Having an emergency food supply on hand is very important for all the unforeseen events in life - whether it's an extended medical issue, or a job loss, knowing that you have food for you and your family is vital! Find out exactly how to build your first emergency food supply with REAL FOOD that your family will enjoy eating, for around $100 per person for a 30 day supply!
Having a bunch of canned SPAM and pickled asparagus may keep you alive, but if your family doesn't enjoy those items, they will make an already tense situation worse. Instead, I'm going to show you how to create and rotate a food supply that your family can rely on and enjoy during times of need.
Building a 30 Day Emergency Food Supply
Recently, I shared my pantry and freezer storage in a YouTube video. It went viral and I had a lot of comments about WHY I would have so much food on hand.
Contrary to want people might think, I'm not actually storing up food against a coming societal collapse. Though that might happen (I hope not), we keep food on hand because we have needed it several times in the past due to prolonged unemployment, horrible illnesses, and extended natural disasters that kept us from being able to leave the house.
So, I know first hand exactly how important this emergency food supply can be! You probably also know how important that food can be for your family, and that's why you're here! Well, let's get down to it!
Step 1: Choosing The Foods
Before we get into the actual list, I want to share with you the WHY for how I chose these items.
First, I choose shelf stable foods for 90% of the items in this list. Beyond a little butter or cheese (or frozen broccoli), you don't need a fridge or freezer for this emergency food supply, making it perfect for storm season when the power tends to go out.
NOTE: You can buy or create shelf-stable versions of these perishable items such as dehydrated broccoli, waxing cheese yourself, or getting powdered butter and powdered cheese!
Everything can also be cooked over a fire, so even without power, you can still eat well - and I kept it to under $100 per person for a 30 day supply. AND everything on the list is organic, so if you don't typically buy organic foods, then this 30 day food supply will be even cheaper!
Second, everything here is available through Azure Standard or at any grocery store in any area. I took the national average on these food items as of July 2022, so your actual cost may be slightly higher or lower, depending on your area.
And lastly, I chose INGREDIENTS for the most part, instead of ready made foods. This way you can mix it up if you get tired of the same dishes, but the meal plan that I created from these items does allow for 7 different main meals (beyond breakfast) per week, so you're only having the same thing twice within a week - which isn't that crazy!
Meals Utilized on this Plan
Included in the printable meal plan at the end of this post are the following meals. The meal plan is a one page sheet that you can keep on the fridge and refer to as needed!
The meals only rotate through every 7th meal, so you aren't eating the same thing over, and over, and over again!
- Pancakes for Breakfast (could also be made as waffles)
- Rice and Canned Veggies
- Broccoli Cheddar Soup
- Mexican Rice
- Cowboy Beans
- Pasta with Sauce and Vegetables
- Black Beans and Rice
- Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches on Homemade Bread
Step 2: 30 Day Emergency Food Supply Shopping List
This is pretty straight-forward, so I'm not going to belabor the point! Below you will find a list of everything you'll need to make sure you have PER PERSON for a 30 days food supply.
The printable at the end of this post has a shopping list for 1 person, 2 people, and 4 people for easy shopping.
- 10 pounds of flour
- 3 pounds of pinto beans
- 6 pounds of rice
- 2 boxes of pasta
- 1 quart of maple syrup
- 4 pounds frozen veggies, or 8 cans for shelf stable storage
- 4 cans black beans
- 2 cans tomato paste
- 2 cans corn
- 5 pounds frozen broccoli
- 1 packet of yeast
- 1 jar of peanut butter
- 1 jar of jelly
- 2 jars of pasta sauce
- 1 quart broth
- 8oz cheddar cheese
- 1 jar of dehydrated onions
- 8ox bottle of Apple Cider Vinegar
Assumed Items (you probably already have these, but make sure!)
- Spices (garlic, pepper, paprika...)
- Baking soda
Optional but Recommended Items:
- Powdered Milk (we like this A2 powdered milk, but get whatever your family can tolerate)
- Butter (1-2 pounds)
- 1-2 bags hard candy (a cheap way to make a tough situation more bearable)
- 1-2 bags chocolate chips
- 2 pounds of sugar
Step 3: Properly Storing and Rotating Your Food Supply
I hear from many people that they have purchased a food supply and they plan to leave it hidden under their bed for the next 25 years, or until they need it...
While that may work out for them, it often doesn't! (Though storing food under your bed is a valid option, especially in small spaces)
Instead of buying it, stashing it, and hoping for the best, you need to make sure that you store your food properly to ensure it will be good for years to come.
Storing Dry Goods
For flour, rice, beans, and sugar you'll want to freeze the foods, in the original bags for at least 2 days. Remove the bags from the freezer and let come to room temperature after a few hours.
Once the food is COMPLETELY thawed out, pour the contents into mylar bags or another air tight container of your choice. Add an oxygen absorber and a moisture absorber and seal well. THEN you can store them as desired.
*I recommend storing them in the house, in the air conditioning - NOT in the attic or garage.
Storing Canned Goods
Just like with the finished dry goods, it's important to store canned items properly to help ensure the longest shelf life.
Store canned goods in a cool, dry place and out of the sun. With this simple method they should last for years and years.
Please remember that canned goods are completely fine well past their expiration date (according to the USDA). This video well help you understand more about the longevity of canned goods (and the difference between home canned and store-bought canned food)!
Rotating an Emergency Food Supply
While many people (as mentioned earlier) like to just hide their food supply for a dark day and never think about it again, I would recommend rotating your food supply.
Doing so is a lot easier than you might think. All the dry goods can stay hidden forever, but I would still check them to make sure the bags are secure and that a rodent has chewed their way through.
But for canned goods, candy, and cold items (frozen veggies, butter...) I would make sure you are using these every year.
So, one month a year, use up your non-dry goods and replace them. This will be about $50 per person to replace, and you can just plan your month of meals around those items.
This will also give you a chance to decide if you want to change up your food supply, or keep it as is. Purchased a bunch of beef stew that no one really loved? Great! Now you know and you can get something else for the next supply!
Going Beyond Food
Now that you have your food needs covered, you also want to make sure that you have a few other essentials taken care of. While some things are a luxury, others may be life or death, and this will vary from person to person and family to family!
Are you on a well? Do you have a water filter? Do you have a safe supply of water on hand?
We have a Berkey filter that we love, but we also "can water" in our empty canning jars as a backup! It's easy to do and seals the water and keeps it clean for when it's opened!
Medications or Supplements
Make sure that you have a good supply on hand of any necessary medications. I'm not saying stock up on prescriptions, but if you know you use a lot of Advil, keep it on hand! Same goes for any supplements you use regularly and don't want to be without for any long period of time.
Don't forget about your animals! Whether you have pets, or backyard chickens and cows, make sure that your animal feed needs are covered in your plan as well!
We all saw the great toilet paper scare of 2020 and we don't want to get caught in that again! Instead, you can buy reusable versions of things to keep on hand for an "in the event" type situation.
We keep a bidet bottle, some family cloth, and some mama cloth on hand - just in case!
That's it folks! Having an emergency food supply on hand for about $100 is totally doable and you can get started today! It's so nice to know that we are covered in the even of power outages, job loss, food supply breakdowns, and more!
Grab your printable shopping list for a breakdown of what to buy for one person, 2 people, or 4 people!
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