Survival Food – 56 Long-Term Survival Foods and Supplies at the Grocery Store

When disaster strikes, there’s a pretty good chance your local grocery stores are going to be stripped bare in a matter of hours. From panicked people trying to stock up on last-minute supplies to those who failed to prepare for even short-term disasters and now find themselves facing the prospect of starving, your local grocery store is going to look like a battleground in a post-apocalyptic movie.

Most grocery stores have a maximum 3 day supply of goods on hand before they run dry. That means even short-term disasters like hurricanes, floods, and earthquakes can cause supply chain problems that will quickly wipe out their inventory. Now throw in a long-term disaster that cuts off supplies for months, and you have a real recipe for disaster.

To be prepared to face an emergency situation where supply chains start to fail and food supplies are blocked, you need to invest in a long-term food supply. This supply should be made up of six months’ worth of emergency food that has a long shelf-life and is something that you already eat.

With the help of suggestions that have come in from our readers, we have compiled a list of the top food items and emergency supplies that you can buy at the grocery store. The list contains foods with a long shelf-life, items that have multiple uses, and supplies that are great for bartering.

Long-Term Survival Foods

Survival Foods that add flavor & comfort:

Comfort foods can be a huge morale booster during a stressful survival situation, something that needs to be kept in mind when starting to stockpile food. These four things can be stored for over 10 years, and are a great way to add a little bit of flavor to your cooking. If stored properly they will probably last indefinitely.

  1. Salt
  2. Sugar – Brown or White
  3. Raw Honey
  4. Alcohol – Whiskey, Vodka, etc…

Base cooking ingredients with a long shelf life:

The following categories of food make up the foundation of most recipes and are all things that store well.

Hard Grains: Stored properly hard grains have a shelf life of around 10 – 12 years.

  1. Buckwheat
  2. Dry Corn
  3. Kamut
  4. Hard Red Wheat
  5. Soft White Wheat
  6. Millet
  7. Durum wheat
  8. Spelt

Soft grains: These soft grains will last around 8 years at 70 degrees, sealed without oxygen.

  1. Barley,
  2. Oat Groats,
  3. Quinoa
  4. Rye

Beans: Sealed and kept away from oxygen the following beans can last for around 8 – 10 years.

  1. Pinto Beans
  2. Kidney Beans
  3. Lentils
  4. Lima Beans
  5. Adzuki Beans
  6. Garbanzo Beans
  7. Mung Beans
  8. Black Turtle Beans
  9. Blackeye Beans

Flours and Mixes and Pastas: 5 – 8 years

  1. All Purpose Flour
  2. White Flour
  3. Whole Wheat Flour
  4. Cornmeal
  5. Pasta
  6. White Rice ( up to 10 years)

Oils:

  1. Coconut oil – Coconut oil has one of the longest shelf lives of any kind of oil. It can last for over 2 years and is a great item to add to your survival food supply list.

Survival Foods that are great during short-term disasters:

The following items are great for short-term emergencies, and will stay fresh for a long period of time. During most disasters, you’re going to want to have food that requires very little cooking, or can be eaten without any preparation at all. Make sure some of your stockpile includes these types of food.

Other good survival foods: 2 – 5 years of shelf life

  1. Canned Tuna
  2. Canned Meats
  3. Canned Vegetables & Fruits
  4. Peanut Butter
  5. Coffee
  6. Tea
  7. Ramen Noodles – not the greatest food in the world but they are very cheap so they made the survival food list.
  8. Hard Candy
  9. Powdered milk
  10. Dried herbs and spices

Items that can be used for more than cooking:

  1. Apple Cider Vinegar – Cleaning, cooking and has antibiotic properties
  2. Baking Soda – Cleaning, cooking, etc…
  3. Honey – Mentioned again for its antibiotic properties and wound healing.

