box of emergency food

The Emergency Food Items You Need to Stock Up On Now

Life is uncertain. Every home needs a stockpile of non-perishable, shelf-stable emergency food items. It’s part of any sensible emergency preparedness plan. You need to stock up now. Today.


box of emergency food

You may still be able to have all of these emergency food items delivered to your front door by Amazon or by a local grocery store in your area that offers online ordering with pick up or delivery.

A list of the essential pantry items that need to be stocked in your cupboards and pantry follows. You may have some of these already. It’s time to check and take inventory.

I include a few Amazon links to make sure you have the correct information to select the specific items in those categories that appeal to you.

What follows is not an exhaustive list, nor is it mandatory. This is a guideline for essentials that show up in most recipes. These are food items you will need for recipes that you will supplement with meat, poultry, and produce—as available and warranted.

I am also linking to recipes, my favorite recipe sites that may l be so helpful for you as you prepare quick, low-cost, delicious, and nutritious meals during good times and, well, more challenging times!

Beans and Legumes (dry and or canned)

  • white beans
  • lentils
  • black beans
  • kidney beans
  • whole coffee beans


A bowl of food on a plate, with Bean and Rice

Red Beans and Rice courtesy of Food Channel’s Robert Irvine (fabulous!)


The Protein in Rice and Beans. Rice and beans may seem like a simplistic meal without enough protein or nutrition. However, it turns out that rice and bean dishes have complete proteins, are packed with carbohydrates, protein, and nutrients you may need for a vegan diet or fitness plan, and are totally delicious.

Red Beans and Rice courtesy of Food Channel’s Robert Irvine.

The Bean Cookbook is a free download from The Bean Institute that will teach you everything you need to know about preparing and enjoying beans. Honestly, I had no idea. I’ve learned so much. Plus hundreds of really awesome recipes! FREE download.


Whole Grains and Bread

  • oatmeal, steel-cut oats
  • quinoa
  • rice
  • bread
  • tortillas


Instant Pot Steel-Cut Oats (foolproof!)

Kale and Quinoa Salad

How to cook rice – easily and perfectly (easy lessons with pictures!)

Canned Goods


Brazilian Coconut Chickpea Curry


  • spaghetti
  • penne
  • your family favorite



Best Instant Pot. You can order today and have it within days. If that fits within your budget, an Instant Pot will greatly simplify your meal prep and cooking going forward. There are thousands of online recipes and resources for how to get your Instant Pot turning out the best food you can imagine—easy, quick!


  • all-purpose flour
  • white sugar
  • brown sugar
  • baking soda
  • baking powder
  • yeast
  • dry milk


A sandwich cut in half on a plate, with Bread and Butter

Condiments and Sauces


20 Asian Meals on the Table in 15 Minutes (you’re going to love these!)

7 Easy Ways to Give New Life to Leftover Rice


  • salt
  • pepper
  • garlic
  • cumin
  • Italian seasoning
  • crushed red pepper
  • onion powder
  • garlic powder

Oils and Vinegar

  • olive oil
  • cooking oil
  • sesame oil
  • white vinegar
  • apple cider vinegar

There you go … a guide so you can quickly stock your cabinets and cupboards with emergency food items you will need and use. I don’t want you ending up with a bunch of food that will spoil quickly or that you will never use.


Everyday Cheapskate participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn from qualifying purchases, at no cost to you.

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  1. Sheri B. says:

    And you can Freeze your yeast. It saves it for months past the expiration date. There are some people including me, that freeze yeast and when I need it bring it to room temp before using. Look it up on the internet. You can learn a lot about freezing yeast.

    • Linda P. says:

      Yes to this! I bake bread for myself every couple of weeks and pull the yeast and flour out of the freezer the night before. Works very well, the yeast is over a year old and works like I just bought it.

  2. Sheri B. says:

    I save Rice, Beans, pasta in foodsaver bags. That I use my foodsaver vacuum machine to suck out the air and that Preserves them for a long time. No bugs.
    And sometimes I will freeze the bag of rice or pasta or beans overnight if I have the room in my freezer. (very small) then I will use my foodsaver vacuum machine. I got mine on ebay for a really good price!
    Happy saving!

    • Arthur Mantzouris says:

      I also use my food saver for all sorts of things that I tend to freeze. I freeze my bananas n use them to make banana bread. Amd all sorts of good things. I’m happy to find that someone else uses the food saver.

  3. Suzanne says:

    It’s good to have an emergency food supply, but it must be tailored to individual needs. For example, many can’t eat acidic foods like tomatoes. And celiac means no wheat or barley.

  4. LijaW says:

    Thank you for this list, Mary. I was happy to see that I had at least ¾ of what you suggested. I’m glad I decided to check this out as I made my grocery list. I only go shopping twice a month!

  5. Mary Beth Akers says:

    May I also suggest sprouting seeds? Sprouts are the nutritional equivalent of fresh produce, which is difficult to store long term. Sprouting seeds take up very little space, and the sprouting process is easy.

  6. Patti Hathaway says:

    Thanks for the Bean Cookbook for FREE! I’ve been researching while filling my storehouse with beans for some good recipes. I’ll will forward this on to other patriots who are preparing.

    You’re the best resource Mary Hunt!

  7. Gigi Gall says:

    Good list by the way! Only stock up on the foods you’ll actually eat. If you don’t/won’t eat it now, then you won’t eat it later or even know how to prepare it when you’ll need it most. Good luck everyone!

  8. Cathy down on the farm... says:

    Great list, Mary and important to be prudent in these times. I have gone as far as already buying my turkey for thanksgiving as well as all of the sides ingredients that I will make.. I have never paid so much for a turkey but at least we will have one. I have a ham in the deep freeze for Christmas from last year that I will use this Christmas. I make a meal of lentils … a dollar a package…seasoned well that when put in the instant pot are ready to go will last me a week. I only eat one meal a day most days. Fasting is pretty healthy and good for the waistline. Have been prepping for years and it has brought me peace of mind. I have been practicing living simply. It really pays. Thank you, Mary.

  9. BoJe says:

    Your list is good but I have added the following to my list: canned chicken, canned salmon, canned ham, canned fruit, shelf stable milk, instant potatoes, noodles, COFFEE, drink mixes, Ghee, Jelly, pancake mix and syrup, stuffing mix, boxed rice or pasta side dishes, hearty canned soups

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