc, then you can get a lot better nutrition.
I have noticed several articles promoting commercially processed foods, junk foods and those loaded with harmful chemicals. I realize in a pinch, or unplanned preparation, this would work. However, the whole idea is to be prepared ahead of any disaster. Wouldn’t it be best to only educate and promote natural, healthy ways to survive when SHTF?
Oh my Aching gut! Who, in their right mind, would eat this chemical crap garbage? You have got to be kidding me!
Jeff, you will be surprised at what nasty stuff you will eat when you are hungry enough. If the list offends you, I suggest you take it to Whole Foods or your local health food store and buy their products as a substitute. I think you will find that you are going to pay a significant amount more for the health food substitute items
The whole point of this article was how one can get a supply of LIFE SUSTAINING (sorry about the caps, but this word processing program doesn’t allow italics or bold face) food products for not very much money.
I’m not fond of Chef Boyardi or Vienna sausages, but let me go three days without food and watch me scarf a can of spaghetti O’s cold washed down with 1 liter bottle of Coca Cola.
And if your kids are used to spaghetti-os, it will be a “comfort food”. Change habits now before shtf, but a fall back plan for a few days is not likely to be life threatening
People…Healthy thinking is good, but this would be a Survival Situation…not something where you buy the $160 of Walmart food and start eating it right now. What I do is buy some extra items each time we shop. That way you have good food that you like and it gets rotated . I made a shelving system similar to the soup rack at a store where you put your new cans in the back of the ramped shelf and draw out from the front. That way you rotate your canned foods and always have full shelves of fresh food. Canned foods are marked with a 5 year shelf life and if undamaged will last even longer.
Also canned food is packed in water. You need water to heat it up on your fire or stove and you may not have too much water. Most people will run out of potable water very quickly because they think a little dirt on your hands warrants washing all the time.
PS – Buy tons of toilet paper and store it upstairs somewhere that it won’t get wet. Dirty behinds get diaper rash and you don’t want that. Save rainwater in buckets or plastic containers just to wash your butt with…it doesn’t have to be potable to perform that type of cleanup.
There is a lot you need to do quickly. I suggest you get busy instead of worrying about too much salt or cholesterol is in some survival type foods.
After reading these comments I am doubtful if 9 out of ten people will die in the first few months after an attack…I bet it will be even worse…good luck to all.
Great resource for buying homestead items. Well worth $9/ http://www.cumberlandgeneral.com
Miss Frankie! God bless you. I’m been wracking my brain for that site for years. When I was a kid, we always had the catalog, but dropped it after we moved to town. I haven seen a catalog since the early 80s 🙂 niio
My wife and I have experienced several natural “disasters” (typhoons – about 3-6 per year, a few earthquakes over 8.0, and MT Pinatubo when it erupted) that caused loss of power, loss of water, and even broken sewage lines. We both grew up frugal and routinely stocked up a little with water and non-perishable foods. Lessons learned are 1.) immediately evaluate your situation and if possible collect water as soon as you can, both potable and “gray” but keep them separate. I dumped the trash out of our 33 GAL plastic trash cans and placed them under the eaves that were dripping water and collected enough “gray” water for sponge baths, to rinse out clothes, and to manually flush our toilet once or twice a day for a couple weeks. That only works for areas that have precipitation during the time you need it, but when SHTF never throw out any water of any grade, find a use, and reuse, the last being flushing the toilet. I also used two empty 1 GAL plastic milk bottles we pulled out of our trash to bring potable water home when it eventually became available at a distant location. Before the loss of water we normally rinsed all food containers before tossing to keep insects from raiding, and glad we did when we needed to reuse milk bottles for water. 