Nonfood items to stock up on at the grocery store:

  1. Bic Lighters
  2. Toilet Paper
  3. Soaps
  4. Bottled Water
  5. Vitamins
  6. Medicines
  7. Bandages
  8. Peroxide
  9. Lighter fluid
  10. Canning Supplies
  11. Charcoal

More Emergency Food Resources

While we always advise the DIY approach to stockpiling food, this way you have the things that you would normally cook and eat and can then rotate them in and out of your normal life, there are some circumstances where commercially made survival food supplies might make sense. Here are some of the top emergency survival foods that can help you quickly bulk up your emergency supplies.

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53 Comments

  1. Applause to Ryan Herndon! Goes along with my motto “Stock up on dried beans and ammo”.

    Is there anywhere a reasonable list of minimal stuff for the Grab Bag? I have a full sized Alice Pack for me and the wife but not sure what all NEEDS to be in it! I’m 68 and there is no way I can tote all that is recommended for more than about 25 yards….:)

    Bless you all when the time comes!

  2. Great list of items compiled here. Don’t forget a food cooking system for example a stainless still grill and charcoal. You can pack in matches or a bic to make sure you don’t forget something to light it with.

    • you sir are a ass and would be the first one i shot and yes i have guns and ammo but i dont tell allot of people and yes i do know how to use them i lived on the border AZ mexico for a long time and HAD to use them so get over yourself and becouse you never know who will have them

    • Fred like to see you take stuff from some of these people, you sir will be littered with holes cause you are a j**k a**. To the guy named frank that disrespected the older lady people like you wont make it any way thinning out your gene pool is the best for this world….. On a lighter note there are some good list on here gave me great ideas to add to my stock pile thank you to the people who share your ideas.. be safe out there

    • So you’re looking for an opportunity to be a predator is that it Fred? How long do you think it’ll be before you mistake some old guy like me for an easy mark and end up triple-tapped?

  3. I see ramen noodles on the list. I plan on repacking them using one of the home vacum packers. And I plan adding a desciant pack to each. That will help them store better I hope. I hate the taste old rancid ramen noodles.

  4. Add to that vegi seeds, make sure that they are the NON-hybrid type so you can save some seeds for the next season. They will come in handy

  5. All of you have great ideas! Thank you. If we are trying to survive a natural (or man made) disaster, I would think a hand crank radio would be a good idea to keep in touch with the rest of the world, whatever shape it might be in.

    Claudia

  6. Make sure you check into what honey you are buying. Most honey has little pollen in it. So a local honey producer (may) have more or Wholefoods may as well. Research this one.

  7. I’ve got a pretty good start to my family’s survival kit. My question is if you have to bug out, how in the world can you take all of these items with you? And if you are on foot, I don’t see how it’s possible at all. So if you have to condense what you bring with you, what are the absolute essentials?

    • A good way to make sure that you can tote all the essentials is to have a dog that can pack. We have a Pittie mix, Atlas, that can pack. Granted, it would never be the same amount as we could, but, he can still pack a fair amount. The bigger the dog, the more weight they can handle. Plus, they are part of your security. So, they will earn their keep.

  8. Think A-Z, pack a little of everything!! Top priority:
    1. Ammo
    2. Water
    3. Medical/Dental gear
    4. Misc survival gear
    5. Cold/Hot weather gear
    6. Creativity
    7. Barter gear

    Good luck and gear up.

  9. My family has 20 acres in northern Michigan between a few Amish farms. I intend to leave most of my shtf pile there as thats where my final destination is! Though not sure how living all together will end up we may end up our own enemies we all know that’s where we will go! 7 adults and 3 kids! So I will have each family a backpacking pack with enough to get us there by foot beyond that it’s back to the basics which for the first 10 years there we had no electric water or gas so I stayed for 3 weeks early spring one year when I was about 17 in sure I can handle it!

