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)


  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.

Shirts of Liberty
The Ultimate Situational Survival Guide


  1. What would you recommend for a milk back-up? We’ve tried 2 brands of powdered milk & 2 brands of evaporated milk. We followed the directions for rehydrating & for best taste, but they’re awful. Me and my husband don’t care as we just add them when baking/cooking but our 1 y/o won’t drink them.

    • I’ve tried the following; adding a bit of sugar and butter, adding some coffee creamer powder as well. Adding a drop or two of oil/butter to Ramen, soups, etc enhances taste because it carries a lot of the food’s flavors to the tongue, which are there but hidden. By the way, has anyone tried reconstituting butter powder with coconut oil?

    • I realised that by accident when eating a mug of Ramen and canned tuna with the same spork, wondering why the ramen all of a sudden had flavors to it!

  2. First, I live about 40 miles from Ferguson, MO. so I appreciate it when martial law is put in place. I do want to stay alive and keep the bad guys confined at least to Ferguson. Otherwise I live in a rural area and began prepping seriously about 3 months ago. I’m a female retired deputy and have guns. Yes, I’ve always liked guns and appreciate their value. I’ve secured a food supply for maybe 2-3 months and our well is in our basement. Water not too much of a problem. However, collecting all the non-food items does take a list. Also putting together a good ‘first aid kit’ takes thought.Don’t put off thinking about all the non-food items you will need. I have put my inventory on my computer so it is easy to add items. You might think about these catagories to start. 11. Light & Heat, 222. Housewares, 3.Water 4. Disposable house wares 5. House cleaning & hygene 6.Sleeping & Towels, rags 7. Misc. like fishing gear, veg seeds, crayolas, coloring books (bordom)puzzles, books. 8. Food 9. Condiments 10. Soup 11.Dried beans, rice , couscous 12. Pasta, sauce 13. Meat, canned, dried (jerky) 14. Juice, beverages 15.Fruit 16. Vegetables 17. Misc. food snacks ie peanut butter, jelly, crackers………so, a lot to think about, more than you probably originally thought. Yes, if you plan to “bug in” rather than “bug out”, there is alot already in your house you can collect. Collecting it and putting all your prep in 1 area is a big job. So I started by reading all the suggested “lists’ other preppers offered to us. Used some of them, made my own shopping lists. Shopped The Dollar Tree (the best local dollar store) because there everything really is a dollar. Shopped Sam’s Club, then local Shop n Save. Hit junk and antique stores (found an old kerosene floor heater) and WalMart has the best price for a liter of kerosene (lamp or heater oil)$6.00+ per liter. So, start collecting, ie prepping.

  3. Please be careful about stocking up on and eating canned tuna fish. It is no longer recommended since it contains high levels of mercury. Eating it occasionally, say once a month or so, shouldn’t be too dangerous, but more often than that could be – especially for children and pregnant women.

  4. As you know the earth has suffered several natural disasters over the last years,
    to improve your chances of survival, and protect your family against these events. You have to be prepared a survival supply list .By providing a survival list with some basic supplies you can yourself and your family will have a better chance to survive on your own after a catastrophic event.
    Here is my top preppers supply list

  5. Stock up on lots of good quality vitamin C (non-GMO and not made in China), Oil of oregano is a great antibiotic and a carrier oil to calm the burn from the oregano oil. Olive oil or coconut oil make good carrier oils, other essential oils for illnesses, zinc tablets, food grade activated charcoal. If you are not aware of the many wonder things charcoal can do you need to check it out. It healed my brown recluse spider bite, didn’t need a doctor. And from what I have heard charcoal is good for radiation poisoning. How about a sewing kit? Rolls of duct tape and rolls of plastic are always good items to have around. Get a colloidal silver generator, you could make up batches of this to barter.
    Currently I have city water and I’m hoping someone can recommend a good method for getting drinking water. I’d like to collect rain for drinking but I don’t trust rain because of what is being sprayed in the atmosphere. I can’t afford to have a well drilled. Any suggestions?

  6. I am 54 and would love to be able to talk to my mother and my grandparents about how they done things during the depression and how they handled hard times, but i don’t have that luxury, My older family have all pasted

    • Depends on what you mean by indoors. Honey bees have been know to build nests in attics. They live in large groups so they can keep warm when it’s cold and cool when it’s hot, so yes. I actually have a certified (by the Wildlife Federation) wildlife habitat with the focus of saving the wild bees. Ten years ago when I moved here, I could only identify two bumble bees (I can tell them apart). Now there are hundreds of wild bees and the Great Black wasps (also pollinators). Where I live it gets to 45 degrees below zero, so you can see they do well on their own. 70% of all the 20,000 species of wild bees nest under ground. You can tell bumble bee nests by paying attention to the ground, if you see grass pressed down in circles, those are nest. The issue is providing them plenty of food during the warmer season so they can store for later. I don’t do lawn, those are useless for bees and other beneficial insects. They just need lots of native flowering plants and trees. Most of the pollinating is done by the wild bees, not the honey bees, which are native to Europe.

  7. I would definitely add non-scented chlorine bleach to this list. It can be used to purify water and as a disinfectant. To disinfect 1 quart of clear water, add 2 drops of bleach and wait 30 minutes.

  8. White vinegar can be used to cook, preserve, clean and as medicine. Add that too! Also, some of the foods you mentioned are short term foods that should be used and rotated regularly. Long term dried, dehydrated, and freeze dried foods are best to store in massive quantities. You should rotate food and water every 3-5 years too. Only keep one years supply on hand though. Any more and it will be overkill on space, time and budget. Keep in mind that water can also go bad!!

  9. I read with interest the listed items, including flours and mixes. I’ve seen a few sites where the long term storage of processed flours such as plain and self raising were not recommended. The reason they gave was that they wouldn’t store as well as whole grains and would quickly become rancid. Has anyone gained experience of trying to store these items and then see what their like after 2 to 5 years?

  10. I’m amazed no one has mentioned a hand operated can opener. You have 3 canned items on the list. You make a point of not getting pop ups but don’t mention a HAND operated can opener. I was amazed before the 2000 freak out that most lists did not mention one.

  11. As far a your list goes it seems to be a good list. As far as the debate on age goes, age is subjective just ask any school age child how old is old. The whole point is to prepare to survive.

  12. Hi
    South Africa is turning into a battle ground. Farm murders are increasing all time. The “white”race is facing the worst time of their lives ever! And nobody listens to our cry for help. The garbage our politicians feed the world is believed though, serious? Mr Trump signed in the Genocide Act recently. We qualify for assistance based on the basics contained in that Act. Please spread this far and wide.

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