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Preparing for the breakdown of society can be overwhelming, to say the least. Sometimes, when people realize how grim the future is, they react by rushing to the store and filling their carts with all sorts of canned foods, but this is a mistake.
You don’t want to end up with a bunch of foods that you hate or don’t know what to do with. Rather, you want foods you already like, foods that will last a long time, and foods that are healthy and nutritious.
So instead of panic-buying, get a few extra things every week, and slowly but surely build a stockpile of survival foods. In this article, we’ll list the best survival foods you can find in a typical supermarket.
Some of these foods aren’t just for eating. Many of them are on the list because they have alternative uses, such as cleaning and deodorizing.
If you haven’t started gathering these foods, it’s time to get started. Here are the best survival foods at the supermarket, in alphabetical order.
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1. Apple Cider Vinegar
This one might surprise you, but apple cider vinegar is an incredibly versatile ingredient that has been gaining popularity over the years. Not only is it packed with vitamins and minerals, but it also has antifungal properties, which makes it great for cleaning surfaces and many other things.
2. Bottled Water
Although it’s not technically a food, I felt compelled to include water. When it comes to surviving, hydration is key. Bottled water has an incredibly long shelf life and can be found in any grocery store. Make sure you keep a few extra bottles around your house just in case.
3. Canned Fish
Canned fish may not sound particularly appetizing, but it’s one of the most nutritious and shelf-stable options available. It’s packed with protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and essential vitamins and minerals.
Plus, canned fish can last up to five years in a cool dry place like a pantry or closet. Just make sure to check expiration dates before purchasing.
4. Canned Fruits and Vegetables
Canned fruits and vegetables are another great option for stocking up on essential nutrients without taking up too much space. Most cans will last up to two years when stored correctly, making them perfect for long-term storage.
Plus, there are so many different varieties available, so you can mix things up if you get tired of eating the same thing every day.
5. Canned Meat
Meat is a great source of protein and other essential nutrients, but it can be challenging to keep fresh in an emergency. That’s why canned meat is a great option for stocking up on supplies.
This shelf-stable food has a long shelf life and can be used in a variety of dishes. Plus, if you opt for low-sodium varieties, it won’t contain too much salt or unhealthy additives.
6. Canned Soup
Canned soup has an incredibly long shelf life (up to five years) making it ideal for storing in case of an emergency or disaster situation. Plus, there are so many varieties available that you won’t get bored with your meals, even after having them multiple times.
Cereals are another great option because they last for months without needing refrigeration and can be eaten on their own or mixed with other ingredients like dried fruits or nuts for more of a nutritional punch.
8. Coffee and Tea
While not strictly essential in terms of nutrition, having some coffee or tea on hand can be incredibly helpful during tough times since both beverages provide an extra boost of energy when needed most. Plus, the coffee grounds are very useful.
9. Condiments, Spices, and Seasonings
When the SHTF, there won’t be any fancy restaurants around to grab takeout from. But that doesn’t mean you have to eat bland food.
Stock up on condiments like ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, relish, salsa, and hot sauce to add flavor to your meals. Dried herbs and spices are also excellent items to have on hand; they don’t take up much room in your pantry, and they add delicious flavor to just about anything.
Like flour, cornmeal is another versatile ingredient with a long shelf life; perfect for baking treats like cornbread or pancakes during emergencies. It contains lots of fiber, vitamins and minerals including iron and zinc which are important for staying healthy while under stress from a disaster situation.
And if you add some honey or sugar to it, cornmeal becomes even more delicious.
This tiny pasta is high in carbohydrates and protein, so it’s great for energy and keeping you full. Plus, couscous cooks quickly with just boiling water, so it makes a great addition to your meal plan when you don’t have access to an oven or stovetop.
12. Dried Fruit
Dried fruit may seem like an unlikely survival food—but don’t let its small size fool you! Loaded with vitamins and minerals such as iron, potassium, and Vitamin C, dried fruit makes a great snack any time of day. It’s also easy to transport if you’re ever in need of something sweet while out on the go.
13. Dried Lentils and Beans
Dried lentils and beans are an excellent source of protein that will keep your energy levels up during those long days of manual labor after the SHTF. Plus, they cook quickly so they make an easy meal anytime.
14. Dry Pasta
Pasta is another great survival food because it has a long shelf life (up to two years) and is relatively inexpensive compared to other staples like rice or beans.
Plus, pasta is incredibly versatile – you can make everything from hearty casseroles to simple side dishes with just a few ingredients.
15. Electrolyte Drinks
Whether you’re out of water or just need an energy boost, electrolyte drinks are great for rehydrating and replenishing lost nutrients. Plus, many brands come in small packages that are easy to carry around with you.
16. Energy Bars
For those times when you need an extra boost of energy (or morale), energy bars provide a nutritious snack that can satisfy even the most demanding appetite.
Made with wholesome ingredients like oats, dried fruits, nuts and seeds, these bars offer quick nourishment without weighing you down—perfect for those days when you really need to power through.
Flour is one of those ingredients that everyone should stock up on. Not only does it provide carbohydrates and calories, but it also lasts indefinitely when stored properly in an airtight container.