  10. if u are blessed with property like myself start planting fruit trees now as most take years to start producing fruit! And a grape vine and strawberries hard to kill once they start so remember to think of that when planting

  11. This is a fairly good list, but I would like to make a few suggestions. I would also add olive oil as it is cheaper than coconut oil and does not get rancid (neither does coconut oil.) I would also add brown rice as it is far higher in nutritional value than white rice. Most ground flours have less than a 1 year shelf life and begin to lose nutritional value within days. Which leads me to suggest that you invest in a grain grinder. Bouillon is something I believe shouldn’t be left out. I’m not seeing much vitamin C rich fruits, so add some dehydrated fruits to your list. Powdered milk is okay but not great, if you are in a rural location you might consider goats for fresh milk. Enzymes are important for good health so sprouting seeds are worth considering. And last, some comfort foods, like hot chocolate or whatever. This is more for the phychological aspect, but are important in times of crisis, especially if children are involved. And add variety as you are able to prevent appetite fatigue.

    • lard as well i love your list i would however recommend a gritter not a grinder thy are cheaper and you can make allot with it and it is a bit stronger you can also grind seeds with it i have both a grain mill and a gritter and use the gritter to make everything from peanut butter to coarse flour

  12. I enjoyed reading everyone’s input, and will start creating my “BOB” bag. The first item I am placing in my bag is a survival book, followed by a change of underwear and socks—as when “it” decides to hit the fan for us. I am thinking a clean pair or 2 of underwear might just come in handy and some soap! My next item would be a SOG knife followed by the list of grocery items provided as well as a sleeping bag and pillow, followed by a deck of cards.

  13. Thanks for all your posts, I have learned a lot from them. I have a serious question though, any serious thoughts would be appreciated. Sandra made a good point of having property(out of city). We also have use of property out side of major cities(only one available), but if we stockpile most of the goods there(what we want to do for safety), how can we get to it in a flash? The property is 750 miles away! Depending on the situation, driving may be out of the question as would on foot. My hubby thinks I am goofy for asking this Q, but I am trying my best to plan for what ever comes our way,as we have young children.

    • Hi ” Mum that is planning”
      I just found this site tonight and saw your question. I’m not as prepared as some, but am very interested in all the advice on these sites. I live in Australia on the East Coast, but about 1 hr from Gosford NSW on 44 acres with my wife and 2 kids.
      You mentioned if the SHTF traveling 750 miles to your safe haven.
      I would imagine fuel would be rare and the roads jammed, but depending on how many kids you have, maybe a couple of trail bikes ( with small trailers) would do the trick. You can take them off road, and even negotiate around traffic jams. You could carry a spare jerry can of fuel in each trailer, camp out of site off road, etc.
      I just bought my kids trail bikes ( to play on) but if we had to get out of here in a hurry they could be used on road
      I don’t think unregistered trail bike riders are going to be a high priority for the police if the. sHTF

      Good luck
      Mark

      • Trail bikes would be good, as well as 4 wheelers. You would have to take extra gas. The trail bikes probably wouldn’t use as much gas.

    • Mom, One of the hardest decisions a person/family will have to make after SHTF, is whether to Shelter-In-Place or Bug-Out. So plan carefully for as many scenarios as you can think of, then determine for each scenario whether you would need to SIP or Bug-Out. You’ll be surprised to reveal as long as you have an abundant stockpile similar to these postings at your home, and with adequate security to defend your home against invasions, you will consider SIP more than you would Buggin-Out, barring a situation that forces you to Bug-Out (flood, fire, etc.). The purpose of a Bug-Out-Location cannot be overlooked, however once you leave your SIP location your family’s safety/security will be jeopardized. Here’s why, almost all the non-prepper suburbanites will also be Buggin-Out (albeit with very few resources, if any at all); they will be half starved, dehydrated, and very dangerous. When their health begins to deteriorate they will do ANYTHING for food, water, warmth, or even medicine. Even if it means stealing yours or taking yours by force. Your family’s chances of survival will increase if you’re in an easily defendable home, but make sure you plan every detail. On the contrary, you are a target of opportunity for any person or gang while on the move, unless you and your family are avid students of cover/concealment. Devote your resources to stockpiling at your current residence first in preparation to SIP, then consider a BOL. food for thought.

