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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51 Comments

  1. Not a bad list, but I think water needs to be at the top of any list. Don’t waste your money on soap, so you won’t waste your water. There are foaming body washes available that don’t require water, or keep some wet wipes on hand. Preserve every drop of water possible for drinking. Water purification tablets and/or a portable mircoilter in case you run out of bottled water.

  2. Hello everyone. I am new to this site but not this arguement. When hurricane Rita came throught my home town in Texas ( had not had a real one in twenty years ) many people found out that not being prepared at all had serious consequences.Luckily my parents had friends in Dallas where they could stay for the MONTH that there was no power. Even if you are not a “conspiracy person” as I am always called, there are very few areas in this country that are not subseptible to some type of natural disaster. A little prep now can save alot of hard work later. Even just a few extra cans of soup,are a cheap bic every week at the store will add up to put you far ahead of most of your neighbors. Good luck all.

  3. Should would be nice if you would monitor and delete some of the bad comments……check out Frank’s comment dated January 16, 2012. Really disheartening!!!

    • No doubt his comment was arrogant and displays the ignorance of today’s youth. We try not to delete any comments on here unless they are threatening someone but thanks for responding to Frank’s comment.

      I also added a response above with a link to a video that show just what someone in their 70’s can do in a survival situation.

      • Regarding Frank’s input on this website. I been around 73 year’s and I can put a bullet thru th head of a squirrle most every shot. No matter how high in th tree. I can live off th land and do very well huntin, fishing and living in th wild. I am very well armed and you people that are not better get prepaired. I look at survival kinda like having insurance on yer house or car. Ya hope ya never use it but ya better have it when your house burn’s down.

        • Well to be prepared with “things” make sure your “things” are tornado proof. How about the thousands of homes that have been leveled completely over the years. I hope those people didn’t waste a lot of time energy and money preparing these “things”. You know, an old saying is “life is short” well lets just get it over with already! We are all so much dying to live, but think, we are really simply living to die! The last first and the first last. Hmmm whatever. Everything is irrelevant! Everything!

      • I believe the elderly to be a valued resource,and as any good resource should be cared for and protected, best as can.
        While health issues, stress, and just plain time will take its toll, I feel that more than a few will make it through a catastrophic situation.
        Point in fact, they’re still here…when others are not.
        Personally, me and mine are prepared to take care of, protect, shelter, provide,and if need be…defend our folks. This was a decision that was thought on and decided almost a decade ago.
        Our skill sets are such that our personal survival, standards of living, and security are of a high probility of sucess, so this has been deemed “affordable”.
        Never underestmate the value of “hands on” expirences, especially when there’s been a lifetimes worth.

  4. I live in northern WV and have some land in southern WV which is my BO location as it is far less populated and situated close to clean water, wild game and abundant wood for heat. My only thought on how this site may not be good is if my neighbors decide to defend outsiders from occupying the area as I don’t have a house or cabin, only a cave and camping area.

    • Hi Chef! Maybe you could somehow go there now, maybe on a weekend or something, and mark off your land so to speak. In hopes that maybe your neighbors will see you, get to know you and see that some of the land is yours. Maybe have a camping trip and introduce yourself to your neighbors and make small talk about outdoor living/camping, to maybe gauge how they feel about this topic. I hope this helps, I hope others give you feedback as well, maybe you could find a solution.

      • thanks for the feedback, mom. i have met the nearest year round neighbor and he does see me occasionally go down in the hollow for a weekend of camping/exploring. my real concern is for the couple of guys who have their hunting cabins (possible BOL’s) whom i’ve never seen around in the 8 years we’ve owned the property. some people are of the shoot first ask questions never variety. =/

        • i would WORK ON meeting them as soun as you can and ask them what thy think and see if you can share i know it sounds strange but it would work to all yous benefit also then you would know what you had to deal with there

          • Another thing to think about…if you works miles from home and EMP strikes, how will you get home? I plan to get a foldable bike to put in my trunk along with a BOB will the essentials to get me home. Gun and ammo included.

