An emergency can strike without warning and unfortunately, most people find out too late that they are missing the essential supplies. Far too many times you’ve seen on the news how people line up in front of grocery stores hoping to get some last minute survival foods. If you end up doing the same, you should at least know what to buy from your grocery store.
Although buying provisions like food and water before a disaster is the smartest thing to do, there will always be those who wake up at the last minute. Most people will rush to the store and most of them don’t have a clue that stores stock less than a week’s worth of food under normal circumstances. The stores are picked bare during emergencies and you will end up waiting in line for nothing. Keeping a healthy stock of survival foods in the house will make sure you overcome unexpected emergencies. Even if you are not preparedness minded, creating a food supply of emergency food is rather easy and you can do some last minute shopping before disaster strikes. A trip to the grocery store is all it takes and the survival foods listed in this article can be found at your local store. These foods have a long shelf-life, are calorie dense and are inexpensive. All of these survival foods are good choices to keep on hand in the event of an emergency situation and you probably already have some in your house.
10 Best Survival Foods to buy at the last minute
Dry Beans: I’ve written in a previous article about beans as survival food and the bottom line is that beans are a super food. They are high in protein and fiber and other nutrients that can help keep you healthy during an extended crisis. They are excellent foods to feed more than one person and one cup of dry beans makes 2-3 cups of cooked beans (depending on the variety). Once you get to the store, make sure you pick 3 large bags of beans. To diversify your meals feel free to pick your favorite. One thing to mention is that beans are also a survival seeds so in case you need to start a garden, you already have some of the seeds waiting for you.
Suggested article: Back to basics – Beans for your survival pantry
Lard: In any emergency situation, you will be doing some home cooking and you will need oil to get the job done. Lard is long-lasting and high in calories. You can use it to add a bit of flavor to your food and your probably remember how good your grandmother’s food used to taste. Our grandparents used lard when cooking and a large can would last them for a long time. In case of emergency you can even use it as butter substitute and it will provide you with the calories you need to survive.
Rice: You can find rice in any store and it is a cheap and healthy addition to your emergency survival foods stockpile. It will provide you with the carbohydrates that will fuel you through a disaster. Half a cup of dried rice makes 1 cup of cooked rice. When it comes to survival foods, rice will help you stretch your food supply without breaking the bank. Every time you go to the grocery store you should pick up a large bag of rice to add to your emergency food supply.
Canned Meat: Canned goods are some of the items that disappear first in a crisis because everyone wants to add meat to their diet. You should stock up in advance on cans of tuna, ham, and chicken. These canned goods are a great source of protein and they should never miss from a survival pantry. Even when you do some last minute shopping, chances are you will still be able to get your hands on a few cans of Spam. Make sure you also look for dried meats like beef jerky as these foods have a long shelf life and they will be a tasty addition to your survival pantry.
Canned Fruit and Vegetables: Although canned fruit and vegetables don’t offer much in terms of survival food, they are a good way to supplement your diet and they can become comfort foods when food fatigue sets in. On your last trip to the grocery store before the blizzard sets in, make sure you get some cans of green vegetables and low-acidic fruits like pears because those canned foods have a longer shelf life. If you have kids, pick something they like as well because it will help you deal with these picky eaters when the crisis situation is in full effect.
Pasta: Just like rice, pasta is a great way to get carbohydrates. I love pasta and I’ve learned to improvise all sorts of meals using it. This is one of the cheapest survival foods you can find and there are many possibilities to stretch a meal using pasta. You can make pasta with tuna, with canned vegetables and I’ve even had pasta fried in lard with pieces of beef jerky seasoned with cayenne pepper. It is really worth stocking up on pasta so make sure you buy some when you get at the grocery store.
Salt: No matter how bad a food is salt can make it better or at least edible. If you don’t have a good supply of salt in your survival pantry you should make a habit of buying salt every time you go to the grocery store. Salt will come in handy as a seasoning during a crisis and there are many uses for it, outside the kitchen as well.
Cornmeal: If you managed to get lard and salt, you need to get some cornmeal as well because it is better to keep on hand than flour. Corneal requires fewer ingredients to make breads and it has a longer shelf life. A few 5lb bags of cornmeal should last until the emergency situation ends. You can make a skillet cake using just lard, salt and cornmeal and I had the pleasure of eating such food on various occasions during my camping trips.
Peanut Butter: Although peanut butter can get expensive if stockpiled alongside your other survival foods, it is a tasty source of protein and much needed fat. If you are forced to do some last minute shopping, make sure you get some peanut batter as you’ll be glad to have this quick snack on hand during an emergency. You could survive only on hardtacks and peanut butter if you are required to do so. Peanut butter can last for years past its expiration date if stored properly.
Sugar and Honey: I like to store honey and sugar not because these are great survival foods, but because they have so many other uses that most people are not aware of. These two items will store for many years and are bound to outlast you. Besides working as sweeteners for your food they can also be used as an antiseptics or food preservatives. You can even preserve meat using honey and I recommend reading the following articles as it will teach you how you can benefit the most by stockpiling these foods:
If you managed to get everything listed above and a little extra, once you get back home it’s time to take care of your groceries. Storing food for a long period of time requires some preparation if you don’t want to waste your money. First, you will need a cool, dry place that is dark even during the day. If you have a basement or cellar, you have the ideal place to store your food as long as it is not too close to the heating installation. And second, make sure that the temperature doesn’t oscillate too much in the place designated as your temporary survival pantry. If you bought big quantities of food, you will need to store them in food-grade sealable containers or Mylar bags. One container per food item is the way to go and if you want to mix ingredients to create ready to eat meals, use glass jars. Put labels on the containers that list the ingredients and the date the container was packed.
Recommended reading: Food storage mistakes you should avoid
You don’t have to be a prepper or a survivalist to ride out a disaster and you just need to have a basic knowledge of what it takes to survive. During an emergency, the vast majority of people will buy foods that do not provide long-term comfort and items such as bread or milk will disappear first. They think that the crisis will last only a few days and even tough that might be true, it’s not always a guarantee. In most case you will have a chance of making a last survival shopping trip, but if the crisis extends past those days, you won’t have a second chance.
I recommend making a habit of picking up a couple of the survival foods listed in this article each time you go to your local grocery store. It will help you build an emergency supply of provisions and if it never hits the fan, you wouldn’t have lost anything.
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