      • Thank you everyone for replying. I did look up trail bikes/atv’s as you mentioned. I have also considered SIP for a while now. We are working on and are good on that front(as we can be so far). The only problem is that my SIP is in dangerous territory. Any SHTF around here would cause immediate and extreme issues. Depending on what happened(shtf),I could be dealing with floods, high crime/safety,and very ill prepared surroundings almost immediately. It’s hard to have one foot planted and one ready to BO. It’s all just so unnerving. So many people tell you that nothing is going to happen,period. Then you have those that say SOMETHING is going to happen(I am one of those). It’s hard to plan what is best. I appreciate your thoughts so much, you have no idea. It’s nice to be able to talk to people who understand what is at stake and believe in the SHTF. Thanks again everyone for your continued support!

        • Mom U shld try to get in touch with your local malitia. Perhaps you could also try to trade your far away location with one that’s closer. Prob.chk. with local real estate guy. When TSHTF by the time you get to your far away spot it’ll already either be destroyed or occupied by some other family trying to survive. For now let us all pray that this will prove unnessary and our grandchildren can poke fun at us for being paranoid. May GOD BLESS YOU ALL.

        • I think differently from Jim. In a long term situation, your best safety move will be to ‘get remote’. Wild urban mobs will only get so far, and darned sure not 750 miles. I would keep that place and just try to move closer to it, not ditch it – unless of course that far away is less remote than someplace part of that distance – i.e. it may be close to a big city also.

          On the other hand, you should be prepared to leave quickly, and early. NEVER wait for an evacuation order – look at the photos of choked highways every time there’s a hurricane. It’s easier to go halfway to your hideout and come back because the storm missed (or the crisis was averted) than to be trapped on the interstate behind a 20 mile parking lot of out of gas cars.

          And with 750 mile to go, you’d probably best keep a jerry-can or two of gas around, and use that to fill your car about every 3rd month and refill the cans with fresh. Make sure you have about twice what you’ll need normally, in case of detours and traffic jams, or in case your tank is near empty when you have to leave.

          • I am in my 60s and my husband does not believe in prepping but I am trying to learn what we can do and still stay in our home.We live semi rural area in IN.

        • I would bug out immediately and not wait for the situation to deteriorate. We also have a bol. We have a cabin in the mountains far from any civilization, closest store is over an hour away, nearest neighbour 40mins. It is 250 miles from our base house so we have bikes in case the truuck isn’t an option. We also have bike carts for our dogs and Bobs. We would be giving up the the convenience of the lake for a food source but because the boat house is city located we would feel safer at the cabin. I haven’t been through all the responses. I would suggest road/terrain maps added to your gear.

          Happy prepping!

    • Motorcycles get you past traffic jams and use little fuel…you could pack the bags, handlebars, and tow a trailer full of weapons, er, food/water

  14. I found this list to be very helpful, as well as everyone’s advice! I am just so frazzled thinking about all of this, and my family thinks I am just wasting my youth (I just turned 22) on pointless paranoia. My husband and I with our 2 children are planning to move to Asia within the next year to the country in which he was born, where he has a few acres of land and a lot of family. My question is this: as an American, would I really be in any more danger there than I would be here when the SHTF? We have been planning this move for almost 3 years, but now with everything getting worse much faster than I could have imagined, my huband is afraid for our children and myself…and I am starting to worry about it myself, to be honest. However, I also understand that if something as huge as I fear might occur really does come about, all of us will be in danger no matter where we are to some extent…right?

    • you would be a out sider there and would most likely be killed or just left to fend for yourself i have a friend that moved to the east and she lost everything and almost did not make it back thy mostly dont like white folks at all and win it hits the fan you may have a bigger problem there than you would here i am sorry i dont intend to be mean but she is still healing and my never see her son agen and she is 1/2 Asian her husband was full i am not saying this would happen to you but stresses can cause people to do things thy would not normally do and the folks you are talking about tend to be a bit clannish

      • Specifically, the Philippines. I know the lower islands have cannibals and such, but other than that, most Filipinos don’t have an issue with Amercans. Everyone in the family I have met so far has been very welcoming and supportive, even protective since we are family now, but in extreme situations, you never really know how people are going to react. Like I said, when all this really explodes, it wll be dangerous everywhere. I only take comfort in the fact that we will be living in an extremely secluded area with abundant fresh water and food sources, and if anyone did happen to find us, we are prepared to defend our own. I have considered the possibility of being found and hurt or being sent back to the States without my family, and that scares me more than anything. My husband and I have talked about that, and honestly, the only thing we can do is pray and do our best.

