10 Food Items to Always Have In Storage

Food Storage Items - CocoaIt’s always a great feeling to be prepared when it comes to the food in your home. Whether you are bracing for a potential natural disaster or simply readying yourself for a hungry toddler, having these 10 food items always on hand will make your life easier and your house a little bit more self sustaining.

1. Honey

The best thing about honey is that it never goes bad. It can actually withstand broad temperature variations, and you can use it to sweeten just about anything. If it crystallizes, just reheat it, and it’s good as new.

2. Sugar, Salt, & Pepper

Although these items can cake up, they won’t go bad. Plus, you can use them to flavor absolutely anything. The best part is that in a pinch (get it? A pinch?) you can use salt for curing and medicinally.

3. Nuts, Nut Butter, and Trail Mixes

We always try to have trail mix on hand in my house because it is a fantastic source of protein and fat. You don’t have to refrigerate it, and it’s a good source of healthy energy too.

4. Canned Meat

You can get canned tuna, chicken, salmon, and turkey. Although they are not the healthiest choices and do expire eventually, they are excellent if you really need them.

sample of emergency food

5. Bottled Water

Sure it’s more of a beverage than a food item, but you still need about 1 gallon per person per day both for drinking and to help you maintain proper hygiene.

6. Rice and Pastas

Rice and pasta are both great sources of carbohydrates. They are really easy to prepare and have a very long shelf life.

7. Canned Fruit & Vegetables

Similar to canned meat, these are not always the healthiest choice because they have a lot of added sugar. However, you can them alongside of meat to create a well balanced meal and get much needed vitamins and minerals in your diet.

8. Flour and Dried Grains

Oatmeal, wheat, and cornmeal can all be used for baking. They are easy to prepare and contain may essential nutrients that your body needs.

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9. Dried Milk

Dried milk is actually not as bad as it sounds, and it works really well if you can’t get fresh milk. It has a long shelf life and can be used to drink or in baking.

10. Powdered Coffee, Tea, and Cocoa

These have always been staples in people’s kitchens. After all, how many people do you know who can barely start the day without their cup of coffee? They don’t provide much nutritional value, but the psychological impact is important too!

Of course, if you want to be fully prepared, don’t forget to stock a can opener, a small camping stove, and emergency food for your pets as well just in case you need it.

How many of you currently have these items on hand? What are some foods that you can’t possibly live without?

About the Author:


Catherine Alford is a personal finance freelance writer who received a B.A. from The College of William and Mary and an M.A. from Virginia Tech. When she is not writing for other websites on all topics frugal and fabulous, she enjoys sharing her adventures on her blog, www.BudgetBlonde.com. Follow h ...


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12 thoughts on “10 Food Items to Always Have In Storage”

  • Ginny

    I would add dried and/or canned beans, as they are a good source of protein and go well with rice.

  • david@vmforlife.com
    david@vmforlife.com September 20, 2013 at 11:18 am

    9 out of 10. just missing nuts/trail mix. not bad, but still need more of everything for family and neighbors.

  • Carrie Kennedy

    Thank you for the heads-up on what to keep stocked up on. I have been thinking I was missing a few things on my list, and your article helped me fill in the blanks!

  • Threasa

    Also need to have shortening or lard for cooking.

  • Mark Estep

    Shoe laces, Tang, Cream of Wheat, and Jim Beam.

  • Happy Preppers

    Nice work. Everything you've mentioned is on our completed list!

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  • Beth

    Only thing I'm short on is enough water. Only have about a week supply. But do have a well on the property, so am not reliant on city water, which wouldn't be bad. Our neighborhood is fed by an artesian well(for those not still on a personal well) and the storage tower is only three blocks away.

    Would suggest adding candy. Quick energy boost between meals. Peanut M&Ms are a good choice. Sugar and protein in one bite. Have a few pound of them myself.

  • Roy

    Missing cooking oil. And of course herbs and spices make a bad meal excellent!

    Else a good list.

  • brenda

    Buy sechelle extreme water pitchers and their extreme sports water bottles. The water filters in these take out ALL contaminants. You can literally filter water from mud puddles. Takes out e-coli, radiation, chemicals everything. Also raises your PH level. Have been using these for 9 months.
    Would not be without them. I have a Sechelle water pitcher at work, which is city water, takes out all the the nasty taste, and chemicals. I would not drink the water at work before I bought this water pitcher. Pitcher will filter 500 gallons of water. We live in the country and have well water so I would bring this into work. Now use the water pitcher at home also for filtering.

    These water filters were tested in Japan after the earthquake in 2011, at one of the labs, for
    radiation contamination.. Took out 99.9 percent.

    Also if you store water in barrels Seychelle has a hand water pump with a filter on it to use.

    Saves a lot of money NOT having to buy bottled water, and peace of mind knowing you are getting pure clean water after filtering.

    Need to have good organic Vitamin supplements.
    Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Calcium, a daily multiple, vitamin B.

  • Kelly

    I would sprout seeds and use them as fresh greens and to start a garden.

  • Scott Pi

    Self-sufficiency after TSHTF is very challenging , and unnecessary. Before things fall apart, stock up. You can afford to store enough calories, if you know what you're doing.
    You can figure 25-30 years storage life for hard red wheat, stored at 60 degrees in a 55 gallon drum, using 1 pound of dry ice to drive out the oxygen before sealing the drum. 400 pounds per drum equals 400 man-days of calories, $100. Fill several. It’s Cheap insurance. Add a barrel of Rye for variety. Add a barrel of oats. Then a couple barrels of rice, and 2-3 barrels of pinto beans. (The beans may be harder to rehydrate after 10-12 years without a pressure cooker, but then you just grind up the dried beans, and bake them in your bread.) For under $1000, you can be prepared to feed your family for a decade, especially if you garden and have fruit trees. Honey is way too expensive to store on a dollar/calorie basis, but consider bee keeping.

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