  5. I noticed no one mentioned Nuts as a survival food, a few silver coins marked for quality (for trading), and goggles (prevents eye damage as it would be one of the most difficult kinds of injuries to treat)and renders pepper spray useless.

  6. This was good reading also a wake up to change frist weather flood’s no where to live when money stop’s we’re out with the rest of hard working amercans! Thats scary

  7. Just a note to add alcohol and alcohol wipes (isopropyl) far better than peroxide (which will kill the skin around a wound) I’ve been in 2 unwelcome survival instances and this was one item I really wanted. (among others) the wipes have a million and one uses from fire starting to cleaning to just making you feel better. I have 3 bug out bags with EVERYTHING for 14 days(and I do mean everything, each weighs 30 lbs) for 4 people and its a habit to practice all skills every other month. Love this site its very valuable in its information.

  8. its a good thing to have glow sticks. you can get them in packs of 2 in many colors for around 2 dollars its a good thing to have. they have a shelf life of 2 to 3 years if unopend and stored right. plus SOG brand makes great light weight survival gear. i have two machetes 1 is 13 inch other is 18 inch. and there hatchet. also pack cotton it has many different uses like lighting fire ect. hope this info helps any one

  9. white and brown vinegar surely must be on the list as well as army ration packs still,ate a 53 year old one a while back it was fine

  10. The list of thing you can buy at a store are endless. A few more suggestions I’d make that I didn’t see skimming the comments or in the article.

    Cinnamon
    Whole Black Pepper Corns
    Backing Soda
    Cream Of Tartar
    Whole Bay Leaves
    Flavored bullion salt
    Salt replacement w/ KCl (potassium chloride)
    Mrs. Dash (they have like 6 different mixes)
    Corn syrup
    Vanilla and Maple extracts
    There are endless options for storage edibles so these are just a few “must haves” I have in my stores that weren’t on the original list.

    Medications are way over looked. I keep these well stocked in my home.
    Rubbing Alcohol
    Ipecac (in case of accidental poisoning)
    Emetrol (to stop vomiting)
    Aspirin
    Ibuprofen
    Mineral Oil (for when you can’t go….)
    Imodium (for when you can’t stop going….)
    Preparation H (not just for your bungus)
    Ambesol (because toothaches suck)
    Gauze & Athletic tape (like what boxers use)
    Hydrogen Peroxide
    Benedryl
    toothpaste, floss & extra brushes
    Colloidal Silver solution (easy to make)
    Bleach….. lots of bleach
    Once again…. this list can become endless as well. Not to mention any prescription meds you may need…. this can be hard to stockpile legally and not be arrested for being a drug dealer. Oh and a couple sets of prescription glasses for you bespectacled folks out there.

    Here are also a few general goods I like to have a good supply of.
    a few axe handles (they will break)
    a file or two (to keep cutting tools sharp)
    Knives (fixed blade and folding)
    Rope (lots of rope, cordage and twine)
    Tarps
    Duct tape
    large outdoor trash bags
    5 gallon buckets (I have over 100 and counting)
    a large tackle box full of sewing supplies
    various fish hooks, mono & braided line and sinkers
    tin foil
    oodles of matches and lighters
    candles, candles, candles
    This too can turn into an endless list……..

    Another big thing I see a lot of would be “preppers” (and I am a newb myself) is that they focus on what they can buy and store and don’t put a lot of emphasis of developing practical skills.

    Gardening is a skill that you can’t buy. Having a can full of heirloom seeds doesn’t ensure you can grow a garden and feed your family…. first off, gardens take time to grow. So you’d best have one going before you need it.

    Simple skills like practical first aid are often overlooked because people get a little leaflet in their first aid kit and think they are covered. Being a former FMF Navy Corpsman and a combat vet. I can attest to the fact that in a high stress situation, unless you have the skills memorized you WILL waist time, make mistakes, injure further and/or possibly kill the person you are attempting to care for.

