One thing will always be true, that is, disasters happen and those not prepared never fare well. Whether tornado, fire, flooding, earthquake or zombie apocalypse, storing the following items can keep your small family fed for a month or more, for well under $200. This is a quick list of the essential items you should have in your pantry ( or RV ) to make sure your family has an advantage in an unexpected survival situation.
Peanut Butter – Peanut Butter has a long shelf life, is relatively inexpensive, is full of nutrients, including essential protein, and the fact that it tastes good is an added bonus. 12 tablespoons a day will provide the necessary protein for a person to survive. Even rancid peanut butter can be safely consumed in the worst situations, though it will taste bad.
Dried Beans and Peas – A great source of protein, dried beans can be stored indefinitely, though they will lose their moisture after about 2 years and should be soaked prior to cooking. This is the cheapest source of protein and no survival pantry is complete without them.
Rice – Rice is an inexpensive source of carbohydrates. It’s the perfect companion to beans and it stores well. Avoid brown rice, it contains oil and will spoil.
Canned Vegetables – These are a great source of micro-nutrients for your survival diet. They will keep well long past the expiration date printed on the can.
Canned Meats – As a source of animal protein, canned meats are the best way to store meats and prevent decomposition. Typical offerings are canned ham, potted meat, tuna and Vienna sausage for example.
Canned and Dried Fruit – Canned fruit is another source of micro-nutrients and can add something sweet to the diet. Canned fruit will store just as long as vegetables do.
Flour / Salt / Baking Soda / Baking Powder – Essential for making breads, cakes and at the very least, hard tack. Breads will be an essential source of carbohydrates in a survival situation. If you are not familiar with the process of making these, you will want to store quick and easy recipes with them. You may also want to include corn meal to the list for making cornbread or Johnny Cakes.
Honey – Honey is a wonder food. When stored well, honey never spoils. Besides being a great source of carbohydrates, it has many lesser known applications. Raw honey can supply antioxidants, aid in wound healing, sooth sore throats and cold symptoms due to inflammation, relieve coughs, help end constipation, sooth an upset stomach, help balance the gut, aid in burn care, lessen allergy symptoms, aid in sleep, cure dandruff, provide needed energy, treat acne, soothe skin abrasions, and of course act as a sweetener. Also, mixing honey with vinegar and water can help eliminate internal parasites that can be harmful. When shopping for honey look for unpasteurized or raw honey, strait from a farming source if you can.
Bullion – Bullion is your go to soup starter and can also be used to flavor your rice or other items. Soups allow those in a survival situation to eat almost anything including any found vegetables or hunted meat.
Tea / Coffee
Water / Water Purification Tablets
Cooking Oil / Lard
Below is what I was able to purchase at large retailer for about $150. Add other items like sugar, pepper, powdered milk, other spices, jerky, etc. and you will still spend less than $200.
2 Cases of Vienna Sausage (24 4.6 oz. cans total) 11.48
4 Packs of Potted Meat (24 3 oz. cans total) 10.72
Pure ‘N Simple Honey (80 oz. bottle) 12.48
8 Cans of Fruit Cocktail in Heavy Syrup (29 oz. cans) 14.72
1 Pack Sweet Whole Kernel Corn (4 15.25 oz. cans) 3.98
4 Packs Green Beans (16 14.5 oz. cans) 15.92
10 Gallons Spring Water (10 1 gallon bottles) 9.40
1 Equate Multivitamins, 150 count 7.74
2 Boxes Black Tea Bags (200 count total) 3.88
1 Bag White Corn Meal (80 oz. bag) 2.84
1 Pail Lard (4 lb. pail) 6.98
1 Bottle Beef Bouillon (35.3 oz. bottle) 4.88
1 Bag of Rice (20 lbs.) 17.98
1 Box Baking Powder (22 oz.) 2.72
1 Bag Baking Soda (4 lb.) 2.24
2 Bags All Purpose Flour (20 lbs. total) 6.48
1 Box Plain Salt .59
2 Bags Black Eyed Peas (32 oz. total) 2.98
1 Bag Pinto Beans (64 oz.) 4.48
1 Jar Peanut Butter (64 oz.) 8.67
Of course, having cash and/or a credit card reserved for a disaster situation is also a good idea. Also, this list assumes you have access to a larger quantity of purified or un-purified water available.