Wed. Oct 20th, 2021

Stocking up on inexpensive emergency food can be done at your local grocery shop, big-box retailer, or online for a fraction of the cost of professionally packed survival foods, but it does require a little more effort. To save the most money, you’ll have to look for bargains and do some couponing.

Canned beans, fruits, veggies, and meat are all inexpensive emergency foods for short-term situations. Because canned food is non-perishable, shelf-stable, and ready-to-eat, it is ideal survival food. Dry staple foods like dry white rice, dry beans, and wheat, on the other hand, are the cheapest emergency food for long-term emergencies, pound for pound.

Freeze-dried backpacker’s food, professionally packaged survival food, and Meals Ready to Eat are all more appealing than canned food and dry essentials. Even yet, with a little forethought, these reasonably inexpensive meals can suffice in most emergency situations. Remember that our forefathers got by on home canning and dry staple foods.

Natural catastrophes and emergencies are utterly unpredictable, but just because hurricanes, earthquakes, and pandemics strike without warning doesn’t mean you can’t be prepared. You may now keep food for an endless period of time thanks to advancements in modern preservation techniques. Which is the best thing to do in the event of a calamity that can occur at any time.

While there are many things to do to prepare for natural catastrophes, having the right nutritional diet is the most critical component of survival. However, storing food for such an occasion does not have to be prohibitively expensive. 

When preparing for a crisis, most people stock up over a long period of time.

However, if the scenario is unexpected, as is the nature of a crisis, and you haven’t planned ahead of time, as most of us haven’t, a sensible buying strategy would be perfect. Some of us may not know what meals to keep on hand, and even fewer may be capable of determining which are the most cost-effective selections. If that’s the case, you’ll probably find this essay very helpful.

We’ll talk about which foods are the most important to stockpile in this section. We will discuss what is important for nutritional survival, is most economical, and would be a wise decision to have in a survival pantry, rather than what we would want the most.

Cheapest Emergency Foods


Most people don’t think it’s a good idea to stock up on water in case of an emergency, partly because we take for granted the abundant supply we have at home. Water, on the other hand, must be kept on hand in case of an emergency.

Water is necessary for life, but in the event of a natural disaster such as earthquakes, hurricanes, or floods, the tap supply will run empty if it is not tainted or potentially poisonous. Fortunately, you can stock up on water for a reasonable price.

Of course, we are not recommending specialty waters such as gourmet or flavored waters. No, distilled water in sealed containers would be the finest source of hoard water. Distilled water is the purest form of water, although canned carbonated water is also a good option. Because part of the water you stockpile will be needed for cooking, keep it unflavored. Water in sealed containers will last for a long time and is quite important to have on hand.

Preserved Meat

Vegans may object, but canned or dehydrated meat is the most important food to save for a natural disaster survival pantry. Despite the fact that it is one of the most expensive options on this list, it remains a top priority due to its nutritional worth.

Tinned meats like corned beef and ham, as well as canned seafood like tuna and sardines, are the finest choices. It’s high in protein, iron, and energy, and it’s the only food source that’s higher in energy when canned and stored. Meat is a crucial source of food for omnivores like humans, and it will become scarce during a crisis, causing a shortage or a price increase.

For example, it would be impossible to hunt during a nuclear disaster, so stocking up on canned meat would be the best option. As a result, stocking up on canned meat as much as possible is a crucial piece of advice on our list of survival foods.

Canned Foods High in Moisture

Despite the need of storing up on water, it will eventually run out. As a result, it’s critical to examine whether stockpiling high-liquid canned goods, or even canned liquids is equally crucial. The most essential reason is that it will satisfy your hunger while also providing much-needed hydration.

Canned fruits, most often pineapples, canned fruit juice, vegetable juice, and other canned liquids, such as condensed or evaporated milk, and canned coconut milk, are all options. You might also stock up on canned beer, which is a wonderful cooking substitute while also conserving your freshwater supply.

Dehydrated Eggs and Whey

Dehydrated eggs and whey powder will be another significant source of nourishment. Eggs can be stored for a long time, and while they are useful, it is wiser to stock up on dried egg powders. They are not only useful for baking but they can also be utilized as a nutritious food source and are quite inexpensive.

Whey powder is high in minerals and amino acids, as well as being easy to dissolve. These may be used to make delectable protein smoothies that will help you stay hydrated and battle hunger when water is limited. Consider incorporating dry milk powders as well. You’ll have an even better nutrient drink that’ll be a great breakfast cereal supplement and cost a lot less.

Tea and Instant Coffee

Tea is a beverage that has been around for a long time. Although water preservation is critical in a survival situation when water is available but of poor quality, tea will be a valuable resource.