    Trapping is a very under stressed and rarely developed skill I feel is invaluable. Once again, lots of people have a survival guide that has a chapter on snares and traps. But if you have no experience and are working from a book….. your failure rate will be exponentially higher than if you have practical hands on experience.

    Long winded…. I’ll shut up now

    • TabWyo
      Great ideas!! I live in Western Michigan and my husband is an avid hunter. Having the skills to hunt and trap in a “Doomsday” world could be the difference between life and death. I learned the art of canning over the years and am planning an extra large garden this year.
      Something that I think has been overlooked is the value of medicinal plants! I am planning to educate myself on local plants and hopefully this could help in a pinch.

    • Hoorah!

      I was a former FMF Corpsman with 1st Bn 8th Marines. I am stockpiling medical supplies as a huuuuge part of preps. A well-trained Corpsman will be invaluable to a group of survivors. People will do what they have to do to take care of the “doc”

  11. i see a lot of good items on this thread, but in all seriousness how do all of you plan on taking 400 pounds of gear with you when you “bug out”? not to say that having “stuff” wouldn’t be helpful but in an emergency situation having practiced skills like tracking, trapping, building a fire, building a shelter etc. are much more important. having a hundred lighters wont help you if you need to get out of dodge in a hurry. and speaking from experience, avoiding trouble is better than trying to be prepared for a guns blazing balls to the wall video game blitz to your hideout in the woods. its easy to catch a stray bullet in a firefight, i saw it plenty of times in Afghanistan, its easier to stay hidden, and to do that you need to travel light. my oh sh!t bag includes:

    large alice pack
    pistol belt with shoulder straps
    hunting knife
    pocket knife
    2 canteens
    water purification tablets
    machete
    hatchet
    30ft parachute cord.(the size of a boot lace but can hold up to 550 lbs)
    a one man tent
    a wool blanket(a little heavy, but warm even when wet)
    a small dollar store frying pan, and pot(light weight and cost me like $4 each)
    1 lb bag of trail mix(from sams club)
    1 lb bag of beef jerky(also from sams club)
    a waterproof tin with a couple lighters, a magnesium fire-starter, char-cloth, cotton, and a wad of cedar bark
    a few fishing hooks and 50 feet of fishing line
    and some more piddly little odds and ends

    all in all it weighs about 35 lbs, including my ruck sack and utility belt.
    i have survived in the woods with these supplies for one, two, and three week periods of time on a regular basis for fun, in the last four years. there is really no need for a massive stockpile of stuff unless you plan on fortifying your home and bunking down for an extended period of time. not saying you all are going too far with the stockpile. especially if you have a family with children. holing up with plenty of supplies is DEFINITELY going to be a safer option with kids, but for all you lone wolfs out there, light weight gear is the way to go.

    • you forgot medical supplies, an extra pair of socks, a bandana, some duct tape, and a sewing needle with a large eye to go with some dental floss

    • I THINK ALL THE PREPPING IS GOOD. BUT WHAT ABOUT LEARNING TO MAKE THINGS FROM SCRATCH, LIKE SOAP, TOOTHPASTE, MEDS,UNDERGROUND LIVING FACILITIES (I THINK THAT WOULD BE SAFER), IF YOU GROW A GARDEN YOU WILL HAVE TO SLEEP OUT THERE TO PROTECT IT OR OTHERS COULD COME AND STEAL FROM YOU. WHATEVER YOU CAN CREATE AS FAR AS FOOD OR NECESSITIES AT A TIME LIKE THAT WILL BE LIKE MONEY SINCE THERE WILL BE NOTHING ELSE, WE WOULD BE REVERTING TO BARTER. WHO EVER HAS SOMETHING WILL BE A TARGET FOR THE FRANK’S OUT THERE.DON’T YOU THINK OUR GOVERNMENT SHOULD BE PREPPING FOR US TOO?