        • You are thinking in the right direction sweetie. I pray for us all but just remember that God lives in all of us the good and the bad…..giving the bad an opportunity to repent. We are to prepare ourselves physically and spiritually. God bless you and yours’.

          • No Sandra, God does NOT live in all of us. He lives in those who have opened the door when He knocked, and allowed Him into our hearts and lives. Yes, all have every chance to come to Him, but in those who choose to shut Him out, that is a choice HE gave all people, and He respects their choice.

        • Learn some useful skills, like first aid and wound care, ask the local grandmothers about healing plants, make yourself really valuable to the family.

        • I’ve lived in Asia 8 years, 3 years in the Philippines right after Marcos was removed. I felt safer there than in my US City. The violence there is targeted, not the gratuitous violence we have in the USA

  15. I planted a peach tree 2 years ago. I also planted a cherry tree but it didn’t make it. I am going to plant an apple tree, strawberry patch, and some raspberry bushes. I have 2 pear trees that are already producing. Might also plant some blackberries.

    • The Philippines. We have our own land there in an extremely secluded area that has an abundance of fresh water and food sources nearby. The house has already been built in such a way that we will not have to depend on electricity or anything. We plan to keep atleast some goats and chickens. We also make a habit of sending extra supplies and food to a friend there who will keep our stock ready until we move.

  16. I live in a small town in middle Ohio. I have been preparing for years for the worst to happen.(not as much as some) I think we will be safe to SIP, for a reasonable amount of time. I also think our small town would come togather and work as a team when SHTF. My family has enough to survive for 6+ months. I am planning on getting a few hens this spring(hoping here is no ordance against it.) I plant a small garden, that will bigger than normal this coming season. We have a small camper that is ready in 10 mins to pull out should BO be the need. I have backpacks in place to grab on the way out the door, and MANY totes filled also. (with goods).
    I find it funny how many people that I talk to think I am CRAZY. I am guessing they don’t look around or listen to the news to see and hear that SH*T is already hitting the fan!! I will be doing more prepping in the coming months.I hope that more people will also. Good luck!!

    • LOL they thought Noah was crazy too when he was building his ARK in the desert, and we all know what happened there dont we…………… I am a single mother of 3 young children and I have felt compelled to do this for years now but have no resources to do it.

      • Hi Dawn – You do have the resources.
        Number 1 is you! :-)
        Start small, and smart.
        Essential for life – Water.
        Essential for body thermal regulation – shelter. Reduces the need for extra daily food allowances food and excess water.
        Food.
        Then go from there.
        You can buy bottled water or do your own. There are plenty of great ideas on the net for safe and cheap water.
        Shelter at home where possible. Keep warm / keep cool.
        If you can add just a can or two a week to the groceries, some powdered milk, cereal or rolled oats, you will quickly have a 3 day supply over and above what is in your pantry already.
        Do your research and have faith.
        You can do it.
        My hubby thinks I’m nuts bit I feel strong knowing I have done something to prepare and protect our young son when TSHTF.
        Godspeed to you

  17. Today I asked my hubby what he thought about getting a disaster kit together,and he did what I thought he would do,he thinks its a big joke.I must say the world looks like it is getting ready to make all of us people very uncomfortable.I wish we could all work together to make it safer and easer on eachother.Band together,help eachother out and not become all crazy and look at eachother as enemy’s after who knows what hits the fan.I am a wife and a mother of two boys.We love to camp and love life just like you all do.Lord help us all.Thanks for all of the good ideads.There are a couple of things I think would be heplful, banockalers,magnifying glass,compass,bug spray,sling shot,and maybe a stun gun,fishing line and hooks,sunglasses,peper to go with your salt,and gum.I have a couple of questions too. What does SIP,SHTF..lol..”Sh!T hits the fan” I’m guessing, and Bug out Bag. Where do ya all store all of this stuff and what do ya store it in.What do ya do when you run out of TP? TP can take up alot of space thats for sure. Well it looks like its time to start making beef jurkey. Have a blessed day!