Flour can be used for baking breads, cakes, cookies, muffins and more; perfect for when there’s no access to electricity or gas.
18. Granola Bars
Granola bars are not only delicious; they’re also incredibly versatile. Packed with fiber and protein from grains and nuts, these tasty treats are perfect for breakfast or snacks on-the-go. You can also use them as an ingredient in trail mix or crumble them over yogurt or ice cream for added crunch.
There are many reasons to stock up on honey. It has been used for centuries as a natural sweetener and preservative for food. Plus, honey has an incredibly long shelf life thanks to its high sugar content which helps preserve it over time.
20. Instant Mashed Potatoes
This one might seem obvious but instant mashed potatoes are actually incredibly versatile and can be used in a variety of dishes. They also keep well in storage for months at a time and make a great side dish when mixed with butter or cheese.
21. Jams and Jellies
These sugary spreads are not only tasty, but they also provide plenty of carbohydrates and calories—essential for keeping energy levels high during an emergency.
Plus, jams and jellies have an extremely long shelf life (some even lasting up to 30 years), so you don’t have to worry about them going bad anytime soon. Try them as spreads on sandwiches or toast, or as additions to various sauces and recipes.
When it comes to survival food, nothing beats jerky. Not only is it packed with protein and vitamins, but it also has an incredibly long shelf life that spans months or even years if stored properly. Plus, there are endless varieties of flavors and types to choose from.
Lard is another excellent choice for survival food because it has a very long shelf life without needing refrigeration. It’s also high in calories which makes it great for keeping hunger at bay during tough times. Some would argue that it’s the best survival food.
Nuts are one of nature’s most perfect survival foods. They’re packed with healthy fats, proteins, vitamins and minerals that will keep your energy levels up during those long days when access to food is scarce.
Oats are not only delicious, they’re also high in vitamins and minerals and low in fat. They can be eaten as cereal or used to make oatmeal cookies or granola bars if you happen to have access to an oven. Plus, they can last for decades.
Whether it’s olive oil or coconut oil, having some kind of cooking oil in your pantry can be extremely useful during an emergency situation. Not only is it great for cooking food, it also makes an excellent fire starter when mixed with other flammable materials like paper or cotton balls.
27. Pasta Sauces
Everyone loves a good spaghetti dinner, but when you’re trying to survive on limited resources, canned sauces are a great choice. They have a long shelf-life and taste delicious when paired with dried pasta.
28. Peanut Butter
It’s not just for sandwiches. With its high protein content and long shelf life, peanut butter is a great choice for any prepper’s pantry.
Not only is it tasty to spread on bread or crackers, it also adds flavor and texture to sauces, smoothies, and desserts. Plus, if you ever find yourself in a pinch with no electricity, peanut butter can be used as a butter substitute in baking recipes.
29. Powdered Milk
If fresh milk isn’t available (or if it spoils too quickly), powdered milk is always handy to have around the house. It has a longer shelf-life than regular milk and can be used for baking as well as drinking.
Rice is a staple food in many cultures around the world, but it’s also one of the best survival foods out there. It’s incredibly versatile because it can be cooked in so many different ways.
White rice can last for decades if you store it properly. Brown rice, on the other hand, only lasts about 6 months.
31. Root Vegetables
Root vegetables like potatoes, carrots, onions, and garlic are essential staples for any survivalist’s kitchen. They’re packed with vitamins and minerals (especially vitamin C), plus they have a long shelf life so you don’t need to worry about them going bad too quickly.
And they’re incredibly versatile; use them in soups or stews or roast them with olive oil—the possibilities are endless.
Seeds are a fantastic source of protein, fiber, and healthy fats that can help keep your hunger at bay during times of scarcity. Plus, many seeds have a very long shelf life so you can store them for a while before using them as part of your meals.
Sugar may not seem like the most nutritious item on this list, but it definitely has its place in the pantry during emergencies because it provides quick energy when needed most – especially if your body has been under physical strain from manual labor due to lack of power or resources available during the crisis situation at hand.
Plus, sugar can make virtually any food taste better – so don’t forget about keeping some stocked up.
34. Wheat Crackers
There’s nothing quite like the satisfying crunch of freshly-baked crackers. Wheat crackers not only provide an excellent source of fiber and complex carbohydrates; they are also great carriers for dips and spreads (like peanut butter).
They come in many different flavors, too—try experimenting with different types to see which ones you like best.
35. White Vinegar
White vinegar is a staple item in any pantry, but it’s especially useful during a SHTF situation.
Not only is it an excellent cleaning agent, but it can also be used as a preservative. Its high acidity makes it great for pickling and preserving fruits and vegetables—which means you can stretch out your food supply even further.
Bonus Item: Multivitamins
It’s important to get all of the nutrients that your body needs since you won’t always have access to fresh fruits and vegetables (or other healthy foods). That’s where multivitamins come in handy.
Packed with essential vitamins and minerals (and often including probiotics) these tiny pills can help fill in any nutritional gaps that may occur due to an unbalanced diet.
When it comes down to it, stocking up on survival foods doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. With just a few trips to the supermarket and some savvy shopping skills, anyone can create an emergency food supply.
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