      • Having previously been employed by the Fed Gov, I MUST WARN YOU! THE FED GOV IS NOT OUR FRIEND! Before Clinton, our nation had provisions stored sufficient to feed us for several years; and enough petroleum stored to fight si wars in pacific and atlantic regions. Clinton got rid of two thirds of it and Obama sold off the rest. Not too long ago Home Land Security came to Arizona and required Ariz. Dept. of Transportation (ADOT) to embed cables in roadways leading out of the Phx. Metro area. At the flip of a switch, the electronics of vehicles passing over cables will be burned out. The occupants will then be sent to fema camps. A local trucker hauled a govt. load from Home Land Security to the Arizona state govt. containing signs reading (by order of marshal law, do not proceed beyond this point) to be posted at cable locations. The load also contained tens of thousands of leg shackles for the fema camps.

  12. I am a brand new follower! Wondering how you keep bugs & weavils out of the grains, rice, flour? Do you date it and rotate it every 6-12 months…?
    Thanks!

    • Bay Leaves are suppose to keep bugs out of grains and such. I read that adding 8 leaves to a 5-gal bucket is suppose to work. That and store your goods in sealed air-tight mylar bags with O2 absorbers. Stored right, rice can last 20 to 30 years… or so I’ve read.

      • I just learned that freezing your flour for three weeks before storing it will kill any bug eggs already in it. Food grade diatomacious earth can be mixed with it to kill any bugs and if its food grade it IS safe to eat

      • I’ve seen online where people are storing rice and beans in 2 liter plastic bottles. What’s anyone’s thoughts on this? I realize that storing them in air tight mylar with the O2 absorber would be better, but I’m on a tight budget right now.

  13. Tabwyo and Andrew both have great lists. Everyone needs to customize thier own from lists that are available here and elsewhere.
    That list needs to start with a list of needed lists. Most of us live in or near cities, and I see that trend getting worse, so one of my important lists is of friends/family/neighbors, both near and far that we will try to stay in contact with, or in the case of neighbors, will be part of our group. Survival of a single family unit will be much more difficult than that of a larger group. Keep the people you trust near, and help them to prepare. I believe that they will be your key to survival, if it really goes badly in the world.
    I also didn’t see enough though to the use of fire. As with medical situations, know how to use and control your fire (and fire power). Practice every chance you get with the fuel at hand, wet, dry, green wood, grasses, even news and other papers.
    There is more at my website, ecgoin.com.
    I hope we are all prepared for as many disasters as can happen. I know I’m not near 100% prepared for any of them, but with some luck, and help of the group, we have a good shot.

  14. A great item to carry is chafing fuel canisters. About 4 of them together weigh a pound, and one canister lasts for about 2-3 hours. They’re easy to light, they burn hot enough to cook with, they produce no noticeable smoke, and the only light produced is a small bluish-clear flame. It’s perfect for when a fire would draw too much unwanted attention.

  15. is there folks here in WA /OR state i am working on getting a group together to share info for this area OR WA as in the great north Wet i have almost everything on this list but am allways looking for more info and goodys i will trade

    • My family and I live in Washington, on a naval base. Not sure how safe it’s going to be here where shtf but we shall see. My family and I do archery and go to gun range. I am prier military and my husband is still in. I have a culinary degree and spend most of my time prepping and learning new skills.
      I think most people should learn how to use a bow because once your ammo is gone it’s gone.

  16. While we are all here looking at an optimum survival kit, I would add DUCT TAPE, HEIRLOOM (reproducible)vegetable seeds (many varieties of easily grown seeds at your local home improvement store are STERILE!), an ILLUSTRATED BOOK of edible native plants, FISH HOOKS (GEEZ, HOW WAS THIS OVERLOOKED?, and WEAPONS that do not require machined ammunition…such as a well-balanced throwing knife or a trusty bow. May I also suggest to my fellow green thumbs to make sure that TOBACCO seeds are a crucial part of your seed kit? It grows everywhere and I don’t think I have to tell anyone that it will rank right up there with alcohol as a top trade item in the future.

