Author of The Blackout Book and the online course Bloom Where You’re Planted
If you’ve been paying attention to the news lately, you may be feeling on edge. You may feel as though time is running out for you to get your preparedness supplies and emergency food in order. You may be new to prepping, and feeling like there’s too much to accomplish. It seems like everything, everywhere, is sold out.
This feeling of urgency can make you feel hopeless and panicked, and that’s not productive. If you’re in a hurry, there’s no time for a lack of productivity. It’s time to focus and create your food supply immediately. If an event like a quarantine occurs during which you are unable to leave your home, you’ll want to make certain that you can keep food on the table without waiting for a handout to be doled out at the whim of some government agency.
Generally, I write about healthy food. I write about focusing on whole foods without additives, and I firmly believe that is the very best way to build your food supply. I believe strongly in the value of a pantry that you will use day to day to nourish your family. You can learn how to build a pantry like that in my book Prepper’s Pantry.
However, if you do not have a food supply waiting in your pantry, or your supply isn’t big enough, you might be focusing on speed. You can then add healthier options at your leisure.
This list has been updated multiple times with items that are in stock at the time of publication. However, I can’t guarantee they’ll be in stock when you decide to place an order. Many brands of emergency food have been back-ordered since February.
Create a stockpile with emergency food buckets
Let me be clear that I think purchasing healthy whole foods is the very best way to build a food supply. Grabbing shelf-stable options from the store or a supplier is a great way to put back a nutritious stockpile. However, it may not be the fastest way.
If you’re trying to build a food supply quickly, consider ordering buckets with a month’s supply of meals.
Here’s why every prepper should have some emergency food buckets stashed away:
- A lot of calories can be condensed into a very small amount of space.
- If you have the capacity to boil water during an emergency, a filling meal can be yours.
- They add variety and speed to an emergency food supply.
- Calorie for calorie, they’re lightweight and easily portable in the event of a bug-out scenario.
- They’re professionally packaged to have a 25-year shelf life, so you can get it, stick it in the back of your closet, and forget about it until you need it.
Now, the downside.
If you’re looking for ready-made meals, none of them are going to be completely free of additives. This is impossible because they’re made to last for 25 years, to take up minimal space, to cook up quickly and efficiently, and to taste reasonably good.
If you’re going this route, some compromises must be made. Yes, emergency food buckets contain processed food, but you don’t have to let go of all of your focus on healthful choices.
You may look at the prices of these items and say, “Oh, I can’t afford this.” But you have to remember, this is enough food for an ENTIRE MONTH. At $300, that means you’re spending $10 per day on food that only requires the ability to boil water.
You’ll notice on the list of extras that I recommended a gentle laxative. Some people, when dependent solely upon MREs or dehydrated foods, become constipated. I also recommended a high-quality multivitamin to help ensure you’re getting the nutrition you need.
Remember: these buckets are a one month supply PER PERSON. You will need one bucket for each member of your household for a complete one month supply.
Here are the products I normally recommend.
I love Legacy Foods for the vast variety they offer. Legacy has standard buckets of survival food, fruits and vegetables, dairy products, and protein. The quality is very good and the meals are tasty when prepared.
Here are some of my very favorite items from Legacy.
- 60 Serving (15 Lb) Gluten Free Survival MRE Meals – Emergency Food
- 120 Serving (27 Lb) Gluten Free Dehydrated / Freeze Dried Prepper Food
- 120 Serving (31 Lb) Legacy Freeze Dried Survival Meals- Emergency Food
- Bulk Food Storage Side Dishes / Emergency Freeze Dried Vegetables
You can get powdered milk, packaged for the long-term.
They have some awesome protein sources, too. (Something that is missing in many prepper pantries.)
And of course, COFFEE.
When ordering, be certain to look at the dates when the products are expected to be available. Some could be on indefinite backorder, while others could be months away.
Check out these emergency food buckets
In times of crisis, you may find that it is difficult to find emergency food that isn’t already sold out. Pickings may be slim. At the time of update, 2/29/2020, these products were available within one week.