2.) after figuring out how to collect water, monitor your refrigerator and freezer by thinking first what you need, and only open to remove items quickly and reclose immediately – the more often and longer you open them, the faster they lose the cold and your food spoils faster. 3.) cook and eat perishable foods in the refrigerator first, monitoring your frozen foods and cooking them as they thaw if you can (seafood first over meats), even sharing with neighbors rather than letting it spoil or throwing it out – food in the trash attracts wildlife you may not want around, such as rats, insects, etc. – we even had monkeys raiding the neighborhood trash cans. 4.) we had a couple bags of charcoal briquets but quickly ran out, so please stock up on fuel BEFORE the SHTF. We live in a desert climate now so firewood is scarce but we now have four 5 GAL propane tanks that fit our grill AND our little portable camp stove. If the SHTF, the propane goes to the camp stove because it’s smaller burners use less fuel. 5.) planning ahead for shorter SHTF situations, such as six to twelve months duration, FIRST AND FORMOST – you must have potable water. We have two of the 55 GAL water storage drums and a few of the Sawyer Water Filtration System (squeeze type) from WalMart.com, as well as a couple 2.5 & 5 GAL portable water containers if we need to haul water back from other locations. We stock some canned and dry foods, which are good as long as you rotate and use the oldest dated items first. Canned meats I recommend would be SPAM & corned beef, chicken, and tuna. You should have some canned vegetables and fruit stocked up also. Our dry goods include several jars of Peanut Butter, pasta noodle’s, dried jasmine rice, pasta, and dried mixes like Rice-a-Roni, Knorr enveloped products, flavored potato mixes that can be stovetop or baked, a few baked goods like muffin and pancake mix, condiments including jam and syrup, powdered drink mixes (fruit & iced tea), and basics like salt, flour, sugar, honey, baking powder, baking soda, corn starch, vinegar, cooking oil, bullion, seasonings, tea bags, freeze-dried and canned coffee, and pet food, etc. We also stock up on a few long-term storage foods such as the dehydrated foods with 20-30 year shelf life from WalMart.com, a 5 GAL bucket of Adison Farms lentils, and mac-n-cheese bucket from Costco.com. We also stock medical and first aid items, toiletries, toilet paper and towels, paper plates, aluminum foil and parchment paper, dish soap (Dawn is great stuff, cuts grease and is biodegradable), laundry soap, bleach (can be used to kill microbes in water, and to mix with water to clean and sanitize cookware, cutting boards, etc.), zip-lock an various sizes of garbage bags. We already have several hand tools for gardening and home repairs, and some gear more designed for camping / emergency situations, like a tent, ponchos, boots, gloves, backpacks, radios, lights, multi-tools, fire starters, a portable toilet, etc. Firearms and ammo are well stocked also.
I just clicked on the Walmart “water storage kits” $96.50
it’s by Augason Farms $144.40 and out of stock
Rhonda: Tucson walmart is 136.00. I’m surprised its so much here. This is common here, but most people put in cisterns, towers, and so on. niio
Make your own pasta. Flour and water. For higher protein, use eggs in place of water. Gluten free flour, add cornstarch to the flour (one third) boil and dehydrate. We like corn noodles. niio
Vienna sausages are just nasty.
But, like spam, they keep forever.
We and some friends found the Keystone beef and chicken, etc, canned at Walmart – the beef is excellent, will keep for about 3 yrs or so. About bulk foods – like macaroni, beans— repackage them in mylar bags with an oxygen absorber and they will last for years. Also, regular plastic baggies do not keep all air out over time. I think that is true. And, learn what foods are out there in the wild – learn what you can and can’t eat. In a dire food shortage situation – you can bake chickory roots into a fine coffee. You can make a lot of food with wild greens etc. Pine needle tea (vitamin c), etc etc. About water – if you buy a good quality water filter like a Berkey, etc… you can filter water that you can get from rain or ponds or lakes and it will be very safe to drink. In addition to some water stored properly.
dz and word is, a lot of poultry is being slaughtered for no reason. Most of these birds never see daylight till they’re hauled to a slaughterhouse. niio
It’s all an engineered food crisis.