    • Hi Michelle! When I try to talk to people, they too look at me like I am goofy! Your not alone on that one! SIP means Shelter in Place. You have the rest of the abbreviations right(BOB is bug out bag). It is overwhelming when you sit back and think of all this stuff. As a mother, I know it’s hard to try and gather info/everything on your own. About where/what to store all in, that is a good question that I hope some of our veteran posters will answer for us all. Sadly, I have seen first hand what happens in a crisis and people don’t band together. People who are your neighbors that you love, can quickly become your worst enemy. So plan accordingly. Someone once told me that we should have “teams”. Teams of people you trust, can talk about SHTF with, and make plans to survive with for when that moment hits. Veteran posters, is that a good idea? I’d appreciate thoughts on the notion of “teams”.

      • If you have young ones in diapers I’d stock up on diapers in the next size bigger its nice to have extra on hand anyway.
        Baby wipes are great for anyone esp if bathing is infrequent. don’t forget childrens tylenol for bigger kids I try to have extra shoes and coats in a bigger size
        any thing I can find after season on clearance or on sale in a bigger size is stached

      • Right on. Start now and form reliable friendships with your close neighbors. They will be the ones you’re trusting to watch your back, and you are the one they are trusting to watch theirs.

        One way or another, be prepared for the reality that whether through crisis or prosperity we will each eventually die and meet God face to face. Make every effort to cultivate love for him before hand through trusting in Jesus, or it won’t be pleasant.

        Secondly, all of these supplies will help, but only so much. In a real scenario like this, the most valuable thing you’ll have is what people cannot take from you by force: expertise and skill. Have a specialty in some or another area, and you yourself will be valuable to those around you.

        As for packing, for many people this will be a last resort, because the bulk of what little supplies they have will probably be right there with them. May want to get some kind of hand-drawn or bicycle-drawn cart that you can load. Without wheels, you’re reduced to a backpack, and even those that are designed for long-term hiking do not hold nearly as much as you will want to bring, so you have to decide what you can make do with.

        Resupplying will quickly become an issue, which means that you’re going to want to rely on that from the beginning. That means focusing more on having the tools with which to produce rather than having the products themselves. Categories you may want to consider are tools for:
        water filtration

        Firemaking
        (cutting, sawing, matches, etc)
        Basic food preparation (cutting, scooping, carrying)
        Hunting (if you or someone else with you feels confident. Most of the time this will not be a reliable food source, even in the wild.)
        Shelter crafting (knife, axe, twine or thin rope 550 Paracord is excellent)

        Clothing is cumbersome to carry, so be very careful what you choose (assuming you have the time in the moment). Don’t waste time with shorts and clothing for hot weather, because anyone can survive this. Focus on one or two sets of cold weather clothing and consider clothing that you can wash and dry easily.

        Note that a lot of what is required for these tasks carries over (a knife, for example)

        Honestly, I don’t think I would bother to travel under this sort of circumstance unless forced to do so by impending natural disaster or threats of crime or violence. If at all possible, make friends. Find something to barter with, especially services and expertise.

        This is an extreme example, but during the Nazi prison camps in WW2, the people skilled in medicine or in music were often kept alive longer because of their ability to help or encourage others.

    • you use a rag that you wash win you are dun with it and hang it out me i have that .and in my hidey hole we have phone books that are great for that as well as games as for your hubby well i dont know mine is the one helping me i think i would find friends that think like me and then win it hits the fan at least you and the kids would be ok even if he stayed there

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