- Augason Farms 30-Day Food Supply (arrives March 5-10)
- Augason Farms Deluxe 30-Day Food Supply (arrives March 5-10)
- Wise Company 240 Serving Food Supply arrives March 12-20)
- Wise Company 120-Serving Bucket (arrives March 15-25)_
- Wise Company 60-Serving Bucket (arrives March 12-20)
- Wise Company 124-Serving Bucket (arrives March 12-20)
Be warned that some of these buckets claim to be a 30 day supply of food, but you may find a lot of instant oatmeal, mac and cheese, and dry milk, plus a very limited variety. You’ll want to add some supplemental foods, too.
Some things to add on to your emergency food supply
By adding some extras to your supply you can make it healthier and better balanced, and you can also make it fit your needs. I have added a huge amount of fruits, vegetables, eggs, and milk to my supply because we tend to eat a lot of that right now. If you generally eat low-carb, you may want to skip the pre-made buckets, and create your own kits from some of the options below.
- Freeze-Dried Meat Assortment
- Freeze-Dried Ground Beef
- Freeze-Dried Vegetable Assortment
- Egg Powder
- Milk Powder
- Cheddar Cheese Powder
- Butter Powder
- Fruits and Vegetables
- Gentle Laxative
And for the love of all things cute and fluffy….get one of these bucket openers and make your life easier!!!!
While waiting for your buckets, head to the grocery store and grab some of the following:
- Canned fruits and veggies
- Instant oatmeal
- Breakfast cereal
- Apple sauce
- Peanut butter
- 100% Juice
- Coffee and/or tea
- Canned beans
- Canned meats like tuna, chicken, and ham
- Some of your family’s favorite snack foods to squirrel away and bring out when food fatigue sets in
However you opt to build your food supply, please don’t hesitate. If a worst-case scenario occurred, the minimum goal is to be able to feed your family for at least a month.
How much do emergency food do you need?
There are a few different ways to calculate food storage, but I find breaking it down by serving size to be the most practical. Don’t rely on what a package calls a serving size – consider the appetites of your family. You might have a couple of big eaters and a couple of people with birdlike appetites. The lists below are based on serving sizes for an average adult.
Be sure to get a variety of different foods:
- 3 protein servings
- 5-8 fruits and vegetables
- 5 starchy carbohydrates
On a 2000 calorie per day diet, strictly based on long-term storage food, the LDS (Church of the Latter Day Saints) says the average adult would need the following amounts for 30 days:
- 5 pounds of beans
- 25 pounds of grains
- 5 pounds of sugars
- 2 pounds of fats
- 8 pounds of dairy
These are purely subjective numbers, however. For example, if your family is gluten-free, you might eat more protein and produce than starchy carbs. You must take into account your family’s health concerns, special needs, allergies, intolerances, likes, and dislikes. These are simply guidelines. Try to stick as close to your normal eating habits as possible, to lessen the stress of an already highly-wrought situation. You’d be asking for trouble if you took someone who generally eats paleo and started feeding them nothing but oatmeal and vegetarian pasta dishes.
It’s also important to consider cooking times. If you never ever cook from scratch, will you suddenly want to make pots of beans and homemade bread? If the power goes out, will you have a way that you’ll be able to cook these foods? (This little stove can be used anywhere, indoors or outdoors. Be sure to stock up on extra fuel for it.)
You don’t have to be a prepper to build a 30-day food supply.
Up until recently, preppers have had something of a bad name in the media. However, as disasters strike America over and over, people are beginning to see the value in the way we do things. It’s been proven time and time again that when issues occur, you’re completely on your own. To learn more about basic preparedness, go HERE to learn how to get started.
Finally, if you want to learn more, here are some resources that can help you on your journey.
- Sign up for my daily newsletter here
- Prepper’s Pantry: Build a Nutritious Stockpile to Survive Blizzards, Blackouts, Hurricanes, Economic Collapse, Pandemics, or Other Disasters
- The Prepper’s Blueprint: The Step-By-Step Guide To Help You Through Any Disaster
- Prepper’s Long-Term Survival Guide
- How to Be a Prepper… But Not One of Those Crazy Ones
- Graywolf Survival
- Ready Nutrition
- Apartment Prepper