  17. + Bug Out CRATE packed and Ready..Just Load and Hook up Boat..Off to River to set up Base Camp on Small Island in the Middle Within Rifle Shot of Truck which will be Disabled…All Necessary items to sustain Life for a Couple of Months Plus for Wife and Self..Also Stocked Trade Bait if Necessary…You can Bet your Sweet DUPA we wont lack for Anything…Just Added Shortwave and Weatherband Radio w/ xtra Batteries, Tarps, Weapons, Ammo, Fuel for Lantern & Stove and Hatchet…Good Luck to those who Prepare…

  18. OMG I am so depressed. I can’t even afford to buy the food I need for today. There is now way I can afford to be ready when they come for us or Japan blows up. What is that called Natural selection where the weaker dies off and the strong live on. I never thought it would happen to me. See ya all on the other side.

    • Hi. This is to the person who felt defeated because of the inability to purchase extra food. First of all, the MOST important preparation for a disaster or catastrophic event is PSYCHOLOGICAL. You need to decide in advance that you WILL cope with what you are faced with and draw the strength and faith to get through. This thread is speaking about self-reliance. But for those without material survival goods, you have other things to offer which should be what you “store up” in preparation. First of all, you can get up to speed in the area of first aid to help others who will help you in exchange. You can prepare yourself physically to carry and transport for people who have supplies, babies etc and need to be mobile. You carry in exchange. You can also read up on the psychological phases of a crisis and prepare yourself to help your sphere of influence through leadership, discernment, and intervention in the worst case scenario. Also, it is important for you to realize that there will be many people in your same circumstance. Some will not bond or associate with others but many will seek the support of others.
      Through good mental and educational preparation, you can make alliances with others and together you can assess your circumstances and environment and come up with surviving resources. Even the most materially prepared people will be in a different frame of mind should a catastrophic event hit. Some people will have survival materials but not the mental capability to function. Believe me, as a former Red Cross Nurse, I can tell you that big strong grown men are sometimes apt to faint at the sights of what they see, while the older person or the single woman keeps a firm grasp of getting through and even helping others along the way. It’s very important to have a Survivor’s Perspective. If you have the attitude that you will just perish because you don’t have material supplies stored up, you likely will. And the reverse is true as well. Those who are bulked up with material preparation but are not psychologically prepared to function in a sudden catastrophic disaster sometimes can’t put one foot in front of the other. PREPARATION FOR SURVIVAL BEGINS IN THE MIND AND THEN MIGRATES TO THE SPIRIT. Not every person is going to be gun toting selfish person with an “us against the rest of you” mentality. Yes, there will be some of that, but there will also be kind hearted people at every turn as well. The first thing I have in my prep kits are pairs of eye glasses because without them, my functioning is reduced exponentially. Next, I have solar rechargable MP3 players that contain the narrated Bible and basic first aid instructions. I have enough to leave on someone’s chest by their ear if they are dying and I have to leave them. And there is one for me, because I’ve been through disasters and I know that for me, there is nothing more essential for me than to be strengthened by the Word of God. Whether here or on the other side,
      it’s how you cope and what your values are that make you who you. Whether I live or die, I’ll be doing it according to my principles and I know I will never be alone.
      Don’t get caught up strictly in the material things for survival. There is more to getting through than that. Surely, you don’t have to perish just for lack of supplies.
      May God bless us with His help and mercy in whatever comes.