It’s great for improving the taste of bad water, and if you need to hydrate but can’t wait for boiled water to cool down, flavoring it with tea is the way to go. Coffee can be kept on hand for the same purpose, plus the extra caffeine will give you a burst of mental alertness and energy when you need it most.

Tea is also a cheap source of antioxidants and helps to prevent cancer, which is important to have, especially in the event of a nuclear disaster. Tea and coffee are both good ways to keep spirits high. Coffee boosts mental energy, while flavored teas like chamomile and peppermint aid in the treatment of common ailments including the common cold and digestive issues.

Baking Supplies

Baking goods are vital to have on hand in case of a disaster since they will give you a secondary supply of food, while bread and other confectionary foods will not be readily available in a survival situation.

Cooking oils in whatever kind, whether olive oil (albeit that may not be the cheapest option), sunflower oil, or coconut oil, would be included in these supplies. It will also include pre-mixed bagged flours for pancakes, bread, muffins, and other baked goods, but purchasing the mix separately will save you money. You’ll need to use flours; you can use wheat or a gluten-free alternative like potato flour.

Wheat is the cheapest and healthiest option because it is available in bulk and is high in protein and fibre. Powdered eggs will also be an important option to put in the list because they are a vital ingredient in baked goods.

It would be preferable if you could stock up on whole-grain wheat flour, which is strong in vitamins and contains a number of critical minerals. Potato flour is another excellent choice, not only because it is gluten-free, but also because it extends the shelf life of baked goods and is just as healthy as whole grain wheat. Potato flour can be used for a variety of purposes, including thickening, binding, and baking.

Rice and Pasta

Rice and pasta are crucial hoarding foods since they are both satisfying and can be stockpiled for a long time if properly stored. They’re also inexpensive and accessible, with a wide range of options. Pasta should be kept in large quantities and used as a standby food source in the event of an emergency.

Although it does require some water to cook, there are a variety of ways to cook pasta with shortening. One option is to add coconut milk, which will help to conserve water by reducing the amount of water required to cook the pasta.

Assorted Canned Foods

Foods in cans were developed for two purposes. First, to keep it safe for an indefinite period of time in case of a food scarcity caused by natural disasters, famine, or war. The second goal is to lower the cost of food production.

As a result, canned foods are the most important emergency food to have on hand in a survival pantry. Soups, vegetables and fruits, legumes, and anything else you can think of fall into this category. These are fantastic to use in meal preparations, but they can also be eaten straight from the can if the situation calls for it.

How long do Canned Foods Last: Shelf Life

Canned foods with a high acid content have a shelf life of one to two years. Canned tomatoes, citrus fruits, and any soups or stews including these items fall under this category. Low-acid foods will survive 3 to 5 years. Canned meats, vegetables, soups, and stews that do not contain high acid elements fall into this category.

Take the shelf-life of canned foods with a grain of salt. Canned foods with adequate storage and no damage have an infinite shelf life, according to the USDA. The only issue you’ll have with properly sealed and stored cans is that the food’s taste, texture, and appearance will deteriorate over time.

First-in, first-out storage tip: Rotate your canned foods by eating the oldest cans first (FIFO). This way, you’ll never consume tainted canned green beans or meat, and you’ll always have a healthy supply of ready-to-eat, shelf-stable items on hand in case of an emergency.

Signs A Can Of Food Is Bad

Most cans will last a long time if you handle them carefully and keep them cool and dry. However, you should be aware of the 11 indicators of a tainted can to avoid contracting food poisoning.

  1. Leaking
  2. Bulging
  3. Badly Dented (seal may be broken)
  4. Cracked Jars
  5. Jars with loose or bulging lids
  6. Foul odor when the can is opened
  7. Container that spurts liquid when opened
  8. Oozing of liquid under the lid
  9. Gas bubbles in the jar
  10. Food is moldy or discolored
  11. Intuition: when in doubt, throw it out

How Long do Dry Foods Last

When properly sealed in an oxygen-free container utilizing Mylar, food-grade buckets, and oxygen absorbers, backbone staple foods like white rice, wheat, and dried beans can last for almost thirty years.

Bottom Line On Cheapest Emergency Foods To Stock Up On

These are some of the most important food sources and vital resources to stock up on for any unforeseen emergency and are selected for both importance and affordability. Although listed in no particular order, the most important foods would be both canned meats, pasta, and canned foods of a greater variety, including veggies and fruits.

You could also stock up on sweet snacks such as chocolates, snack bars, or protein bars since it will keep morale up. In the case of protein bars, they make for great supplementary fillers in between rationed meals and are stocked with vitamins and other beneficial ingredients.

By Beth

I'm Beth Nunes, the proprietor of preparing in the city. My family is the most important thing in the world to me. I couldn't bear the thought of my three small children going hungry, so I became obsessed with finding simple and practical ways to be prepared for the future by building food storage and gathering other emergency preparedness items.

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