      • PS. I want to expound on a point so it doesn’t get overlooked. When something catastrophic happens, especially suddenly, people and animals go into reactions based upon our innate nervous system patterns. Society breaks down. At first there is an eery calm with shock. Fear and disbelief are the primary feelings, if they feel anything at all. Many people don’t even know that they are injured. There is a disorientation that everyone is wandering through. There is no communication or social leadership as we are used to. You will likely consider perhaps for the first time the possibility of your foreseeable death. Everyone’s psychological framework changes then and no one can know in advance exactly what their reactions will be until they are in the midst of it. What is essential is that you know this in advance and have already prepared yourself to overcome your instinctive fear, to realize that prioritizing will be difficult so have knowledge prepared in advance to guide you.
        Remember that the first cause of death in a disaster is medical. The second is exposure, next is dehydration, and way down the list is starvation. Therefore, prepare yourself mentally and spiritually to endure and survive, prepare materially the best you can, at least know first aid and emergency sanitation procedures, know about making shelter with what is available to you in your location, be aware of how to obtain water (which includes drinking your own sterile urine if necessary for short term), and then realize that you can get to Day 3 that way if you are not critically ill. If that is all you are prepared for, you will still be far more prepared than most people around you. You can always pool resources. Make yourself the person who knows what is next to do, and you will not only be helping yourself, but you can help many other people as well. There are real stories of true miracles happening in the midst of every disaster. You could perhaps be part of one of them.

      • I also agree with Rachel Beth.
        the items could be taken from you or the animals contaminated the streams also from fall out you cant rely on the soil for growth. the trees are burnt and will die no more peaches and apples will be there.bartering is the best way, help and you will be helped if not you will be along the way. don’t think you can eat off the land it takes many years for the soil to clean its self in a simple fall out this i learned in school years ago.

        also items can float down a flood so if it gives you a sense of security do so but a knife, and a Bible and your inter strength will find you a way..who is going to kill a person that is carrying nothing??

        personally i do not want to even live in a world that I am afraid to live in and I don’t think God will want us to either.

        Bless you all and keep your heart clean and pure and your faith with get you through. I have been trough a lot and this has never failed me.

        I love you all.

    • Teresa, I don’t know the specifics on your situation, so I won’t presume to say you aren’t making the best use of your money, but here’s some food for thought, maybe.

      First, in most places I’ve lived there has always been some organization – usually associated with one or more churches – giving away food (Food Bank)– and there’s also Food Stamps (because despite the number of people abusing the system, it’s there for people who need it.) If that’s you, use it.

      Take a box (or even a trash bag — unused, preferably) and set is aside for emergency supplies. Then each time you have the opportunity to shop for food, buy just ONE thing to throw into the box. One trip, buy a can of beans. Next trip, a can of mixed veggies. Next trip, a can of tomato paste. Then some Raman noddles. Each of these will cost less than a dollar, but you just kept yourself alive for several days.

      Every once in a while, make a non-food purchase. A couple of rolls of toilet paper. A box of trash bags (multiple uses, to include waste disposal should the toilets stop flushing.) A bottle of multivitamins. Sure, it might be easier to have money and but cases of MRE’s for your climate-controlled storeroom, but if you can’t, you can’t. You won’t build up a big cache overnight, but over time you’ll be much better prepared than all those people who blow $100 a month on cable TV who trust the stores will always have food they can purchase with their debit cards, and the government will always be there to help them.

      Another thing you can stock up on cheaply is water. A gallon jug filled with tap water can be a lifesaver. Two gallon jugs – even better. Without getting into how to make and keep water safe for drinking, I’ll just say to rotate the stock occasionally. Also, just know that those plastic jugs are disposable. The plastic will break down over time, so rotate those as well.

      Take a good hard look at your expenses. As I said, I don’t know your particular situation, but I do know there are a lot of people who are “poor” who find a way to purchase alcohol and tobacco and cable/satellite television. It is a matter of priorities.

      We can talk all day about which type of cooking oil has the longest shelf life, how much cordage should you carry in your bugout bag, or whether Bic lighters are better than matches, but getting down to the most basic level, to have a can of beans when you’re hungry is better than not having any food when you’re hungry.

      Anyway, hope this helps … best wishes, etc.

    • I am in a similar situation. I have had a loss of job and just pick up odd jobs. But like you, I have access to the internet so my situation could be worse. I have learned a lot during this time. Like, I learned what it is like not to have a dime to buy gas, I have a working car but could not put gas into it. Car won’t go without gas. When I get a paying job, I am going to buy a bike, that way if I am ever in a situation like that again where I cannot buy gas or the car breaks down and I am unable to repair then I will at least be able go further and faster than my feet can take me. I also could not buy new batteries for my clocks in my house, just did not have the money. All my clocks showed the wrong time so I will buy a couple of quality wind up clocks. All this after I get that job I am looking for and I have the money to do so. You can learn from your situation also. Surly you have things that you are doing without and even suffering without and there is a solution that does not take electricity or gas or food* to make it work. Look for those things we all need and see if there are solutions that do not require electricity, or gas or food or other depletable resources and when you are in a better situation then buy those things. Take your bad times as a learning situation. Also in your bad times make as good as decisions as you can financially and do as much as you can with what you have by making do, mending and reusing.
      *An example of something taking food is a horse, a horse will get you where you want to go but you need to feed a horse. Not a bad thing if you have enough pasture that will feed your horse even during a bad drought when the grass is not doing well. But a bike will be better if you do not have that big quality drought proof pasture.

      • Jenn Burr, Jenn, you do not have to wait to buy a bike. on trash day, sometimes people throw bikes away. if you are lucky enough to get 2 bikes you can use one for parts. just takes a little time to six one up….maybe paint it too etc. also tag sales could provide you with a wind up clock or anything else you may need…even tools to fix your bike. in time, the universe or God will provide you with what you need..just ask. a garden may also help make ends meet. take care and good luck to you.

  19. You guys seem to think that you can all make it on your own regardless of what happens to people around you. When SHTF I think you will have a rude awakening. Most people live in urban zones, so living off the land is not an option. Urban zones have lots and lots of people with guns too. Those people will go after your stuff. You won’t be able to fend-off all of them. They will keep on coming in hordes because they have families too. Your best bet is to drop your “I’ll go it alone” attitude and coordinate survival with your neighbors as a community. You should make plans so that everybody can pool their resources and defend them without having to flee. Each member in your community will have a different asset/skill that they can bring to the table.

    • After hurricane Wilma, I was low on food but high on beer, and I also had plenty of power from my solar panels, battery banks, and inverters. My neighbors brought their food which I was very happy to store for them in my big fridge. We had barbecues outside everyday. We all pitched-in something and became better-acquainted and stronger as a community. We did much much better as a whole than any one of our families would have done individually.

      • The best way to take care of yourself and your family is to take care of your community. Every-man-for-himself is not a viable survival technique. We are social animals by nature and we need to take care of each other.

  20. Those who are rude enough to dismiss another human being’s request based on age, obvioulsy weren’t taught to respect the elderly! I’d hate to be your granny! That said: I store most of my items in a mason jar with an oxygen pack. Every time there is holiday candy on sale for 50% off,like jelly beans, I buy them and put them in a jar for trading. Same thing goes for coffee. One item I have looked into is fish antibotics. I also have multi-vitamins,and OTC medications. You can find a variety of spices at the dollar store. I’ve also got quik clot in my medical emergency bug out bag. If you can’t afford that, try getting a styptic pencil. For those of you on a limited budget, just add an extra “sale” item to your cart each week. Sales on eggs? Coat them in mineral oil. They will last unrefridgerated for 9 mos. It’s not great for a bug out bag, but if you have to hunker down where you live, it’s a good source of protien. Get protien powder too. Remember, you can’t eat gold or clothing. The best investment you can make right now is in non parishable food. The prices keep going up,so it’s a good commodity.

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